Why Does My Webcam Flash When I Boot My Computer?

A blinking webcam during system startup doesn't necessarily mean you're being recorded.
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When you boot up your computer, the system performs a number of start-up operations that may cause your hardware to temporarily initialize. In some cases, this is simply the result of the device sensing the surge of electrical power and doesn't mean it's actively being used. On the other hand, depending on what start-up operations are configured, this may also be a result of your system booting various device software drivers. If the program controlling your webcam is included in the system startup, for example, the light might temporarily flash.

1 Reconfiguring Start-Up Commands

If your webcam is configured to be a part of the system startup, you may be able to disable your computer from accessing its drivers and prevent the webcam's lights from blinking. One way to do this is to open the Start Panel and click "Search." Type "msconfig" (without the quotation marks) into the search bar and press "Enter" to open the Msconfig utility. Click the "Startup" tab and ensure there are no programs listed that might prompt your system to access the webcam.

2 Check Task Manager

You can also access the Startup settings by right-clicking the taskbar at the bottom. Select "Task Manager" and then click "More Details" at the bottom of the window. From there, open the "Startup" tab and make the necessary modifications to disable any webcam software.

Based in Tampa, Fla., Danielle Fernandez been writing, editing and illustrating all things technology, lifestyle and education since 1999. Her work has appeared in the Tampa Tribune, Working Mother magazine, and a variety of technical publications, including BICSI's "Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual." Fernandez holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of South Florida.