Welcome to the Apple Support Communities! Have you ever wondered why there's a microphone on your Macbook screen? Well, if you've enabled Voice Control, then you'll see an onscreen microphone that represents the mic selected in Voice Control preferences.
Voice Control is a Mac feature that allows you to control your computer with your voice. You can launch apps, select menu items, type text, and more using voice commands. It's incredibly helpful for people with disabilities who may not be able to operate a mouse or keyboard.
To enable Voice Control on your Macbook, go to System Preferences > Accessibility > Voice Control and check the box next to Enable Voice Control. When you do this, the microphone icon will appear on your screen. To pause or resume Voice Control, just say “Go to sleep” or “Wake up.”
You can also customize how sensitive the microphone is in Voice Control preferences by adjusting the Microphone Sensitivity slider bar. This will help ensure that only commands spoken directly into the mic are picked up and followed by your Macbook.
If you decide that you no longer need or want Voice Control enabled on your Macbook, simply go back into System Preferences > Accessibility > Voice Control and uncheck Enable Voice Control. This will turn off the microphone icon on your screen as well as disable all voice controls associated with it.
We hope this article has helped explain why there's a microphone icon on your Macbook screen and how to disable it if necessary! If you have any other questions about this feature or any other Apple product/feature, please don't hesitate to reach out here for assistance!
Removing the Microphone Icon from a Mac Screen
To get rid of the microphone on your Mac screen, you'll need to go to System Preferences > Accessibility > Voice Control and disable the option to Enable Voice Control. This should cause the microphone icon to disappear from your screen. If you ever want to turn it back on, you can do so by checking the box again in the same menu.
The Purpose of the Microphone on a Mac Screen
The microphone on your Mac screen is a representation of the mic selected in Voice Control preferences. It indicates that Voice Control is enabled and listening for commands. You can use Voice Control to do things like open apps, play music, adjust volume, and more without needing to use your mouse or keyboard. With Voice Control, you can control your Mac with just your voice.
Removing the Floating Microphone on a Mac
To get rid of the floating microphone on your Mac, you can turn off Voice Control. To do so, click Apple menu ?> System Preferences > Accessibility. Then scroll down the list on the left side of the panel to Voice Control and uncheck Enable Voice Control. This will turn off the floating microphone and disable all associated features of Voice Control.
Removing the Microphone and Camera Icon from a Mac
To get rid of the microphone and camera icon on your Mac, you need to go into System Preferences and select the Security & Privacy pane. From there, click either Camera or Microphone in the sidebar. This will bring up a list of apps that have access to either your microphone or camera. To remove an app's access, simply uncheck the box next to it in the list. Once you've unchecked all of the apps that you want to disable access for, the microphone and camera icon should no longer be present on your Mac.
Determining if a Microphone is Being Used on a Mac
To know if your microphone is being used on your Mac, open Control Center in the menu bar. An orange dot will appear next to the microphone icon, indicating that it is in use. You can also see which apps are using the microphone at the top of the Control Center.
Investigating the Cause of an Orange Spot on a Mac Screen
The orange dot next to the icon for Control Center on the menu bar in macOS 12 Monterey is an alert from Apple that something is using Mac's microphone to listen to the room. This could mean that an app you are using has requested permission to use your microphone. To find out which app is using it, simply click on the Control Center icon and it will show you which apps have requested access to use your microphone. It is important to understand why certain apps would need access to your microphone so it's best to check what each app is doing with this data before allowing access.