“Your Screen is Being Observed on Mac”: Actual Meaning & Fix

Many users have reported seeing a warning message on their Mac screen stating, “Your screen is being observed.” The error typically pops up on the Lock screen, where you’re asked to type a password before trying to log in to Mac.

You can also find a “covering squares” icon in the Apple Status Menu Bar. It looks like two squares on top of another in the upper-right corner of your Mac screen. Upon clicking the icon, the same error message shows up when you unlock Mac.

The message seems threatening, as if Mac is being hacked or tracked by someone. But there’s nothing to worry about it. Multiple reasons can cause the error like it can be a warning to inform that you’re sharing the screen with another user.


Regardless of the reasons, you can fix this anytime. Today, we’ll discuss the root causes for the “Your Mac screen is being observed” message and possible solutions to fix it.

Why does “Your Screen is Being Observed” Appear, and How to Fix it?

There’re some scenarios in which your Mac lock screen might display the error message. Let’s learn about them one by one and the possible solutions to eliminate the message.

1. Screensharing is on

You must know that it’s possible to share the Mac screen remotely or locally with other users. So, when you’re sharing your screen with someone else, Mac displays the warning message to make sure that you’re aware of the screen being shared. It’s a common scenario, and you can easily turn it off.

First, you need to verify if you’re really sharing the screen or if it’s turned on mistakenly.

  1. To verify if you’re sharing the screen or not, navigate to System Preferences by selecting the Apple icon in the upper-left corner. You can also go to System Preferences from the Dock area.
  2. Click the Sharing option.

If you find it On and you want to turn off screen sharing, ensure that Screen Sharing and Remote Management checkboxes are deselected. To reassure, also deselect Remote Login.

With these steps, the message “Your screen is being observed” will surely disappear if screen sharing is the primary reason.

2. You’re recording the Mac screen

One of the main reasons behind the “Your screen is being observed” message on the Mac lock screen is you’re recording your screen. Screen recording will be continued when you lock Mac or put the macOS screen to sleep. This also causes the message to indicate that your Mac screen is being recorded.

Some users see this message because they started the recording but forgot to pause or stop it. Until you turn off the screen recording, you’ll keep seeing the message.

In order to stop screen recording on Mac,

  • Click the little Quit Recording button in the top-right corner of the Menu bar.
  • Alternatively, press the Commnad+Control+Escape keys together to turn off screen recording.

3. You’re using AirPlay

In case you’re using AirPlay to mirror the Mac screen or stream videos on your Apple TV and put the Macbook to sleep, you might see this notification once you unlock Mac. Disconnecting the AirPlay or restarting your Mac device should help you remove the message.

To turn off AirPlay, click the AirPlay icon from the toolbar above and select Turn AirPlay Off from the drop-down menu.

Alternatively, you can go to System Preferences, choose Displays and select Off for AirPlay Display.

4. Third-party apps are accessing your screen

Some third-party macOS apps need screen recording permission in order to perform. Due to this, such apps can access the screen, and hence, you get the message “Your screen is being observed.”

Here’re the steps to check your screen recording permissions and turn them off if you don’t need them:

1. Go to System Preferences on Mac.

2. Click Security & Privacy.

3. Under the Privacy tab, click Screen Recording from the left menu. Here you can find the apps that have the screen recording permission on your macOS.

4. Deselect the apps for which you don’t want to allow the screen recording permission.

5. To deselect apps, click the lock icon near to “Click the lock to make changes” text at the bottom left corner. You’ll need to enter your Mac password or Touch ID to confirm the changes.

This process will help you to eliminate the “Your screen is being observed” message on the Mac.

5. Mac apps are controlling your system

It’s a very crucial method to getting rid of the message if everything fails to work. This method is not only useful to stop the message from appearing but also for security reasons. Some of the Mac apps have direct access to your Mac system, and you’re unaware of it.

That’s why it’s recommended to check regularly and stop the apps from accessing your system. Here’re the steps to do that:

1. Open System Preferences from the Dock area or by clicking the Apple logo on the upper right side.

2. Click Security & Privacy and move to the Privacy tab.

3. Select Accessibility from the left-hand side menu to check the list of apps that can control the laptop.

4. To make changes, click the lock icon on the bottom left side.

5. Enter your Mac password when asked.

6. Deselect the apps that you rarely use or don’t use at all.

7. Reboot your Mac, and the warning message will no longer appear on the lock screen.

If there’re unknown apps with the Accessibility permission, you better delete them immediately.


These are the common reasons why you might get the message and the solutions to fix it. Follow the above-mentioned steps carefully, and you can easily remove the “Your screen is being observed” message.

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