Disable Integrated Camera or Webcam in Windows  

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    Disable Integrated Camera or Webcam in Windows

    Disable Integrated Camera or Webcam in Windows

    How to Disable Integrated Camera or Webcam in Windows
    Published by Category: Hardware & Drivers
    08 Apr 2021
    Designer Media Ltd
     

    How to Disable Integrated Camera or Webcam in Windows


    In Windows 10, having a camera as part of your device or system lets you make Skype video calls, take pictures, etc. Many apps and services request and use the camera, and Windows settings give you control over which apps can use your camera.

    Some people worry about unknown apps, organizations, or malware using their camera. Whenever your camera is used, you should be in charge. That’s why you’re always told when your camera is turned on:
    • If your device or camera comes with a camera light, the light will turn on when the camera is in use.
    • If your system doesn’t have a camera light, you’ll get a notification to let you know when the camera turns on or off.

    For more information, see: Windows 10 camera and privacy

    If you have a tablet, laptop, or notebook with a integrated (built-in) camera (aka: webcam), you may be wondering how to disable it for privacy and security reasons when it's not being used.

    Disabling the camera can be important since there is a potential for malware to take over the camera and spy on you with it.

    This tutorial will show you how to completely disable an integrated camera or webcam as needed in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.


    Contents

    • Option One: Enable or Disable Camera or Webcam using Kill Switch
    • Option Two: Enable or Disable Camera or Webcam in Settings
    • Option Three: Disable Camera or Webcam in Device Manager
    • Option Four: Enable Camera or Webcam in Device Manager
    • Option Five: Allow or Deny Camera Access for this Device in Settings
    • Option Six: Turn On or Off Camera using Context Menu
    • Option Seven: Enable or Disable Use of Camera for All Users in Local Group Policy Editor
    • Option Eight: Enable or Disable Use of Camera for All Users using a REG file






    OPTION ONE

    Enable or Disable Camera or Webcam using Kill Switch


    Some newer laptops (ex: HP Spectre x360) now have a physical switch that turns off your PC's camera.


    1 Toggle on or off the privacy camera kill switch for what you want. (see screenshot below)

    Disable Integrated Camera or Webcam in Windows-camera_kill_switch.jpg






    OPTION TWO

    Enable or Disable Camera or Webcam in Settings


    This option is only available starting with Windows 10 build 21354.


    1 Open Settings, and click/tap on the Devices icon.

    2 Click/tap on Cameras on the left side. (see screenshots below step 4)

    3 Click/tap on the camera or webcam (ex: "Logitech BRIO") on the right side. (see screenshots below step 4)

    4 Click/tap on the Enable or Disable button depending on current status and for what you want. (see screenshots below)

    Disable Integrated Camera or Webcam in Windows-enable_camera_in_settings.jpg Disable Integrated Camera or Webcam in Windows-disable_camera_in_settings-1.jpg

    5 If you clicked on Disable, click/tap on Yes to confirm. (see screenshot below)

    Disable Integrated Camera or Webcam in Windows-disable_camera_in_settings-2.png

    6 You can now close Settings if you like.






    OPTION THREE

    Disable Camera or Webcam in Device Manager


    You must be signed in as an administrator to use this option.


    1 Open Device Manager (devmgmt.msc).

    2 Expand open Cameras or Imaging devices depending on which one you have available. (see screenshot below step 3)

    3 Right click on your camera device, and click/tap on Disable device. (see screenshot below)

    If you have a separate IR camera type device listed, this would be the infrared camera used by Windows Hello face recognition.

    Disable Integrated Camera or Webcam in Windows-disable_webcam-1.jpg

    4 Click/tap on Yes to confirm. (see screenshot below)

    Disable Integrated Camera or Webcam in Windows-disable_webcam-2.png

    5 When finished, you can close Device Manager if you like.






    OPTION FOUR

    Enable Camera or Webcam in Device Manager


    You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to do this option.


    1 Open Device Manager (devmgmt.msc).

    2 Expand open Cameras or Imaging devices depending on which one you have available. (see screenshot below step 3)

    3 Right click on your disabled camera device, and click/tap on Enable device. (see screenshot below)

    Disable Integrated Camera or Webcam in Windows-enable_webcam-1.jpg

    4 When finished, you can close Device Manager if you like.






    OPTION FIVE

    Allow or Deny Camera Access for this Device in Settings


    This option is only available starting with Windows 10 build 17063.

    You must be signed in as an administrator to use this option.


    1 Open Settings, and click/tap on the Privacy icon.

    2 Click/tap on Camera on the left side, click/tap on the Change button on the right side, and turn On (default) or Off Camera access for this device for what you want. (see screenshots below)

    Disable Integrated Camera or Webcam in Windows-camera_access_for_device-1.jpg Disable Integrated Camera or Webcam in Windows-camera_access_for_device-2.jpg






    OPTION SIX

    Turn On or Off Camera using Context Menu


    Special thank you to Matthew Wai for providing this option.

    This option is only available starting with Windows 10 build 17063.

    While you must be signed in as an administrator to add or remove this context menu, all users will be able to use the context menu if added.

    The Camera on/off (toggle) context menu performs the same action as doing Option Four, but making it much easier to do on demand.


