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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to Automatically Mute Your Mac’s Microphone While Typing During Conference Calls With Zoom «Mac Tips :: Gadget Hacks

How to Automatically Mute Your Mac’s Microphone While Typing During Conference Calls With Zoom «Mac Tips :: Gadget Hacks

You’re in a Zoom meeting, clicking and flipping your keyboard while typing important conversation notes. More realistically, you are doing something unrelated to the meeting, such as browsing the Internet, playing a game, or messaging friends. Whatever you type, when your microphone is on, anyone on the Zoom call can hear the sound from you.

You can always turn off your microphone manually if you need to, but if you constantly have to switch from speaking to listening and writing things down, having to mute and unmute yourself can get really annoying. With all the shifting back and forth, it’s entirely possible you̵

7;ll forget to dampen your side when it really matters. So why not just automate it to play it safe?

To do that, there is “Unclack”, a free utility for macOS that automatically mutes your Mac’s microphone when you type on your keyboard.

Rather than everyone in your Zoom call listening for every keyboard click, Unclack works in the background to mute your microphone when you type and unmute it when you aren’t. It doesn’t matter what type of microphone you use – built-in, AirPods or headphones – Unclack will mute it with no problem.

Best of all, it works on your entire computer. So you can use it alongside Zoom with other services such as Skype or Discord. Unlock Lives in your menu bar so you can always turn the service on or off quickly with a few clicks.

Step 1: Download Unclack

You can download Unclack, developed by AJ Kueterman, from its website or by using the direct link below. If you’re doing it from the site, click the blue button that says “Download Unclack for macOS.” You need Catalina (macOS 10.15) or higher, so it will work with Big Sur (macOS 11) too.

Step 2: Install Unclack

Once the download is complete, locate the “Unclack.dmg” file, open it and drag the Unclack icon to the Applications folder in the popup window. Then you can eject the DMG and delete the file.

Then find Unclack and open it. The first time you open Unclack, macOS will ask if you’re sure you want to open it. Any third-party apps not downloaded from the App Store will cause this popup to appear. To continue, click on “Open”.

For Unclack to work, you need to give it accessibility access on your Mac. Unclack is essentially a keylogger, so it needs to know when you type. To do that, it needs keyboard access. While keyloggers usually get a bad rap, Unclack doesn’t do anything harmful or malicious, because it doesn’t actually “log” keys – it just detects keystrokes. None of the information you type is stored anywhere or sent to a third party. Please refer to Unclack’s privacy policy for more information.

In the window that appears, click “Open System Preferences”. On the Security and privacy page in System Preferences, click the lock at the bottom left and use Touch ID or your password to unlock it. Then click the box next to Unclack to give it accessibility access. That is it. You can click the lock to relock it, but once you close System Preferences it will automatically lock.

Step 3: Enable Unclack

You have now completed the installation and can finally use Unclack. In the menu bar you will see a new icon for Unclack, which looks like a keyboard key. Click on it and then click on “Enable Unclack Access” to automatically mute your microphone when you type.

Step 4: Use Unclack

Every time you type on your keyboard, you will see a small red dot appear on the Unclack icon in the menu bar. If the red dot appears, it means your microphone is muted. If there is no red dot, your microphone is on and everyone can hear you. It’s that simple, but there are a few more things you should know:

  • Unclack does not work with various keys, including Caps Lock Shift Function Check Alt Order Escape, all F.keys, and power
  • After pressing the last key in a series, your microphone will remain muted for a few seconds as a buffer.
  • You can press and hold a key for as long as you want to mute your microphone.
  • Unclack does not work when you enter fields such as password fields, terminal configurations and other secure keyboard entries.

Step 5: Pause or exit Unclack

If you’re not in Zoom or another video service, you may not want Unclack turned on and your microphone muted. To pause Unclack operation, click the Unclack icon in the menu bar and then click “Pause Unclack”. You can also click “Exit Unclack” to close the app completely. To resume Unclack, you can either click “Resume Unclack” if you paused it, or open the app if you quit it completely.

Step 6: Customize the menu bar icon (optional)

Apart from the above features, you can also customize Unclack’s menu bar icon. Click the Unclack icon in the menu bar and then “Preferences”. A window will appear where you can launch Unclack at login and change the Unclack icon and mute indicator in the menu bar.

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Cover photo, screenshots and GIF by Nelson Aguilar / Gadget Hacks

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