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Prevent Apps from Using Your Camera and Microphone in Windows 10

written by: •edited by: Tricia Goss•updated: 11/4/2015

By default, Windows 10 allows any requesting app to use your microphone or webcam, which potentially creates a privacy issue or at least a concern. Thankfully, Windows 10 renews Windows 8.1’s well-received ability to individually restrict camera and microphone use per app.

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    You not only have the option to disable your camera and microphone for all apps, but you can also selectively control which apps should have access. The next time you download an app that has no business having camera or microphone access, disable its access to avoid the app creepily spying on you.

    It is important to note that these settings only affect modern apps, so classic (desktop) Windows applications won’t even appear on the list. To restrict those, you will need to configure the programs themselves; look for a Settings or Options entry in the program. If you are really concerned, you could always use a good old fashion piece of tape to cover the camera and disable the microphone entirely within Windows.

    1. Click Settings from the Start menu.

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    2. Click Privacy from the Settings window.

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    3. Click the Camera tab from the left pane of the Privacy Settings and move the Let Apps Use My Camera slider to the Off position to block all apps from using your camera.

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    Alternatively, leave the top slider in the On position and select Off for each individual app you wish to block from using your camera.

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    4. Click the Microphone tab from the left pane and select Off on the top Let Apps Use My Microphone slider to block all apps from using your microphone.

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    Alternatively, keep the top slider in the On position, but turn individual apps to the Off position.

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