macOS Catalina - Can't share full screen or application window

If you recently upgraded to macOS Catalina, or got a new Mac, then you may have problems when trying to share full screen or application window using CrankWheel, while sharing a browser tab should work.

The underlying reason for this is new security functionality in macOS Catalina that requires granting a privilege to any application that tries to record the screen, in this case Google Chrome. Certain versions of Chrome (at least 76 and 77 and some versions of Chrome 78) have code to handle this that fails to detect that it has been authorized in certain situations.


We have started to hear confirmation that once Chrome updates to version 78.0.3904.87 or later, the issue is gone. This release has been pushed live and as of 2 November 2019, it is being rolled out over the coming days by Google. To get your update sooner you can open a new browser tab, type in chrome://settings/help and allow it to update, then relaunch Chrome using the button that will show up after the update finishes downloading.

Workaround 1

For most users, the following sequence of steps will resolve the problem:

  1. Hit ⌘-Space to bring up the Spotlight search bar, and type in System Preferences, then hit Enter
  2. Double-click on Security & Privacy
  3. Select 'Privacy' at the top
  4. In the scrollable box on the left, scroll down a bit and select Screen Recording
  5. Make sure Google Chrome is in the list, and that it has a checkmark next to it.
  6. If you add a checkmark, you will be prompted to quit Google Chrome so that it gets the new setting. Confirm that it should quit.
  7. Relaunch Google Chrome and try using CrankWheel again.

Workaround 2

For a handful of users, the above is not sufficient. Some of our users have reported that it can work to create a separate user profile in Chrome, install CrankWheel there, and use it. To try this workaround, see this video for instructions:

Even if workaround 2 does not work the first time, you might want to try it one or more additional times as it does not seem 100% reliable but for several users it has resolved the issue.

Workaround 3 - a bit technical

This one is a bit tricky to do and since none of our Mac machines have exhibited the problems we haven't been able to 100% make sure it works, but we are 95% sure. If you try it, please let us know how it goes:

The workaround has quite a lot of steps, most of which we've put into a video for you:

a) Download this slightly older version of the Chromium browser (it is the foundation Google Chrome is built on):

b) Follow the instructions in this video:

If all fails

If none of the workarounds above get things working for you, even after trying Workaround 2 a couple of times, unfortunately there is no other known way of enabling screen sharing for full screen or application windows. We are working with Google, who have acknowledged that there is an issue in how Google Chrome detects whether the screen recording privilege has been enabled.

If you encounter the issue of screen sharing issues with full screen or application on Catalina, and especially if none of the workarounds solve the problem for you, then please file a ticket by emailing to let us know. We will keep you informed of progress.


Please sign in to leave a comment.
Powered by Zendesk