How to turn your mobile phone into a PC webcam

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How to turn your mobile phone into a PC webcam
During the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people starting working from home and many students are staying at home because schools and universities are closed so they need to attend courses online. If we need to have a conference, we need a webcam.

Because of this, many wanted to take advantage of this situation so the prices for web cameras rose quickly. Some charge a lot more for web cameras, hoping people need them so badly that they will pay very high prices.

Fortunately, there is a much better solution then buying an expensive webcam (which after this crisis may render useless) and that is turning your mobile phone into a web camera for PC.

Turnind your phone into camera can be done by using an USB cable or a wifi connection. We will describe each one of these 2 methods, depending on your needs:

  1. Turn your phone into a security camera (does not work for video cals)

Using this method, we can place our mobile phone wherever we want without being limited because of the USB cable. However, it is important that both the PC and mobile phone to be in the same LAN. Here are the steps we need to follow to use the mobile phone as a camera:

  1. Connect the computer and the phone to the same LAN;
  2. Download and install from Google Play IP Webcam app (you can find it here);
  3. Open the app, allow access to the microphone and camera when it will ask for it; You also have some settings here regarding the video quality, setting a password, etc.;
  4. Select Start Server;
  5. On the PC open a browser and input the first IP address you have on the app (it’s the one right next to IPv4);

2. Turn your mobile phone into a PC webcam (works for video cals)

To have a webcam usable for video calls we need to follow these steps:

  1. Enable on the phone settings USB Debugging (in case you do not know how to do this, leave a comment mentioning your phone model and we will try to help you);
  2. Connect the phone to your PC using the USB cable and select No data transfer;
  3. From Google Play install DroidCam Wireless Webcam app (you can find it here);
  4. On the PC download and install Dev47Apps app (you can find it here); Select Download Windows client;
  5. Open both apps on the PC and phone and select icon no. 2, the USB one;
  6. Press Start and we should be able to use the device properly;

On the phone you may be prompted for several permissions, you need to accept everything. In order to use the webcam for video call apps (e.g Skype) we need to install the versions downloaded via the browser, not the ones downloaded from Windows Store.

For Skype you do not need to do any additional settings, it should work directly. As a test, open Skype, select Settings (press CTRL+ and the window will open), then select Audio & Video. We should have video footage from the mobile phone, as you can see below.

How to turn your mobile phone into a PC webcam

Most probably there are many apps which can do this, however this is the one we tested. The first part of this article is useful if we want to use the mobile phone as a security (surveillance) camera and the second part if we want to use it as a webcam for conferences or video calls.

If you have any issues following the steps above, please leave a comment mentioning the steps you managed to follow and where you found issues.

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