- Does your webcam refuse to launch?
- The troubleshooting process can be lengthy, but our best guess is that your antivirus might just have something to do with this. Here's how to fix a camera blocked by antivirus for good.
- Check out our Webcam Guides for more handy solutions to solve those pesky camera issues.
- Visit the Antivirus Hub as well and explore the best deals to shield your PC against any malware.
Are you trying to use your computer’s webcam (or an external camera device) but the app cannot be launched?
If the webcam/camera software isn’t running properly and you cannot enjoy its functionality, don’t worry as there are a few solutions that can save your day.
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 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.
How can I fix the antivirus blocking camera issues?
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.
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.
Check out the steps below to do this:
- Open the AV interface and navigate to the Settings tab
- 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)
- Alternatively, on the Settings screen, enter the paths corresponding to the files/apps you wish to skip from the scanning process
- Click on Add and that’s it
Your trusted guardian to stop malware from exploiting your webcam.
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.
Also, from there you should be able to enable or block the camera app:
- Open the main Bitdefender user interface.
- Click on the Privacy icon – located on the left side of the main window.
- Then, select View Features.
- 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 main Webcam Protection panel.
- 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.
- 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.
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:
- Open the Kaspersky user interface.
- Go to Settings and click on the Additional section.
- From the right frame select Threats and exclusions.
- Next, click on the Configure exclusion rules link.
- Now follow on-screen prompts and resume the exclusion process.
- Open the Avast program.
- Go to Basic Settings and from the left panel of the main window click on Troubleshooting.
- From the Troubleshooting menu, access the Web section and select the Ignored addresses field.
- Enter the IP address of your camera.
- Save your changes.
- For your webcam, you can add an exception by following the steps available under Global Exclusions.
5. Windows Defender
- Open Windows Defender.
- Select Virus & threat protection.
- Go to Virus & threat protection settings and click on Add or remove exclusions.
- Complete the required forms and save your changes.
The guidelines should help you add exclusions for the webcam or camera app. Of course, similar steps can be applied for 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.
FAQ: Learn more about antivirus interfering with webcams
- Is Windows Defender blocking my camera?
Yes, there is a record of Windows Defender blocking the webcam instances. All you need to do is set an exclusion rule for the webcam or the apps that are accessing it and here’s how to do that.
- Why is webcam blocked?
While antivirus and security solutions like firewalls can interfere with other apps functioning, the most common reason for a blocked webcam is its driver. Here’s a full guide to help you fix webcam issues.
- How do I unblock my camera?
Check if your computer can recognize the driver on which the webcam runs and update it accordingly. Also, make sure that your antivirus software does not block your camera.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2017 and has been since revamped and updated in June 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.