How to Test Your Mac Webcam for Beginners


Video conferencing saw a 535% jump in popularity during 2020. With the pandemic keeping us all at home, it became more important than ever to stay in touch with family and colleagues via the medium of video conferencing apps like Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime.

Of course, that kind of leap in popularity also created plenty of opportunities for people’s welcomes to break. So do you test your Mac webcam before you hop onto a video call? Do you just have to hit the ‘Join call’ button and pray your device works?

Of course not! There are plenty of ways to check webcam performance on a Mac, and with our quick guide, you’ll master them all.

Using the Built-In Mac Webcam

If you’re on a MacBook or iMac, your machine has a built-in webcam that will work fine for work and family calls (unless you need to be rendered in a blistering, high-res 1080p for whatever reason). You can tell whenever it’s on because a green light will activate on the top bezel of your device.

So how do you perform a webcam check on the built-in Mac webcam?

Well, you can check to make sure your webcam is working through the Photo Booth application. Just open Finder, go to the Applications folder, and open Photo Booth.

Once you’ve opened Photo Booth, you can tell if your webcam is working or not by whether or not you can see yourself in the app. If you can’t see yourself, then it might be time to invest in an external webcam for Mac.

Checking an External Webcam

If you’re using a Macintosh device without a built-in webcam, or your built-in option is broken, then an external webcam is a great way to go. It can even be better than the built-in options thanks to the possibility to get 1080p video.

Macs can be picky, so make sure you choose a webcam that explicitly marks itself as Mac-compatible. Once you’ve got one, you can follow the same steps we mentioned before to check it, but there are also more in-depth online options to get into the nitty-gritty of your camera.

For example, will let you make sure your Mac webcam works and also run a battery of tests on all kinds of different parts of your machine. If you’re the kind of person that’s constantly Googling ‘Check my webcam’, these more robust online tests will suit your needs down to a tee.

Get Streaming

So there you have it, a quick but comprehensive guide to checking your Mac webcam using a variety of methods. Whether you’re checking in with the grandparents or coordinating some super important business meeting, these tests will help you prepare for it with ease and style.

Just don’t blame us if you start wishing your webcam didn’t work in the 3rd hour of your Zoom call.

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