Device control

How to disable camera on Windows 10

Windows 10 now lets you enable or disable cameras through the Settings app, and here's how.

Windows 10 enable and disable cameras

On Windows 10, the Settings app now includes a “Cameras” page that allows you to disable or enable webcams as well as network cameras, and in this guide, you will learn how to complete these tasks.

Starting with build 21354, Windows 10 introduces a new “Cameras” page in the “Devices” section settings to manage all sorts of cameras (USB, built-in, and network cameras). Although you can restrict app access to these devices using the Privacy settings, the new integration allows you to disable them entirely to improve your privacy easily.

Also, there is a new configuration page to adjust various settings, including the backlight that causes shadows on your face. And you can even adjust brightness and contrast, enable Video HDR or Eye Contact, or correct the camera rotation.

In this guide, you will learn the steps to disable or enable cameras on Windows 10 build 21354 or higher. In addition, we also outline the steps to perform the same tasks with the legacy option (Device Manager).

Disable camera using Settings

To disable a webcam or network camera, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 10.

  2. Click on Devices.

  3. Click on Cameras.

  4. Select the camera and click the Disable option.

    Disable camera option
    Disable camera option
  5. Click the Yes button.

Once you complete the steps, the camera will continue to be present, but it won’t be active or available for any application.

Disable camera using Device Manager

To disable a camera through Device Manager, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Device Manager and click the top result to open the app.

  3. Double-click the “Imaging devices” branch to expand it.

  4. Right-click the camera and select the Disable device option.

    Device Manager disable camera option
    Device Manager disable camera option
  5. Click the Yes button.

After you complete the steps, the network camera or webcam will no longer be available for applications.

Enable camera using Settings

To enable a webcam or network camera, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Devices.

  3. Click on Cameras.

  4. Select the camera and click the Enable option.

    Settings enable camera option
    Settings enable camera option

Once you complete the steps, the camera will be available for all applications.

Enable camera using Device Manager

To enable a camera with Device Manager, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Device Manager and click the top result to open the app.

  3. Double-click the “Imaging devices” branch to expand it.

  4. Right-click the camera and select the Enable device option.

    Device Manager enable camera option
    Device Manager enable camera option
  5. Click the Yes button.

After you complete the steps, the webcam or IP camera will once again be available on Windows 10.

If the option is not available in the Settings app, it is because you are not running the version of Windows 10 that supports this feature. The Cameras page is available starting with build 21354, which at the time of writing is the latest version in the Dev Channel. You can determine the version running on your device with these steps.