How to See if Zoom Is Running a Secret Web Server on Your Mac (and Remove It)

Logo Zoom

Zoom, a popular video conferencing application, is in hot water today. The Mac version uses a secret web server in the background, even after uninstalling it, which can be used to reinstall Zoom and even turn on your video camera.

If you're wondering if you're concerned (maybe you're not sure if anyone has already installed Zoom on your Mac, and then uninstalled it), here's how to proceed.

To find out if the main Zoom application is currently installed, open the Finder application, select Applications and look for "zoom.us" in the list. If this application is installed, the web server is definitely running.

However, even if you do not have the application here, the web server will still work in the background if you have already installed and then uninstalled Zoom.

Zoom application in the Mac Applications folder

To check if the server is running, open a terminal window. To do this, press Command + Space to open the Spotlight search, type "Terminal", and press Enter. You can also go to Finder> Applications> Utilities> Terminal.

To find out if the Web server is running, type the following command and press Enter:

Lsof -i: 19421

If a "ZoomOpene" process is running, the web server runs in the background. If you do not do it, it is not.

Command indicating whether the Zoom Web Server is running

If the Zoom Web Server is running and you want to completely remove Zoom from your system, run the following commands.

This assumes that you first uninstalled the Zoom app from your Applications folder. Otherwise, a Zoom update will probably re-enable the web server.

pkill ZoomOpener

rm -rf ~ / .zoomus

Commands to remove Zoom Web Server from a Mac

if you want to keep Zoom installed, LifehackerThe quick guide tells you that you need to enable the "Disable my video when I attend a meeting" option for security reasons. The original Jonathan Leitschuh disclosure provides more information about the problem.

Browser-based video conferencing applications may be a better solution in the future. If you simply use an application in a browser without installing software, it can not do such things on your Mac or PC.

ProTip: just uninstall all meeting applications from your computer. Use the client browser version of the meeting. They work well now. Applications run in the background and I do not even care about the stupid stuff that makes them waste computing time when you never use them, even 99.9% of the time.

– SwiftOnSecurity (@SwiftOnSecurity) July 9, 2019

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