Turn your webcam on or off with Webcam On-Off for Windows

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 24, 2014

Ever since the first webcams hit the market webcam hacking has been a topic. Hacks use security vulnerabilities, bad designs or carelessness to gain access to a cam's feed over a network or the Internet.

Webcam feeds of thousands of users were made available recently on a website on the Internet and this is just one public incident. It is likely that the majority of hacks don't get publicity at all.

There are counter-measures against hacks. From taping over the cam and microphone to not connecting it in first place.

This helps if you don't plan to use the cam at all but if you use it sometimes, for instance to call someone using Skype or run a show on the Internet, then you may want a flexible solution.

Enter Webcam On-Off. While it is certainly possible to turn the cam on or off in the device manager of the operating system. Webcam Off makes the operation convenient as you press a single button once you have started the application to switch the state of it.

turn webcam on off

All you need to do is run the program after you have downloaded and unpacked it on your system. It displays the current state of the webcam on the computer and two buttons to enable or disable it.

You find two additional buttons listed in the interface. The toolbox button opens the Windows Device Manager right away while the other the about page of the application.

So, whenever you need to turn the cam on or off you click twice to do so if you use Webcam On-Off to do so.

The developer of the program has added command line switches to it as well which can speed things up further. Run webcam.exe /ON to turn it on or webcam.exe /OFF to disable it.

If you create two new shortcuts and add the parameters to it you can turn your webcam on or off with a single click on the right shortcut.

The program is fully portable and has a size of less than 350 Kilobyte unpacked. It is compatible with all recent versions of Windows including Windows XP and Windows 8.

Closing Words

Webcam On-Off is a useful program for Windows users who use a cam connected to their PC regularly but don't want it to be available when they don't use it.

They keep the cam turned off all the time and enable it only when they want to use it. After they have finished using it they run the program to turn it off again.

software image
Author Rating
3 based on 14 votes
Software Name
Webcam On-Off
Operating System
Landing Page

Tutorials & Tips

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  1. velociraptor said on December 7, 2020 at 12:33 am

    WebCam On-Off v1.4 has been published with Microphone Block feature

    Sordum.org TEAM

  2. Brian Allen Hansen said on August 8, 2020 at 11:39 am

    It’s 2020 now! I’m still looking for something that does this function on Windows 10. I’m hoping this is still a running topic and that you can reply if there’s any advancement to this idea. Thanks

  3. velociraptor said on December 1, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    version is updated
    It is not easy to Identify all webcam models therefore we have changed our methode , now users have option to choose correct webcam driver we hope , we will reduce disabling the wrong drivers


  4. PhoneyVirus said on November 26, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    Thank you Martin, no more putting electric tape over the laptops cam again when I’m fixing them. Never did trust the cam and always covered it no matter what the case was, I remember one of the Laptops I fixed that had the electric tape on the cam and forgot to tell him about it, he was my cam is not working it’s black, yeah take off the tape and you’ll see fine.

    Thanks for the little Tutorial Martin

  5. velociraptor said on November 25, 2014 at 10:41 am

    We would like to thank you for the Review , We are reading all the comments and currently working on the
    scanner issue and probably will add a Microphone? disable – enable function too

    Sordum.org TEAM

    1. rod said on November 26, 2014 at 6:09 am


      webcam.exe switched off my laptop camera OK … but it also switched off my (wireless) WSD Scan Device and WSD Print Device and will not switch them back on.

      I’ve tried everything I know short of restoring from an image (which would lose me a couple of weeks’ work) and I cannot get the printer to work.

      Any suggestions ?

  6. Ronald said on November 25, 2014 at 8:45 am

    I make no apologies for using a low-tech solution. A cardboard square attached to a length of Scotch tape dangles over the evil eye. If and when I need to use the camera, I flip the square over.

    But what I’d like to know is, how can I disable the microphone? Device Manager has no entry for the microphone.

    OFF TOPIC: Have you seen this Martin? http://www.securityweek.com/research-finds-1-percent-online-ads-malicious

    (ghacks is one of the few sites where I turn off AdBlock Plus.)

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 25, 2014 at 9:01 am

      Ronald, there is always the chance that malicious ads are served and there is little that webmasters can do about it.

      The only thing that I can think of would be to only run direct ads instead of using a third-party service like Google for that. I’d like to do that but don’t have the time to talk to companies all the time to get deals done. This is a full time job and not a feasible solution for small sites like mine.

      With that said, if a big company comes along and wants to buy all advertising spots here on the site for the next six or twelve months, I’m all for it.

  7. Wayfarer said on November 25, 2014 at 3:57 am

    I’m a bit paranoid about privacy, and have always disabled both mic and camera on my devices when they’re not in use. But it’s a bit of a rigmarole, and I’ve always been amazed that the devices don’t have a simple physical switch. Surprised too at the lack – among the huge choice of software available – of a simple camera/mic toggle utility (that I’ve ever been able to find, anyway.)

    So this application fulfils a very obvious demand, given the continuing scares on this subject. It seems to work fine on my Fujitsu Win8.1 laptop – hopefully the authors will find time to extend its use to the microphone too.

  8. Bill, Edmonton Canada said on November 24, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    This doesn’t work on my Win8.1.

    When I click Disable, I get a popup error:
    USB Video Device
    Acer/BenQ 3300/4300
    Webcam can not be disabled! Webcam is currently in use please close
    the webcam screen.

    Acer/BenQ 3300/4300 is my scanner.

    In the Device Manager there are two items under Imaging Devices:
    Acer/BenQ 3300/4300
    USB 2.0 Camera

    It looks like Webcam On-Off is confusing the two devices.

    Thanks for sharing so much of your knowledge and experience, Martin!

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 24, 2014 at 7:29 pm

      That’s too bad Bill and sorry to hear that. Maybe the author reads it and improves the program or provides an option to pick a device manually from a list of installed devices.

      1. Bill, Edmonton Canada said on November 24, 2014 at 8:41 pm

        Thank you Martin.
        I’ve posted the same comment on their web page.
        ( I also mentioned that I found it on this page of yours. :) )

  9. Hy said on November 24, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Looks promising! Thanks!

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