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How to Use Smartphone Camera as a Webcam on PC
How to Use Smartphone Camera as a Webcam on PC
phone's camera capture appears on the computer as a webcam

The following is how to use Smartphone Camera as a Webcam on PC or laptop. This method can be used as an alternative for those of you who don't have a webcam or want to improve the quality of the laptop's default webcam. The method is also very easy and does not require additional items or tools other than your smartphone.

This method can be used for various activities such as online meetings with zoom applications, skype, etc. Or it can also be used as a second camera source in applications for streaming or live video such as OBS, etc. If you suddenly have to WFH (work from home) and have online meetings, then this method can be used as a replacement solution for your webcam at home.

But for long-term and routine use like years, I still recommend using a camera that is specifically for recording such as a webcam or DSLR camera. But for casual or occasional use, using a cellphone as a webcam is very reliable.

This method can be done on both Android and iOS (iPhone) smartphones, but due to limited resources, I can only show you how to do it via an Android smartphone. For those of you iPhone users, please just adjust it, in general, the method is the same because we use the same application.

Also read: How to Live Streaming YouTube With Nvidia GeForce Experience

Enable USB Debugging

Prior to the core tutorial, your cellphone must be in developer mode with the USB debugging option active. If you don't know how, please follow the steps or tutorial below.

The method for each cellphone will vary slightly depending on the brand of your smartphone. Please follow according to your cellphone brand then proceed to the next step.

  1. Please open the menu below in order based on the smartphone brand you are using
    • Samsung: Settings >About phone >Software information >Build number
    • Xiaomi: Settings >My Device >All specs >MIUI Version
    • OPPO: Settings >About phone >Version
    • VIVO: Settings >More Settings >About phone >Software version
    • iPhone: *Please continue reading
  2. Please tap 7 - 14 times in the last menu (build number, MIUI version, Version, Software version, etc.) according to your cellphone brand until a notification appears that developer mode is active.
  3. Next, please re-open the Settings section then find and open the menu >Developer options
  4. On this developer page, please find and activate the menu >USB debugging.

Done. If the USB debugging menu is active then we can proceed to the next step below.

This USB debugging setting will sometimes turn back off if the developer menu is also disabled, one of which is because the cellphone is turned off or restarted. So if the next time your cellphone is not detected, please check the USB debugging setting again, and make sure it is active or ON.

What about iPhone users? Based on the information I got from the official website of the DroidCam developer, you must install iTunes on your PC so that the PC you are going to use can detect your iPhone when connected with a USB cable.

So if you are using an iPhone, you don't need to enable USB debugging as above. You only need to install iTunes on your PC to be the 'way' for the DroidCam application to detect your cellphone.

Also read: How to Convert PowerPoint Into an Image File

How to Use Smartphone Camera as a Webcam

If you have enabled USB debugging on your cellphone, please continue with the steps below.

  1. On the cellphone, please download and install an application called Droidcam (on the PlayStore)How to Use Smartphone Camera as a Webcam on PC
  2. Please open the DroidCam application and give permission to use the camera and microphone by pressing the button >Allow.
  3. On a laptop / PC, please download and install the partner application for DroidCam at the following link: https://www.dev47apps.com/.
  4. Please select the appropriate OS you are using, because here I am using Windows OS so I choose >Download windows client then click the button again >DroidCam client. The software download process will begin.How to Use Smartphone Camera as a Webcam on PC
  5. Please install and open the application on your PC / Laptop.
  6. There are 3 connection options, namely WiFi LAN, Cable, and WiFi Server. For maximum connection and results, I recommend selecting connect with a cable (Connect over USB).
  7. Please connect your cellphone and PC / laptop using a USB cable. Make sure the USB cable can transfer data (because there are some cables that can only charge/battery only).
  8. Please click the button >refresh (two circular arrows) in the DroidCam application on PC. Also, make sure the cellphone is opening the DroidCam application.
  9. Usually, on the smartphone a pop-up menu will appear asking you to give permission for USB debugging, please give permission by pressing the button >Allow. If necessary, check the option "always allow from this computer" so that it is not always asked every time you connect.
  10. If please click the button again >refresh in the DroidCam application on the PC. If successfully connected, your cellphone brand/type will appear in the video options column.
  11. If your smartphone brand/type appears, please click the >Start button. If successful, the smartphone camera capture will appear on your computer/laptop screen.How to Use Smartphone Camera as a Webcam on PC
  12. Done. Then you can try it in several applications such as Zoom, Skype, OBS, etc.
To save battery and lighten smartphone performance, it is highly recommended to activate the Airplane mode feature ON when using the smartphone camera as a webcam.

By default, your phone's screen will automatically turn off when the camera is being used as a webcam. So your smartphone will be more efficient in battery usage because the screen is not needed when using the camera.

By default (default) this application will use the rear camera as the video source because generally, the rear camera has a better resolution and quality. But if you want to use the front camera, you can change it from the DroidCam application on your cellphone.

Also read: How to Quickly Add Emoji in Windows PC in Any Apps

Frequent problems (and solutions)

The first problem that often arises is that the cellphone connection is not detected in the application. To fix this you can unplug the USB cable and plug it in again on the PC so that the phone reconnects. After a while, please click the refresh button in the application on the PC.

Another way is to close (close) the DroidCam application on the PC then reopen it so that the application re-scans the connected device. If necessary, please close and also open the DroidCam application on your cellphone until the application re-scans.

If it is still not detected, please restart the computer then repeat the steps above.

The second problem is the camera orientation that is upside down / not according to the position of the cellphone. This problem arises because the application we are using is a free version (free). However, this can be circumvented by setting it directly in the main application used such as Zoom, OBS, Skype, etc.

Or it can also be tricked by adjusting the position of the cellphone according to the screenshot on the screen.

For other problems, please ask in the comments column. I will try to help as much as I can.

Also read: A Beginner's Guide to Activating USB Debugging on Vivo Phone

Is it mandatory to use DroidCam?

Actually, there are many applications like this DroidCam, and maybe it is better and more features. But I haven't had the chance to try these applications, and I think this Droidcam application is enough to meet the needs of a smartphone's camera to webcam converter.

If you find another better application, please use it, the important thing is that you feel comfortable using it and easy, the important thing is easy to operate.

Hopefully, this article on how to use a Smartphone camera as a webcam on a PC is useful. If you have questions, please put them in the comments box!

Blog authors

Rindi Putra
Rindi Putra
Graphic Designer & Technology Junkie Graduated with 'International Trade Management' Major | 2 Years of Professional career on International Shipping Company & 3 Years career on Local Fashion Brand Company | 10 Years (and still counting) as Digital content creator. Feel free to connect with me on Social Media Twitter/Instagram: @rindiputra

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