Overview – Disable Camera in Windows
In this era of massive digitalization, it seems that you’re cautious about your online security and privacy. There are a surprising number of ways to hack into a computer. This may be done without the user’s awareness, allowing the hacker to snoop on them or even take photos and videos of them (also called Eavesdropping). While there is no perfect way to prevent your computer from being hacked, you may take certain actions to make it more difficult for someone to access your camera. Black Hat Hackers have been known to grab footage from the webcams, resulting in privacy breaches which is one of the major reasons why you should turn off the webcam, especially when it’s not in use.
By the end of this article, you’ll be able to block the built-in web camera or any external camera connected to your computer:
1. Disable Camera using Windows Settings
Step 1: Open the Windows Settings from the Start menu or press the “Windows Logo Key + I” key combination on the keyboard.
Step 2: Select the “Apps” tab from the sidebar and click the “Apps & Features” option on the right pane.
Step 3: Scroll and you’ll find the Camera option, click the three dots menu and select the “Advanced Options” button.
Step 4: In this App permission section, toggle off the Camera and set the background apps permissions option to “Never”.
2. Disable Camera using Group Policy Editor
Step 1: In the Start menu, type: Edit Group Policy or press the “Windows Logo Key + R” key combination to open the Windows Run, type: gpedit.msc and hit the enter key.
Step 2: Navigate to the following path:
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Camera and double-click the “Allow Use of Camera” option on the right pane.
Step 3: Select the “Disabled” option to disable access to the camera and press the “Apply” button.
3. Disable Camera using Device Manager
Step 1: Open the “Device Manager” from the Start Menu.
Step 2: Expand the “Imaging Devices” section, right-click the “Integrated Camera” option select the “Disable Driver” button.
Step 3: You’ll receive a warning stating the following message:
“Disabling this device will cause it to stop functioning. Do you really want to disable it?”. Simply press the “Yes” button to skip the warning.
NOTE: To re-enable the Webcam on the computer, simply right-click the integrated camera and press the ‘Enable’ button.
We’ve discussed why you should disable the webcam on your computer. The webcam can be a source of distraction for people who are not aware of the potential surveillance by black hat hackers. This is why it’s important to turn off or move your laptop’s camera so that it’s no longer facing you, and also disable its use from within your operating system. For these reasons, It is best to keep the webcam turned off until required.
Further, configure your computer’s settings by following the related articles below.
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Save some of your network bandwidth and data by enabling the Background Intelligent Service in Windows.
Enable/Disable sticky keys in Windows depending on your preference.