Over the past week, many technology news sites reported about a website streaming from thousands of IP cameras. The incident made many PC users think of disabling web cameras on their desktops, notebooks and tablets when not being used.
Even though the above incident happened because many users didn’t care to change the default passwords of IP cameras, disabling in-built or integrated camera when not in use sounds like a good option.
Users who aren’t very serious about their privacy might find this funny, but if you’re really serious about your privacy, there is no better way than disabling the web camera, when not being used.
When it comes to disabling the webcam, there are a bunch of ways. The easiest way, of course, is to paste a paper or duct tape over the camera but the better way is to disable the camera from Device Manager so that you can quickly enable the same when required. And if you’re using an external camera, simply unplug it after use.
Disable the camera via Settings
This method works only in 21354 or later builds of Windows 10. If you are running an earlier build, scroll down the page to see the classic method.
Step 1: On your PC, head over to Settings > Devices > Cameras page.
Step 2: Click on the Integrated Camera entry to see the hidden Disable button. Click on it and then click the Yes button when you get the confirmation prompt.
Disable the built-in or integrated camera via Device Manager
To disable the in-built or integrated web camera in Windows, please complete the given below instructions:
Note that this method works great on all recent versions of Windows, including Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
Step 1: Open Device Manager. To open it, type Device Manager in the Start menu/screen search box and then press enter key. Alternatively, you can open Run command box by simultaneously pressing Windows and R keys, type Devmgmt.msc in the box and then press Enter key to open Device Manager.
Step 2: In the Device Manager, expand Imaging devices tree to see the built-in or integrated camera entry. In some cases, the camera might have the name of your PC’s manufacturer.
NOTE: If you trying to disable an external USB webcam using this method, the USB webcam entry will appear under Universal serial bus controllers. Expand Universal serial bus controllers’ tree to see the entry.
To enable the disabled camera
Step 1: Open Device Manager.
Step 2: Expand Imaging devices tree, right-click on the built-in camera, click Enable and then click Yes button.