FIX: Antivirus blocking computer camera

by Andrew Wafer
Andrew Wafer
Andrew Wafer
Andrew is not just trying to bring you closer to Windows, but he's truly interested in this platform. He just happens to be passionate about sharing that knowledge... read more
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  • If the antivirus is blocking the camera, don’t worry as there are a few solutions that can save your day.
  • The troubleshooting process can be lengthy, but your antivirus might just have something to do with the issue.
  • If your camera software isn’t running properly you can change the antivirus rules and exceptions for its scanning process.
  • If you don't know how to unblock the camera from antivirus, you should add an exclusion, so keep reading for more details!
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Are you trying to use your computer’s webcam (or an external camera device) but the app cannot be launched?

Usually, when the webcam isn’t working, you should update/reinstall its drivers, update the Windows 10 system (if a system update is waiting for your approval some built-in features cannot run correctly).

Or you can remove a certain Windows update if the camera stopped running after a new Windows 10 patch was applied.

Thus, in most situations, these general solutions should fix the software problems that are related to the webcam, or with an external camera app.

However, if the camera is still inaccessible, the answer to your problem might be within the security solution that’s used on your Windows 10 system.

Yes, that’s right, the antivirus software might block the webcam. The first thing to do is to temporarily disable the antivirus software. Then, try to use the camera.

If everything works without problems it means that the antivirus was blocking the camera app, so you will have to add a new exclusion within the antivirus program (for the webcam app itself or for the apps that are trying to access your webcam).

Here is how you can complete these processes for the most popular antivirus programs available for the Windows 10 system.

How can I fix the antivirus blocking camera issues?

ESET Internet Security

  1. Launch ESET to open the main program window.
  2. Click Setup.
  3. Select Network protection.
  4. Click the slider bar next to Firewall.
  5. Select Pause until reboot and click Apply. This will pause the ESET firewall till you restart your PC.

ESET is a PC protection company that has been in operation for about two decades now. It helps to keep threats at bay and offers great protection against malicious websites.

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Bitdefender Internet Security

  1. Open the main Bitdefender user interface.
  2. Click on the Privacy icon – located on the left side of the main window.
  3. Then, select View Features.
  4. There you should be able to access the Webcam Protection on/off switch.
    • Further customizations towards the webcam can be initiated by clicking on the Settings menu located in the lower-right corner of the main Webcam Protection panel.
  5. Don’t forget that you can also add certain exceptions in Bitdefender: from the Bitdefender main window click on the Protection tab, navigate towards View modules and click on the Settings icon; then follow on screen-prompts and add a new exclusion for your camera app.add exclusions bitdefender
  6. If you’re trying to use an external camera connected through your network follow: from View Modules link click on Firewall and then select Adapters; finally click on Network exceptions and add the IP address of the camera you want to add in the exceptions list.

Bitdefender is pre-installed with a built-in feature designed to secure your camera app. And this feature can be configured so that you can decide which apps can use it and which cannot.

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Kaspersky Internet Security

  1. Open the Kaspersky user interface.
  2. Go to Settings and click on the Additional section.
  3. From the right frame select Threats and exclusions.add exclusion kaspersky
  4. Next, click on the Configure exclusion rules link.
  5. Now follow on-screen prompts and resume the exclusion process.

Similar to Bitdefender, Kaspersky will automatically block certain apps and software from accessing your camera.

While this is a good thing as it can protect your identity, in some situations you might have to add an exclusion for a certain tool or for the webcam app itself.

Get Kaspersky Internet Security

Avast Free Antivirus

  1. Open the Avast program.
  2. Go to Basic Settings and from the left panel of the main window click on Troubleshooting.
  3. From the Troubleshooting menu, access the Web section and select the Ignored addresses field.
  4. Enter the IP address of your camera.
  5. Save your changes.
  6. For your webcam, you can add an exception by following the steps available under Global Exclusions.

In most situations, this antivirus program will successfully secure your computer against malware attacks or similar other malicious and infected files.

Sometimes you have to manually introduce the IP address of your camera in the ignored addresses field to be sure that you can enjoy its functionality.

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BullGuard Premium Protection

  1. Open the AV interface and navigate to the Settings tab.
  2. Access the Real-time Antivirus option and then, the File section (define here the files that you want to be skipped from the scanning process).
  3. Alternatively, on the Settings screen, enter the paths corresponding to the files/apps you wish to skip from the scanning process.
  4. Click on Add and that’s it.

You can customize BullGuard antivirus by defining the rules and obviously the exceptions for its scanning process. This applies to your webcam or respectively, to the apps that access your camera.

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Windows Defender

  1. Open Windows Defender.
  2. Select Virus & threat protection.
  3. Go to Virus & threat protection settings and click on Add or remove exclusions.
  4. Complete the required forms and save your changes.

According to users, sometimes malware can add an entire drive to the exclusions list in order to prevent Windows from finding it. However, you can fix the problem simply by checking your exclusions list.

The guidelines should help you add exclusions for the webcam or camera app. Of course, similar steps can be applied to other antivirus programs too.

Don’t forget that the first thing to do when noticing that the camera/webcam isn’t running or cannot be accessed is reinstalling the associated drivers.

If certain errors are received, don’t hesitate and share all these details with us by accessing the comments section below.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Yes, there is a record of Windows Defender blocking the webcam instances. If your antivirus is blocking the computer camera, all you need to do is follow our useful article dedicated to fixing camera problems caused by antivirus.

  • While antivirus and security solutions like firewalls can interfere with other apps functioning, the most common reason for a blocked webcam is its driver. You can find a quick guide to help you fix webcam issues.

  • Check if your computer can recognize the driver on which the webcam runs with the help of this thorough guide and update it accordingly. Also, make sure that your antivirus software does not block your camera.

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