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Why is the Zoom app listening on my microphone when not in a meeting?

aaronklein
Listener

I'm running MacOS Monterey. Several times in the last few weeks, I've noticed the orange dot indicating the microphone is being used by an app, and I click on the Control Center and see that Zoom is accessing the microphone. I'm not in a meeting and simply have the Zoom app open. Why would Zoom be accessing the microphone when I'm not in a meeting?

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Bitcoin_Shaman
Community Champion | Zoom Employee
Community Champion | Zoom Employee

Hey @aaronklein 

 

We experienced a bug relating to the Zoom client for macOS, which could show the orange indicator light continue to appear after having left a meeting, call, or webinar. This bug was addressed in the Zoom client for macOS version 5.9.3 and we recommend you update to version 5.9.3 to apply the fix. 

 

As always, we recommend users make sure their Zoom client is updated to the latest version. Users can also opt-in to Automatic Updates by selecting “Automatically keep Zoom desktop client up to date” in your Zoom client settings.

 

Thanks!

View solution in original post

40 REPLIES 40

Mrcskrgr
Listener

Same issue here. Orange dot active and Control Center indicating that Zoom is accessing the microphone, but with no ongoing active call. Closing down Zoom app removes the orange dot indication. Why is Zoom listening in the background?

MichaelThwaite
Listener

Just noticed the same this morning; they don't have a great track record with privacy, are you looking at another attempt to 'improve the user experience'?

johnoshea
Listener

Seeing the same thing here (Zoom starting to listen without any user input).

 

I've left an OBS window open without a recording running, and am seeing the orange dot, presumably as OBS is monitoring audio to be able to update its onscreen audio levels display. I wonder if Zoom is doing something similar.

apireno
Listener

Same issue here. This is major privacy breach and I am considering dropping Zoom and asking my IT department to replace Zoom with a more secure option.

ancerpt
Listener

Same issue has been happening to me for a few months. Randomly my music playback will get distorted and the only way to fix it is to quit zoom. I just updated to MacOS Monterey and now see the same orange dot indicator with zoom listed.

johnoshea
Listener

Huh. Looks like it's been fixed: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201361963-New-Updates-for-Mac-OS

 

December 27, 2021 version 5.9.1 (3506)

Resolved Issues

  • Resolved an issue regarding the microphone light indicator being triggered when not in a meeting on macOS Monterrey 

Well, that most recent update seems to have made no obvious difference. I've just noticed the orange dot again, and when I quit Zoom, Timing.app told me that I'd apparently been on a 2 hour Zoom call.

 

At this point, it looks like it's safest to only run Zoom while on active calls and keep it quit otherwise.

The update didn't fix the issue for me. I've updated zoom, but I just experienced this issue again today.

Update didn't fix the issue for me either. Staring at the orange dot now while not on a zoom meeting. Very frustrating. Zoom, please stop spying on me.

AlexeyU
Listener

Even in 5.9.1 it's same.

 

And what about privacy? Listening my private environment outside of a meeting doesn't seem right at all.

adamj
Listener

Yep, same here. Zoom 5.9.1 on MacOS 12.1. Keep seeing the orange dot and control centre saying Zoom is using my mic.

a_naive_custome
Listener

click "zoom.us" from the status bar-> select Preferences.. -> select Audio, do nothing but close the Setting dialog window. This makes the orange dot disappear for me. This is a workaround if one doesn't want to quit zoom completely, but why not?

rsrsrs
Listener

Same issue. This is really worrying privacy-wise.

adamj
Listener

The cynic in me is wondering if this 'fix' in 5.9.1 was a (failed) attempt to obfuscate the fact Zoom is actually listening to the mic all the time, rather than fixing a genuine bug

bangersandmash
Listener

I am having the same problem, though Zoom was using the mic when I thought the application wasn't even running. After reading this thread I did the following:

 

1. Quit Zoom

2. Opened Activity Monitor

 

Once Activity Monitor was opened I saw that the Zoom app was "Not Responding" (even though I icon had disappeared from my Dock). I force quit the app and the orange dot in Control Centre went away. 

Thank you for this observation! This makes it clear, that Zoom is, or certainly could be listening if the user doesn't check Activity Monitor and override Zoom software if necessary.

Crear12
Listener

Same issue. Comparing to the privacy concern, I'm more annoyed because Mac will switch my AirPods Pro back when I'm actually using my phone. Mac thinks that as long as zoom requires microphone, I'm in a meeting. But I'm in a phone call on my iPhone.

wgonzalez01
Listener

I'm also having this same problem, i noticed it about two months ago and its not changed. The only way around it is to quit the app after you get off the call and reopen it. The dot will go away after it has been newly opened. 

hakube34
Listener

So Zoom can spy on you and sell your voice data.  Zoom is a shady company and never cared about privacy

dvaldivia
Listener

same problem

nehem
Listener

Because as soon as you launch, Zoom has to assess the ambience audio and has to prepare sufficient model for noice cancellation profile. By the time you must have observed that Zoom has better noice cancelling AI model than Google or MS team, because of such heavy-lifting. 

