Android 12 adds the ability to quickly toggle on or off — to enable or disable — microphone and camera access for apps and using the tool on Pixel devices really couldn’t be easier. But, of course, that doesn’t mean it’s the most intuitive process either. Especially for first-time Android or Pixel users. Fortunately, that’s exactly what this guide is here to discuss.
More specifically, we’re covering not only how to use the toggles once they’re enabled. But also the process required to get quick access if they aren’t on your own handset. Which can prove incredibly useful if you’re looking to improve device security. As do the latest permissions changes in Android 12. Since those toggles allow — or don’t allow — access to that hardware from apps. So if you’re having some trouble, read on.
Enable Pixel toggles for microphone and camera access
Now, these toggles should be showing up by default on Pixel devices — and on other Android 12 devices — but they don’t always. You’ll need to access Quick Settings first and scroll through the available pages to ensure they aren’t already turned on.
And, in at least some cases, the steps to enable them when they aren’t could be a bit different. But the same basic premise will remain the same with minor variances in the icons in use, for instance. So these steps to enable the toggles in Quick Settings should work or be very similar. At least for most users, although Pixel phones are the focus of this guide.
- From any page or app, swipe down on the notification shade with one finger to expand notifications
- Swipe down once again from the notification shade to reveal all of the Android 12 Quick Settings
- Tap to select the ‘edit’ icon. In the case of Pixel-branded phones running Android 12, that will be pencil-shaped. It will be located just below the page indicator dots for the horizontally scrollable Quick Settings. Placed to the far left
- The resulting page shows all Quick Settings that are available, divided into two segments. In the first, untitled segment, are Quick Tiles already assigned to a page. At the bottom, occupying their own card-based UI, are Quick Settings tiles that aren’t activated yet. Including those available from third-party apps, as shown in our sample images
- Scroll to discover the Quick Settings labeled “Mic access” and “Camera access” if those aren’t already enabled in the top segment. The former will feature a microphone icon while the latter toggle will feature a camera icon
- Long-press first on the Mic access icon, holding and dragging it into a suitable place in the top Quick Settings segment. Other tiles will move around to make room for the new setting. So place it where you want it. As with other settings, it’s good to place the ones you use most on the first screen. So, in our sample images below, we’re moving the Mic access icon to the first page — within the first eight placements. If you want them to be available as we’re showing below, without swiping down twice from any page, place them within the first four icon spaces
- Long-press and move the Camera access icon to an appropriate location in the first segment of the Edit page
- The icons should now appear within your Quick Settings pages. Although you may need to swipe to a different page to see them, depending on the exact placement
Toggle them off or on
Once you enable the new Android 12 Quick Settings tiles on your Pixel handset, it’s time to learn how to actually use them. Fortunately, that’s as straightforward as any other Quick Settings tile.
- Swipe down twice to access Quick Settings — or just once, if you’ve placed the icons within the first four places, as we have
- Tap on the icon for the hardware you’d like to disable access to. We’ve chosen to disable camera access in our example photos
- The Quick Settings tile will turn gray, no longer highlighted in the accent color associated with your Material You theming. That means that any access to it is now turned off. So no applications or processes will be able to access your camera — or the mic if you turn that access off. The Quick Settings tile will switch, when turned off, from reading “Available.” Instead, it will show as “Blocked”
- Swipe up to return your notification shade to its place at the top of the screen