You’re geared up for a meeting. You’re on time, your internet connection is solid and you’re wearing your best suit, out-of-frame pants optional.
Then, nothing. You hear your boss grumble and the groans of your colleagues. Nobody can see you. It happens to the best of us.
Let’s avoid future embarrassment and learn how to check a webcam in advance.
How to Check a Webcam Easily
If you’re panicking and asking “can I check my webcam right now,” the answer is “yes”. It’s simple, no matter what OS you’re using, whether your webcam is built-in or USB-connected – and whether or not you have an active internet connection.
1. Testing on Windows
You can check a webcam on Windows by clicking Start and searching for the Camera app. This will show whatever your camera can see.
2. Testing Online
An easy option if you’ve got WiFi is to test out your webcam online through sites such as DeviceTests.com. Simply hit “start webcam test” and you’re golden.
As a bonus, you’ll know that your camera is working online, and not just on your computer.
3. Testing With Microsoft Teams
If your workplace uses Teams, you can verify that your camera is working in the app by going into Settings, navigating to Devices, and then viewing the camera preview.
4. Testing With VLC Media Player
VLC is a free media player software package. Test your camera by clicking File, then Open Media Device, and then selecting your camera. You’ll see live playback if it’s working.
5. Testing on Mac
If you’re on a Mac, select Applications in the Finder, and start the Photobooth app. It’ll open your webcam and show you if it’s functional.
6. Testing With Skype
Skype has declined in popularity over recent years, but it’s still a great tool for a webcam check.
Find the Settings menu, and skip to the Audio/Video tab. Like with Teams, it will show you instant feedback.
7. Testing on Linux
While almost everybody is either a Windows or Mac advocate, some mavericks like to use Linux as their chosen OS.
If you’re among them, you can test your webcam with the Cheese photo booth app. It’s the Linux equivalent of Mac’s Photobooth.
8. Testing With Zoom
You can use Zoom to test your camera if it’s your go-to video conferencing software. Click on your profile picture, then Settings, and then on Video to see a preview.
9. Testing With OBS Studio
OBS is a popular tool used by streamers and video content creators. It’s free and can be used to capture anything that’s happening on your computer.
Click the plus icon in sources, add a video capture device, and select your webcam to test it.
10. Testing on a Chromebook
Chromebook’s photo booth app is creatively called Camera. Open the Launcher, search for Camera, and open it to get a live feed.
Solve Your Tech Problems Before Your Calls
Video calls are the new normal. But they’re stalled and time is wasted whenever a camera doesn’t work, a microphone is too loud, or a connection is off-kilter.
But now you know how to check a webcam before your next call, and that’s one less headache for you to worry about.
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