How to Use the Camera on a Chromebook

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Updated February 10, 2023
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Difficulty Easy
Steps 4
Time Required 10 minutes
Things to Know

Most modern laptops have cameras used for Facetime, recording video, snapping photos, and scanning documents. However, sometimes even the best webcams can be tricky to navigate. Below, we’ll dive into how to use the camera on a Chromebook to help users more fully understand their device to unlock its highest potential.


  • Google Chromebooks have a built-in webcam that allows users to photograph, record/stream video, and scan documents.
  • Recording and photographing are done within the same camera app, and the files are saved within the “My Files” app.
  • The camera app has a separate setting for scanning documents which are then accessible in the file app’s downloads folder.

And for those looking to plug in an external webcam to their Google laptop, we have a helpful guide on the top-rated webcams for Chromebooks. And then, after you’ve purchased one, you can check out our article explaining how to connect a camera to a Chromebook.

Insider Tip

In the camera app, users can press the gear icon to access the camera settings to set a timer, mirror the camera, and adjust the frame.

How to Use the Camera on a Chromebook

As technology continues to evolve, users have access to more and more special functions. Chrome devices, in particular, come with a great built-in camera capable of being used for all sorts of incredible tasks.

And for those who feel left out because they don’t have a computer with a built-in webcam, don’t worry! We have many instructive articles on transforming other camera devices into workable webcams. For example, we have an article about how to use a camcorder as a webcam. And if that’s not for you, we have another about how to use a DSLR as a webcam.

How to Take a Photo/Video

STEP 1 Open the Camera App

Find the circular icon on your Chromebook’s homepage that opens the launcher. In the launcher menu, type “Camera” into the search bar. Then, press the camera icon to open the app.

STEP 2 Take a Photo

Once you’ve opened the camera app, on the right side of the screen, toggle to “Photo, “Portrait,” or “Square” mode. Next, set up your computer to properly face the object you wish to photograph and press the capture button.

STEP 3 Take a Video

Toggle over to the video mode and set up your computer so that it faces what you want to record. Then press the record button. Press it again to stop recording.

STEP 4 Access Your Files

Go back to the launcher and type “Files” into the search bar. Press on the files app icon. Find the “Camera” or “Downloads” file to access your photos and videos.

How to Scan a Document

STEP 1 Open Camera App

Press the launcher icon, then search for and open the camera app.

STEP 2 Switch to Document Scanning Mode

At the bottom of the screen, toggle to the “Scan Mode.”

STEP 3 Hold up the Document

Take your physical document and hold it up to the camera. Then, adjust the document’s distance from the camera until you can see the auto-detect scanner create a perimeter. Once the border is established, press the capture button on the side of the screen.

STEP 4 Access your Scanned Documents

Open the launcher and then “My Files.” Next, open the “Downloads” folder; you can access and edit your document scans.


Sometimes if the corners or edges of a document are crinkled or bent, the Chromebook document scanner will have trouble scanning.

STAT: Chromebooks are affordable, costing, on average, $200-$300. (source)

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