Your webcam needs to be set up and configured for video calling, so it’s important to test it beforehand, especially if you’re using it for the first time. It can be easily tested with the built-in camera app, but if you’re using a third-party video chat app, it’s best to test the webcam with the same app. This tutorial shows you how to test your webcam in both situations.
How to test your webcam with the Camera app
The built-in camera app is the most convenient way to test webcam and 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 is ok.
- You should also be aware of the many webcam settings that 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 on the installed webcam in the Connected Cameras section.
- Adjust the “Brightness” and “Contrast” by dragging the bar. You can also click the “Video Rotate” option to rotate the camera 90 degrees left or right, or 180 degrees.
- There is also a “Reset default camera settings” option if you want to reset the custom 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 Windows Troubleshooter to automatically detect and fix webcam issues.
For webcam issues or webcam not working, read on to learn how to fix webcam not working on Windows.
Testing your webcam with the built-in camera app is convenient, but if you’re using a third-party video conferencing app, 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) in the upper-right corner of the window.
- On the left side of the newly appeared panel, click Video. If your webcam is working, a small video will appear on the right side of the window.
- You can also watch the video directly on the meeting page. After joining a meeting, click on the “Check audio and video” option. If your camera still doesn’t work, click the red camera icon.
Follow the steps below to check your webcam in Skype.
- Open Skype and click the three dots icon next to your name at the top.
- Select “Settings”.
- Click on the “Audio & Video” option on the left side of the window.
- A video stream from your webcam is displayed on the right side of the Skype window.
These steps will test your webcam for 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 in Slack are as follows:
- Open Slack in your browser.
- Click on your profile icon in the top right corner of the window.
- Select “Settings”.
- Navigate to Audio & Video on the left side of the panel.
- If you can’t see yourself when the webcam starts, your video device is probably not set to the correct webcam.
If you want to test your webcam with Discord, follow the steps below:
- Launch Discord and click Settings (gear icon) at the bottom of the panel.
- Click on “Voice & Video” on the left side.
- Click Test Video.
- Your image should appear on the right side of the window.
Adjust privacy settings in Windows
Testing the webcam is not enough; You’ll also need to adjust the privacy settings. Luckily, Windows is pretty versatile and the operating system has several privacy customization settings.
Webcam privacy settings
Windows has a dedicated privacy and security panel that protects users. Usually this is excellent, but if you don’t adjust it properly, you can have problems with your webcam. It may work for some apps you don’t want to use with it and stop working for the ones you want to use.
Follow the steps below to adjust webcam privacy settings in Windows.
- 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 up to enable or disable the webcam.
- Toggle the “Allow apps to access your camera” option to allow or deny app access to the webcam. Toggle the application options below to allow or deny access to these apps.
Browser privacy settings
In the browser privacy settings you can prevent access to the microphone and camera for websites that do not have permission. The permission popup is different for each browser. If you don’t see a pop-up, you should check the privacy settings for your web browser.
To access browser privacy settings, click the three dots or three dashes icon in the upper-right corner of the browser window to open 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 webcam lens could either have dust or a smudge that is causing the blur. You should clean the webcam lens with a dry cloth to see if that helps with the blur.
How can I manually adjust the focus of my webcam?
There should be a plastic manual focus ring on the outer edge of your webcam housing. You can adjust the focus by rotating it, but this feature is only available on select webcams. The manual focus ring is available on high-end webcams and some mid-range webcams.
Why does my 1080p webcam look so grainy?
If some webcam settings are enabled, the video will look grainy. Disable the “Right Light” or “Low Light Compensation” option in the webcam settings, as these features brighten the video too much and put extra strain on the camera, resulting in a grainy look.
Photo credit: Pixabay. All screenshots by Saurav Dey & Alexandra Arici
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