This tutorial explains different modes to Test Webcam Online or Offline and using different computer apps like Skype, Microsoft Teams, etc:
In the wake of COVID-19, confined to their homes, many employees cannot attend office and client meetings in person. Hence, online video conferencing has become the need of the hour so that these meetings can take place effectively while working from home.
Working from home these days includes the need to make or attend video calls for various meetings. Video calling/conferencing is seen as a preference to many even to maintain personal relations. Although for the best outcome from it, you must ensure that your computer’s Webcam is working just fine. The rational action is to test the Webcam before joining a video call.
What You Will Learn:
- Testing Your Webcam
- How To Test Webcam Offline
- How To Test Webcam Online
- How To Test Webcam via Computer Applications
- How Do You Video Chat On Your Computer
- How To Choose A Webcam
Testing Your Webcam
A Webcam test identifies any potential problems with it. There are several webcam test websites available for free access on Windows and Mac operating systems. Windows 10 and macOS come with built-in camera applications that we can use to check if the webcam works.
Suggested reading =>> Top Webcam Software
We will learn to test Webcam in various modes in this article.
How To Test Webcam Offline
Since everyone is staying home and reliance on the Internet is more than ever before, accessing the Internet in itself does not guarantee security. The risk of users getting recorded during the test on the available free websites is high, say by Clickjacking. Users can run simple tests offline to avoid exposure by using a computer’s operating system.
Test The Webcam In Windows 10
We will learn to test a Webcam without the Internet on Windows 10 by following these simple steps:
#1) Click on the Cortana search box in the Windows 10 taskbar.
#2) Type ‘Camera’ into the search box. You will see the Camera App. Click on the Open option seen on the right side of the panel.
An alternative way of opening the Camera app in Windows 10 is from the Start menu on the bottom left corner of your screen. Type Camera into the search box, click on it, and the webcam will open automatically.
#3) When the Camera app launches, the Webcam turns on, and you will see the Camera feed. Note that the first-time users of the Camera app must grant permission for the app to run.
Dell Laptop with Windows 10 OS having its integrated Webcam turned on is indicated by a blue light that remains on for as long as the camera app is enabled. If you are not able to see the camera feed, it means that your camera is not working fine.
Although the Camera app in Windows 10 is perfect enough, some might use a USB webcam. Just install the software from the CD that comes with it or merely plug and play. Windows will recognize new hardware and allow it to run. If you see your Webcam’s feed, then it is up and running.
Test macOS Webcam
Follow the steps below:
- Click on the Finder icon in the Dock bar found at the bottom of the screen.
- Select Applications from the menu bar, which is to the left in the Finder.
- Then double-click on the Photo Booth app. It should turn on the Webcam automatically, and you will see the webcam’s feed.
When using an external Webcam, choose a compatible one since Mac computers are particular. For the installation of drivers, insert the CD that came with it and follow the steps. After the completion, plug the Webcam into the USB socket. Mac will recognize the newly installed device, and it should work fine. You will see the feed.
How To Test Webcam Online
Testing a Webcam online –
- Tests the camera in just one click.
- Finds useful technical information about it like the camera name, default resolution, frame rate, image quality, etc.
- Tests the parameters and features of your Webcam, in case you doubt the authenticity of the product sold to you.
How to test a web camera online
Webcam tests online are easy and quick, both on the Windows browser and Safari. The free websites that run several tests provide troubleshooting steps to fix any web camera problems found.
Typing ‘Webcam test online’ in your search engine launches free online Webcam test websites like webcamtests.com, webcammictest.com, and vidyard.com/cam-test. Choose one as per your requirement.
Free Online Webcam Testing Websites
#1) Double-click on the white button under the Testing Area of the page Test my cam.
#2) Grant permission to access your Webcam by clicking on Allow.
#3) You will see a success message once the test gets completed, as shown in the image below:
#4) The test results are displayed under the Webcam Information table to the left.
#1) Double-click on the blue button in the middle of the landing page Check Webcam.
#2) Grant permission to access your webcam by clicking on Allow.
#3) You will see the camera feed if your Webcam is functional.
#4) You can also do a mic test using this app. Click on ‘Check microphone’ present on the top right of the home page.
#5) Start speaking something. If you get a moving graph like below, it means that your microphone is working fine.
#1) Click on Tools to the left-hand side of the landing page. Select Webcam Test.
