How Do I Use MacBook Camera as a Spy Camera?

Written by marshal m. rosenthal
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How Do I Use MacBook Camera as a Spy Camera?
(Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

The MacBook laptop has a built-in video camera that can be used to watch others from a Mac or PC that is connected to the Internet. The procedure involves installing special viewing software on both the MacBook and the computer that will be doing the watching. Neither computer will be adversely affected by using the special viewing software, which can be removed at any time. The Internet is used to transmit the video from the MacBook video camera, allowing you to use the MacBook as a spying device wherever there is an Internet connection.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Wireless network
  • Masking tape

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Go to a viewing software website, for example, LogMeIn (see Resources). Register for the website by entering a name and password into an online account information page.

  2. 2

    Download the Mac server software from the website. Double-click on the software once it has downloaded to install it on the Mac’s hard drive. Restart the Mac.

  3. 3

    Click on the icon of the Mac server software that is at the upper right of the screen. Select “Server Preferences” from the drop-down menu.

  4. 4

    Click on the “Shared Folder” tab at the top of the window that appears. Double-click on the Mac’s hard drive to open its window. Double-click on the “Users” folder to open its window. Drag the icon of the house from inside the window into the Mac server software’s window. Click the “Close” button at the bottom of the Mac server window to close it.

  5. 5

    Launch the “iChat AV” program that comes with the MacBook’s OS X operating system by double-clicking its icon inside of the “Applications” folder.

  6. 6

    Click on the “Camera” button on the “iChat AV” program’s main screen. Click on the yellow button at the upper left corner of the program’s main screen to make it disappear from the desktop.

  7. 7

    Place a strip of masking tape over the lit green LED that is at the top edge of the MacBook’s LCD screen. Aim the MacBook’s LCD screen in the direction of the area that you want to be able to see.

  1. 1

    Go to the viewing software website, for example, LogMeIn (see Resources). Download the PC or Mac viewing software from the website. Double-click on the software once it has downloaded to install it on the Mac or PC’s hard drive. Restart the PC after the installation, which is necessary due to the way the Windows operating system works.

  2. 2

    Launch the viewing software by selecting it from the “Start,” “All Applications” pop-up menu on a PC, or by double-clicking its icon inside of the “Applications” folder if on a Mac.

  3. 3

    Enter the name and password that you used for registering on the website in the appropriate fields on the window that appears. Click the “OK” button to go to a new window.

  4. 4

    Select the MacBook server from the list on the window. Wait as a progress bar fills in from left to right while the computer connects to the server that is servicing the MacBook.

  5. 5

    Click on the “iChat AV” icon that is in the dock at the left or bottom of the screen--the screen that you now see is the MacBook’s screen.

  6. 6

    View the video from your “spy camera” in the “iChat AV” window. Click the yellow button in the upper left corner of the “iChat AV” window when you are done. Quit the viewing program.

Tips and warnings

  • A portable app from LogmeIn will let you view the MacBook from a device like an iPhone or an iPad.

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