Frequently Asked Questions
There’s no functional difference between the two versions, so it comes down to how you prefer to buy your apps.
To be precise, there are two differences: The version you can buy in our own shop has its own software update mechanism and you can enter a license key. These things are not relevant for the version that you can buy in the Mac App Store because the Mac App Store handles them.
The version of Micro Snitch that you can download from our website runs in demo mode until you enter a valid license key.
The demo version runs for 3 hours only. After that, a message will appear and you’ll have to quit Micro Snitch. You can then launch the app again.
Click the Micro Snitch icon in the menu bar, then click “Open Micro Snitch Preferences”. In the preferences window, tick off the “Open at login” checkbox.
Unfortunately, the underlying technologies in macOS that Micro Snitch builds on do not offer this information. We are in contact with Apple about this issue and hope that we can find a way to add this functionality in a future version of Micro Snitch.
Micro Snitch is living in your menu bar. Click on the Micro Snitch menu bar icon to see active and inactive devices, access activity logs, or open the preferences.
macOS is managing your menu bar and sometimes it might not be possible to display Micro Snitch (e.g. because there is not enough space to show all icons). If this is the case it should help to remove one or more other icons. Alternatively, consider installing a third-party application like Bartender to manage your menu bar.
Yes, Micro Snitch is fully compatible with macOS 10.14 Mojave and includes support for the new Dark Mode.
Yes, Micro Snitch is fully compatible with macOS 10.13 High Sierra.
Yes, Micro Snitch is fully compatible with macOS 10.12 Sierra.
Yes, Micro Snitch is fully compatible with OS X 10.11 El Capitan.
In short: Yes and no. Yes, Micro Snitch works on these computers just like it does on any other supported Mac. And no, Micro Snitch does not show microphone activity when your Mac is listening for “Hey Siri” – which is all the time.
To be precise, Micro Snitch will not show microphone activity even when you talk to Siri, regardless of how you activated it (by saying “Hey Siri”, by clicking the button in the menu bar, by using a keyboard shortcut, …). The reason for this is that nothing in macOS actually accesses the microphone when you use Siri on such a Mac. Instead, the T2 Security Chip handles all audio input without actually passing any audio data to macOS.
Of course, Micro Snitch works as expected when any other application uses the microphone.
Micro Snitch was tested with a vast variety of Mac computers and works well with almost all of them. Nonetheless, there may be compatibility issues that are not yet known.
On certain Mac models, there is an issue in OS X Yosemite (10.10) that prevents the system from correctly reporting whether the built-in FaceTime HD camera is recording. This results in apps not being able to correctly determine whether the camera is recording on these computers. Therefore, Micro Snitch may not report camera activity even though apps such as FaceTime are running or Micro Snitch may indicate that the camera is recording even though the app that was using the camera has already quit.
It seems this issue affects all Macs manufactured in 2013 and later running OS X Yosemite:
MacBook with Retina display (Early 2015)
- MacBook Air (Mid 2013 and newer)- MacBook Pro with Retina display (Late 2013 and newer)
This issue has been resolved in OS X El Capitan. Please update to the latest version of macOS and Micro Snitch for best compatibility.
For more details, see Does Micro Snitch work with any audio or video device I can connect to my Mac?
Due to limitations in some third party device drivers or macOS technologies that Micro Snitch builds on, some audio or video devices may not work with Micro Snitch. If such a device is connected, Micro Snitch will notify you about it and will not report any of that device’s activity.
To go into a little more technical detail: Core Audio and Core Media IO (the macOS technologies apps use to interface with audio and video hardware) provide information on whether a device is active, but not on whether a device’s input or output channels are active. If a device only has input channels (as your Mac’s built-in microphone does) and it is active, Micro Snitch knows that some app is using the microphone. But if a device has input and output channels (like the Apple Thunderbolt Display) and sound is played back by that device, Core Audio reports the device as being active, but Micro Snitch can’t know if its input or the output is active. For that reason, Micro Snitch currently cannot support devices with both input and output channels.
Also note that manufacturers of some professional audio/video devices allow developers of professional audio/video software to directly interface with the hardware (e.g. PCI Express cards to put in a Thunderbolt chassis or older Mac Pro), thereby circumventing Core Audio and Core Media IO. This can prevent other macOS apps from detecting whether that device is active. As a consequence, Micro Snitch may show a device as inactive even while it is used in certain professional audio/video software.
License Keys & Ordering (Objective Development Shop only)
Please note: This only applies to Micro Snitch versions downloaded from our website. If you bought Micro Snitch in the App Store, the Mac App Store handles the registration for you.
To register Micro Snitch, click on the Micro Snitch icon in the menu bar. From the menu choose “Open Micro Snitch Preferences”. In the left sidebar click the “License” button to open the registration sheet. Copy and paste the key into the “License Key” field and click “Register” to finish.
Please enter your email address in the lost license form to retrieve your lost license key. Micro Snitch Support > Lost License
Please visit the for further information how to resolve order related issues. Contact our sales support team.
Delivering of the license key may take up to 15 minutes. Please also make sure the email wasn’t accidentally moved into your spam folder. If you still did not receive the license key please contact our sales support team.
A single license is valid for all your machines as long as you are the only user.
Valid licenses for Micro Snitch start with “81…”. Please copy and paste the license key to avoid typos. If it still does not work, please contact our sales support team.
First of all, please make sure that you are running the latest version of Micro Snitch. Maybe your problem has already been fixed. Also check if there’s a nightly build available – maybe your issue is already addressed in the latest development build. If your problem hasn’t been resolved yet, please send a bug report. Thanks!
If Micro Snitch quits unexpectedly, please check if there’s a crash log file at ~/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports/ (the ~ tilde sign refers to your home folder). Please send us a description of the issue as well as the crash log file as a bug report. Thanks!