How to use the Camera app

If your PC has a built-in camera or a connected webcam, you can use the Camera app to take photos and videos. To find the Camera app, select Start > Camera

Select any heading below. It'll open to show more info about using your camera or webcam. 

To find the Camera app, select Start > Camera. After you open the Camera app:

  1. Select Photo  or Video , then select it again to take a picture or start a video. If you are making a video, select Video  again to finish recording.

  2. To see your new photo or video, or ones you've taken before, select Start  > Photos   and then choose the Collection you want to see.

To change camera options for your camera, like the framing grid or photo quality, select Start > Camera > Settings .

If your device has more than one camera, like a front-facing and a rear-facing camera, here’s how to switch from one to the other:

Select Start > Camera > Change camera.

In Windows 10 the Camera app doesn't include digital zoom, but you can get an effect similar to zooming if you take a photo and then crop it:

  1. Select Start  > Photos .

  2. Choose the photo you want to crop.

  3. Select Crop & rotate .

  4. Select Aspect ratio  and pick from the preset options or drag the borders where you want them.

  5. Select Save a copy > Save.

You can get the photos and videos you take with the Camera app to automatically save to OneDrive, so you can find them on any of your devices. 

Photos:

  1. In the search box on the task bar, type File explorer and then select Open.

  2. Select This PC, right-click on the Pictures folder, and then select Properties.

  3. Select the Location tab, and then select Move.

  4. Select OneDrive > Select Folder > Move.

Videos:

  1. In the search box on the task bar, type File Explorer and then select Open.

  2. Select This PC, right-click on the Videos folder, and then select Properties.

  3. Select the Location tab, and then select Move.

  4. Select OneDrive > Select Folder > Move.

The Camera app can use latitude and longitude info if you take photos from a tablet or camera that uses location info and is connected to the internet or a mobile network. To do this: 

  1. Select Start  > Settings  > Privacy  > Location .

  2. Make sure that the location service is turned on, and then under Choose which apps can access your precise location, turn on Camera.

You can choose which apps use the camera. To block all apps from the camera:

  1. Select Start  > Settings  > Privacy  > Camera .

  2. Turn off Allow apps to access your camera.

To turn on the camera for some apps, and turn it off for others:

  1. Select Start  > Settings  > Privacy  > Camera .

  2. Turn on Allow apps to access your camera.

  3. Toggle the switches to change which apps in this list have camera access turned on or off.

You can turn the camera off completely:

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type device manager, then select Device Manager in the list of results.

  2. Select the arrow next to Cameras to expand the tree.

  3. Right-click the camera you want to turn off.

  4. Select Disable device.

Notes: 

  • To keep the Camera app from using the camera on your device, turn off the camera completely.

  • If you have problems with the Camera app after changing privacy settings, close it, then open it again.

If your built-in camera or connected camera has stopped working, here are some things you can try to get it working again:

  • Disconnect the camera from your PC, then reconnect it.

  • If that doesn't help, there might be a problem with the camera’s drivers. You can install driver updates from your camera's manufacturer, or you can use your PC’s default drivers.

To install updates from the manufacturer: 

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type Device Manager and then select Open.

  2. Select Cameras and then right-click on the webcam that’s having problems.

  3. Select Scan for hardware changes, select the webcam again, and see what’s going on with your webcam in Device status. If it’s not working properly, contact the manufacturer for more info.

  4. Restart your PC.

To install your PC's default drivers: 

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type Device Manager, then select Open.

  2. Select Cameras and then right-click on the camera that’s having problems.

  3. Select Update driver, then choose Search automatically for updated driver software.

  4. When installation is complete, follow the instructions, then select Close.

  5. Restart your PC.

If you don't see your camera in Device Manager, see Camera does not work in Windows 10.

If the suggestions here don't solve your problem, check the Music, photos, and video community page or the Devices & drivers community page in the Windows forum for solutions that other people have found for specific problems with hardware or error messages.

If your PC has a built-in camera or a connected webcam, you can use the Camera app to take photos and videos. To find the Camera app, select Start > Camera

Select any heading below. It'll open to show more info about using your camera or webcam. 

After you open the Camera app, select the left arrow.

You can change some options for your camera in Settings, like showing grid lines to help you compose a photo, or including location info in your photos.

