On your Mac, you may have noticed a binoculars icon on your screen. This icon is white and it’s not so obvious what it means. Some people think that this icon indicated that they’re being watched through their Mac, however, it has a totally different mean, in fact, it has two.

There are 2 different situations where the binoculars icon and appear on your Mac. If you see the binoculars icon on your login screen, it means that a video of your screen is actively being taken.  If you see the binoculars icon when your Mac is unlocked, it means that you’ve enabled the Remote Management option.

Explained: Binoculars Icon Unlocked Screen

When your Mac is unlocked you will see the binoculars icon as black rather than white for when your screen is locked. In this case, it means that Remote Management is enabled.

If you only see this icon when your screen is unlocked while you’re actively using it, then it only means that Remote Management is on. If you see this icon while your screen is locked and unlocked, it means that the Remote Management is on and your screen is recording.

Apple Remote Desktop is a system that allows you to manage the Mac computers on your network. Apple remove is also used for software distribution, asset management, and remote assistance.

Remote Management is a superset of screen sharing. With screen sharing, you can view and control the screen of another Mac on your network.

To turn off Remote Management:

  1. Go to System Preferences.
  2. Click on Sharing.turn off remote management
  3. Uncheck Remote Management. The binoculars icon will now disappear.

To remove the Remote Management icon:

  1. Go to System Preferences.
  2. Click on Sharing.
  3. Check Remote Management.
  4. Click Computer Settings.Show Remote Management status in menu bar
  5. Uncheck “Show Remote Management status in menu bar.” This will remove the binoculars icon on your Mac screen.

Explained: Binoculars Icon Lock Screen

If you’ve seen the binoculars icon on your login screen in the status menus, you’ve probably tried to click it to see when anything would happen. On MacOS Majove, new recording features where introduced, and you’ve been given the option to screen record your Mac screen.

stop recording mac

To remove the binoculars icon to stop your screen recording, you can select the stop recording icon in the menu. To record your screen, click Shift-Command-5 > click the recording icon > select the portion of the screen you want to record or record the entire screen. You can also take a screenshot using this method.

While this is recording, if you lock your Mac and visit the login screen, you’ll see the binoculars icon which will tell you that your screens being recorded.

Another occasion that will cause this icon to occur is when you’re screen recording with QuickTime. To test this out: Open QuickTime > Go to File > Click New Screen Recording. If you lock your Mac while the screen is recording, you’ll see the binoculars option.

If you’re unaware of whether your screen is being recorded or not, you can click the stop button in your status menus when your Mac is unlocked.