A webcam is standard hardware that is included in a laptop. It’s extremely difficult, almost impossible, to find a laptop that does not come with a webcam. Webcams that come with laptops vary in quality so if your laptop has a low quality webcam, you can purchase and connect an external one.
Webcams are generally plug & play. An app may require permission to use the webcam but beyond that, there is rarely any set up involved to get the device working.
Webcam test tools
If you’re about to join a video call, or stream from your webcam, you may want to check if the webcam is working correctly. There are plenty of tools that you can use to test the webcam. Here is a brief list of tools to try out.
OBS or Open Broadcaster Studio is a screen recording and streaming app. It can connect with the webcam and stream from it. It isn’t a testing tool but you can use it to check if the webcam is working. If the webcam isn’t working with OBS, chances are there is something wrong with it or the device still needs setting up.
The advantage of using OBS is that if your webcam comes with a mic built-in, you will be able to test it along side the video feed.
- Download and install OBS.
- Open OBS and click the plus button under the Sources column.
- Select Video capture device from the menu.
- Select your webcam from the list of devices and you should see a preview.
- If you see a preview, your webcam is working as it should.
Note: OBS is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
2. Webcam Test
If you do not want to install a desktop app to test your webcam, you can easily test it with your browser. There is no shortage of browser-based webcam test tools. These tools will work regardless of which OS (Windows, macOS, Linux etc) that you’re running.
Make sure your browser is allowed to access the webcam. You may see a prompt asking for permission when you run the test. Allow the browser and the website access to the webcam.
- Visit Webcam Test in a modern browser like Chrome or Firefox.
- Click the ‘Click here to allow access to webcam identifiers’ button.
- Grant the browser/website permission to access the webcam.
- Select the webcam you want to test from the dropdown.
- Click Test my cam (if you camera is covered, uncover it before you start the test).
- Allow the webcam test to run.
- When the test is complete, the app will tell you the quality of the webcam’s feed and if it was able to detect it.
3. Webcam test from Online mic test
This tool can test the video stream from your webcam and it will tell you the FPS that the webcam is able to capture.
- Visit Webcam test on Online mic test.
- Click the play button you see on the right.
- Grant the website permission to access the webcam.
- Allow the website to test the camera.
4. Google Meet
Google Meet isn’t a webcam testing tool but it is one of the most common video conferencing tools that is used and it has built-in tools for testing the webcam. If you plan on using an online video conferencing tool, you can create an empty meeting and use it to test the webcam.
- Visit Google Meet.
- Click New Meeting and start a new instant meeting.
- Once the meeting starts, click the more options button (three vertical dots).
- Select Settings from the menu.
- Go to the Video tab.
- Select your webcam and you should get a preview of it.
5. FaceTime (macOS only)
All MacBooks and iMacs come with a webcam and they likewise have the FaceTime app installed out of the box. If the webcam is detected by the FaceTime app, your webcam is working just fine.
Webcams are easy to set up. If you find a webcam isn’t working in a particular app, make sure you’ve given it the necessary permissions and that no other app is currently using the webcam.