How to use phone camera as webcam on Windows 11

Windows 11 now lets you connect and use the camera on your phone as a wireless webcam.

Windows 11 connect phone camera
Windows 11 connect phone camera / Image: Mauro Huculak
  • To connect the Android phone camera to Windows 11, open Settings > Bluetooth & devices > Mobile devices, turn on “Allow this PC to access your mobile devices,” click “Manage devices,” click “Add devices,” connect your phone using the “Link to Windows” app on your Android phone, and turn on “Use a connected camera.”
  • You must run the latest Insider preview build of Windows 11 and have the “Link to Windows” app version 1.24012* or higher. 
  • Microsoft is also gradually rolling out this feature, meaning that not everyone will get it immediately.

On Windows 11, you can connect your Android mobile phone (or tablet) camera to your computer and then use it as a native wireless webcam. The new experience is possible through the “Mobile devices” feature and the “Link to Windows” apps for Android devices. These apps allow you to access the high-quality camera on your mobile device wirelessly. You can even switch between the front and back cameras and pause the stream. If available, you can even use the camera’s HDR capabilities on Windows 11.

At the time of this writing, the feature is available as a preview in every channel of the Windows Insider Program. You will need an Android phone or tablet running version 9 or higher. The mobile device will also need the Link to Windows app version 1.24012* or higher, which may require you to sign up for the beta version of the app. 

In this guide, I will show you the steps to set up your Android mobile device camera as a webcam for Windows 11.

Connect mobile phone camera to Windows 11

To use your Android phone or tablet camera as a webcam on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 11.

  2. Click on Bluetooth & devices.

  3. Click the Mobile devices page.

  4. Turn on the “Allow this PC to access your mobile devices” toggle switch.

  5. Click the Manage devices button.

    Enable mobile devices feature

    Quick note: If this is the first time setting up the feature, click the “Install” button to download the required components.
  6. Click the Add device button from the “Manage mobile devices” app.

  7. Scan the barcode with your Android phone and complete the connection.

    Windows 11 link phone barcode

    Quick tip: You must install the Link to Windows app on your phone and ensure you’re signed in with the Microsoft account associated with your Windows 11 installation. You can find the option to join the beta program on the app download page from the Google Play Store.
  8. Turn on the phone toggle switch (if applicable).

  9. Turn on the “Use a connected camera” toggle switch (if applicable).

    Enable Use as a connected camera option

  10. (Optional) Click the Cameras page from the “Bluetooth & devices” section.

  11. Click on the “Windows Virtual Camera” setting under the “Connected cameras” section.

    Windows 11 Cameras settings

  12. Confirm the camera is working. 

    Windows 11 mobile camera preview

Once you complete the steps, you can wirelessly access your phone’s camera from any application (such as Camera, WhatsApp, Zoom, etc.) from your Windows 11 computer.

Furthermore, when using this feature, you can switch between the front and back cameras from your phone or the desktop interface, and the experience allows you to pause the stream as necessary.

Windows 11 virtual camera settings
Windows 11 virtual camera settings

Things you need to know when using this feature:

  • The virtual camera should appear automatically on apps with webcam access.
  • The system may also show a prompt to allow access by clicking the “Continue” button.
  • If the camera isn’t working, use the “Cameras” settings to troubleshoot the problem.
  • If you already have a webcam, disconnect it to test your mobile phone camera on Windows 11.
  • You will need an Android phone or tablet running version 9 or higher release of the mobile operating system.
  • This feature works with this “Link to Windows” app version 1.24012* or higher release.
  • Check the permissions on your phone to make sure they allow access to the camera. 
  • Microsoft is gradually rolling out this feature, so even if you have all the updates, it may take some time to use the feature.

I have tried this feature on Windows 11 with my Android Pixel 8 Pro, and it works flawlessly. Furthermore, I’m actually impressed with the image quality, considering this happens through a wireless connection. 

Have you tried this feature on Windows 11? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Update April 6, 2024: This guide has been updated to ensure accuracy and reflect changes to the process.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 15 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 21 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].