#2) Click the play button within the black box to the right. Click Allow if prompted.
#3) You will get a glimpse of streaming captured by your Webcam if it is operating correctly and will have passed the test.
#4) You can also do a mic test using this tool. Click on ‘Check microphone’ on the top right of the home page.
#5) Go to Tools and select the Microphone Test.
#6) Click the play button in the test, click on Allow if prompted.
#7) If you get a moving line when you talk, it means that your mic is working fine.
The steps-to-follow are similar if you choose to visit any other website. These websites run tests for you, given that you grant permission. In case of an external Webcam, try plugging out and back in if no image appears.
How To Test Webcam via Computer Applications
To test if your Webcam is functioning, choose simple applications like Skype (Windows) or FaceTime (macOS). Professionals choose rather complex platforms like Microsoft Teams or Skype for Business. These applications invariably support video chats, conference calls, and displays collaboration capabilities where participants can share everything right from screens to presentations to documents, and more.
For video/audio calls between Apple devices, FaceTime is the supporting application. Mac computers have FaceTime pre-installed that allow up to 32 participants. Because it supports HD video calls, the video quality is superior; and a test is rarely needed.
All you will need is Apple ID/password to sign in and start the application, an Internet connection, and for the Camera to be turned on (indicated by a glowing green light).
To begin, double-click on Settings, highlight FaceTime amongst pre-installed apps, slide the switch over to turn it green.
Skype for free virtual meetings and video calls with those on Skype and a group of up to 50 people is a popular platform.
To test your Webcam, follow these steps:
- Launch the Skype application and sign in with your Skype username/password, if not already signed in.
- From the menu bar, double-click on Tools -> Options -> Video Settings.
- Check the box next to Enable Skype Video. A preview of your camera feed will appear. Upon satisfaction, click Save and exit.
- Optional but helpful – Look for Echo/Sound Test Service in your Skype contact list. Call this user for a free test call. Upon hearing an automated voice giving instructions, record a message and video after the prompt which will be played back for you for quality check. If your Webcam preview is of good quality, then it is working fine.
Via Skype For Business
Skype for Business, although replaced by Microsoft Teams, is still preferred as an invaluable tool for communications, both by outside and inside the office walls. It allows up to 250 participants.
Follow these steps to test webcam on Skype for Business for Windows 10:
#1) Launch Skype for Business application. Sign in with your Skype username/password.
#2) Double-click on the Settings icon to the right-hand side of your computer screen
#3) Click on Video Device. A preview from your Webcam will appear. You can test any webcam/camera device, even the external Webcam. Select from the drop-down, any camera you want. Here, in the below example, we are looking at an Integrated Webcam.
#4) Click on the Camera Settings button, double-click on it to adjust the brightness, contrast, hue, etc.
For both versions– Skype and Skype for Business – a built-in laptop webcam should be automatically detected doing nothing. And attaching an external Webcam should be the same for any model.
To see the list of available Webcams, plug the Webcam in and do the following:
Launch Skype -> Open Tools -> Options -> General -> Video Settings -> Select webcam
Via Microsoft Teams
Professionals favor the Microsoft Teams app for online meetings as it allows teams of up to 10,000 employees in one place.
Follow these steps to test your Webcam:
#1) Launch Microsoft Teams application from your Windows 10 search bar and login.
#2) Click on the Tap icon on your profile page.
#3) Go into Settings.
#4) Then double-click on Devices.
#5) Considering that you are using an integrated webcam, opening Devices should automatically turn it on and give a preview of your Webcam feed. To change your camera device, use the Camera drop-down menu. If you are happy with the quality of the preview feed, then your Webcam is flawless.
#6) Additionally, check under Permissions that the toggle for Media is on.
How Do You Video Chat On Your Computer
All work and no play dims the toilers. We will discover ways to test a Webcam via applications (on computer browser – Chrome) that screams fun.
Developers of Houseparty application predicted its future well in advance (2016) before the pandemic hit that followed by lockdowns everywhere.
Available across many platforms (iOS, Android, Mac, PC, Google Chrome Extension), Houseparty has become one of the most popular and secure apps today. It allows up to 8 people on a video call inside a room, and hence, is best suitable for friends and family. Testing Webcam on Houseparty is the easiest.
- Open www.houseparty.com on Google Chrome -> Download -> Chrome
- Sign-up/Log in with your e-mail/username and password.
