How To Use Webcam on Windows 10

Windows 10 stands out with its multiple great features, but one that might not be on your radar is the ability to use a webcam.

With Windows 10, it’s incredibly easy to use your webcam. Whether you’re using Skype, chatting with friends on Facebook Messenger, or talking to family members on Google Hangouts, it’s never been easier to get in touch with people all over the world.

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The only thing that you need is a webcam. Let’s take a look at how to set up and use your webcam in Windows 10.

How To Use a Webcam in Windows 10 With a Camera App

While there are a couple of options to use a webcam on Windows 10, the most straightforward way is using the camera app.

Using a Webcam in Windows 10

Luckily, Microsoft has an inbuilt camera app. This is available by default on Windows 10 and can be accessed by clicking on the Windows icon located on your taskbar.

Once you’ve navigated to this, click “open camera.” All you need to do is open the camera app, click on video mode, and you’ll be good to go.

After launching the app, it will automatically bring up your webcam feed.

On some versions of Microsoft’s operating system (such as windows phone), users can take pictures directly from within this. However, windows desktop users are required to take their pictures using the “prt sc” button.

How To Test Your Webcam in Windows 10 With a Camera App

Testing out your webcam is incredibly simple on windows 10. All you have to do is launch the camera app by clicking on the windows icon in your taskbar and then clicking “take a picture.”

You can also test out whether everything is working properly by clicking on video mode. To this, take the steps below:

  1. First, you will need to open the camera app.
  2. You can then click on either photo or video mode, depending on what you wish to test out.
  3. Once in picture mode, all you have to do is select “take a picture,” and your webcam should be able to verify everything’s working properly.

How To Choose Which Webcam in Windows 10

Windows 10 users can use multiple webcams simultaneously, but only one at a time for taking pictures/videos etc.

If you wish to choose which webcam is used by the camera app, this can be done by following the steps below:

  1. Open up your settings menu. This can be done either by clicking on the “start” button or pressing Windows+I simultaneously.
  2. Once in ‘settings,’ click on “devices.”
  3. From there, select the “webcam” option.
  4. You can choose which webcam is used for taking pictures/videos etc.
  5. You can also choose the type of picture to be taken (front or back-facing camera).

How To Record Videos From a Webcam on Windows 10 With the Camera App

Using a Webcam in Windows 10

Recording video from your webcam really couldn’t have been more straightforward:

  1. Once again, you can either click on the Windows button in your taskbar or press “Windows+M” to access it.
  2. Once opened, select video mode and choose whether you’d like standard-definition (640×480) or high definition (1280×720).
  3. Once you’ve chosen, press the record button, and your webcam will capture everything.
  4. To stop recording, click on the stop icon (which looks like a red rectangle) located at the bottom of the video window.

How To Set Up a Timer for Taking Photos With the Camera App From Windows 10

If you are using your webcam to take pictures, there may be times when the timer might come in handy. For example, if you’d like to take a picture of yourself with either Skype or Facebook Messenger, all you have to do is follow the steps below:

The camera app features a photo timer where users can choose how long the camera will be active.

To set up a timer for taking photos, follow the steps below:

  1. Open your settings menu. This can be done either by clicking on the “start” button or pressing Windows+I simultaneously.
  2. From here, select devices and then webcam (if you haven’t already). You should now see all of your available webcams listed.
  3. To set up a timer, click on the “choose camera and then select your desired webcam.
  4. Next to “properties,” you’ll see an option titled “timer.” Just use this drop-down menu to choose how long the delay will take (in seconds). After pressing ok, all you have to do is press the record button, and you’re done.

How To Use Flash for Taking Photos With Camera App From Windows 10

If it’s dark or you’d simply like a little extra light when using your webcam on windows 10, the flash feature can come in handy. To activate it, go through the steps below:

  1. While on your camera app, click on settings and then ‘advanced’. 
  2. Once in “advanced”, select the flash option, located under “photo options”. You can choose to enable or disable it by simply clicking on either button. 
  3. You can decide to use your webcam’s flash when in photo mode by pressing the “take a picture” button.

