Your webcam needs to be set up and configured for video calls, 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’re using a third-party video-chatting application, 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
The built-in camera app is the most convenient method to test the webcam and is easy to use. Follow the instructions below to test your webcam:
- Click the “Start” button and type “Camera.”
- Select the “Camera” app.
- You should immediately see the video from the camera if everything’s in proper working order.
- You should also be aware of the many webcam settings that will help you configure the webcam. Press Win + I to open “Settings.”
- Navigate to “Bluetooth & devices” and click “Cameras” on the right side of the panel.
- Click the installed webcam located under the “Connected Cameras” section.
- Adjust the “Brightness” and the “Contrast” by dragging the bar. You can also click the “Video Rotation” option to rotate the camera 90 degrees to the left or right or 180 degrees.
- There is also a “Reset Default Camera Settings” option if you want to reset the customized webcam settings.
- Clicking 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 detect and fix webcam problems automatically.
For webcam-related issues or a non-working webcam, 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 are using a third-party app for videoconferencing, it’s best to test the webcam with that app.
1. Google Meet
Follow these steps to test your new webcam with Google Meet.
- Open Google Meet in your browser.
- Click Settings (gear icon) at the top-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 in working order.
- You can also check the video directly on the meeting page. After joining a meeting, click the “Check Your Audio and Video” option. If your camera is still not working, try clicking the red camera icon.
Follow the steps below to check your webcam on Skype.
- Open “Skype” and click the three-dot icon beside your name at the top.
- Choose “Settings.”
- Click the “Audio & Video” option on the left side of the window.
- A video stream 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 top-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 top-right corner of the window.
- Select “Preferences.”
- Navigate to “Audio & video” on the left side of the panel.
- If you are not able to see yourself with the launch of the webcam, your video device is probably not set to the right webcam.
If you want to test your webcam with Discord, follow the steps below:
- Launch “Discord” and click Settings (gear icon) near the bottom of the panel.
- Click “Voice & 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. Thankfully, Windows is pretty versatile, and the OS has multiple customization settings dedicated to privacy.
Webcam Privacy Settings
Windows has a dedicated Privacy and Security section that protects users. Usually, this is excellent, but if you don’t customize it properly, you may have trouble with your webcam. It may start working for some apps you don’t want to use it with it and stop working for those you do want to use with it.
To customize webcam privacy settings in Windows, follow the steps below.
- Press Win + I to open “Settings.”
- Navigate to “Privacy & Security” and click “Camera” on the right side of the panel.
- Toggle the “Camera Access” option toward the top to activate or deactivate the webcam.
- Toggle the “Let Apps Access Your Camera” option to allow or deny the app access to the webcam. Toggle the application options below to allow or deny access to those apps.
Browser Privacy Settings
In the browser privacy settings, you can prevent access to the microphone and camera for websites that don’t have permission. The permission pop-up is different for each browser. If you do not see a pop-up, you may want to check the privacy settings for your web browser.
To access the browser privacy settings, click the icon that is either three dots or three lines at the top-right corner of the browser window to open the 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 lens of the webcam could either have dust or a smudge on it, causing the blurriness. You should clean the lens of the webcam with a dry cloth to see if that helps with the blurriness.
How can I manually adjust my webcam focus?
There should be a plastic manual focus ring on the outer rim of your webcam casing. It allows you to adjust the focus by turning it, but this feature is only available on select webcams. The manual focus ring is available on high-end webcams and a few mid-range ones.
Why does my 1080p webcam look so grainy?
When some webcam settings are turned on, they will make the video look grainy. Turn off 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, leading to the grainy look.
Image credit: Pixabay. All screenshots by Saurav Dey & Alexandra Arici
Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox