How to test your webcam in Windows
Your webcam must be installed and configured for video calling, so it’s important to test it beforehand, especially the first time you use it. It can be easily tested with the built-in camera app, but if you are using a third-party video chat app, it would be best to test the webcam using that same app. This tutorial shows you how to test your webcam in both situations.
How to Test Your Webcam Using the Camera App
- Click the “Start” button and type “Camera”.
- Select the “Camera” app.
- You should immediately see video from the camera if everything is in good working order.
- You should also be aware of the many webcam settings that will help you configure the webcam. Hurry To win + I to open “Settings”.
- Go to “Bluetooth & Devices” and click “Cameras” on the right side of the panel.
- Click on the installed webcam located under the “Connected cameras” section.
- Adjust “Brightness” and “Contrast” by dragging the bar. You can also click the “Video Rotate” option to rotate the camera 90 degrees left or right or 180 degrees.
- There is also a “Reset Default Camera Settings” option if you want to reset custom webcam settings.
- Clicking on the “Disable” option will disable the webcam or re-enable it if it has already been disabled.
- Click the “Troubleshoot” button to run the Windows troubleshooter to automatically detect and fix webcam issues.
For webcam-related issues or a webcam that isn’t working, read on to learn how to fix webcams that aren’t working in Windows.
Testing your webcam with the built-in camera app is convenient, but if you’re using a third-party app for video conferencing, it’s best to test the webcam with that app.
Follow these steps to test your new webcam with Google Meet.
- Open Google Meet in your browser.
- Click Settings (gear icon) in the upper right corner of the window.
- Click “Video” on the left side of the new panel that appears. A small video appears on the right side of the window if your webcam is working.
- You can also view the video directly on the meeting page. After joining a meeting, click on the “Verify your audio and video” option. If your camera still isn’t working, try clicking the red camera icon.
Follow the steps below to check your webcam on Skype.
- Open “Skype” and click on the three-dot icon next to your name at the top.
- Choose “Settings”.
- Click on the “Audio and Video” option on the left side of the window.
- A video feed from your webcam will appear on the right side of the Skype window.
These steps will test your webcam on Zoom.
- Open the Zoom app and click Settings (gear icon) in the upper right corner.
- Click “Video” on the left side of the screen.
- If your webcam is working properly, the video will appear immediately.
The steps to test your webcam on Slack are as follows:
- Open “Slack” in your browser.
- Click your profile icon in the upper right corner of the window.
- Select “Preferences”.
- Go to “Audio and Video” on the left side of the panel.
- If you can’t see yourself with the webcam launching, your video device is probably not set to the correct webcam.
If you want to test your webcam with Discord, follow the steps below:
- Launch “Discord” and click on Settings (gear icon) at the bottom of the panel.
- Click “Voice and Video” on the left side.
- Click “Test Video”.
- Your image should appear on the right side of the window.
Customize privacy settings in Windows
Testing the webcam is not enough; you also need to customize the privacy settings. Luckily, Windows is pretty versatile, and the operating system has several privacy-dedicated customization settings.
Webcam privacy settings
Windows has a dedicated privacy and security section that protects users. Usually it’s great, but if you don’t customize it properly, you may have problems with your webcam. It may start working for some apps you don’t want to use with and stop working for those you want to use with.
To customize webcam privacy settings in Windows, follow the steps below.
- Hurry To win + I to open “Settings”.
- Go to “Privacy & Security” and click “Camera” on the right side of the panel.
- Toggle the “Camera access” option up to enable or disable the webcam.
- Enable the “Let apps access your camera” option to allow or deny app access to the webcam. Toggle app options below to allow or deny access to these apps.
Browser privacy settings
In the browser’s privacy settings, you can prevent microphone and camera access for websites that do not have permission. The authorization popup is different for each browser. If you don’t see a pop-up, you can check your web browser’s privacy settings.
To access browser privacy settings, click the three-dot or three-line icon in the upper-right corner of the browser window to open browser settings. Locate the “Privacy” menu for webcam and microphone access controls.
If you’re looking for a browser option other than Firefox or Google, check out these lightweight browsers for Windows.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is my webcam so blurry?
The webcam lens may have dust or a smudge on it, causing blurring. You should clean the webcam lens with a dry cloth to see if that helps reduce blurring.
How can I manually adjust the focus of my webcam?
There should be a plastic manual focus ring on the outside edge of your webcam housing. It lets you adjust the focus by turning it, but this feature is only available on some webcams. The manual focus ring is available on high-end webcams and some mid-range webcams.
Why is my 1080p webcam so grainy?
When certain webcam settings are enabled, they will cause the video to look grainy. Disable the “Right Light” or “Low Light Compensation” option in the webcam settings, as these features brighten the video too much and add process strain on the camera, resulting in a grainy look.
Image credit: Pixabay. All screenshots by Saurav Dey & Alexandra Arici
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