    1 Download the .bat file below depending on if you want to add or remove the Camera on/off (toggle) context menu.

    Add_[Camera_on-off]_into_context_menu

    Download

    OR

    Remove_[Camera_on-off]_from_context_menu

    Download


    2 Unblock the downloaded .bat file, and run the .bat file.

    3 When finished, press a key to close the command prompt window. (see screenshots below)

    Disable Integrated Camera or Webcam in Windows-add-.jpg
    Disable Integrated Camera or Webcam in Windows-remove-.jpg

    4 If added, you will now have the Camera on/off (toggle) context menu below available when you right click on the desktop. (see screenshot below)

    Disable Integrated Camera or Webcam in Windows-context-menu.jpg

    5 When you use the Camera on/off (toggle) context menu, you will need to press the Win + M keys when you see the notification to apply. (see screenshots below)

    Disable Integrated Camera or Webcam in Windows-camera_disabled_notification.png Disable Integrated Camera or Webcam in Windows-camera_enabled_notification.png






    OPTION SEVEN

    Enable or Disable Use of Camera for All Users in Local Group Policy Editor


    You must be signed in as an administrator to use this option.

    If you disable the use of camera using this option, it will gray out and disable the Camera access for this device setting in Option Five above.

    The Local Group Policy Editor is only available in the Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions. All editions can use Option Eight below to set this same policy using a .reg file instead.


    1 Open the Local Group Policy Editor.

    2 In the left pane of Local Group Policy Editor, navigate to the location below. (see screenshot below)

    Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Camera

    Disable Integrated Camera or Webcam in Windows-allow_use_of_camera_gpedit-1.png

    3 In the right pane of Camera in Local Group Policy Editor, double click/tap on the Allow Use of Camera policy to edit it. (see screenshot above)

    4 Do step 5 (enable) or step 6 (disable) below for what you would like to do.


     5. To Enable Use of Camera for All Accounts

    This is the default setting.

    A) Select (dot) Not Configured, click/tap on OK, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)


     6. To Disable Use of Camera for All Accounts

    A) Select (dot) Disabled, click/tap on OK, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)

    Disable Integrated Camera or Webcam in Windows-allow_use_of_camera_gpedit-2.png


    7 When finished, you can close the Local Group Policy Editor if you like.






    OPTION EIGHT

    Enable or Disable Use of Camera for All Users using a REG file


    You must be signed in as an administrator to use this option.

    This option uses the same policy as Option Seven.

    If you disable the use of camera using this option, it will gray out and disable the Camera access for this device setting in Option Five above.

    The downloadable .reg files below will add and modify the DWORD and hex values in the registry key below.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Camera

    LetAppsAccessCamera DWORD value

    (delete) = Enable
    0 = Disable


    1 Do step 2 (enable) or step 3 (disable) below for what you would like to do.


     2. To Enable Use of Camera for All Accounts

    This is the default setting.

    A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.

    Default_allow_use_of_camera_for_all_users.reg

    Download


     3. To Disable Use of Camera for All Accounts

    A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.

    Disable_camera_for_all_users.reg

    Download


    4 Save the .reg file to your desktop.

    5 Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.

    6 When prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

    7 You can now delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.


    That's it,
    Shawn



  1. badrobot's Avatar
    Posts : 5,258
    Win 10 Pro x64
       #1

    Simple but very important tut Brink. Thanks!
    Quick question, do you think someone can still "use" a PC cam even if the PC owner uses VPN service? Can VPN also help keep snoopers away?
      My Computer

  2. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 56,427
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro for Workstations build 21359
    Thread Starter
       #2

    Hey badrobot,

    I wouldn't think a VPN could completely prevent it since if hijacked by malware, it could send a feed over your VPN or any Internet connection.
      My Computers

  3. z3r010's Avatar
    Posts : 9,920
    Windows 10 Workstation x64
       #3

    I prefer a hardware solution.

    Disable Integrated Camera or Webcam in Windows-tape.jpg
      My Computers

  4. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 56,427
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro for Workstations build 21359
    Thread Starter
       #4

      My Computers

  5. badrobot's Avatar
    Posts : 5,258
    Win 10 Pro x64
       #5

    z3r010 said:
    I prefer a hardware solution.
    Exactly...

    Disable Integrated Camera or Webcam in Windows-52464338_417676055634725_2283585290389946368_n.jpg
      My Computer

  6. Matthew Wai's Avatar
    Posts : 5,125
    Windows 10 Home 20H2
       #6

    Why not turn it off via the privacy settings?
    ms-settings:privacy-webcam

    Disable Integrated Camera or Webcam in Windows-turn-camera.jpg
      My Computer

  7. badrobot's Avatar
    Posts : 5,258
    Win 10 Pro x64
       #7

    Matthew Wai said:
    Why not turn it off via the privacy settings?
    ms-settings:privacy-webcam


    Disable Integrated Camera or Webcam in Windows-turn-camera.jpg
    I know. But I am still not comfortable like that. I still feel that the camera is on. It's a personal thing. Haha...
      My Computer

  8. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 56,427
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro for Workstations build 21359
    Thread Starter
       #8

    Matthew Wai said:
    Why not turn it off via the privacy settings?
    ms-settings:privacy-webcam
    Hey mate,

    I was thinking more of a physical way to disable the camera when the tutorial was first created, but I added this as option 4 since it does effectively disables camera access.
      My Computers

  9. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 10,571
    Win10 Pro Versions 2004 and 2009/20H2, Win10 Pro IP_Dev, Win10 Home 1909
       #9

    I see a few clients disable the feeling by putting a small stamp, label, dark tape over the lens, even if activated can't see anything.
      My Computers


 
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