Your Windows laptop likely has its own webcam that you use for virtual meetings. But many laptop webcams are stuck at a low resolution. And if you’re using a desktop, you may not even have a webcam accessible.
In that case, your mobile phone can step in to serve as your video camera during a meeting.
There’s no built-in functionality in Windows 10 or Windows 11 to perform this trick as there is with MacOS Ventura.
Instead, a few third-party utilities are available to turn your phone into a webcam.
Programs such as DroidCam, EpocCam, and iVCam Webcam will help you enlist your iPhone or Android phone for this assignment. Plus, these apps support all the major virtual meeting platforms, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Skype.
Using a special mount, you can attach your phone to the top of your computer or monitor. Alternatively, you can hold your phone as you walk around the room so that you stay on camera.
Also: Zoom alternatives: The best video conferencing software and apps
Designed for iPhones, iPads, and Android devices, DroidCam will work with your device over Wi-Fi or USB. The program comes in a free edition that offers you unlimited webcam use at standard definition and a $5 or $10 Pro flavor that allows for a high definition video feed at 720p or 1080p.
How to use your mobile phone as a webcam in Windows
First, download and install the mobile app for iOS and iPadOS or Android. Then, grab the Windows client.
Open both programs. If you plan to use a wired connection, plug your phone or tablet into your PC via USB, click the dropdown menu, and select your device.
If you want to use Wi-Fi instead, make sure both your PC and mobile device are on the same network. The mobile app will display an IP address and port number.
Enter both of those into the appropriate screen in the Windows client.
Click Start and the Windows program displays the feed from your phone.
Move your phone to position yourself in the frame. With the free version of the mobile app, you can switch between the front and rear camera, adjust the lighting and white balancing, and dim the screen. With the paid edition, you can bump up the resolution, turn on a continuous auto focus mode, zoom in or out, and rotate or flip the video.
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After you’ve tweaked the video the way you want, open your virtual meeting software.
Change the video source to DroidCam Source 2 or DroidCam Source 3. You can then use your phone as your webcam for the virtual meeting.
To stop using your phone this way, change the video source in your virtual meeting software or press the Stop button in the DroidCam mobile app.
Compatible just with iOS and iPadOS, EpocCam works over USB or Wi-Fi. The app offers both portrait and landscape mode and will even play with Snapchat lenses. The free version limits the resolution. For $7.99, a paid edition allows for higher resolution feeds, wide-angle camera views, and access to your phone’s microphone.
First, snag the mobile app from the App Store. Then download and install the required Camera Hub Windows client. Open the mobile app and follow the screens. Grant the app permission to access your camera and local network. Your phone should then be transformed into a webcam.
From the mobile app, you can switch between the front and rear camera, and flip the video horizontally. From the Windows software, you can tweak the brightness, contrast, and saturation, as well as apply different AR lenses, such as a background blur, green screen, and sepia.
After you’ve adjusted the different settings, fire up your virtual meeting. Change the video source to Elgato Virtual Camera to use your phone as your webcam.
Also: The 10 best webcams
Another app designed for iOS, iPadOS, and Android, iVCam Webcam works over Wi-Fi or USB, offers a high-resolution feed, and lets you take a snapshot or recording of your feed. The major downside is that the free version saddles you with intrusive ads. At $9.99 for a one-year subscription and $24.95 for a permanent subscription, the paid version dispenses with the ads and provides other advanced features.
Download the mobile app from the App Store or Google Play, and then grab the Windows client for your PC. Then fire up both programs. A USB connection is automatically detected, while a Wi-Fi connection may require you to enter the IP address of your phone, which is listed in the Settings screen of the app. Just click the Connect button in the Windows client to type the address, and the connection is made.
Using the mobile app, you’re able to switch between the front and rear camera, flip the picture horizontally, and adjust the lighting and other factors. With the Windows client, you can tweak the picture as well as take a snapshot or recording of the video feed. Plus, you can set the orientation, switch the size and resolution, and change the frame rate.
After you’ve established the connection and tweaked the different settings, launch your virtual meeting. Change the video source to e2eSoft iVCam, and your phone takes the stage as your webcam.