How to Activate a Webcam on Skype

by Paul Betters

With Skype, you can video chat over the Internet for free. Of course, to video chat, you need a computer-compatible video camera, commonly known as a webcam.

Attaching your webcam - if it is not already built in to your computer -- will differ depending on what kind of camera you have, but setting up the camera to work with Skype is the same for any model.


Attach the webcam to your computer.


Run Skype. Close the Welcome Screen if it pops up.


Open the Tools menu at the top of the window. Click "Options..." to open the Options window.


Click the General button on the left side of the Options window. The button has a light switch icon next to it.


Click Video Settings.


Click the "Select webcam" drop-down menu. You will see a list of available webcams attached to your computer. Select the one you would like to use.


Click the "Webcam settings" button. Adjust the contrast, brightness, and contrast settings to produce a clearer picture.


  • If you are using a built-in laptop webcam, Skype will automatically detect it, without requiring you to attach or plug in anything. Built-in laptop webcams are small, built-in lenses that are usually located right above the monitor screen.

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About the Author

Paul Betters is a freelance writer who is currently working out of Providence, R.I. He has a B.A. in English from the University of Rhode Island and has been writing instructional articles since April of 2009, specializing in technology.

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