How can I tell what application is using my USB webcam?

by on January 10, 2010

Q: How can I tell what application is using my USB webcam? (Win XP Pro)

8 Responses to “How can I tell what application is using my USB webcam?”

    I am not sure if there is a way to go into a settings page and see what is using your USB webcam. Is there something going on that makes you need to know this information?


    Yes — When I try to make a video call with Skype, my video doesn’t work, and Skype tells me that perhaps another application is using my webcam. Am I being spied on? (McAfee gives my PC a clean report.)


      Have you tried using your webcam with another application like AIM to see if it works there? I ask because it seems like it might be a different problem.


        I can go to Control Panel and see the device; clicking on it gives a video image. (I don’t know from AIM.)


          If it works from there, then you close it out, and then go to skype and skype doesn’t work then it seems more likely that the USB webcam just doesn’t work with skype. It is a little weird but I am certain weirder things have happened. I would try installing another IM client to see if it works in other clients.


    I installed SplitCam, and now can see myself when initiating a Skype video call. However, I’d still like to know what other app is using the cam — i.e., whether I’m being spied on.


      Are you able to use Skype now once you installed this?

      Usually webcams have lights on them to tell you when they are being used. Before this was the light on your webcam lit up when Skype was saying it could not access the webcam?

      I should be clear that there is no way, that I know of, to know what program is accessing a webcam. The only way to figure it out is by process of elimination.


    I haven’t actually had a video call with anyone yet (they’re away for a while; is there a test site?), but when I try to initiate a call I now see my image, instead of the exclamation-mark icon I used to see, in the little video sub-window.

    The only lights I have on my webcam are an array of bright white LEDs, intensity-controllable by a pot on the cord — there’s no “on” indicator.