Apple is taking a privacy-focused approach with the iPhone, which has caused Google to take it more seriously. One such privacy feature in Android lets you completely turn off the microphone and camera access from the Android Quick Settings. We’ll show you how.
Introduced in Android 12, the “Privacy Dashboard” gives you an easy way to see which apps are using which permissions and how often. This is great for seeing what’s been accessed in the past, but what about stopping it from happening right now?
Android 12 also added Quick Settings tiles for “Camera Access” and “Mic Access.” When you toggle these off, apps can’t use them at all. So if “Camera Access” is off and you open the camera on Instagram, you’ll just see a black screen.
This is a handy little trick to ensure that apps aren’t using these sensors without you knowing. Setting it up is easy, and then you’ll be just a tap away from better privacy control.
To access the quick toggles, first, swipe down twice from the top of the screen to fully expand the Quick Settings. Now, tap the pencil icon to edit the tile layout.
The tiles at the top are in the active area. These are the ones that you see when you expand the Quick Settings. There are more tiles in the bottom section that can be added, including “Camera Access” and “Mic Access.”
Scroll down and find the Access tiles. Tap and hold one of the tiles and then drag it to the top active area. Lift your finger to drop the tile. Do this for both the Camera and Mic tiles.
Tap the back arrow in the top-left corner when you’re done.
Now, to use the tiles, swipe down once or twice—depending on where you put the tiles—and simply tap them to toggle access on or off.
When you’re using an app that wants to access one of these permissions, you’ll receive a pop-up message that asks whether you want to unblock it. Tap the “Unblock” button if you want to grant access to your camera or microphone.
That’s all there is to it! How you use these Quick Settings tiles is up to you. Maybe you’ll keep your camera or microphone disabled until you actually want to use them, or maybe you’ll toggle them off occasionally for extra privacy.