For several reasons, you may need to know how to enable or disable a camera on Windows 11 or Windows 10. Chief among those is a desire for privacy — with many users concerned apps or websites will access their webcam without their permission.

Thankfully, it’s now much easier to disable the camera in Windows 11 because of its “Cameras” settings page, which lets you quickly turn on or off the camera if you need to. This is different to the “privacy settings” for your webcam, which only lets you restrict or allow access to certain apps.

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We’ll be showing you both this method and the “old” Windows 10 method using Device Manager so you can use whichever works best for you.

How to Turn Off a Camera in Windows 11 Webcam Settings

Though it can take a few more clicks, the process to disable a camera in Windows 11 settings is much more intuitive than with Device Manager. The settings UI clearly displays a list of just your webcams and even provides a preview so you can make sure that it’s the right one. Here’s how to find the toggle:

  1. Open Settings 

    Press the Start button on your taskbar and then click “Settings” in the pinned apps section. If it’s not there, you can press “Windows + I” instead.

    Windows 11 - Open Settings

  2. Click “Bluetooth & devices” in the settings sidebar and expand the “Cameras” section in the main pane

     

    Windows 11 - Settings - Bluetooth & Devices - Open Cameras

  3. Click on your webcam in the “Connected cameras” list

     

    Windows 11 - Settings - Bluetooth & Devices - Cameras - Connected Cameras - Open Integrated Webcam

  4. Click “Disable” underneath the webcam preview

     

    Windows 11 - Settings - Bluetooth & Devices - Cameras - Connected Cameras - Integrated Webcam - Disable

  5. Press “Yes” to disable the camera in Windows 11

     

    Windows 11 - Settings - Bluetooth & Devices - Cameras - Connected Cameras - Integrated Webcam - Disable - Confirm

How to Disable a Camera with Device Manager on Windows 11 or Windows 10

If you prefer to do things the old-fashioned way or are yet to upgrade to Windows 11, you can still turn off the camera via Device Manager. It means trawling through a long list of devices, but it’s still quite easy.

  1. Open Device Manager

    Press the Start button on your taskbar and type “Device Manager”, then click on the top result.

    Windows 11 - Open Device Manager

  2. Double-click the “Cameras” section in Device Manager, right-click your webcam, and choose “Disable device”

     

    Windows 11 - Device Manager - Cameras - Integrated Webcam - Disable Device

  3. Click “Yes” on the warning prompt

    After you disable a webcam, open the camera app to ensure it no longer functions, as Device Manager does not have a preview.

    Windows 11 - Device Manager - Cameras - Integrated Webcam - Disable Device - Accept

How to Enable a Camera on Windows 11 via Webcam Settings

If your Windows 11 webcam isn’t working, it may already be disabled. Here’s how to enable a camera in Windows 11 in just a few clicks:

  1. Open Settings

    To do so, press the Start button and click the Settings cog in your pinned apps. Alternatively, you can press “Windows + I”.

    Windows 11 - Open Settings

  2. Press “Bluetooth & devices” in the sidebar and expand the “Cameras” heading

     

    Windows 11 - Settings - Bluetooth & Devices - Open Cameras

  3. Look for the “Disabled” cameras heading and press “Enable” on the right-hand side

     

    Windows 11 - Settings - Bluetooth & Devices - Cameras - Disabled Cameras - Enable

How to Enable a Camera using Device Manager

If you previously disabled a camera in Windows 11 or Windows 10, you can also re-enable it using Device Manager. Here’s how:

  1. Press Start and type “Device Manager”, then click the top result

     

    Windows 11 - Open Device Manager

  2. Expand the “Cameras” section, then right-click your webcam and choose “Enable device”

    Your device should start working again immediately. You may need to toggle the camera on and off in whichever app you’re using for its image to show up.

    Windows 11 - Device Manager - Cameras - Integrated Webcam - Enable Device

Related: How to Fix a Windows Camera Not Working


If your Windows 10 or Windows 11 camera not disabled but still won’t work, you may instead want to read our dedicated camera troubleshooting guide. It’ll show you 7 ways to fix your camera.

Extra: How to Stop Apps from Running in the Background in Windows 11

Featured - Enable or Disable Background Apps in Windows 11
To better protect your privacy, you can also tweak whether apps can run in the background in Windows 11. This will allow you to be sure they aren’t sending data back to some remote server when you aren’t using them.

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