macOS and iOS: Mac reactions (emoji and visual effects) appearing while in session

Support Center > Troubleshooting Audio/Video Issues

Published 11/07/2023 at 4:27am UTC

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Symptom

Apple has enabled by default a feature called "Reactions" on Mac computer, tablets, and smart phones. Like Zoom gestures (which are disabled on all SecureVideo accounts), these are visual effects that are triggered when your camera detects certain motions. Unlike Zoom gestures, Apple inserts these reactions into the video feeds themselves and will appear in any videoconferencing app that uses the camera, and it has to be disabled by the user.

 

 

This is currently enabled by default on macOS 14 Sonoma, and iOS 17+. 

 

The possible video effects are: 

  • Hearts: red hearts flying toward the screen, triggered by heart-hands
  • Balloons: multi-colored balloons flying up to the ceiling, triggered by a peace sign
  • Thumbs Up: a white hand in a gray speech bubble, triggered by a thumbs up
  • Thumbs Down: a white hand in a gray speech bubble, triggered by a thumbs down
  • Rain: the whole screen gets dark and shows white raindrops, triggered by two thumbs down
  • Confetti: multi-colored squares move across the screen, triggered by two peace signs
  • Fireworks: the whole screen gets dark and it looks like fireworks go off behind your head, triggered by two thumbs up
  • Lasers: orange laser beams move up and down, triggered by making the sign of horns on each hand

 

The easiest to trigger seems to be the Thumbs Up:

Mac Reactions Thumbs Up: a white thumbs up in a gray speech bubble

 

 

Please see Apple's support article about the Reactions feature for all of the examples of the graphics on macOS, and this support article about Reactions on iOS.

 

Possible Causes

The reaction feature is enabled by default, but can be disabled. 

 

Resolution

 

 

Using macOS computer

1. While in a video session, click on the green video icon in the upper right hand corner area of your computer screen.

Arrow pointing at the video icon

 

 

2. A menu will appear. Near the bottom will be an item "Reactions". If the icon to the left of it is green, the Reactions feature is turned on. Tap on that icon to turn it off. 

Arrow pointing to the Reactions menu item. Stock photo of therapist from Pexels - cottonbro studio

 

 

3. The icon should turn gray if Reactions have been turned off.

Arrow pointing at the Reactions item. Stock photo of therapist from Pexels - cottonbro studio

 

 

Using iOS smart phone or tablet

1. While in a video session (the camera must be On), open Control Center on your smart phone or tablet.

  • You can do so by dragging your finger from the top of the screen downward.

 

2. Tap on "Video Effects" near the top. 

Arrow pointing at Video Effects 

 

 

3. On the next menu will be an item "Reactions". If the button is highlighted with a blue icon, the Reactions feature is turned on. Tap on that button to turn it off. 

 Arrow pointing at Reactions button. Stock photo of therapist from Pexels - cottonbro studio

 

 

4. The button should turn gray if Reactions have been turned off.

Reactions is off. Stock photo of therapist from Pexels - cottonbro studio

 

 

This article was last reviewed by our Support team on January 4, 2023.

*Stock photo of therapist from Pexels - cottonbro studio