How to Activate a Laptop Webcam

By Greyson Ferguson

Updated September 28, 2017

Video chat with your laptop's built-in webcam.
i beauty girl look in webcamera isolated over white background image by Anatoly Tiplyashin from

Most newer laptop computers feature a webcam built directly into the monitor of the system. This allows for easy web conferencing and web-casting on the laptop. However, before you are able to do anything with the laptop's webcam, you must activate the camera in the program. Although there are dozens of different programs that support web cameras and video conferencing, most follow the same basic procedures for activating the web camera.

Install any drivers required for the laptop's webcam. Although the laptop should already have all the required drivers installed, it is possible that it will require an updated driver from time to time. These are listed under the "Support" feature of the laptop's manufacturing page (once there, select "Drivers" and choose the model of laptop you are using).

Launch the program in which you intend to use the laptop webcam. It is often used in instant messenger programs, such as AIM and Skype.

Look over the list of individuals available to chat. For some programs, a video icon appears next to an individual's name who has the ability to video chat. If a video camera is present, click the icon, and a video chat window will appear. If the program (such as AIM) does not offer this icon, right-click the chat buddy and choose "Video." A video request will be sent to the other individual. Once the individual accepts the request, a new window will appear on the screen. It will feature the video content of his web camera.