Screen sharing Troubleshooting Guide

Screen sharing has been one of the most requested features since releasing Bellbird, so we are happy to now be releasing a beta version of it. It allows you to share your screen with other participants on a Bellbird call.

This article will explain how screen sharing works and the troubleshooting process you should use if you encounter any problems while using it. This article assumes you already know how to use Bellbird, so if you need to learn more about how to use Bellbird and its other features, please check our other guidelines here.

Different browsers have different options for screen and/or audio sharing, and on all browsers only one user can share their screen at a time. Please see the chart below for more information.

Supported Environments:

  • Windows - Chrome, Firefox, Edge (Chromium)  
  • Mac - Chrome, Firefox, Edge (Chromium), Safari
  • Edge (Edge HTML) is not supported

What You Can Share

Browser Entire Screen Application Browser Tab External Monitor
(Entire Screen)
Sound
Chrome / Edge (Chromium)
- Mac
⭕️ ⭕️ ⭕️ ⭕️ Tabs only
Chrome / Edge (Chromium)
- Windows
⭕️ ⭕️ ⭕️ ⭕️ Entire Screen
and Tabs only
Firefox ⭕️ ⭕️ Cannot choose *1 ⭕️ ✖️
Safari ⭕️ ✖️ ✖️ Cannot choose *2 ✖️

*1: Within the Firefox browser window on which the call is being made, only the calling tab can be selected. However once you start screen sharing, you can switch to other tabs within that window and whatever tab is selected will be shared on the call.
*2: Only the screen from which you are calling can be selected.

Start Screen Sharing

To start screen sharing, click the Screen Share icon on the Bellbird call screen and select what you’d like to share from the available options.

You may have different steps to enable screen sharing depending on your Operating System (OS) and browser.

OS Settings on a Mac

Windows doesn't require changes to OS settings, but if you are using a browser other than Safari on a Mac OS, to enable screen sharing you will need to allow screen recording in your OS settings.

The first time you click the Screen Share icon on the Bellbird call screen, you will be prompted to go to “System Preferences”; please do so and allow Browsers to record the screen by doing the following:

  1. Click "Open System Preferences".
  2. Check the box next to the icon for the Browser you are using.
  3. Click "Later".
  4. Go back to the Bellbird screen and click the Screen Share icon again.
Chrome or Microsoft Edge (Chromium)
  1. Click the Screen Share icon on the Bellbird call screen.
  2. Select what you’d like to share from the available options.
  3. Click "Share".
The Different Shared Options


You will see your screen multiply infinitely if you share the Bellbird call screen. This is an expected behavior with many screen sharing tools when the view of the screen share is visible on your screen.

Firefox
  1. Click the Screen Share icon on the Bellbird call screen.
  2. Select what you’d like to share from the available options in the drop-down menu.
  3. Click "Allow".
The Different Sharing Options

  • Entire Screen
    Anything shown on the selected screen will be shown in the call.

  • Application
    Only what is shown within the selected application will be shown in the call.

  • Browser Tab
    To share tabs on Firefox, first select the tab the call is being made from. After that, any tab within that window you select will also be shared on the call.

You will see your screen multiply infinitely if you share the Bellbird call screen. This is an expected behavior with many screen sharing tools when the view of the screen share is visible on your screen.

Safari
  1. Click the Screen Share icon on the Bellbird call screen.
  2. Click "Allow": Your entire screen will be shared. You will see your screen multiply infinitely if you share the Bellbird call screen. This is an expected behavior with many screen sharing tools when the view of the screen share is visible on your screen.

There is no way to change the sharing options on Safari. Your entire screen will always be shared.

Stop Screen Sharing

There are three ways to stop sharing:

The person who is sharing the screen on any browser can click the Screen Share icon again.
The person who is sharing their screen on a Chrome or Microsoft Edge (Chromium) browser can click "Stop sharing" or "Stop" on a small floating bar that these browsers display.
Any participant can click the "switch screen size" icon on the side screen (see below).

Unblock Screen Sharing Permissions for Firefox and Safari

Chrome and Microsoft Edge (Chromium) don’t require screen sharing permissions, but on Firefox and Safari, screen sharing can be blocked.

Firefox

If screen sharing is blocked on Firefox, the message "Failed to start screen sharing" will appear everytime you click the Screen Share icon.

To start screen sharing, please cancel the blocked permission.

  1. Click the screen sharing icon on the left side of the address bar.
  2. Click the ✖ mark in the "Permissions" section of the pop-up window, next to "Share the screen".
  3. Click the Screen Share icon on the Bellbird call screen again.
  4. Select what you’d like to share from the available options in the drop-down menu and click "Allow".

Safari

When screen sharing is blocked on Safari, you cannot share your screen.

In order to start screen sharing, you will need to cancel the blocked permission.

  1. Open the "Safari" application menu, which is in the top left corner of the screen, next to the Apple logo, and select "Settings for This Website…".
  2. Go to the "Screen Sharing" option and select "Allow" from the list.

Share Audio While You Screen Share

On Chrome and Edge (Chromium), the browser's audio can be shared while you share your screen.

When sharing your browser's audio, it is recommended that everyone mute their mics.
If other participants talk while you share audio with your entire screen, they will hear an echo of their voice. However, no echo occurs if a tab is shared, rather than the entire screen.

Audio can be shared with the following OS and sharing options:

  • Windows: Entire screen and browser tab
  • Mac: Browser tab only

To share audio with your screen, when you choose what to share, also select the "Share audio" checkbox then click "Allow".