How to find out which app is using the webcam in Windows

Imagine you are working on your laptop and you suddenly find that your web camera light is flickering. Wouldn’t you like to find out and know which app is using your webcam? It could be a legit software like Skype, or it could be malware – and so it is important that you investigate this further, especially if this happens more than once! In this post, we will see how to find out which app is using your webcam in Windows 10/8/7 & how you can choose the apps that can use or access your camera.

Read: Am I being watched through my computer.

Which app is using the web camera

On your Windows 10 computer, from the WinX Menu, open Device Manager and identify the web camera device of your system. You will have to expand Imaging devices. On my laptop, under  I see an entry Integrated Webcam. Double-click on it to open its Properties box. Now under the Details tab, see the Property for Physical Device Object name. In my case, it is \Device\0000004a.

Which app is using the web camera

Right-click on it and select Copy.

Now download Process Explorer from Microsoft Sysinternals. This free portable tool tells you which program has a which file, process or directory open along with information about which handles and DLLs processes have opened or loaded because of it.

Once the tool is open, press Ctrl+F to open its Search box, and paste the copied text here and click on Search.

The tool will search all your running processes and see which of them is using this handle, and list the process here.

Which app is using the webcam

Once you have identified the process that is using your webcam, you may right-click on it and select Kill Process. if you do not want that tool to use the webcam.

If you suspect malware, run your antivirus software scan.

TIP: Prevent Webcam Hacking attacks with Who Stalks My Cam software.

Choose which Apps can use my web camera in Windows 10

Using Windows 10 Settings, you can manage and choose the Apps that can have access to your webcam and use your camera. From the WinX Menu, open Setting > privacy > Camera. Here you will see the list of apps that have access to your webcam.

Choose which Apps can use my web camera

Here you may simply toggle the Let apps use my camera switch to the Off position to deny webcam access to all apps or you may individuallt toggle the switch to the Off or On position to stop or give access to your camera for each app. In this way, you will be able to manage which apps can use your web camera.

These days, using Remote Access Technology (RAT), hackers can compromise your system and watch you, monitor your activities and even record your actions, using your own webcam!  So, if you are one, who never uses the webcam and who fears being watched or monitored, using it, you may want to disable the webcam. You can of course always enable it again anytime in the future, should the need arise.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.