How to Use a Webcam for Yahoo Messenger

by Michelle Varsallona
webcam image by Régis Verger from

Using your webcam to chat in Yahoo! Messenger, also known as “Video Calling,” is one of the ways you can enhance a conversation with a friend or family member. A “Video Call” allows you to broadcast your live webcam with someone in a personal conversation, and if a microphone is enabled, the person on the other end will be able to hear you speak as well.

Making a Video Call

Step 1

Install your webcam, if needed (some laptops come with a built-in cam). Webcams usually are USB-based, so when you plug it in to your computer the drivers should automatically install.

Step 2

Open and log into your Yahoo! Messenger program.

Step 3

Click “Actions” from the toolbar and select “Start Video Call.” Alternatively, you can click “Video Call” while in a messaging window or right-click a contact’s name and select “Start Video Call.”

Step 4

Select a friend from “My Contacts” or open the “Other Contact” tab and enter a contact’s username/email.

Step 5

Click “OK.” The recipient will receive a video call request. If the person accepts it, then you will see a video of yourself appear on your screen.

Click “End Call” to complete the call.

During an Instant Messaging Session

Step 1

Install your webcam.

Step 2

Open and log into Messenger.

Step 3

Click the "Messenger" file menu, selected "Preferences," then click "Video and Voice Settings."

Step 4

Select your webcam in the dropdown menu for "Select your video device." Save your settings, then exit out of the preferences.

Click the "Messenger" file again, then select "My Webcam." Your webcam will now be active, and you can invite friends to watch it.


Photo Credits

About the Author

Michelle Varsallona started writing professionally in 2009. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. She specializes in writing about all things mobile, gaming, geek-culture and vegan related.

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