You will see your live Webcam streaming.
As Houseparty is a video interaction app, the camera turns on by default. If more than one camera is installed on your system, select the one you want to use from Settings under the SELECT CAMERA option. It is similar when using any other device or a mobile app.
Discord, since its inception, went through some developments. Recently it has transitioned from gaming by making it more purposeful. It expanded from being an online chat for gamers to a place to connect for communities of all types.
Discord works on servers and lets you set-up a chat room as one and classify further into channels. Apart from one-to-one private video chat (inside DM), another way to connect is through Server Video, where up to 25 people can join the channel.
For instance, a group of like-minded students create a Classroom server and break it down into Channels, assigning roles and permissions to its invitees.
- Open Discord in your Chrome -> Register yourself.
- Click on the cog icon next to your username -> App Settings -> Voice & Video to the left-hand on the USER SETTINGS page.
- Under VIDEO SETTINGS, there will be a list of CAMERA video devices to select from the drop-down. Choose one and click on Test Video under PREVIEW black box.
You will see either how great you look or if it needs any fixing, it can be done before the meetup.
The caveat for the browser app users is that they must enable camera access in your browser for it to successfully operate the Webcam/Camera by clicking on Allow in the popup box.
Thus we have covered the technical concerns around testing a Webcam, and now we will learn through some generic elements simple methods before testing your Webcam foremost. Applying these methods might save you some time from the above-mentioned ways of running tests.
How To Choose A Webcam
While having a compatible Webcam does not seem significant, it is a relevant consideration, especially in testing a Webcam. Under the revolutionary digital generation of the Internet and communications, Webcam has become one of the symbolic mainstays.
For those who need a high camera resolution, it is just as critical to deliberate essential features such as autofocus, video resolution, number of frames per second, exterior design and shape, viewfinder, and if it has an in-built microphone.
Let us have a quick peek into some features:
- Image or video quality: This tops the list of must-have specifications. The resolution of a high definition camera referred to as full HD is either 720p or 1080p. The higher the resolution numbers, the higher is the resolution of images and videos, and thus, the better the quality and accuracy. Ensure to examine the ‘number of resolutions’ written on the case of the camera to meet your needs. A camera with a total resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels is said to be the best for video conversations.
- Lens: The one with the glass lens is better than the ones with the plastic lens.
- In-built microphones: Professionals should note that it is not powerful enough to record audio but is suitable for video chats.
- Connectivity: It is easy connecting Webcams with a USB, mostly via a USB 2.0. Yet, this does not mean that some Webcams cannot be connected wirelessly.
Stay abreast of your needs with the budget to ensure a smart purchase. It might prevent the task of testing your Webcam and troubleshooting the problems/errors.
How do I find the Webcam on my laptop?
For an external Webcam:
- Plugin its USB cord.
- Download the latest drivers for it from the manufacturer’s website.
- Run its installation program.
- And launch the application to test its functionality.
Upon satisfaction of its quality, shut down the program. To check the status of your hardware:
Start -> Devices and Printers -> Highlight your Webcam -> Right-click on it to go to Properties
Under the Hardware tab, it should say “This device is working properly”.
Also, keeping the drivers updated is a helpful troubleshooting step.
How do I activate my Webcam?
To activate the camera within apps installed on your system, you must grant permission for the apps to use your camera. It can be achieved by:
Start -> Settings -> Privacy -> Camera and toggle on Let apps use my camera
How do I test my microphone in Windows 10?
You can test the microphone easily in offline mode. Type ‘Sound Settings’ in your Windows 10 search box and open it.
Scroll down and you will find a microphone test. If you start getting a blue line when you are speaking, it means the mic is working fine.
Webcam has become instrumental in this age of millennials and the ongoing pandemic. Whether it is your first online meeting or millionth, testing webcam before going live is a must.
Would you like to feel agitated for something that you were looking forward to and did not turn out as expected due to technical glitches that could have been avoided? Would you like to keep going back and forth in the middle of a meeting fixed well in advance?
Initial frustrations often develop when bombarded with technical errors. Of all the things it was a Webcam error.
Hence testing the webcam is the smartest choice to avoid the possibility of getting lost in the virtual shuffle. It compliments a participant’s accountability by providing more room for them to stay focused. Put your best expression on your face, practice social distancing, and take advantage of Webcam testing in all flexibility and simplicity.