How do I activate the camera on my laptop?

If you’re just getting to grips with your laptop, then there will likely be things that you’re not quite sure how to do. As more and more of us will be working from home in the near future, it’s important that we prepare ourself to know how to do things properly. One of these things is likely going to be video-calling.

A common question people have is how can they activate the camera on their laptop. Can you only do this via another app, or is there an easier way for you to do this? Well, let’s take a quick look and find out.

How do I activate the camera on my laptop

If you’re simply trying to activate the camera on your laptop, then all you need to do is type camera into the Windows search bar to do this. Or, you could head into Settings, then Privacy. Here, you can easily activate the camera on your laptop.

If you want to activate the camera for a Macbook, then all you need to do is open any app that uses a camera. You can do this by opening up Facetime, or Skype if you have that installed too. This will activate the camera on your laptop.

What you may be referring to if you are looking for the way to activate the camera on your laptop is actually allowing the apps to access the camera in the first place. If this is your problem, then there is a simple way that you can do this.

How to let apps access your camera – Windows

  1. Check your drivers are updated – Before going through this process, it’s important that you check your drivers are updated first. The fact is that the last update might be the reason why you can’t access your camera, so make sure that your drivers are all updated and installed properly.
  2. Go To Settings – The next step that you need to take to check if your camera is giving apps access to it is to head into your settings. This is where you’re going to find all the things you need to check your camera is activated.
  3. Go To Privacy – From here, you’re going to want to click into privacy. This is where you’ll find your camera.
  4. Enable and disable – Now, you can see your camera and which apps are allowed to access it. You can easily enable and disable the apps that you want, or don’t want, to give access to your camera.

As you can see, things are pretty straightforward and it isn’t too difficult for you to ensure that the apps you want to have access, can access your camera.

How to let apps access your camera – Macbook

  1. System Preferences – As with most things on your Macbook, the first thing that you’re going to want to do is go to the Apple icon in the corner. From here, you can go through to system preferences.
  2. Privacy – When you’ve clicked into System Preferences, then you’ll need to click through into Security and privacy, and then through to just privacy.
  3. Camera – The Macbook is pretty straightforward. When you’re in Privacy, click on the Camera icon.
  4. Toggle – Now, you can see the apps that you have installed on your Macbook, and you can decide which ones you want to give access to your camera.


All in all, it is quite simple to turn the camera on on your laptop, whether you’ve got a Windows laptop or a Macbook. You can easily do this through the settings, even if you just want to check how you look on the camera.

Making sure the camera is working on your laptop is important, no matter what your occupation is. If you’re a teacher, then check out our guide to laptops – the camera on your laptop is important now more than ever. And, it’s easy to configure your camera too.

About Jon

Hey, I'm Jon. I'm an engineer by trade, so it makes sense that I'm obsessed with anything technology related! On the weekends, you can find me playing around with my computers or fixing something around the house. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to get in touch.

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