Seeing the “Your screen is being observed” message on your Mac can be quite unsettling, especially if you’re working on a serious project using the best video editing software for Mac or the best photo editing app. The alert appears on your lock screen to warn you when a third-party app is accessing your screen. But while it can be a scary sight, it doesn’t necessarily mean that someone is hacking you.
So why does this message appear, and how should you respond to the issue? Below, we’ll look at some common reasons for this warning and how to fix it.
Check Whether You’re Recording Your Screen
One reason you might see the warning message is when you’re recording your Mac’s screen. So, before getting alarmed, confirm that you haven’t opened a screen recording app. Unlike most other devices, your Mac’s screen recording won’t stop even when you lock your computer.
If the warning remains after you stop recording, go to your privacy settings and check your screen recording permissions. Within the Privacy tab, you’ll find various categories, including “Screen Recording,” where you can see apps with access to your screen.
If you find an unfamiliar app, uncheck it to revoke the screen recording permissions and ensure you only use a trusted screen recorder for Mac. This will help record your screen easily and give you editing features without compromising your privacy.
Check Whether You’re Sharing Your Screen
macOS notifies you when you’re sharing your screen with someone. You could be helping onboard a new remote employee or getting troubleshooting help, and the message servers as a reminder that someone else can see your screen. This is especially important for safety and privacy reasons – after all, you want to open the wrong web page or document and risk someone stealing your information.
The warning also lets you know when you mistakenly turn on screen sharing. If you get the message and you’re not sharing your screen, open your sharing settings and uncheck the Screen Sharing and Remote Management options.
Turn off AirPlay
While AirPlay is a handy feature for sharing videos, photos, and music from your Mac to your Apple TV, it can sometimes cause unintended warnings when external devices attempt to mirror your screen.
Since it mirrors your Mac screen, one of the alerts you will receive is the “Your Screen is Being Observed” message. To fix this, open the Control Center in the top-right corner of your screen and turn off AirPlay. This will get rid of the security warning or help you rule out AirPlay if the culprit is a third-party app.
Check Your Mac’s Accessibility Settings
If you’re still seeing the warning, other apps may be attempting to access your screen. To fix this, you need to go beyond screen recording and review your accessibility permissions.
Go to security and privacy settings and click “Accessibility” to check the apps that are allowed to control your computer. As with the screen recording permissions, you should immediately remove any app you don’t recognize.
Check Login Items
Removing Login Items on your Mac can stop your Mac from being observed. As mentioned, Mac screen recorders open up when you log in, and locking your laptop or putting it to sleep won’t turn them off.
However, you can remove this ability by opening Login Items and removing your screen recorder from the list. Go to System Settings > General > Login Items, select the app you want to restrict and click the (-) button.
Check for Malware
Lastly, you should check your Mac for malware and remove any Malicious software that might attempt to capture your screen without your knowledge. Run a thorough scan using reputable antivirus software to ensure your system is free from malware or spyware. You can also check for Malware manually using the macOS Activity Monitor. With the tool, you can quickly spot and stop any suspicious processes, which can help solve the issue of your screen being observed.