Over the past couple of years, Zoom has found a permanent home in many Mac users’ Docks, but a new bug might have you thinking twice about keeping it open.
According to numerous posts on the Zoom Community Forum, Mac users running Monterey are reporting that the Zoom app is triggering the microphone light indicator even when a meeting isn’t taking place. Users reported as recently as February 9 that the Zoom app is opening the microphone as evidenced by the orange dot indicator, with the only way to stop it to quit the app after you get off the call.
User dvaldivia describes the issue on his Mac on February 9: 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. A Zoom spokesperson said the company “has determined that this bug did not result in audio data being transmitted back to Zoom’s platform.”
Zoom pushed out an update on December 27 (version 5.9.1 (3506)) that reportedly resolved the issue “regarding the microphone light indicator being triggered when not in a meeting on macOS Monterey,” but users are reporting the problem persists. A January 25 update (version 5.9.3 (4239)) doesn’t mention the issue in the release notes though a Zoom spokesperson says it fixed the problem: “The Zoom client for macOS 5.9.3, released on January 25, 2022, fixed a bug involving the failure to properly terminate the microphone use post-meeting.”
Some users reported the 5.9.3 update fixed the issue whole other Monterey users say they are still seeing the indicator even after installing the latest update.
Zoom came under fire early in the pandemic over a lack of encryption, Zoombombing, and data collection. The company has since corrected those issues and has been more transparent about features and privacy, including implementing end-to-end encryption for meetings and implementing several options to restrict access to meetings.
If you’re seeing the microphone light active after updating to the latest version, we recommend simply quitting the Zoom app after your meeting has ended.
Update 2/12: A Zoom spokesperson has responded with a statement saying the issue has been fixed and did not transmit data.