Laptops without a webcam are rare devices, especially in a post-pandemic world, where remote work is a new norm. Almost every device we use nowadays has a webcam, and the rise of hackers, security issues, and other privacy nightmares fuels customers’ fears of being watched through their devices. Therefore, many users want to know how to disable camera in Windows 10 and 11 to improve their security and privacy. This article will explain everything you need to know.
There are two options for those wanting to be 100% no one is watching them: disconnect your webcam from your computer (if you have an externally mounted webcam connected via a USB cable) or use a physical shutter. Fortunately, many laptops and tablets feature built-in shutters, so you do not have to purchase third-party accessories or duct tape your device. Alternatively, you can disable camera in Windows 10 and 11 using software tricks. However, this method is not 100% safe.
Tip. Some computers have physical kill switches for wireless and camera, and those toggles can cut off the power supply to the network card and webcam. Check your user manual or look at the corresponding indicators on the F1-F12 key row.
Finally, more advanced and expensive cameras have dedicated software for managing different options, updating firmware, and more. Most of them allow you to turn the camera on or off. Refer to your camera’s user manual for more information.
Disable Camera in Windows 10
- Go to Settings and open Privacy > Camera.
- Click the Change button in the Allow access to the camera on this device section. Here you can prevent the operating system and its apps from using your webcam. Windows allows cutting off the camera globally or per app.
- Toggle off Camera access on this device.
- Alternatively, disable the Allow apps to access your camera option.
If you want to disable camera in Windows 10 for a specific app, locate it in the Choose which Microsoft Store apps can access your camera list and toggle it off. Note that classic win32 applications might not appear in that list.
Here is another way to turn off camera in Windows 10:
- Press Win + I to open Settings and head to Devices > Bluetooth & other devices.
- Find your webcam in the list of available devices and click it.
- Hit Remove device and confirm it.
Remember that Windows Updates and subsequent restarts might re-enable your camera, and you will have to repeat the steps above to disable camera in Windows 10.
Disable Camera in Windows 10 – Device Manager
You can turn off the camera in Windows 10 inside Device Manager:
- Right-click the Start menu button and select Device Manager.
- Expand the Cameras section, locate your built-in or external camera, and click Disable device.
Finally, if you have an external camera, press Win + R, type control printers, select your webcam, then click Remove device.
How to Turn off Camera in Windows 11?
All the methods above also work in Windows 11. However, there are a few minor differences between the two operating systems. For example, Windows 11 has a brand-new Settings app that can turn off the camera. Here is how you disable camera in Windows 11:
- Hover the cursor over the Start menu button and right-click it. Select Settings.
- Go to the Bluetooth & devices section and click Cameras.
- Select and press your webcam in the Connected cameras list.
- Hit the Disable button to turn off camera in Windows 11.
Windows 11 also allows turning the camera on or off in the privacy settings section:
- Launch the Settings app using any method you prefer. For example, you can do it from the All apps list inside the Start menu.
- Go to the Privacy & security section and click Camera.
- Toggle off the Camera access option. Alternatively, disable camera only for one or several apps you need.
That is how to turn off camera in Windows 10 and 11.