Windows 10 – How to completely disable your webcam camera

If you have an integrated camera on your Windows 10 computer, such as on a laptop computer, you may be wondering how to completely disable it.

The good news is you can completely disable your camera without any special software – all you need to do is to disable the device in the ‘Device Manager’.

With the device disabled Windows (and all applications) will not be able to use your camera. You can then repeat the process to enable it again if you later need to use the camera.

How to disable your integrated web camera using the device manager

Please note: you will need administrator access on the computer to use the device manager.

  1. Using your keyboard, press the Windows button + R to open the Run window
  2. Under ‘Open’ type devmgmt.msc and click ‘OK’
  3. Windows10-DisableDevice1
  4. Expand ‘Imaging devices’ to display your camera. It may be called ‘Integrated Camera’, ‘USB Camera’ or similar.
  5. Right-click on the device and choose ‘Disable’
  6. Click ‘OK’ to confirm.
  7. Windows10-DisableDevice2
  8. The camera is now disabled – Windows and applications will not be able to use the device.
  9. To re-enable it, repeat the process and choose ‘Enable’

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10 comments on “Windows 10 – How to completely disable your webcam camera

  1. Hello,
    When I follow your steps and right click the camera sign, the two options that I get are Scan for hardware changes and Properties. Neither allow me to turn off the camera light. What should I do? Thank you.

  2. please, i disabled a mic from my webcam now i cant turn it back on !! it cost a lot of money my grandparents bought me it and i dont know how please

  3. You could do the same with Windows 7, XP, and so on. This idea is mot new.

    Honestly disabling the camera by disabling it in device manager only prevents “honest apps” from using it. I could still write malware that can access it if I felt so inclined to do so.

    I have no reason to want a web cam on my computer. Nail polish does a good job of disabling a web camera. I also disable it in BIOS, or disconnect the cable from the motherboard if it is accessable.

    1. You’re right, disabling in the device manager is truly completely disabled. But for an application to re-enable it the application would need elevated rights. I would say 99% of users allow any application elevated rights without considering if or why it needs it. I suppose disabling the device in the device manager would be more useful for a fleet of computers with non-local administrator users. +1 for disconnecting the ribbon cable – that’s hard core effort factor !

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