How to Use an Android Smartphone as a Webcam on Windows PC
Webcams are difficult to find and expensive to purchase. If you have an inbuilt webcam on your windows 10 and you don’t fancy its output, and you have an Android phone, you can use the camera on your Android phone in place of that of windows PC. Here’s how it works.
If you have an Android smartphone, the back camera has a much better sensor than most Windows laptops even the front camera has a better sensor than the windows laptops and some of the cheaper webcams on the market. This is one of the fastest ways to improve your video-conferencing game. All that you need to do is to have a DroidCam Wireless Webcam app on your phone. You can download this app via playstore.
There are many such apps available in the Play Store, but after testing several of them, the one we liked best 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 via a USB cable.
You can use your Android smartphone (both the front and back cameras) as a wireless webcam with the DroidCam app on your phone and the DroidCam Client app for Windows PC. It works with most popular video-calling apps on Windows (except the Windows Store version of Skype).
You can also connect via USB, but this requires some advanced tinkering.
The DroidCam Wireless Webcam 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. The paid Pro version offers support for high-resolution video (up to 720p), an option called “FPS Boost” which allows for up to two times higher frame rate, 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 core purpose of turning your Android smartphone into a webcam that you can use on your Windows PC, the free version of the app is enough.
The free version of the app only supports standard definition. If you want high-resolution video (720p HD), you’ll have to buy the $5 DroidCamX app instead.
How to Use an Android Smartphone as a Webcam on Windows PC
Before you go further, make sure that your Android smartphone and your Windows computer are both connected to the same network. Once you’ve made sure of that, follow these steps:
Start by downloading and installing the DroidCam Wireless Webcam Android app on your smartphone. You can find it in the Play Store. On the app’s Store page, tap Install and wait for the app to be installed.
Once the app has been installed on your Android smartphone, move on to your Windows computer, and take the next step.
Next, On your Windows PC, open your favorite web browser, download and install the DroidCam Client for Windows 10 from the Dev47Apps website.
You should now get a small 875 KB file called DroidCam.Client.6.2.4.FullOffline.zip. Save it somewhere on your Windows computer (for example, on your desktop). Then, extract its contents, and you should get an executable file named DroidCam.Client.6.2.4.exe, with a size of 915 KB.
Double click/tap on the executable file 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 pay attention to: when you are asked about whether you want to install driver software from “DEV47 APPS”, choose to Install it. If you don’t, the Windows client cannot connect to the app on your Android phone.
Make sure both your Android phone and Windows 10 computer are on the same Wi-Fi network.
Open the DroidCam Android app, You can find it listed in 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, tap Next, and then tap the Got it button from the bottom of the screen.
DroidCam Wireless Webcam then asks you for permission to use your Android phone’s camera and microphone. Obviously, it needs to do that, so make sure that you Accept.
Once you’ve gone through the tutorial, you’ll see the main app screen that contains the Wi-Fi connection details.
On your Windows computer, open the DroidCam Client. Click the Wi-Fi button to start the connection process. Type the “Device IP” from the DroidCam’s Android app.
It will then appear in the “Wifi IP” section.
If you want, you can select the “Audio” option to use your phone’s microphone.
They control whether your Android smartphone can relay the camera video feed, as well as the sound from its microphone.
When you’re done, click “Start.”
Your Android smartphone’s camera is now be activated as a webcam. You can see the preview right in the DroidCam app.
DroidCam will now be the default webcam for all video-conferencing apps. If it’s not, go to your video-conferencing application’s audio and video settings to switch the default to DroidCam.
For example, in the Skype app, you’ll find this option in Settings > Audio and Video Settings. Here, click the drop-down arrow next to “Camera,” and then select “DroidCam” as the source.
Likewise, all you have to do to use your new smartphone webcam on Facebook is to choose it when you initiate a video call.
If you want to switch to the front-facing camera, tap the Menu button in DroidCam’s Android app and go to Settings > Camera > Front.
Now, all you have to do is set your phone at the right height and angle. You can simply lean it against your laptop screen, but we would recommend investing in a tripod or smartphone stand.
Don’t have an Android phone? You can also use your iPhone or digital camera as a webcam. It also works on iPhones as well.
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DroidCamX (paid version of DroidCam) offers additional controls
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.”
Why did you want to use your Android phone as a webcam for your PC?
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 would you rather 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.