Zoom, the popular video conferencing app, is in hot water today. The Mac version runs the secret web server in the background — even after you uninstall it! — which can be used to reinstall Zoom and even turn on the camcorder.

If you’re wondering if you’re affected — you might not be sure if someone installed Zoom on your Mac and then uninstalled it — here’s how to check.

To see if you have the main Zoom app installed, open the Finder app, select Apps, and look for «zoom.us» in the list. If you have this application installed, you almost certainly have a web server running.

But even if you don’t have the app here, the web server will still be running in the background if you’ve ever installed and then uninstalled Zoom.

Scale Application in Mac Applications Folder

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

To see if the web server is running, type the following command and press Enter:

  lsof -i: 19421 

If you see the «ZoomOpene» process, the web server is running in the background. If not, it’s not.

Command that shows if the Zoom web server is running

If you see that 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. If you don’t, updating Zoom will most likely turn the web server back on.

  pkill ZoomOpener

 rm -rf ~ / .zoomus 

Commands to Remove Zoom Web Server from Mac

If you want Zoom to be installed, Lifehacker’s quick start guide indicates that for security, you must enable the «Turn off my video when joining a meeting» option. Jonathan Leitshuh’s original disclosure provides more information about the issue.

Browser-based video conferencing apps may be the best solution in the future — if you just use the app in a browser without installing software, it can’t do shady things like this on your Mac or PC.

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