How to turn your Android smartphone into a webcam for your Windows PC
Do you have a Windows laptop or a computer that you use for making Skype calls, but you don't have a webcam to use with it? Or maybe your laptop's built-in webcam just broke, and you must participate in an urgent online video meeting? If you have an Android smartphone, then you're in luck: you can configure it to act as a webcam for your Windows computer. All it takes is the right Android app and Windows software client, and a few taps and clicks here and there. In this guide, we will show you all the steps required to transform your smartphone into a webcam, for your Windows PC:
What you need to turn your Android smartphone into a webcam for your Windows PC
First of all, you need to download and install an Android app that can make your smartphone act as a webcam. There are many such apps available in Play Store, but after testing several of them, the only one we liked was DroidCam Wireless Webcam.
The app works by creating a connection between your Android smartphone and your Windows computer either by using a wireless network or by using a USB cable connection.
The Android app is available in two versions: free and paid. The free version, which we used to create this guide, has the disadvantage of displaying ads on your smartphone, and the paid Pro version has the advantage of offering support for high resolution video (up to 720p), an option called "FPS Boost" which allows for up to two times higher framerates, and more customization options for the Windows client, such as the ability to mirror video, rotate video, increase or decrease the image contrast and sharpness and others. However, to achieve the basic core purpose of turning your Android smartphone into a webcam that can be used on your Windows PC, the free version of the app is enough.
Before you go ahead, make sure that both your Android smartphone and your Windows computer are both connected to the same network. Once you've made sure of that, follow the next steps:
Step 1. Download and install the DroidCam Wireless Webcam app on your Android smartphone
You must first download and install the DroidCam Wireless Webcam app for Android. You can find it in the Play Store, here: DroidCam Wireless Webcam. On the app's Store page, tap Install and wait for app to be installed.
Once the app has been installed on your Android smartphone, move on to your Windows computer and make the next step.
Step 2. Download and install the DroidCam Client app on your Windows PC
On your Windows PC, open your favorite web browser and visit this web page: DroidCam Windows Client. Once it's loaded, you should see on it a large button named Client v6.0. Click or tap on it to download the DroidCam Client.
You should now get a small 692 KB file called DroidCam_Client_6.0.zip. Save it somewhere on your Windows computer, like on your desktop. Then extract its contents: an executable file named DroidCam.Client.6.0.exe, with a size of 736 KB.
Double click/tap on DroidCam.Client.6.0.exe and follow the wizard's instructions to install the DroidCam Client on your Windows computer. The wizard is pretty straightforward: just keep on clicking or tapping Next. There's only one thing you must be careful at: when you're asked about whether you want to install a driver software from "DEV47 APPS", choose to Install it. If you don't, the Windows client won't be able to connect to the Android app.
When the installation is done, open the Windows client and move to the next step of this guide.
Step 3. Connect the DroidCam Wireless Webcam Android app with the Windows DroidCam Client
Go to your Android smartphone and open the DroidCam Wireless Webcam. You should find it listed among your All apps list.
The first time you open the DroidCam Wireless Webcam app, you are greeted with a welcome screen on which you can see a quick start guide about how to use it. Read it and then tap on the Next and then on the Got it buttons from the bottom of the screen.
Now the DroidCam Wireless Webcam app loads a new screen, on which it shows you what WiFi network you're connected to, your Android smartphone's IP address and the port used by the app.
For instance, in our case, the WiFi IP is 192.168.1.24, and the DroidCam Port is 4747. Keep your smartphone unlocked as you'll need this information very soon.
Go to your Windows computer and focus on the DroidCam Client. If you didn't already open the Windows client at the previous step, open it now. Inside its window, in the Connect over WiFi (LAN) section, enter the Device IP and the DroidCam Port that are displayed on your Android smartphone. In our case, the Device IP is 192.168.1.24 and the DroidCam Port is 4747.
Then make sure to select the Video and, if you want, also the Audio checkboxes. They control whether the Android smartphone will relay only the camera video feed as well as enable the microphone.
Step 4. Start the video feed from your smartphone
Finally, click or tap on the Start button from the Windows DroidCam Client to begin the video data transmission. If all worked well, you should now see a preview of the video sent from your smartphone's camera. In other words, now you have a working webcam! :)
Step 5. Use your Android smartphone as a webcam, in Camera, Skype, and Facebook
Now you can open any app that needs a webcam and configure it to use your Android smartphone, a.k.a. DroidCam Source, for that. For instance, in Skype's Video settings you'll find a webcam called DroidCam Source 3. All you have to do to use it with Skype is to select it.
Likewise, all you have to do to use your new smartphone webcam in Facebook is choose it when you initiate a video call.
Important notes to consider
The Windows DroidCam Client also includes a few other buttons for additional options and controls. However, unless you pay for the Pro version of the DroidCam Wireless Webcam Android app, the additional controls are disabled and cannot be used.
The Windows DroidCam Client app also includes two other different connection methods between your PC and your Android smartphone: via USB or by creating a direct wireless connection between your Windows PC and your Android smartphone. However, the USB method is recommended only for advanced users because it involves using the Android "Developer Options," more specifically "USB Debugging."
Now that you know how easy it is to turn your Android smartphone into a webcam that you can use with your Windows computer, are you still tempted to buy yourself a dedicated webcam? Or will you keep on using your smartphone each time you need to make a video call on your computer? Do you like how DroidCam works? Or do you prefer another similar app from the Google Play Store? Share your thoughts with us, in the comments below.