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Windows 10: how to turn off the webcam

Do you want to disable the webcam on Windows 10? What if we told you that you can do it in a few clicks, without using tape, or any other physical device? In this quick tutorial we will show you how to effectively deactivate your webcam via the control panel to avoid any risk of it being used to capture images without your knowledge.

Disable webcam on Windows 10

The webcams are very useful for communicating in video conversation. But without falling into paranoia, they can also turn against their owners: webcam hacking develops and can have quite terrifying consequences when one is victim of it. Cases of extortion have been reported, or quite simply of diffusion of the video stream without the victims' on Youtube. So much so that in recent years we have seen several executives and bosses of big companies like Mark Zuckerberg and ex-FBI boss James Comey physically hide the webcam of their laptop using a piece of tape. The FBI also advises to hide his webcam in this way.

This solution has the advantage of being simple, and of an unstoppable effectiveness – but it still has a rather annoying drawback: it permanently stains your lens with a mixture of dust and glue residue. And the tape ends up over time no longer sticking at all. So of course there are other cleaner devices to put this place. We offer you another method: it is not 100% foolproof, but it already reduces the risk of being hacked.

How to disable the webcam directly in Windows 10

For this it is very simple:

  • On your PC press the keys simultaneously Win + R
  • typedevmgmt.mscthenEnter
  • The Device manager opens: look for a name webcam, Camra video,Video input device, or similar – it depends on your Windows version and the webcam driver
  • Click on it to see the devices; you should then see the name and brand of your webcam or default a generic name
  • Right click on it
  • Click on Disable device

The device is then tinted by the operating system. It is possible to reactivate it by following the same path, and by choosing Activate the device.

Is it as secure as a piece of tape?

Yes and no. As far as the operating system is concerned, no webcam is available anymore and cannot be activated by an application. However, specialized malware can very well launch a search for USB devices and try to force the activation of the webcam with its own drivers to capture its stream. In other words, there is a gain in terms of security to deactivate your webcam via the Control panel, but this one is not completely absolute, especially if the pirates who target you can afford it …

Read also: He spies on 150 young women via their webcam and cope with 18 months in prison

Conclusion: it all depends on your case

Either solution is appropriate depending on the case:

  • Aren't you using the webcam? Just unplug it, it's an unnecessary risk
  • Can't physically plug in the webcam or often use apps like Skype? Invest in a cache

What method do you prefer to make your webcam inoperative when you are not using it? Share your tips in the comments of this article.