I know it existed as sort of a folder in Windows Explorer in at least Windows XP, but I just can't seem to find it in Windows 7...

How can I take a picture with my webcam in Windows 7 without using any 3rd party tools?

  • It's not included per-se, but if you use Windows Live Messenger you can go to webcam preview mode and take a screenshot of yourself.
    – user1931
    Commented Sep 14, 2010 at 22:37
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    @JohnT Messenger was decommissioned a year ago (but is still available in mainland China). I suggest upgrading to Windows 8 and using the built-in Camera app :)
    – gparyani
    Commented Sep 9, 2014 at 14:42
  • possible duplicate of How can I view my webcam in vista?
    – kinokijuf
    Commented Mar 3, 2015 at 16:30
  • 1
    For Lenovo/IBM users: Use "C:\Program Files\Lenovo\Communications Utility\CommMain.exe", or run "C:\Program Files\Lenovo\Communications Utility\CommOSD.exe" and press [FN]+[F6], both are similar, using the built-in driver/program of Lenovo/IBM so it is the best solution, and you can also switch resolutions and check different camera settings while you choose your best settings. Just click "Take Snapshot".
    – user429721
    Commented Nov 21, 2015 at 14:18
  • 1
    Not enough rep to post answer, but this one worked great for me. Fast, free, no hassle: webcamtoy.com
    – angularsen
    Commented Feb 22, 2016 at 15:17

8 Answers 8


Answer I wrote from another similar question.

Technically it isn't built in, but it is by Microsoft - so hope that doesn't count as third party in your books.

I find the best and quickest program to be Microsoft AMcap.

It works via native DirectX functions and is very lightweight.

It is a free utility available through the DirectX SDK - and here is a direct link to Amcap.exe.

  • 8
    I just downloaded the DirectX SDK (all 571MB) and installed it to Win 7 - unfortunately AMcap doesn't seem to be included any more. Commented Jan 16, 2012 at 9:58
  • Amcap is included in some webcam drivers, for example ZS0211. Google it and you'll find some downloads. For example file with that name works for me: ZS0211_ov7648&PO2030_Setup (exe or zip)
    – gronostaj
    Commented Sep 3, 2014 at 10:30
  • 1
    And AMcap.exe doesn't work alone either..... Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 19:24
  • The Microsoft version of AmCap is old abandonware (actually just a DX sample), but it seems to have been extended and maintained (at least up to 2008) by Noël Danjou, and can be downloaded e.g. here: en.softonic.com/download/amcap/windows/post-download?sl=1# (The Dropbox link in the answer is 404, BTW.)
    – Sz.
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 17:36
  • The direct link to Amcap.exe is no longer working. Can someone post a working link. Thank you.
    – user674669
    Commented Dec 30, 2017 at 20:01

You can do that easily with an free online flash app: http://blog.chrometaphore.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/WebcamSnapshot.swf

(it's an example but you can found a lot)



An other example of an online photobooth (using HTML5, with Flash fallback), which require no additional software


The most straightforward way it to install Picasa ..: http://picasa.google.com/

.. click on icon for "Capture photos and videos from a webcam or other video device" ..:

Take webcam picture

.. and then take picture or record video:

enter image description here

  • 1
    While technically Picasa is a third-party tool, this answer was helpful for me since I already had it installed.
    – Mike Henry
    Commented Jun 18, 2014 at 18:42
  • Picasa seems retired. Can't find the same feature in Google Photos. Commented Nov 20, 2017 at 12:10
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    I downloaded Picasa from sourceforge.net/projects/googlepicasa . I was able to take a capture a photo on Windows 7, 64-bit.
    – user674669
    Commented Dec 30, 2017 at 20:18

For Lenovo users, there's the Web Conferencing tool that comes with your ThinkPad that allows you to save camera snapshots. I know it's not an answer to the original question, but I arrived here via a Google search for a quick way to take a snapshot with my built in webcam so I guess more people will.


Windows 7, start Menu -> Run, type "webcam" or "camera" and you should see camera related software that came with your PC. Click on the software and that will allow you to take a pic.

  • Sounds good, I'd try it out if I still possessed that computer -- work laptop from previous job. Commented Sep 30, 2011 at 18:34
  • Sounds good for Windows 10, there's a camera application there.
    – electroid
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 9:13
  • 1
    win 7 logitech webcam, says nothing Commented May 20, 2017 at 11:12
  • Best answer for W10.
    – Khashir
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 19:19

Check Picanom -- its an online service (I don't trust such stuff much).
Your HP ProBook must have also come with its own Webcam Software.
Check this for example


I use CommandCam: http://batchloaf.wordpress.com/commandcam/

To convert to JPEG, I use this: http://code.google.com/p/jpeg-compressor/

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    There are only two sentences in that question and the second one is "How can I take a picture with my webcam in Windows 7 without using any 3rd party tools?".
    – gronostaj
    Commented Sep 3, 2014 at 10:28
  • 3
    Other people searching for information on taking pictures with webcams will find this question, and my answer will be useful to them.
    – PhilHibbs
    Commented Sep 3, 2014 at 14:34

The one thing I had already installed on my computer was VLC. This seems to work just fine: Media menu, Open capture device..., select the device name and click Play button.

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