Allow or Block Lede

Google Chrome lets you manage which individual sites can have access to your microphone and camera. If you don’t see any video or the mic isn’t picking up voice, you might need to change the permissions Chrome is giving to a site. Here’s how.

How to Change a Site’s Permissions in Chrome

For security purposes, Chrome prompts you any time a site requests access to your microphone or webcam. If you accidentally clicked “Block” the first time you saw the prompt, or you just want to revoke the permissions you previously gave, we’ll show you how to manage those settings.

Knowing how and where to access the settings related to a site’s permissions to your computer’s hardware is important in case you ever need to change your mind as to what a website is allowed to use.

There are basically two ways to manage the permissions for microphone and webcam to a site: from the Omnibox or inside Chrome’s settings.

Change a Site’s Permissions From the Omnibox

This method works when you’ve already set the permissions for the microphone or camera and want to change them while visiting that particular site.

Go to the website for which you want to change the permissions and click the lock icon on the leftmost side of the Omnibox.

From the menu that appears, click either the microphone or camera, then from the drop-down menu, select “Allow” or “Block,” then click the X to save your changes.

After saving your decision, you will have to reload the page for the changes to take effect.

When a site has access to your microphone or camera, an icon will appear in the Omnibox on the right side. If you click this icon, you can choose always to block access or to continue allowing the site to have access. Again, you must reload the page for any changes to take effect.

How to View Permissions From Chrome Settings

To view your microphone and camera permissions from Chrome’s settings, click the menu icon, and then click on “Settings.” Alternatively, you can type chrome://settings/ into the Omnibox to go directly there.

Once in the Settings tab, scroll down to the bottom and click on “Advanced.”

Scroll down a little bit more until you see “Content Settings.” Click on it.

Once inside Content Settings, click on either  “Microphone” or “Camera” to adjust its permissions.

Although you can’t manually add a site to the allow or block list from Settings, you can see a list of every site you’ve allowed or denied access to on this page. Then to remove items you’ve previously allowed or blocked access, all you have to do is click the trash can icon next to a site.

After you’ve removed a site from either list, the next time you go to the site, you will be prompted for permission to access the microphone or camera when the site requests it again.

A prompt is displayed the next time a site tries to access your device

While you can’t have Chrome globally deny—or grant, for that matter—all access to your camera and microphone but if you’d instead not be prompted to make a decision, head back to either “Microphone” or “Camera” in Chrome’s Content Settings.

While you’re back in this menu, toggle “Ask Before Accessing” to the off position. Although this isn’t recommended, you won’t be prompted to allow or deny a website’s access to your microphone and camera until you toggle this switch back on.

Toggle Ask Before Accessing to the off position to disable the prompt completely

This method acts as a slight loophole to never granting access without actually denying anything. From now on, you will no longer receive a prompt when a site requests access to your device. To receive prompts again, go back into the settings panel and re-enable “Ask Before Accessing.”

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Brady Gavin has been immersed in technology for 15 years and has written over 150 detailed tutorials and explainers. He's covered everything from Windows 10 registry hacks to Chrome browser tips. Brady has a diploma in Computer Science from Camosun College in Victoria, BC.  
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