How To Enable or Disable HDR on Photos Shot With Camera App From Windows 10

If you’re familiar with photography, then you’ll know that High Dynamic Range (HDR) is something photographers use when there are multiple areas of contrast in their image.

To put it simply, if you’re taking a picture of something very dark and there’s some light in the image as well, HDR will “bring out” or make everything visible.

If you’d like to enable your Windows webcam to use HDR mode, follow these steps:

Click on settings > advanced options > photo options

Once in “photo options“, you can enable or disable HDR by clicking on the appropriate button. You’ll know it’s enabled when there is a tick next to “enable high dynamic range (HDR) imaging“.

Other Webcam Options for Windows 10

Apart from the camera app, there are other built-in camera options for Windows 10. Here are some of them:

Windows Spotlight

This option allows you to use the camera and take a picture, which will be used as an image in Windows 10.

To activate Windows Spotlight, click on your desktop and select “Change background“.

Here, press the “+” button located at the bottom of the screen to add pictures from your computer or device. This is the easiest way to activate Windows Spotlight.

To use it, all you have to do is go to “settings” > device > webcam. Windows 10 will then take a picture and name it accordingly (using your account’s e-mail address).

It can also be used with any application in Windows 10 that allows users to take pictures, for example, in Skype or Facebook Messenger.

NFC

If you have a Windows 10 device that supports NFC, you can connect it to your webcam. Simply write down the NFC tag’s number under “USB connection” > camera.

This will allow users to use their Windows 10 device as a remote for their webcam, so they can activate or close it whenever they want.

When using this option, you’ll have to hold your device up to the webcam, so it can detect the NFC tag.

How To Use Your Webcam for Windows 10 With Skype

Many apps are available for Windows 10 devices that let you use your webcam in different ways.

Installing a Webcam in Windows 10

One example is Skype which allows users to do video chat or messaging with other people using the app simultaneously.

If you’re already a Skype user and want to start live-messaging through your Windows 10 webcam, follow these steps:

  1. Launch Skype and click on the video icon.
  2. For Windows 10, access skype by clicking on “all apps” and then select skype.
  3. Once you’ve opened the app, click on your profile picture in the top right corner of the screen to access all available settings.
  4. Click ‘video’ under chat options to choose how you’d like Skype to use your webcam, i.e., if it should be enabled or disabled during live messaging.
  5. After following the steps above, all you have to do is click on “start new video message,” and your webcam will be used for live-messaging purposes.
  6. Once you’re in, select “video call” instead of “voice call”.
  7. You can then either add someone from your list of contacts or search for them.
  8. Once you’ve found your contact, click on their name, and it will start a video call between both devices. You’ll know this is happening when Skype turns into what looks like an old-school TV screen.

How to Install a USB Webcam in Windows 10

A Guide to Using a Webcam in Windows 10

When Microsoft designed Windows 10, they made numerous changes to the operating system. Most of these were done to make things easier for users.

However, replacing the Device Manager with the Settings app was one change that didn’t seem like a good idea at first sight.

The Device Manager listed all your available removable devices, and you just had to connect them for them to show up in Device Manager.

Now, in Windows 10, things are a bit more complicated, and you may have problems figuring out how to install a USB Webcam in Windows 10.

However, making sense of all the confusion can be quite easy by following these steps:

  1. To start, you’ll need to either plug in your USB webcam or insert the installation CD that came with it. If you’ll be inserting the installation CD, make sure that your PC can read CDs (you can set this up by selecting “Burn A Disc” under “Computer” in File Explorer). Once you’ve inserted the driver, wait for Windows to install it automatically. 
  2. If you’ll be using a USB webcam, make sure the cable is plugged in and then follow these steps: 
  3. Press Windows Key + X. If your screen doesn’t change after the command has been executed, search for “Device Manager” on the taskbar instead. Once there, double click on the “Other devices” option and then double click on “Imaging Devices“.
  4. In this new window, you’ll see a long list of removable imaging devices. To check if your webcam is present, select “USB Video Device“. If there aren’t any USB video device entries, make sure you’ve followed the steps above correctly.
  5. Now that you’ve found the USB video device right-click on it and select “Update Driver Software“.
  6. Choose to browse your computer for the driver. Alternatively, you can choose to install it from a specific location or internet site. From there, follow the on-screen instructions until Windows installs the webcam properly.

