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How to disable a built-in camera in Windows 10 or Windows 11

If you keep tabs on the latest cybersecurity trends, then you’d perhaps agree that keeping your camera turned off—at least when you're not using it for a long time—might be in your best interests.  

In what follows, we’ll cover the exact step-by-step method of turning off the built-in camera on your Windows computer. So let’s get started. 

How to disable a built-in camera in Windows

No one needs to sing the virtues of a compact, good-quality Camera app, especially in the new work-from-home culture, which looks more like a cultural shift and the future of work rather than simply a fad, as some experts had earlier predicted

Through your webcam, you can not only connect with your colleagues online in real-time, but you'll also get the opportunity for better team bonding that might not be available in online text apps. 

Unfortunately, however, like most things in tech, your computer’s camera isn’t immune to abuse. For instance, hackers can sometimes break into your PC through various techniques—most commonly through installing malware—and take control of your camera. When that happens, your camera is effectively in control of unauthorized people; who can turn it on or off, record things at will, and so on, all remotely.

Indeed, keeping your camera disabled, especially when you’re not planning to use it for a while, might not be over-precaution, as some people think it is. Here’s how you can get started with it:

First, launch the settings menu by pressing the Windows key + I shortcut. Alternatively, head to the Start menu search bar, type in ‘settings,’ and select the best match.

Now click on Privacy and select the Camera icon from the settings app. Finally, toggle off the Allow apps to access your camera option to stop third-party apps from any access to your camera.

If you're on Windows 11, only the specifics will be slightly different. Here's what it will look like:

camera settings

To disable your camera on Windows 11, simply toggle off the Camera access button from the top and you'll be good to go.

Disable your camera through the Device Manager

For whatever reason, if you’re facing any troubles with disabling your camera through the Settings menu, then relying on your Device Manager is your best bet.

The Device Manager is your PC's central component that lets you PC's central Here’s how you can get started.

Head to the Start menu search bar, type in ‘device manager,’ and select the best match. From the Device Manager, select the Camera icon, right-click on the camera, and then select Disable device

device manager

From there, you’ll get a dialog box for confirmation. Click Yes to confirm and your Windows camera will be successfully disabled.

Disabling the built-in camera in your Windows 

By turning off your Windows camera when you’re not using it, you dial up your PC's security a little more. However, although it’s an important aspect of your cybersecurity, there’s more to cybersecurity than simply turning off your cameras. For instance, we’ve covered various aspects of security you shouldn't take for granted in any case. Give it a read and see if you're following any privacy-sabotaging practices.

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