How to Turn on the Webcam on a Dell Inspiron

By Chad Anderson

Almost all modern laptops come with a built in webcam for use in video chatting or a photo booth-like application. Additionally, most modern laptops come with a set of hotkeys including one that enables and disables the webcam. This is both a security precaution, to keep malicious software from enabling the camera without your permission, and as a convenience for turning a camera on and off during a video chat. However, not all Dell Inspiron laptops come with this convenient key combination and enabling the webcam through the hardware menu is required.

Click the "Start" button in the lower-left portion of the screen, then click the "Control Panel" to open up your system's configuration menu. Double-click the "System and Maintenance" icon.

Click the "Device Manager" to bring up a dialog containing your computer's connected peripherals and devices. If you are not currently logged in as an Administrator, enter the Administrator password before continuing; otherwise you will not be able to make any changes.

Right-click the webcam in the list -- sometimes, it's contained under the "Imaging Device" subsection -- then click the "Enable" option in the context menu.