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How to use a built-in webcam on a laptop computer

Updated July 20, 2017

Most laptops today come with built-in webcams. They’re designed to work in conjunction with instant messaging and VOIP programs such as Skype and Yahoo Messenger. Many photo editing programs, such as Google’s Picasa, can also capture photos directly from laptop webcams.

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  1. Open Yahoo Messenger and select “My webcam” from the “Messenger” menu. This will bring up a window showing what your webcam sees. To invite one of your contacts to view your webcam, right-click on them in your contacts list and choose “Invite to View My webcam” from the “More Actions” area of the pop-up menu. Your contact will receive an invitation to view your webcam.

  2. Open Skype and select a contact you’d like to call. Skype will automatically detect that you have a webcam attached to your computer and give you the option to place either a voice-only or a video call to the contact. Choose “Video call” and your contact will be able to see and hear you.

  3. Open Picasa and select the webcam icon to the right of the “Import” button. A window displaying a view from your webcam will pop up. Click the “Record” button to begin recording a video or the camera icon to take a snapshot.

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About the Author

Kyle Gibson is a freelance copywriter, photographer and SEO analyst. He holds a master's degree in anthropology and enjoys quantitative data analysis and statistics.

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