"Your Screen Is Being Observed" Issue on Mac - 5 Easy Fixes

Clare Phang
Last updated: Jan 11, 2024
Summary: This post will explain what "Your screen is being observed" on Mac means and its possible reasons and fast fixes. Read on to learn more useful information.

"This is the second time I have found this on my screen when I woke it up from sleep. Has anyone else seen anything like this? What's causing that? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I went through Apple tech support assistance and they found nothing to my computer. A program called Malwarebytes found nothing as well."

- A Question from Apple Community.

Worried about the message "Your screen is being observed" that appears on the login screen of your Mac/MacBook?

Relax! This post will guide you to remove this annoying message. Keep reading to master more useful skills!

How to Fix "Your Screen Is Being Observed" on Mac

What Does "Your Screen Is Being Observed" Mean?

The message "Your screen is being observed" on Mac's lock screen simply means that certain apps have been granted permission to record or control the screen. For instance, this includes activities such as taking screenshots, recording the screen, or screen sharing.

Don't worry. This doesn't mean that you are under monitoring, attacking, hacking, etc.

This message just reminds you some apps can get access to your screen and want control of the screen, others can observe your screen, and your screen is being engaged.

Why Does My Mac Say My Screen Is Being Observed?

  • You are using screen recorders like QuickTime Player to record the screen. And you forget to stop it.
  • You are sharing the screen with others/at meetings.
  • You are using Airplay Mirror.
  • Some apps are asking for permission to get access to your screen.
  • Using DisplayLink drivers to power external monitors.
  • Malware.

The possible reasons differ from the actual situation. You can learn more about it from the Apple Community as many users have the same experience.

How to Fix "Your Screen Is Being Observed" on Mac

Now that you have a general understanding of what is and why Mac "Your screen is being observed" occurs, it's time to learn some practical methods.

In total, there are 5 proven skills to fix the "Your screen is being observed" issue on Mac. Let's check for details.

1. End the Screen Recording

A common situation for the appearance of the message "Your screen is being observed" is that you are using a screen recorder like QuickTime Player and forget to stop it.

In this case, the next time you log in to your Mac, the message will appear at the top right corner of the Menu Bar showing next to an overlapping square icon.

Your Screen Is Being Observed Icon

So check whether the screen recorder is on and stop the QuickTime screen recording on Mac. The shortcut to end the screen recording is Command + Control + Esc.

Check Screen Recorder

2. Turn Off Screen Sharing

This message also appears while you are sharing your screen with others or at a meeting locally or remotely. It reminds you that someone can observe your screen.

So whenever you finish what you want to share with others, remember to turn off the screen sharing.

Here is how to turn off screen sharing and remote management:

Go to Apple MenuSystem SettingsGeneralSharingScreen Sharing/Remote Management.

Check Sharing Settings

3. Check Which Apps Have Screen Recording Permissions

Some apps will ask for screen recording permissions. You may ignore to check this permission while you download it. It may remind you of the message "Your screen is being observed the next time you begin to use it.

Here is how to check and disable these apps:

Go to Apple MenuSystem SettingsPrivacy & Security>scroll down and find Screen & System Audio Recording>disable the app that you are not using under the list.

Check Apps with Screen Recording Permission

Here is how to check apps that have the permission to control your computer:

Go to Apple MenuSystem SettingsPrivacy & Security>scroll down and find Accessibility.

Check Apps Control Your Mac

If you ever find apps in the list that you don't recognize, you'd better uninstall them. Moving those apps to the trash doesn't clean them completely. Pick a professional Mac cleaning tool like BuhoCleaner to completely uninstall apps, which helps you uninstall the apps and remove their leftovers at once.

4. Turn Off AirPlay and Screen Mirroring

If you enable Airplay and forget to disable it, the screen can still be observed by others. This message pops up as a reminder for you that your screen is being observed as you are using Airplay to share your screen.

Check the Screen Mirroring first:

Click the Control Center icon on the Menu BarScreen Mirroring. And make sure no device is connected after you've stopped sharing.

Check Screen Mirror

Check the AirPlay Receiver:

Go to Apple MenuGeneralAirDrop & Handoff.

Disable AirPlay Receiver.

Turn Off AirPlay Receiver

5. Check and Clean Malware

Malware is a big threat to your Mac. It can observe your screen and steal your private information. Check and clean malware via a professional Mac malware checker and cleaner.

Besides what is mentioned above, here are some other methods that are worth a try, for example, restart your Mac, reinstall macOS, update Mac, check and disable login items that ask for screen recording permissions, etc.


After you finish reading this post, you will have a better understanding of its meaning and why this message appears. So, there's no need to worry too much. It's just a reminder.

Try the 5 easy and effective ways mentioned in this post to make the message "Your screen is being observed" disappear from your Mac.

Hope at least one of them helps you remove this annoying message.

Clare Phang has been captivated by the world of Apple products since the launch of the iconic iPhone in 2007. With a wealth of experience, Clare is your go-to source for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and all things Apple.