Built in Webcam Viewer like XP?

I have looked for over an hour and searching returns only garbage 'free' software.
XP had a built in webcam viewer, just by double clicking the camera in my computer, I can't seem to find this functionality anywhere in Win 7.
Was this feature removed from this OS?


Essential Member
Hello funman1 ,


I don't think so.

Maybe your camera software had some type of web cam, but as far as I remember there's no built-in web cam.

Are you still running XP?

A clean copy of XP with just drivers installed and I get this option.

When I click on it I get this

Which has a live feed from the camera, it's very basic viewing, but does allow you to take a snap shot and save the image.
I can't get this to work in Windows 7, or even find this viewer?


Essential Member
That can't be a fresh install when you have extra partitions and network drives showing.

You also have to have some type of device hooked up to your system for that USB Device entry to appear.

Or you have some type of video add-on card installed.

Hello and welcome,

In order to troubleshoot your problem we need to know more detailed specs of your system hardware.

1. Go to Start > Run, and type msinfo32, look under the Components section for hardware identification
2. Go to Control Panel > Device Manager and look for any entry that has a yellow flag beside it
3 Please fill out your computers specs in the User Control Panel here on the site as well. It will then appear next to your name. look at my posting and you'll see the drop-down arrow.

The exact make and model of your motherboard and would be of great help also.

In Windows 7 there is a hidden feature called Problem Steps Recorder. maybe this will help you.

Go to Start > Run, and type psr and hit enter. Click on the Help icon for instructions on using it

It's on my Acer Aspire One 10.1
The reason it's partitioned is because I loaded XP Pro on it and then decided to try Windows 7, used partition magic split the drive in two.
That was a clean xp install when it was working just as shown, yes I mapped a drive to my server not sure how that effects a webcam.

The webcam is built into the laptop so I don't have anything external plugged in.

The webcam drivers are installed on both OS's and I have no Yellow triangle exclamations in the device manager.
The webcam works fine in Windows 7 with an application that uses it (Messenger)

As you can see from the XP pictures that's just a windows dialog not some 3rd party app.
I can't find that dialog or anything simmilar in Windows 7
This is all I can find native in the OS and when you click on it it just brings up properties of the device


Essential Member
I see now

You didn't say it was a Notebook, I assumed desktop, Sorry.

I would suggest you follow this link, although I couldn't find your particular model.

Try downloading PC WIZARD 2008 for more detailed information about your computer.

Nope just gave it an official name but still no windows viewer?



Essential Member

I gave it my best shot.

You could shoot them off an e-mail

You can also check Microsoft's Hardware Compatability list here:
Windows Vista Compatibility Center

Email who?
Thanks for the help, I think I've come to the conclusion that it's just simply not built into Windows 7 like it was in XP...


Essential Member
E-mail Acer

I don't think they will support Windows 7 on their laptop as they don't even offically support vista on their netbooks.
I honestly think it's a Windows thing not a drive thing.. The camera works fine with applications like messenger and such just as it should., But I enjoed not using any software to take pics and duch with XP.
(I find the less software installed the better, thats why as soon as I got my laptop I threw in my own windows disc and reformatted the drive before I even booted their bloatware!)

Thanks again..

reghakr, have you ever used a standard USB webcam on Windows XP? I'm starting to doubt you have.

In Windows XP, if you attach a webcam, a large percentage of webcams WILL SHOW UP IN MY COMPUTER and allow you to double click on them and view them in explorer. From there, you can view whatever the webcam is viewing as well as take snapshots. It does work and was an AWESOME feature of XP. They since removed this functionality in Vista/Win7. Why? I have no clue.

There are viewer programs out there, but teh vast majority I have found are garbage. :(

As for built in cams, I would imagine that they would function the same as a standard cam if the OS id Win XP. On a side note, I have a Microsoft Live webcam that will not show up as a standard cam on Win XP. My HP cam, on the other hand, shows up fine on XP. All cams I have tried on Vista/Win7 do not show up as they did in Win XP, as MS removed that functionality.

You can access the device from the devices and printers page of the control panel, but not the display. USB cameras are much easier to manage, as you can use the USB virtualization to bounce the webcam from the physical system over to a virtual system (Such as XP or Ubuntu), using either VMWare or Virtual Box.

Also, I have a Fresh Install of XP that shows up with 8 drives from the get go. Why?
First Hard Drive - Windows
Second Hard Drive - Other Apps
Third Hard Drive - Page File & Files that are not accessed often
Fourth Hard Drive - Data Storage
Card Reader
Card Reader
Card Reader
Card Reader

Also, After a fresh install of any operating system, I proceed to join it to the domain.
Network Share 1 - Main Server Data Store
Network Share 2 - JB Server Data Connection
Network Share 3 - PT Server Data Connection
Network Share 4 - NAS Box
Network Share 5 - Personal Drive

Wow, after a fresh install, without any modifications to XP what-so-ever, I have 8 drives show up, and after I join the domain, I get another 5! Don't forget the 3 printers that install as well. Aren't GPOs great?

Anyway, sorry I had to sign up to post this. The feature is there. If you insist on me installing a copy of XP and recording my screen both with a screen recorder and my digital camera just to prove there is a webcam viewer, I'll do it just to prove that the thing exists.


I'm out!

I think you guys had a colossal misunderstanding.

With all drivers installed properly (i.e. web camera works well with applications like Skype), there appears not to be any built-in utility in Win7 that allows access to the camera.

XP recognized correctly installed USB cameras (and integrated notebook cameras) as a device in the file explorer. All one had to do was open My Computer and browse to the bottom of the file folder view. There was a "USB camera" link - just like a HD. When you clicked on it, the "file" portion of the explorer would show a live view of the camera.

I think what the OP wanted to know (and what I have still not found) is a way to get that functionality in Win7.

A good example was the ability to grab a screen shot when holding something in front of the camera. That could then be pasted into an email. Much more practical than snapping a photo on a standalone camera, downloading to the PC, and the attaching to an email.

Yup, that's exactly what I was talking about. :)

So, did you ever find a fix? Found plenty of your other posts around the web - along with canned replies recommending the correct "drivers"... This seems so obvious, yet we appear to be the only ones who've noticed (or care)... Frustrating.

I found a free 3rd party app called AMCAP.exe - it comes with the $10 USB cameras on eBay, but you can find the software all over google...

After installing, it creates a shortcut that does nothing but open a window with the camera view. A screen grab captures this displayed contents.

Indeed, there are programs out there that do what we need, but XP had that feature integrated in explorer.exe Vista and Win7 lost that feature. :(

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