Mac has more than 150 symbols to indicate different actions running in the system. Some symbols are easy to understand while it is difficult to get the meaning of many other symbols. Especially, the top bar in Mac shows lot of icons and sometimes you may notice a strange orange dot symbol. If you wonder what is that orange dot symbol, here is the explanation.
Orange Dot in Control Center Icon and Corner in Mac
The orange dot in Mac indicates an app is using the microphone based on the permission you provided before. You may see the orange dot nearer to Control Center when the app is running but not using the permission. However, the orange dot will move to the corner when you use the app which may be using your microphone.
By default, Control Center icon will look like two switches one on another with one switched off and other on as shown below.
When the app is running, you will see an orange dot next to Control Center icon like below.
When you use the app accessing the permission, the dot will move to corner as shown below.
Removing Orange Dot By Closing Apps
Over period, you might have given permissions to many apps on your Mac but forgot which apps are using the microphone. To overcome this, Mac will show an orange dot in top bar indicating an app you have permitted previously is currently using microphone. Now that you may not like the app is using your Mac’s feature and want to remove the permission. There are few ways to find which app is using the microphone when you see an orange dot.
Checking Recent Apps Used Your Microphone
Click on the Control Center icon and you will see the list of app names on the top. In the below screenshot, you can see the app name is Snagit 2022 along with orange microphone symbol. It means Snagit 2022 app used microphone which is the reason, there is an orange dot showing next to Control Center icon.
This app is a screen recording app and when you actually record the screen, the orange dot will move from the Control Center icon to the corner of the screen. You can simply close the app and check the top bar; you will not see orange dot now. Remember, simply clicking on the close icon will not close the app. You need to select quit option from the menu or save your changes and press “Command + Q” shortcut keys to completely quit the app in Mac.
Alternatively, you can also check the dock to find the currently running apps in Mac which will show a small dot below the app icon. Close all the running apps to remove the orange dot in the top bar.
Permanently Stopping the Apps to Use Microphone
Above methods will only help to find the apps using microphone. Also, closing the app will only remove the orange dot temporarily and it will reappear when you launch the app and use the microphone feature. If you really want to stop some or all the apps using your microphone, then you need to manually change the app permission. You need to check the system settings to find app’s permissions and change if required.
- Click on “Apple Menu” and select “System Preferences…” option.
- Click on “Security & Privacy” option and go to “Privacy” tab.
- The left sidebar will show you different permission categories. First, click on the pad lock icon and provide your administrator username/password to unlock the screen for editing.
- Now select the “Microphone” category to see the list of apps in right pane which has access to your microphone.
- Simply disable the checkbox against the app name to remove its permission.
- If the app is open, you will see a prompt asking you to “Quit & Reopen” for immediately removing the permission. Or you can choose “Later” option for the changes to take effect when you relaunch the app next time.
- Click “Quit & Reopen” and now you will not see the orange dot when that app is running.
Remember removing the orange dot should not be your ultimate objective. Because some apps may really need microphone access for working properly. As mentioned above, Snagit 2022 is a screen recording app which needs microphone access for recording voice. Make sure to only remove the microphone access for those apps which you do not want to access your microphone.
Note: iPhone also will show orange dot when an app is using microphone.
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