 

Also it would allow you to test the computer audio, these things would require microphone. I wouldn't be worried about Zoom uses my microphone, I will be actually be concerned if the audio is saved and transmitted over internet, which is not the case here. 

This explanation makes sense but it overlook other less obvious issues. When an app is compromise, it inherits its permissions (all its access), and zoom app has many time been shown to be poorly protected. Having the microphone on at all time is also harmful as you won't be able to know if someone is actively listening anymore, you'll always suspect "that's probably the zoom app". Having a company lower your defenses to improve their software is bad practice.

YaBoiB
Community Champion | Zoom Employee
Community Champion | Zoom Employee

Hello,
My name is Brandon. Thanks for joining the Zoom Community! I am running on the latest version of Zoom and Mac Monterey and I am not experiencing this issue. Please check your settings. 

 

Screen Shot 2022-02-09 at 10.54.19 AM.png

Screen Shot 2022-02-09 at 10.54.54 AM.png

Screen Shot 2022-02-09 at 10.55.10 AM.png

 

 

If this response was helpful for you, please do not forget to click on the accepted solutions button!

YaBoiB
Community Champion | Zoom Employee
Community Champion | Zoom Employee

Screen Shot 2022-02-09 at 10.54.36 AM.png

 

Sorry team had to black out my wifi name. Thanks

If this response was helpful for you, please do not forget to click on the accepted solutions button!

Hi Brandon, if you join a zoom meeting and finish it, then leave zoom open and walk away from the computer (let it go into screen saver) when you come back you can see the microphone got turned on and stays that way consistently

 

Screen Shot 2022-02-09 at 9.18.53 AM.png

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Screen Shot 2022-02-09 at 9.18.42 AM.png

   

 

YaBoiB
Community Champion | Zoom Employee
Community Champion | Zoom Employee

Hello, 

 

 I am afraid that this has been resolved with the latest version of the software. Please update and try again. I just tested it. 

 

Screen Shot 2022-02-09 at 11.28.57 AM.png

If this response was helpful for you, please do not forget to click on the accepted solutions button!

There's no mention of that fix in the 5.9.3 release notes (there was for 5.9.1) which strikes me as odd.

and there we go again, https://www.theverge.com/2022/8/12/23303411/zoom-defcon-root-access-privilege-escalation-hack-patric... the auto update runs with root permission and can be compromised to run arbitrary code from an attacker! 

jnunezpcs
Listener

Here is a firewall for your webcam and Mic...

https://objective-see.com/products/oversight.html

Bitcoin_Shaman
Community Champion | Zoom Employee
Community Champion | Zoom Employee

Hey @aaronklein 

 

We experienced a bug relating to the Zoom client for macOS, which could show the orange indicator light continue to appear after having left a meeting, call, or webinar. This bug was addressed in the Zoom client for macOS version 5.9.3 and we recommend you update to version 5.9.3 to apply the fix. 

 

As always, we recommend users make sure their Zoom client is updated to the latest version. Users can also opt-in to Automatic Updates by selecting “Automatically keep Zoom desktop client up to date” in your Zoom client settings.

 

Thanks!

gpetit
Listener

I am happy to read that you are actively working on fixing this issue. Unfortunately, I just updated to version 5.9.3 and the orange dot still stays after I exit Zoom.  I also confirmed that Zoom is not running in Activity Monitor.

Updating my post - while updating to 5.9.3 did not fix the issue right away, I have not experienced the problem since restarting my Mac. I imagine the last issue I saw was a lingering problem from the previous version. In other words, updating to 5.9.3 and restarting my Mac has fully resolved this issue for me. Thank you!!

Now on 5.10.4 and I observe the issue again 😥

_ZoomUser_
Participant

I don't have this problem though... once I leave the meeting,  Zoom stop using my microphone. 

JGarrido
Listener

Same problem here after a clean install of Zoom 5.11.1 (8356) on a new Mac (M1 Pro) running Monterey.

corazoncitodell
Listener

Zoom 20

 

KennethP
Listener

Zoom 5.11.3 finally corrected this bug for me. (MacBook Pro M1 Pro. macOS Monterey 12.4)

redpinedigital
Listener

still happening. just updated zoom. MacOS monterey 12.0.1 and zoom 5.11.10

YaBoiB
Community Champion | Zoom Employee
Community Champion | Zoom Employee

@redpinedigital

 

MacOS Monterey is on 12.5.1 now. Please update to that release version. 

 

Thanks, 

Brandon 

If this response was helpful for you, please do not forget to click on the accepted solutions button!