How To Use Webcam

Dear computer lady,
How I love to read your very simple and straight to the point answers.

My problem is that I just bought a windows 7 laptop which has a webcam.  I have no idea how to use the webcam.  Can you please explain each step?

Thanking you in anticipation. Michael


Dear Michael,

Almost every laptop on the market today includes a webcam, and I think it is great! With the webcam, I can talk to and see my children and grandchildren who live far away from Maine.

In order to answer your question, I am going to assume that you want to use your webcam to talk to and see friends and family. The webcam itself does not have the programming for that kind of chatting. Instead, you will need to download and install a program that uses the webcam to chat. The two most common programs are skype and Google Video chat at:

When you install a video chat program, it will detect your webcam, and set it up so that it is ready to use.

Before you decide which program you want to use, find out what program the people you want to chat with are using. You will have to use the same program they do.

Most webcams come with a basic program that allows you to take pictures, and video recordings. I can’t really give you step by step directions because each manufacturer provides their own program. Since you have Windows 7, just click on “Start” and type Webcam in the search box. Any programs installed on your laptop for the webcam will appear in the search results.

My laptop (an Acer) has a program called, “Acer Crystal Eye Webcam” which allows me to see the image from the camera, take still photos (by clicking on the little camera image) and also to record a video. It only has 5 icons, so with a little experimenting, you can figure out all the options.


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