Disable 'observe' mode

The replies here are very dismissive of how @Dave2 works. He might work in a very different way to you. I’m not sure “I don’t understand why you need this” should be a reply from a moderator in the “Product Questions” section? @Gleb

Personally, I completely understand Dave’s problem, if a file has been shared with the client for review and then you do further work on that file the client can, if they choose, literally watch you work.


I’m sorry that I chose to express my opinion in a dismissive manner, I shouldn’t have done it. Indeed, my opinion wasn’t necessary here at all. Thanks for your feedback, I’ll improve!


Completely disagree. This IS the digital equivalent of designing with someone over your shoulder. If not this, then what is??


100% disagree, I’ve been through several occasions of real-time pixel pushing by C-levels and also micromanaging. Very toxic feature.


I would like to understand the issue better, so I’m wondering:

  1. Why don’t you work in drafts to avoid this?

  2. If they required something like this, won’t they require you to share your screen while doing work if Figma’s multiplayer didn’t exist?

  3. How do you see the “multiplayerless” mode working?

Hey Gleb, I’m sorry for replying late, I just posted more details on Josh’s reply here: Multiplayer mode and emotional triggers

  1. The thing is that the feature is being used as a way to follow a real-time online presence. People know about the draft mode, but they’ll just ask you to use a shared file.

  2. This always happens with designers during their work, the “looking over your shoulder” thing. I can’t remember an occasion that I had to live-share my computer screen back when I used desktop applications.

  3. There are a few interesting ideas in the link above.

I really appreciate your reply and for sharing this :slight_smile:

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this message translate, sorry for bad English :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

This feature should come.
As a ui developer, while working without looking at my e-mails and messages, they feel the need to establish a dialogue with me because I appear active on the figma and sometimes the time does not matter for the caller.
I don’t want to be disturbed because I appear online in figma while working late.


Totally worth feature. I’m developer and I work along with designers, but I don’t want to distract them, I just want to get the informations that I need.


because it’s a big privacy concern/issue?

I’m a dev. I implement the designs created by our designers.
There is not a single valid scenario where anyone would need to see my cursor.
I can turn it off, although it will only turn it off on my side, others will still see my cursor and also turning it off will only work for a limited time (until i log back in again or refresh the page).

Makes me hate your product.


you’ll have my vote should you bring this topic up in #product-ideas

I moved the topic. Thanks for your input!

thanks. I think @Dave2 has already created a topic for this in “Share Feedback” back in February with 80+ votes. But apparently there has been no action taken since.

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Moved everything to one topic, not sure why we had two.

Two ideas that are related/similar:

  1. Incognito mode
    I work at a design agency where on most projects, each designer has their own working file. It would be great to have an incognito mode to be able to view others’ files without distracting them or being distracted by them browsing my file. I feel pressure when I see their cursor flying around in my file unexpectedly.
    Also when someone chooses to work late hours and it is visible to the rest of the team, it puts pressure on the rest of the team to feel like we need to work late as well. Incognito would allow those who choose to, to work late without showing up for others and impacting them in that way as well.

  2. A way to lock the “show/hide multiple cursors” option
    If incognito is not viable, having a way to lock the “show/hide multiple cursors” option would be a great alternative. Currently, I can set the cursors to hide but if I close figma and return later, the option is set back to “show”. Further, it would be great if hiding multiple cursors also hid the user’s profile up in the top right of the UI. All of this would be for the same reasons mentioned for incognito above - to reduce distraction and pressure.


Drafts don’t work when you have components set in your file. I learned the hard way: Transferring those files reverts variants to the original, it opens up your designs for loads of errors and is just, plain inconvenient.

As a file owner, I don’t see why I wouldn’t have that functionality.

It’s an inhibitor for workflow because it’s uncomfortable. As many Figma users stated, when someone sits and watches you work, it feels like micromanaging. Rather than have an uncomfortable conversation with someone about how they are a micromanager and you want it to stop, simply removing their ability to observe, until deemed appropriate, would be ideal.

Luckily not many people deal with this issue, but for those who do, it is a very real and painful problem.


All of the above replies are resonating with me on the topic. Several different problems exist to me, and many if not all can be solved by several of the ideas above. In my mind, the biggest issue is a client overlooking the designer’s live-work process (when a presentation is not ongoing), and another is simply preventing team members from getting pressured or distracted by other team members.

Designers shouldn’t have to have multiple files or work from their drafts to copy-paste things in just because we want to avoid the looking over your shoulder issue. It’s possible we can work around it by using branches, but as far as I know, we can’t work alongside team members while within a branch. Workarounds should be temporary solutions, and it’s not intuitive to work in the ways mentioned above, nor is it good to have someone micromanaging you, which we all agree happens in our lines of work.

File owners/managers should be able to disable observing and team cursours and I think even temporary revoke of viewing files altogether, without having to remove a viewer off of the file. One way of implementing it would be offering to disable observing and/or viewing for specific viewers, or all viewers. In the case of viewing revocation, anytime the person tries viewing the file, they could be given a single frame with the purpose of serving the viewer a locked splash that can be custom designed by the team saying something like “please wait this file is under construction any questions can be sent to X”. Going even further the locked viewing could be implemented through scheduling and set for automatic on/off by certain days or hours.

All this to say, everyone deserves a healthy work environment and we should be able to have oversight of what people can do when in our workspace.


I would like to see this feature implemented. As a developer it’s super annoying to see other people’s cursors moving over the stuff I’m looking at too.
And hence it’s great that I can turn this off, I’d rather be in incognito mode myself.
It’s just odd that you don’t know when other people are looking at what you are doing :eyes: makes me feel watched

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@Dave2 I relate to what you’re saying, and have upvoted.

Also, to revive the topic a bit, as I feel it’s an important feature missing…

Could something like this work?

  1. create a new page
  2. right click on it in the Pages list
  3. select “Run Privacy Mode”

Page would then not be visible to other file members.

This page would be always there for you, to work in it, and when done, move the frame to the page you were designing for.



Hi @Darko_Atanasov, I think you are describing another idea that is on the forum: Giving unique access to specific pages.