How to Replace a Webcam on a Laptop
By Chelsea Baldwin
Webcams are great tools to use when chatting with friends, colleagues or loved ones separated by long distances. If your webcam breaks, you can replace it instead of buying an external webcam that you have to carry around and remember to attach to your computer every time you want to use it.
Disconnect your computer from all electrical outlets, close all programs, shut it down and remove the battery.
Remove the screws from the bottom of your laptop until you are able to remove the outer casing and set it to the side. Remember where each individual screw belongs because not all tin screws are created equal. Try laying out the disassembled elements in a pattern to remember where everything goes.
Remove the motherboard and keyboard if necessary. The goal is to be able to detach the top part of the laptop from the bottom section, and removing these elements may give you the necessary access to do that. Remove these elements by carefully taking out the screws and disconnecting the necessary delicate wires and cables with your fingers. Once again, remember where everything goes so your laptop will work correctly once you reassemble it.
Disconnect the top part of your laptop from the bottom by disconnecting cables that connect to the screen from the motherboard.
Separate the outside casing of the top part of your laptop by using the plastic putty knife to pry it open or by removing more screws.
Locate the webcam and find where it attaches to the rest of the laptop. Remove the old webcam and replace it with the new one in the exact location and placement of the wires. You may have to remove more parts in order to access the entire webcam assembly. Do so carefully.
Reassemble your laptop. Go backwards according to how you disassembled the laptop and according to how you used your pattern to remember the exact placement of each element within your laptop. Make sure every screw, cable and wire is returned to its correct home and that everything fits together properly.
Replace the battery and plug your laptop into a power source. Turn on your computer and check to make sure your new webcam works.
- Make sure the new webcam is exactly the same as your old one. Different laptops are made differently, so a different type of webcam may not fit into or work properly with your computer.
- Don't attempt to do this unless you're very technically savvy. Taking apart your laptop can cause serious harm to your computer. Instead, buy an external webcam you can plug into your laptop via a USB port until you purchase a new laptop or pay to have a professional replace it for you.
Chelsea Baldwin began writing professionally for local newspapers in 2008. She has published articles in “High Country Press” and “Kernersville News.” She also produced newsletters for a local chapter of AIESEC, a global nonprofit organization. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from Appalachian State University.