How to Disable the iSight Camera

By Kay Piem

Some computer users would like extended privacy for personal or professional concerns by disabling web-friendly video recording software. iSight is a webcam built into Macintosh computers and accessed through web software. Disabling iSight will prevent any web-based software seeking a camera to find iSight on the computer directory. You will need administrative access to your computer and to move files from one location on the hard drive to another. After iSight has been disabled, web-based software will alert users that iSight is unable to be accessed because it is in use by another application.

Things You'll Need

  • Administrative access to computer

Temporary Disabling Access

Step 1

Go to the System folder on the computer's hard drive. Inside the System folder, go to the Library folder. Inside the Library folder, go to the QuickTime folder. Go to the "directory" and locate the "QuickTimeUSBVDCDigitizer.component" file.

Step 2

Create a "Temporary Backup iSight" folder onto your computer's hard drive.Copy the "QuickTimeUSBVDCDigitizer.component" file to the new backup folder. Delete the file in the directory by moving it to the trash. Do not delete both files--otherwise, you will permanently not be able to access iSight.

Step 3

Open a web-based software program (iChat, Skype, Adium) and test to ensure iSight is not accessible.

Permanently Disabling iSight

Step 1

Go to the System folder on the hard drive. Inside the System folder, go to the Library folder. Inside the Library folder, go to the QuickTime folder. Go to the "directory" and locate the "QuickTimeUSBVDCDigitizer.component" file.

Step 2

Delete the file in the directory by moving it to the trash.

Step 3

Open a web-based software program (iChat, Skype, Adium) and test to ensure iSight is not accessible.

Tips & Warnings

  • Simply putting a piece of paper or opaque tape over the iSight camera is a quick and fast solution to ensure the camera does not pick up any images or data.