How to Use the HP Laptop Webcam

by Ken Burnside Google

    Your HP laptop comes with a webcam and microphone located in the top of the bezel around the screen. The webcam uses a piece of software to run it. HP webcams may use one of the following programs: Cyberlink YouCam, MediaSmart Webcam or TouchSmart Webcam. One of these programs must be present to run your webcam.

    Seeing If The Program Is Installed

    Step 1

    Click on the "Start" button.

    Step 2

    Type "YouCam" in the search box. If no icon comes up, proceed to step 3. If an icon comes up, double click on it. You should see an image on your screen showing what the webcam's sensor shows. If no image comes up, see the "Troubleshooting" section.

    Step 3

    Type "Webcam" in the search box. If no icon comes up, go to the next section. If an icon comes up, double click on it. You should see an image on your screen showing the live feed from the webcam. If this does not occur, see the section on "Troubleshooting"

    Installing the Cyberlink YouCam Software

    Step 1

    Close any software you might have open that could use the webcam, such as Windows Messenger, AIM or Skype.

    Step 2

    Launch your Web browser, go to HP's support site (link in Resources) and download the Cyberlink YouCam Software.

    Step 3

    Double-click on the downloaded file. You may be asked to give your administrator's password; you will need to do so to install the software. You may be informed that the software is already installed. Click "Yes" to install the new software over the old software installation.

    Step 4

    Click on the "Start" menu. Enter "YouCam" in the search window; this should pull up the program's icon. Double-click on it. The program will launch and you should see some video in the YouCam window based on what's in front of the webcam.

    Step 5

    Once the camera is showing your face, adjust the angle of the screen to adjust what's shown on the camera. Lighting and ambient sound can make a webcam video choppy or hard to see. Try to have lighting coming from above your head and shining on your face so that the people you're talking with can see you.

    Troubleshooting

    Step 1

    Launch your webcam software; this will either be Cyberlink YouCam or one of the Webcam packages mentioned in the earlier section "Seeing if the Program is Installed."

    Step 2

    Look for the tab that says "Capture" or "Camera" – the exact wording on the tab will vary depending on the webcam software installed. For Cyberlink YouCam, it's called "Capture."

    Step 3

    Select the drop-down for "Capture Device" or "Camera." For Cyberlink YouCam, it's called "Capture Device." The drop down may list more than one USB video device. Select a different one and click "OK." This may cause your webcam application to show live video. If it does not, proceed to the next step.

    Step 4

    Restart your computer and launch your webcam application again. You should see live video. If you don't, repeat steps 2 and 3 again with a different USB video device. If none of these work, contact your manufacturer for warranty support.

    Using Your Webcam on the Internet

    Step 1

    Launch your Internet messenger of choice, whether it's Skype, AIM, Google Chat or Yahoo Chat.

    Step 2

    Start an IM conversation with someone you want to video chat with.

    Step 3

    Click on the camera icon in the chat window. On Google Chat, this is above the text. On Yahoo IM and AIM, it's above the text entry area where you enter new messages. On Skype, there will be a button that says "Start Video Chat."

    Step 4

    Allow the program to access the video camera if asked. You should be video chatting with your friend at this point.

    Tips

    • If you do a Windows Update and your webcam stops working, click on the "Start" button and type "Device Manager." Select "Device Manager" from the list provided. This will show all the devices attached to your computer. Look for "Imaging Devices" and then the specific webcam you're using. Right-click on the webcam and select "Update Driver Software." Follow the onscreen instruction and then reboot your computer. This should resolve the problem.

    About the Author

    Ken Burnside has been writing freelance since 1990, contributing to publications as diverse as "Pyramid" and "Training & Simulations Journal." A Microsoft MVP in Excel, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Alaska. He won the Origins Award for Attack Vector: Tactical, a board game about space combat.

    Photo Credits

    • Adam Berry/Getty Images News/Getty Images