How to turn on the camera on your Windows 10 computer, or troubleshoot if it won’t turn on



a screen shot of an open laptop computer sitting on top of a table: It's easy to turn on the camera on a Windows 10 computer. Crystal Cox/Business Insider


© Crystal Cox/Business Insider
It’s easy to turn on the camera on a Windows 10 computer. Crystal Cox/Business Insider

  • You can turn on the camera on your Windows computer immediately using the built-in Camera app.
  • If the camera on your PC isn’t working, it might not be enabled, or might not be turned on.
  • If you’re using an external webcam, you might also need to install software or updates for it.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

When it’s working properly, Windows 10’s Camera app is extremely easy to use on both laptops and desktops. 

But sometimes the Camera might not work as expected. Here’s how to turn on your camera in Windows 10, and what to do if you run into any issues.

How to turn on your camera in Windows 10

1. Click the search bar or magnifying glass icon in the bottom-left corner of the screen. If you don’t have the search bar enabled, right-click the taskbar, select “Search,” and then click “Show search box” or “Show search icon.”

2. Search for “Camera” and click the Camera app when it appears in the results.

Once the Camera app opens, your computer’s camera should turn on automatically.



a person in glasses looking at the screen of a cell phone: The Camera app lets you take photos and videos. Chrissy Montelli/Business Insider


© Chrissy Montelli/Business Insider
The Camera app lets you take photos and videos. Chrissy Montelli/Business Insider

However, the Camera app isn’t the only program that you might want to use the camera in. To fully enable your camera for use in other programs:

1. Click on the Start button, then click on “Settings.” 



a screen shot of a computer: Open your computer's settings. Chrissy Montelli/Business Insider


© Chrissy Montelli/Business Insider
Open your computer’s settings. Chrissy Montelli/Business Insider


2. In the window that appears, scroll down to “Privacy” and click on it.


graphical user interface, application: Select the "Privacy" option. Chrissy Montelli/Business Insider


© Chrissy Montelli/Business Insider
Select the “Privacy” option. Chrissy Montelli/Business Insider

3. On the left side of the menu, scroll