How to Detect a Webcam

By Richard Bashara

You can use a variety of free programs to chat and hold meetings with your webcam.
i NA/ Images

Webcams can be useful tools in running a small business. Using a webcam to hold remote meetings or conduct sales webinars connects customers worldwide. Many modern computers have webcams built in from the moment you unbox them. Using the software that came with your webcam, usually found on the CD packaged with your laptop, you can also alter how your camera detects light and sound. Getting Windows to detect your webcam involves checking your Devices from the Control Panel, but you can be up and running conference calls within minutes.

Check your laptop’s manual to find the hotkey that activates your webcam. Some laptops also have hardware buttons just above your number keys. If your webcam is external, plug the USB cord into your computer.

Visit the website of the manufacturer for your webcam and download the latest drivers.

Run the installation program from the manufacturer and launch the application to test your webcam functionality. Take pictures and record and save video. Review the video for quality and make adjustments based on lighting, saturation and contrast. When you are finished, shut down the program.

Open your Start menu and click “Devices and Printers.”

Navigate to your webcam and right-click on it. Select “Properties” to review the status of your hardware. Windows will tell you that the device is working properly, and you may begin to use your webcam for video conferencing, video blogging and more.


You can also use Skype to detect your webcam by going into your “Tools” menu and clicking on “Options.” Click “Video Settings” and your webcam should automatically power on.

Be sure to position yourself in an area with proper lighting. Make adjustments to colors and contrast within your webcam software so the changes will be reflected globally in each application you use.

Keep your camera on a flat service to avoid unnecessary motion blurring, and try to connect with the fastest possible Internet connection to ensure your video isn’t transmitted with a choppy framerate.


If your webcam is built into your laptop, it may be listed under the hardware inside your laptop. Navigate to your laptop device and right-click “Properties.” Select the “Hardware” tab and scroll through the list of hardware until you find your webcam. Double-click the device to open the status menu.