Why is My Webcam Light On?

Beth Huston Profile image

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Updated August 26, 2022

Even the best webcams can cause problems every now and then. One of the most common problems people run into is when their webcam is seemingly in use. So, if you’ve been wondering, “Why is my webcam light on?” keep reading.


  • Your webcam light may be on due to an open program on the computer that is using it. Check your applications thoroughly.
  • Relaxed privacy and security settings can leave you vulnerable to a hack, compromising your webcam.
  • Lastly, look into the browser settings you’re using. You might have a tab open that has access to your webcam.

If you’re looking to purchase a new webcam, you might want to look into the best webcams for Chromebook.

Insider Tip

You can completely disarm your webcam in the BIOS menu on your computer.

Why is the Webcam Light on When Not in Use?

Webcams are prone to problems just like any other device. This may have you asking yourself, “Why is my webcam grainy?” or “Why is my webcam so dark?” The same goes for your camera’s light being on when it’s not in use. There are a couple of reasons this may be the case.

An Open Program

The most likely reason for the light being on is that you may have left a program open that has access to your webcam, such as Zoom or Google Meet. Look at the different windows you have open and make sure that none of them are using the webcam.

Poor Privacy Settings

Unfortunately, not using anti-virus software can mean that, sometimes, bugs and hackers will get through. What’s worse is that a webcam hack is not nearly as difficult as you might think. If someone is using your webcam to spy on you, it may cause the light to turn on. That’s why it might be important to learn what a webcam kill switch is and how it works.


The light on your webcam is an indicator light warning you that it’s currently active.

Browser Settings

Lastly, you might have a website using your webcam through your browser. When the light is on, and you’re not sure why, a great troubleshooting method is to see if you have any tabs open that might be causing the issue. Next, check your browser settings to change when it’s allowed to use your webcam.

STAT: In 2019, 52 percent of all individuals used the internet to make a video or voice call, but usage was higher among those who used the internet within the last three months, at 60 percent. (source)

Why is My Webcam Light On FAQs

Why is my webcam not working correctly?

There are a few reasons why your webcam might not be working properly. Your webcam driver might need to be updated, or you could even find out your webcam lens might be broken.

How do I set up my external webcam?

First, always read the user manual before trying to install your external webcam. Most of them will plug into your computer with a USB cable. You’ll also need to download any necessary bits of software.

How can I protect my webcam from hacking?

A great antivirus program is one of the best ways to keep yourself safe from hackers. You can also learn how to disable your webcam in the BiOS menu for ultimate protection.

How can I improve my overall webcam security?

One of the easiest ways to beef up your webcam security is to use duct tape. You can just put a small piece of tape over your webcam when it’s not in usage to help protect yourself.
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