How To Connect a Camera to a Laptop

Camera And Laptop

Are you trying to connect an external camera to your laptop for video calls and more? Luckily, you can do this without spending too much time. 

Quick Answer

To connect the camera to your laptop, attach the camera and laptop using a USB cable. Next, install a camera driver using a given CD or download it from the manufacturer’s site only if it’s not a plug-and-play model. Follow the installation process shown on the screen and test camera operations.  

To help you with this task, we have written an extensive guide on connecting a camera to your laptop with easy-to-follow instructions. We will also discuss some fixes when the webcam is not connecting to your laptop. 

Connecting a Camera to a Laptop

If you don’t know how to connect a camera to your laptop, our following 2 step-by-step methods will help you do it without difficulty.

Method #1: Connecting a Camera via USB 

Do these steps to connect your external webcam to your laptop using the USB port. 

Step #1: Attaching the Camera 

In the first step, plug in the camera connector side of the USB cable to the camera port and the other end into the laptop USB slot

If you are connecting a webcam to your Mac, use a USB to USB-C adapter

Step #2: Setting Up the Camera 

In the second step, you need to install the webcam’s software. To do this, use the CD given in the package, insert it into the laptop CD player, and proceed with the installation process. 

If your laptop does not have a CD player or there is no CD included in the package, you can simply download its software or driver from the webcam company’s website. 

But before you search for drivers online, your camera might be plug-and-play. So, attach it to your laptop using a USB cable, follow onscreen instructions, press “Install”, and set up your webcam using preferences and settings. 

Step #3: Testing the Camera 

In the last step, test your webcam by running a video and audio stream. You might get a testing option during the setup process in some models. After the checks, your camera is successfully connected to your laptop, and you can use it for various tasks.  

Method #2: Connecting a Camera Through the Wi-Fi

If your external camera is Wi-Fi enabled and does not have a USB port, you can connect it to your laptop using these steps. 

Step #1: Connecting a Webcam to the Router 

In the first step, connect the camera to the router using an Ethernet cable. Now, you can access the camera setup wizard on your laptop. 

Ensure your laptop is connected to a similar Wi-Fi network as the external camera.

Step #2: Configuring the Network 

In the second step, start the wireless feature setup of the camera on your computer by using your network’s SSID and security keys. Next, follow the on-screen instructions to complete the network configuration process successfully. 

Step #3: Testing the Connection 

In the last step, unplug the Ethernet cable from your webcam and router and allow the camera to connect to the Wi-Fi network. Next, test the video and audio stream using the camera through your laptop and ensure it’s working fine. 

Are You Unable To Connect an External Webcam to a Laptop?

If you want to connect an external camera to your laptop because the built-in one does not work, follow these methods to troubleshoot the issue.

Fix #1: Scanning for Hardware Changes 

The first thing to fix the laptop and camera connectivity issue is to scan for hardware changes in the following way.

  1. Type “Device Manager” in search on the taskbar.
  2. Open “Device Manager”. 
  3. Go to the very right of the menu bar and click “Scan for Hardware Changes”.
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  4. Wait until the scan is complete and updated drivers are reinstalled. 

Now, restart your laptop and try opening the Camera app again to use the external camera. 

Fix #2: Checking Driver Compatibility

Another way to troubleshoot the camera and laptop connection issue is to check for the camera driver compatibility in the following way.

  1. Open “Device Manager”.
  2. Select your camera under “Cameras, Imaging devices, or Sound, video, and game controllers”.
  3. Right-click on your camera name.
  4. Click “Properties”.
  5. Click “Driver”. 
  6. Click the “Driver Details” button, and look for the “stream.sys” driver file.

If you cannot find any such file, your camera is outdated and incompatible with the latest Windows, so you need to replace it with a new one. 


This guide discusses connecting a camera to your laptop using a USB cable and Wi-Fi connectivity features. We’ve also discussed a few fixes to resolve the external camera connectivity issues. 

Hopefully, your question has been answered in this article, and you can now use your external webcam on your laptop for a seamless video-calling experience.  

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