  1. Open the Camera app.

  2. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then select Settings.

  3. Select Options.

  4. Adjust the settings for each option. These might include:

    • Change the photo aspect ratio or video quality.

    • Turn location info on or off.

    • Show or hide grid lines.

    • Turn video stabilization on or off.

    • Turn the microphone on or off.

    • Turn the video lamp on or off.

    • Change what happens when you tap the screen.

If your device has more than one camera, like a front-facing and a rear-facing camera, you can switch cameras before taking a photo or video.

  1. Open the Camera app.

  2. Swipe in from the bottom edge to see the app commands. If you're using a mouse, right-click within the app.

  3. Select Change camera.

If your device has a touchscreen, you can zoom in or out by using two fingers to pinch or stretch the image on your screen.

You can get an effect similar to zooming in if you take a photo and then crop it.

  1. Swipe to the right or select the left arrow to see your recent photos and videos. Keep swiping or clicking the left arrow until you find the photo you want to crop.

  2. Swipe in from the bottom edge to see the app commands. If you're using a mouse, right-click within the app.

  3. Select Crop.

  4. Select Aspect ratio and pick from the preset options or drag the borders where you want them.

  5. Select Apply.

  6. Save the cropped photo. You can update the original photo or save a copy with your changes.

You can get the photos and videos you take with the Camera app to automatically save to OneDrive, where you can get to them from your other devices. You can choose what quality to use when uploading photos too.

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and select Settings > Change PC settings.

  2. Go to OneDrive, and then Camera roll.

  3. Select the settings to use for your photo and video uploads.

If your tablet or camera supports including location info and can connect to the internet or a mobile network when you take the photo, the Camera app can include latitude and longitude info with your photos.

  1. Open the Camera app.

  2. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then select Settings.

  3. Select Options.

  4. Set Location info to On.

Turn the camera off for apps

You can choose to turn off the camera for specific apps while allowing other apps to use it, or you can turn the camera off completely.

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, select Settings > Change PC settings.

  2. Select Privacy > Webcam.

  3. Set Let apps use my webcam to Off or turn it off for specific apps.

Disable the camera

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then select Search.

  2. Type Device Manager in the search box.

  3. Select Device Manager.

  4. Expand Imaging Devices.

  5. Right-click the camera, and then select Disable.

Prevent the camera from being used when your PC is locked

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then select Settings Change PC settings.

  2. Select PC and devices, and then select Lock screen.

  3. Turn off Swipe down on the lock screen to use the camera.

Note: To keep the Camera app from using the camera, turn off the camera completely. Drag the app to the bottom of the screen and hold it there until the app flips over.

If you have problems with the Camera app after changing privacy settings, close it and re-open it.

If you’ve connected a camera to your PC and the camera stops working, here are some things you can try to get it working again:

  • Disconnect the camera from your PC, then reconnect it.

  • Close the app. Drag the app to the bottom of the screen and hold it there until the app flips over.

If that doesn't help, there might be a problem with the camera’s drivers. You can install driver updates from your camera's manufacturer, or you can use your PC’s default drivers.

To install updates from the manufacturer: 

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and then tap Search. (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Search.) Then enter Device Manager in the search box, select Settings, and select Device Manager in the results.

  2. Expand Imaging devices.

  3. Right-click the camera that's having problems, and select Update Driver Software.

  4. Select Search automatically for updated driver software, and then follow the on-screen instructions. This might include restarting your PC.

To install your PC's default drivers: 

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Search.) Then enter Device Manager in the search box, select Settings, and select Device Manager in the results.

  2. Expand Imaging devices.

  3. Right-click the camera that's having problems, and select Update Driver Software.

  4. Select Browse my computer for driver software.

  5. Select Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.

  6. Select USB Video Device, select Next, and then follow the on-screen instructions. This might include restarting your PC.

Troubleshooting installation errors with drivers and hardware in Windows 10

If the suggestions here don't solve your problem, check the Music, photos, and video community page or the Devices & drivers community page in the Windows forum for solutions that other people have found for specific problems with hardware or error messages.

Related topics

Need more help?

Expand your skills
Explore Training
Get new features first
Join Microsoft Insiders

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.

×