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I am using the WebEx screen-sharing/online meeting software on a MacBook Pro. When active, it grabs control of the built-in video camera, even though all I want to do is screen-sharing. This even happens when I am just watching other people's screens (and not sharing anything myself).

Since the application itself seems to have no setting regarding the video camera, is there a way to selectively disable access to the camera from the OS?

Or alternatively, a master switch to disable the camera altogether?

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FWIW, WebEx has seen the light and now includes in-app controls for the camera. – Thilo Dec 8 '10 at 3:34

The simple solution would be to put a small piece of masking tape over the iSight camera.

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Yeah, that's what I am doing. Another problem though is that while WebEx has control of the camera, I cannot use it for iChat or Skype, which I may actually want to. – Thilo Oct 9 '09 at 22:59
Or at least make sure to wear a pair of pants. – Thilo Oct 9 '09 at 23:00
Definitely wear a pair of pants. – Josh K Oct 13 '09 at 13:25

One method of disabling the built-in iSight is to remove the component necessary to translate the signal into anything useable:

sudo mv /System/Library/QuickTime/QuickTimeUSBVDCDigitizer.component /PATH/TO/SAFE/DIRECTORY/QuickTimeUSBVDCDigitizer.component

Replace /PATH/TO/SAFE/DIRECTORY with the path to a folder that you want to move the component to.

When you want access back move the component back:

sudo mv /PATH/TO/SAFE/DIRECTORY/QuickTimeUSBVDCDigitizer.component /System/Library/QuickTime/QuickTimeUSBVDCDigitizer.component

The other alternative is to change the permissions (chmod a-rwx to disable, chmod a+r to re-enable) on /System/Library/QuickTime/QuickTimeUSBVDCDigitizer.component/Contents/MacOS/QuickTimeUSBVDCDigitizer.

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Would that require a reboot? – Thilo Oct 9 '09 at 4:50

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