How to turn off the webcam on a laptop in Windows

Probably, many users have thought about how to disable the camera on a laptop to ensure their security and privacy. There is a possibility that hackers can get through the firewall barrier (firewall, firewall) and connect to the webcam on your device.

Video recordings made using your computer’s camera may become available to strangers. People don’t always sit at their computers dressed up, and records of a private or even worse confidential nature can be leaked.

It is clear that the target of hacker attacks are mainly famous people (stars, politicians, businessmen, etc.), but no one is immune from the loss of private or confidential data. Therefore, users are looking for an answer to the question of how to turn off the webcam on a laptop to prevent spying on themselves.

Why on a laptop? Because this portable device is equipped with a built-in webcam, and on a stationary PC, the camera is connected as an external device.

On a desktop computer, there is no problem with turning off the webcam, all you need to do is unplug the cable from the USB connector to physically disconnect the device. When using a laptop with a built-in camera, this solution to the problem is not suitable.

Ways to turn off the webcam on the computer

A webcam on a computer is used by various applications that are used mainly for communication between people. This is very convenient: to see a person and communicate with him, despite the distance separating the interlocutors.

In some cases, using a webcam creates privacy issues if you are being monitored remotely. Therefore, in this situation, the use of the device (camera) should be limited or completely disabled.

There are several ways to disable the camera on a Windows laptop. They are divided into two types according to the method of application:

  • Physical shutdown of the camera.
  • Programmatically disable the webcam.

In the first case, the webcam is physically disconnected from the computer if it is connected as an external device. After unplugging the camera cable from the USB connector on the computer, it will be impossible to record anything due to the absence of the camera itself on the PC. This method is not applicable for laptops.

Many famous people, such as Mark Zuckerberg or Edward Snowden, are solving the problem of how to disable the built-in webcam on a laptop in another way. They just stick the webcam lens on the computer. This can be done with electrical tape, paper sticker or a special curtain, there are appropriate accessories.

If the camera lens is closed, hackers will not be able to watch what is happening even after gaining access to computer control. This is a reliable way to solve the problem.

When using the software method, disable the device driver in the settings of the Windows operating system, or use third-party software. On some laptops, notably Lenovo ThinkPads, the webcam can be disabled directly in the computer’s BIOS.

How to disable the webcam on a laptop in the Task Manager – 1 way

In Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, to disable the webcam, the user can use the standard tool of the operating system – Device Manager.

Go through the following sequential steps:

  1. Press the “Win” + “R” keys.
  2. In the “Run” dialog box, enter the command “devmgmt.msc”, click on the “OK” button.
  3. In the “Device Manager” window, find the “Cameras” section.

On different laptops, Device Manager may have different sections for finding a webcam. The camera can be found under Imaging Devices, HID Devices, Sound, Game and Video Devices. In any case, be guided by the word “Camera” or “Cam” in the name of the device, the camera may be called “USB video device”.

  1. Right click on the WebCam device.
  2. In the context menu that opens, select “Disconnect Device”.
  3. In the warning window, click the “Yes” button.

To turn on the camera, do the reverse procedure: select the camera in the Task Manager, and in the context menu, click on the “Enable device” item.

How to turn off the webcam on a laptop in the Task Manager – 2 way

There is another way to completely disable the webcam: uninstalling the device driver. Without a driver, the camera will not be able to work on a computer.

Do the following:

  1. Sign in Device Manager.
  2. Select the webcam among the devices, and in the context menu, click on “Properties”.
  3. In the camera properties window, open the Driver tab.
  4. Click on the “Remove Device” button.
  5. In the window with a warning that the device will be removed from the system, click on the “Delete” button.

After that, the camera will completely stop working in the Windows operating system. This is a reliable way to disable the webcam on a computer.

Naturally, in order for the webcam to work again on this laptop, you will need to reinstall the driver suitable for this webcam on the PC.

How to disable the camera on a Windows 10 laptop

The Windows 10 operating system settings have options to control your computer’s webcam. The user has the ability to turn off the camera from the system settings.

On a laptop, the following settings must be made:

  1. Enter the Start menu, launch the Settings app.
  2. Open the “Privacy” option.
  3. Under App Permissions, select the Camera option.
  4. In the “Camera” option, in the “Allow access to the camera on this device” parameter, click on the “Change” button.
  5. In the “Access the camera for this device” window, move the switch to the “Disabled” position.

After applying the setting, access to the camera will be disabled in the sections “Allow applications to access the camera”, “Select Microsoft Store applications that can access the camera”, “Allow desktop applications to access the camera”.

  1. Enter the “Microphone” option.
  2. Under Choose which Microsoft Store apps can access your microphone, find Camera, and then move the slider to Off.

To enable the webcam on a laptop in Windows 10, in the privacy settings, in the “App Permissions” section, in the “Camera” and “Microphone” options, move the slider to the “On” position.

Article Conclusions

To disable the webcam on a laptop, you can use several methods to physically and programmatically turn off the device. The most reliable way would be to physically disconnect the device or seal the camera lens. You can turn off the webcam programmatically using the tools of the Windows operating system.

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