How To Troubleshoot Webcam Not Opening in Windows 10

While your webcam will work right out of the box most of the time, you may experience issues with Windows recognizing and using it. Below are some common fixes for this issue:

  • Check if there is a green light on your device (if available), which indicates that it has power/is connected to another device.
  • If it isn’t, make sure the device is connected to your laptop or desktop correctly and that it’s not loose.
  • Check if drivers are installed for the webcam on Windows. Drivers allow devices like webcams/mice to work smoothly with other apps such as Skype.
  • If you’re using a USB port, try unplugging it for a few seconds and then plugging it back in.
Using a Webcam in Windows 10

If you’re not sure how to check if drivers are installed, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to “search” > type device manager
  2. Once you’ve opened Device Manager, expand ‘Imaging devices’. This will allow you to see whether or not your webcam is being recognized by Windows.
  3. If it says “This device cannot start” under Imaging devices, then the drivers are not installed correctly for your webcam. You’ll have to check with your manufacturer or use third-party software to fix this issue.
  4. If it says “Windows has stopped this device because it reported problems”, your webcam is either broken or not connected to the computer correctly. In this case, check that the device is connected correctly and then reinstall the drivers.

How To Troubleshoot Webcam Connection Issues in Windows 10

Sometimes, even if all of the above steps were followed successfully (drivers installed/connected), you may still be unable to use your webcam. This is often the case when you have a laptop with only one USB port or your webcam is inbuilt.

In this case, try using either an external hard drive (if available) or a flash drive to see whether they work correctly when plugged in instead of your webcam.

If both devices function properly without any issues through another USB port on your laptop, then it’s likely that your webcam is faulty and needs to be replaced.

If the external drive works while your webcam doesn’t, you should contact your manufacturer, who can tell you whether or not there are any known software issues with their device. This information will also help them suggest a fix for this issue if one exists.

Nevertheless, you can still try a DIY remedy.

To do so:

  1. Go to “search” > type device manager. Once open, expand ‘Imaging devices’
  2. Right-click on your webcam and go to Properties
  3. If there are any issues reported, you’ll have to update/reinstall the drivers
  4. If there are no issues listed, uninstall the webcam through this window > restart your PC > set up the driver again.

FAQs 

How do I enable my built-in webcam on Windows 10?

To enable you webcam, follow the steps below:

1. Go to “search” > type device manager
2. Once open, expand ‘Imaging devices’. Right click on your webcam and go to Properties.
3. You should see a slider labeled “allow this device to be used by other apps”. If so, slide it over to the right where it’s green.
4. If you’re using a laptop, you may also have to check the box labeled “Allow this device to wake computer” while you’re here.

How do I update my webcam drivers on Windows 10?

Go to “search” > type device manager

1. Once opened, expand ‘Imaging devices’.
2. Right click on your webcam and go to Properties.
3. If you’re using a laptop, you may also have to check the box labeled ‘Allow this device to wake computer’ while you’re here.
4. From the drop-down menu, select ‘Update Driver Software’.
5. Select ‘Search automatically for updated driver software’ and then click the “next” button.
6. Windows should find any updates for your webcam’s drivers and let you know if they’re available. Click on the update to install them.

How do I remove my webcam from Device Manager?

Go to “search” > type device manager

1. Once open, expand ‘Imaging devices’.
2. Right-click on your webcam and then go to Properties.
3 Under the General tab of Properties, choose “uninstall”. Windows will remove the driver for this device from your computer.
5. Close out of Device Manager and restart your PC if prompted after making this change.

How do I enable my webcam microphone on Windows 10?

Simply slide the slider to the right so it’s green in device manager where you’ll see both “allow this device to be used by other apps” and “allow this device to wake computer”. Enabling sound will function similarly.

Final Thoughts

Using a webcam on Windows 10 is relatively simple, provided you have all the right drivers installed. While Windows will automatically install the most common ones, several others may slip past its radar.

This is why it’s important to check out your manufacturer’s software website to get them installed correctly. By following the above steps, you should be able to resolve any webcam issues on Windows 10.