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How to stop “Your screen is being observed” issue

6 min read

Many Mac users complain that they see the message “Your screen is being observed” at the top of the screen. This error mostly appears on the lock screen, where you’re prompted for a password before logging in to your Mac. The first thing that may come to your mind is that someone is hacking you. So let’s try to figure out if there is anything that you need to stress over.

What does your screen is being observed mean

There are several reasons why you see “Your screen is being observed” Mac lock screen message. For example, you might be sharing your screen with someone, or there is some malware on your Mac. Let’s walk through the possible causes one by one and try to get rid of the warning.

How to stop Mac screen from being observed

Here we’ll talk about possible causes of the issue in more detail and try to fix your MacBook your screen is being observed message. Let’s dive in.

Reason 1: You’re sharing your screen with someone

You should be aware that macOS allows you to share your screen locally or remotely with other people. If you share your screen with someone, your Mac notifies you with the “Your screen is being observed” warning, which is quite common and can be easily disabled. First, we need to check if you’re really sharing your screen or perhaps if it was done by mistake.

To check if you’re sharing your screen, follow the steps below:

  1. Choose the Apple menu > Sharing 
  2. Make sure Screen Sharing and Remote Management checkboxes are not selected. If they are, you need to uncheck the boxes to disable screen sharing. 

Screen Sharing

Turning off your screen sharing will hopefully make “Your screen is being observed” disappear (if screen sharing was causing the problem). If you still see the same message on your lock screen, try to reboot your Mac and check again. 

Reason 2: You’re recording your screen

Another common reason you see “Your screen is being observed” on the lock screen is when you record your Mac’s screen. On macOS, screen recording won’t stop if you lock your laptop or put it to sleep. 

To check, simply press Command + Control + Esc to instantly stop recording, and the notification should go away.

Also, be sure to check third-party screen recording apps. Here’s how you do that:

  1. Choose the Apple menu > System Preferences > Security & Privacy 
  2. Scroll down to Screen Recording
  3. Unlock the padlock with the password if required
  4. Then uncheck the boxes next to screen recording apps. 

Screen Recording apps

This will help you get rid of your Mac your screen is being observed warning. If not, we will share a few more ways to fix the issue. Keep reading.

Reason 3: You’re using AirPlay

You may also be seeing the warning message if you recently used AirPlay to mirror your MacBook’s screen to another Apple device. To see if AirPlay is On, follow these simple steps: 

  1. Choose the Apple menu > System Preferences > Displays 
  2. From the bottom drop-down menu, choose AirPlay Display Off.

AirPlay Display Off

Alternatively, use the Pareto Security app we’ve already mentioned in this guide to check if AirPlay is enabled right from the menu bar. 

Tip: Screen mirroring MacBook to TV? Try the most capable screen mirroring app available for Mac – JustStream. There are virtually no limitations on the sort of TV you may mirror Mac content to with JustStream, in contrast to Apple’s native AirPlay, which only lets you connect with Apple TV.

Here’s how to use JustStream to mirror a MacBook to a TV: 

  1. Start JustStream app; It’ll appear in the menu bar 
  2. Choose the screen you’re going to mirror 
  3. To choose a TV, click the AirPlay-like button 
  4. Then click Start Streaming.


Reason 4: You’re using some apps that are attempting to access your screen

If the above methods don’t work, check if there are any apps trying to access your screen. This is important not only to prevent the “Your screen is being observed” message from appearing on the lock screen but also for your privacy. Some of these apps actually have access to your MacBook without you even knowing it.

Therefore, it’s always better to regularly check and stop the applications that you want to grant permission to access. Here’s how:

  1. Choose the Apple menu > System Preferences > Security & Privacy 
  2. Scroll down to Accessibility
  3. Unlock the padlock with the password if required
  4. Then uncheck the least used apps that you are unsure about.

Security & Privacy > Accessibility

Restart your Mac to see if it helps.

If you notice unknown apps with Accessibility permissions, you should remove them from your device immediately. In case you can’t find the apps on the Launch page or in the Applications, use CleanMyMac X to remove them completely. Follow the instructions below:

  1. Open Setapp and type “CleanMyMacX” or “uninstaller” in the search bar
  2. Find CleanMyMac X in the search results and click Install
  3. Once the app is installed, open it, choose Uninstaller from the sidebar
  4. You’ll see all the apps you have installed on your Mac. Select the app(s) you wish to uninstall 
  5. Click Uninstall.

Uninstall apps

Reason 5: Your computer is infected with malware

Even if you’ve uninstalled suspicious apps, we still recommend you check your Mac for malware to make sure there is no malicious software installed on your computer. 

The fastest way to do that is using CleanMyMac X. Follow the steps below to check your Mac for malware: 

  1. Open Setapp and type “CleanMyMacX” or “declutter Mac” in the search bar
  2. Find CleanMyMac X in the search results and click Install
  3. Once the app is installed, open it, choose Malware Removal from the sidebar
  4. Click Scan and wait. CleanMyMac is checking for malware
  5. If your Mac is infected, proceed with the on-screen instructions after the scan is finished.

Malware Removal

The easiest way to get rid of “Your screen is being observed”

Now you can answer the question, “What does your screen is being observed mean?” and know how to get rid of the warning. Yes, it takes time to check all the permissions, perform malware scans, etc., but you can speed up the process with the tools we showed you (Pareto Security and CleanMyMac X). All the apps mentioned in this article are available through a single subscription to Setapp, a collection of 240+ apps for your Mac. The apps will take care of all the tasks you have. As a result, you can focus on the work at hand and become more productive because of this. We recommend that you use Setapp for 7 days for free and then decide for yourself.

Get 240+ Mac apps for any job

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