How to Take Pictures With a Built-in Laptop Webcam

By Mark Slingo

Updated September 28, 2017

Webcams come built into many laptops nowadays.
i spy camera image by dinostock from

Many laptop computers come with a built-in webcam. These enable users to take photographs and save them directly to the hard drive of the computer where they can be edited, optimized and displayed. This is a useful application for taking quick identification photographs or profile photos for online applications.

On a Windows PC

Open the "My Computer" folder by double clicking on the desktop icon or accessing it from the "Start" menu.

Click on "USB Video Device" in the "Cameras and Scanners" section. A window will open showing you the camera view.

Adjust the camera angle and direction. Some webcams allow a full rotation in their attachment to the laptop, while others face only in the same direction as the screen.

Take a picture. In the "Camera Tasks" sidebar, click on "Take a new picture." Allow for a time delay of a few seconds while posing for the picture. The picture will then be displayed for you to examine.

On a Mac

Open the "Photo Booth" application. This can be found in the applications folder in the finder menu.

Adjust the webcam direction on your laptop by moving the screen up and down and rotating the laptop. What the camera sees is displayed on the laptop screen in the Photo Booth application.

Take the photo. Click on the red camera icon at the base of the screen. A "3, 2, 1" countdown begins and the picture is taken.