Mac Yosemite parental control: camera in use by other app

Howdy – I have the Plugable software available on both the admin and the parental control desktops for Mac OS X Yosemite. When I open the software on the admin side, the microscope works fine. When I go to open it on the parental control side, the app shows an error: “Camera is being used by another application, no preview is available.”

I looked at activity monitor and didn’t see anything else that could or should be using the camera. Anyone have clues about what’s going on here, and how I can get it to work under the parental control account?

Hey There,

I haven’t had this happen yet during testing, but I will take a look when I get into the office tomorrow and see if I can reproduce it.

I suspect that you have a second instance of Digital Viewer running in your uncontrolled account that’s keeping you from accessing the microscope.

I will keep you posted!

Sam Morgan
Plugable Technologies

one year later…

Hi Galen,

I’m so sorry! It looks like I accidentally merged the ticket for this thread into another unrelated ticket, so it never popped back into my queue.

Are you still having the issue between accounts with Digital Viewer?


Sam Morgan
Plugable Technologies

Assume yes. Usage tanked once it didn’t work on the parental control side, so it’s been rattling around in a drawer. It’d be nice to get to use it.

Hi CM,

Thanks for getting back to me!

I was able to reproduce the issue on a local Mac running macOS Sierra. I wasn’t aware of this, but it looks like there’s an option you have to select when setting up Parental Controls to allow the user to activate USB cameras. Try this:

  1. Press Command + Space, type “Parent”, then select Parental Controls
  2. Unlock the parental control settings by clicking the lock in the bottom left corner. You will be prompted for administrator credentials
  3. Select the parent managed account in the list you want to configure
  4. Check the box labeled “Allow use of camera”
  5. Close this window
  6. Log the parent managed account out, and log back into it, or just restart the computer

Give that a try and let me know if it works.


Sam Morgan
Plugable Technologies