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 camera or 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 11/10/8/7 & how you can choose the apps that can use or access your camera.
How do I find out what application is using my webcam?
To find out which application is allowed to use your webcam in Windows 11, you need to take the help of Windows Settings. For that, press Win+I to open Windows Settings and switch to the Privacy & security tab. Here you can find a heading called Let apps access your camera. Under this heading, you can find all the apps that have camera access. If you want to prevent an app from using your camera, you need to toggle the corresponding button to turn it off.
Read: Am I being watched through my computer.
Which app is using the web camera
To find out which app is currently using your webcam or camera:
- Open Windows Settings
- Click Privacy and security
- Select Camera setting from the left side
- Here you will see the date when the webcam was last accessed.
- You will also see Currently in use displayed below the app that is presently using your webcam.
There is another way.
On your Windows 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 it, 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.
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.
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 11/10
To choose apps that can use your web camera in Windows 11, follow these steps:
- Press Win+I to open Windows Settings.
- Go to Privacy & security settings page on the left side.
- Find out the Let apps access your camera heading.
- Toggle the corresponding button to turn on or off camera access.
However, if you are using Windows 10, follow these steps:
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.
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 individually 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.
Why is my camera being used by another application?
If you turn on the camera access on Windows 11 or Windows 10, any app can use the integrated or external webcam without further permission. However, you can block any particular app from using the camera on your computer. For that, you need to follow the aforementioned steps minutely.
Read: How to know which app is using Mic or Location on Windows 11.