How to turn camera/webcam on or off in Windows 11 and Windows 10
For several reasons, you may need to know how to enable or disable a camera on Windows 11 or Windows 10. Chief among them is the desire for privacy – with many users affected, apps or websites will access their webcam without their permission.
Luckily, it’s now much easier to disable the camera in Windows 11 thanks to its “Cameras” settings page, which lets you quickly turn the camera on or off if you need it. This is different from your webcam‘s “privacy settings”, which only allow you to restrict or allow access to certain applications.
We’ll show you both this method and the “old” Windows 10 method using Device Manager so you can use whichever works best for you.
How to Disable a Camera in Windows 11 Webcam Settings
Although it may take a few more clicks, the process of disabling a camera in Windows 11 Settings is much more intuitive than with Device Manager. The settings UI clearly displays a list of your webcams and even provides a preview so you can make sure it’s the right one. Here’s how to find the toggle:
- Open settings
Press the Start button on your taskbar, then click “Settings” in the pinned apps section. If it is not there, you can press “Windows + I” rather.
- Click on “Bluetooth and devices” in the settings sidebar and expand the “Cameras” section in the main pane
- Click on your webcam in the “Connected cameras” list
- Click “Disable” under the webcam preview
- Tap “Yes” to Disable Camera in Windows 11
How to disable a camera with Device Manager in Windows 11 or Windows 10
If you prefer to do things the old-fashioned way or if you haven’t upgraded to Windows 11 yet, you can always turn off the camera through Device Manager. This means going through a long list of devices, but it’s still pretty easy.
- Open Device Manager
Press the Start button on your taskbar and type “Device Manager”, then click on the best result.
- Double-click on the “Cameras” section in Device Manager, right-click on your webcam and choose “Disable device”
- Click “Yes” on the warning prompt
After disabling a webcam, open the camera app to make sure it’s no longer working, as Device Manager doesn’t have a preview.
How to Enable a Camera on Windows 11 via Webcam Settings
If your Windows 11 webcam isn’t working, it might already be disabled. Here’s how to enable a camera in Windows 11 with just a few clicks:
- Open settings
To do this, press the Start button and click the Settings cog in your pinned apps. Alternatively, you can press “Windows + I”.
- Tap “Bluetooth & Devices” in the sidebar and expand the “Cameras” header
- Look for the “Cameras Disabled” heading and tap “Enable” on the right side
How to enable a camera using Device Manager
If you previously disabled a camera in Windows 11 or Windows 10, you can also re-enable it using Device Manager. Here’s how:
- Press Start and type “Device Manager”, then click on the top result
- Expand the “Cameras” section, then right-click on your webcam and choose “Enable Device”
Your device should start working again immediately. You may need to turn the camera on and off in the app you’re using for its image to show up.
Related: How to Fix a Windows Camera That’s Not Working
If your Windows 10 or Windows 11 camera is not disabled but still not working, you can read our camera troubleshooting guide instead. It will show you 7 ways to fix your camera.
To better protect your privacy, you can also change whether apps can run in the background in Windows 11. This will allow you to ensure that they don’t send data back to a remote server when you’re not using them. .