How to Turn on the Camera on an Apple Computer

by Julius Vandersteen
Launch a photo or video application to activate the Mac’s built-in camera.

Launch a photo or video application to activate the Mac’s built-in camera.

All new iMac desktop computers and MacBook Pro and MacBook Air laptops come with a built-in FaceTime HD camera, which you can use to shoot pictures and videos and make free video calls over the Internet. The camera’s lens is located above the screen. It does not have a physical switch to turn it on and off. Instead, the camera turns on automatically when you launch an application that uses the camera. To turn off the Mac’s camera, quit the application that’s using it.

1

Click “Launchpad” on the Dock of your Mac and then click “Photo Booth” to launch Apple’s native application for shooting pictures and videos. The built-in camera turns on, and its light glows, indicating that it is activated. Click the square icon to set the camera to shoot pictures or click the movie frame icon to set the camera to shoot video. Click the red recording button to take a picture or start shooting a video.

2

Click “Launchpad” and then click “iWeb” when you want to use the camera to add a photo or video to your iWeb website project. Click the thumbnail of the page to which you want to add an image or video. Click the “Show Media” button, and then click “Widgets.” Drag the “FaceTime Photo” widget onto the page and then click the camera icon on the page to shoot a picture. The camera activates, and you will see a three-second countdown before it shoots a picture. Drag the “FaceTime Video” widget to the page and then click the camera icon when you want to shoot a video for your website. After a three-second countdown, the camera starts shooting a video.

3

Click “Launchpad” and then click “Messages.” The Messages app enables you to exchange text messages with people using Macs and Apple portable devices such as the iPhone and iPad. The Messages application also enables you to make video calls. Click the “FaceTime” button in Messages to launch Apple’s native application for making free video calls over the Internet. The built-in camera turns on automatically. Click the name of a person in your contacts to begin a video call.

4

Click “Launchpad” and then click “iMovie” when you want to use the camera to shoot videos to use in an iMovie project. Click “File” from the iMovie application menu and then click “Import from Camera.” The built-in camera turns on. Click “Capture” to begin recording a movie.

About the Author

Julius Vandersteen has been a freelance writer since 1999. His work has appeared in “The Los Angeles Times,” “Wired” and “S.F. Weekly.” Vandersteen has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from San Francisco State University.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Brian Kersey/Getty Images News/Getty Images