How to Tell If You Have Microphones & Webcam on Your Laptop

Not all laptops have an internal microphone and a built-in webcam. In most cases, you can determine if your laptop has either device installed by performing a visual inspection of the machine’s case. For example, a laptop’s webcam and microphone are usually located in the bezel at the top of the screen. To confirm that the devices are installed and recognized by Windows 8 and 8.1, open the Device Manager utility, which displays a list of all your laptop’s internal and external devices.

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Check the Device Manager

Your laptop's microphone and webcam must be properly installed and connected to appear on the Device Manager's list of devices. You can access the Device Manager by right-clicking the Windows "Start" button and then selecting "Device Manager" from the pop-up menu. Double-click "Audio Inputs and Outputs" to reveal the internal microphone. Double-click "Imaging Devices" to view the built-in webcam. To view the specifics of your microphone or webcam, double-click the device's name to open its Properties window. Click the appropriate tab on the Properties window to view details about the device. For example, click the "Driver" tab to see the device's driver details, such as the driver version.

Use Your Webcam and Microphone

Windows has a native Camera app that uses your laptop’s built-in webcam and microphone to take photos and video with audio. You can access the Camera app from the Windows Start screen by typing “Camera.” The Camera app requires your permission to use the laptop’s webcam and microphone. In addition, many Voice over Internet Protocol programs and video communication apps, such as Skype, Viber and Yahoo Messenger, also prompt for access to your laptop’s webcam and microphone during the setup process. However, you can also choose which Windows Store apps can access the webcam and microphone through the Privacy section of the PC Settings screen. Both the webcam and microphone entries of the Privacy section have options to disable access for all apps and choose which apps can use the webcam and microphone.