Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


How to use your phone as a webcam in Windows

Your iPhone or Android phone can serve as a high-resolution webcam in a virtual meeting.
Written by Lance Whitney, Contributor
Woman doing a video call with headphones
iStockphoto/Getty Images

Your Windows laptop likely has its own webcam that you use for virtual meetings. But many laptop webcams are stuck at a low resolution. And if you're using a desktop, you may not even have a webcam accessible.

In that case, your mobile phone can step in to serve as your video camera during a meeting.

There's no built-in functionality in Windows 10 or Windows 11 to perform this trick as there is with MacOS Ventura

Also: Best smartphone cameras

Instead, a few third-party utilities are available to turn your phone into a webcam. 

Programs such as DroidCam, EpocCam, and iVCam Webcam will help you enlist your iPhone or Android phone for this assignment. Plus, these apps support all the major virtual meeting platforms, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Skype.

Using a special mount, you can attach your phone to the top of your computer or monitor. Alternatively, you can hold your phone as you walk around the room so that you stay on camera.

Also: Zoom alternatives: The best video conferencing software and apps


Designed for iPhones, iPads, and Android devices, DroidCam will work with your device over Wi-Fi or USB. The program comes in a free edition that offers you unlimited webcam use at standard definition and a $5 or $10 Pro flavor that allows for a high definition video feed at 720p or 1080p.

Screenshots for setting up the DroidCam and connecting to Wi-Fi

DroidCam setup and connection.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney

How to use your mobile phone as a webcam in Windows

1. Download and install the mobile app and grab the Windows client

First, download and install the mobile app for iOS and iPadOS or Android. Then, grab the Windows client

Open both programs. If you plan to use a wired connection, plug your phone or tablet into your PC via USB, click the dropdown menu, and select your device. 

If you want to use Wi-Fi instead, make sure both your PC and mobile device are on the same network. The mobile app will display an IP address and port number. 

Enter both of those into the appropriate screen in the Windows client. 

2. Click Start

Click Start and the Windows program displays the feed from your phone.

3. Position yourself in the frame of your phone

Move your phone to position yourself in the frame. With the free version of the mobile app, you can switch between the front and rear camera, adjust the lighting and white balancing, and dim the screen. With the paid edition, you can bump up the resolution, turn on a continuous auto focus mode, zoom in or out, and rotate or flip the video.

Also: Take your live streams and videos to the next level with these green screens

Man using DroidCam control within the frame of the video.

DroidCam control and video feed.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney

4. Open your virtual meeting software

After you've tweaked the video the way you want, open your virtual meeting software. 

Change the video source to DroidCam Source 2 or DroidCam Source 3. You can then use your phone as your webcam for the virtual meeting. 

To stop using your phone this way, change the video source in your virtual meeting software or press the Stop button in the DroidCam mobile app.

Clicking DroidCam Source 2 in DroidCam in a virtual meeting

DroidCam in a virtual meeting.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney


Compatible just with iOS and iPadOS, EpocCam works over USB or Wi-Fi. The app offers both portrait and landscape mode and will even play with Snapchat lenses. The free version limits the resolution. For $7.99, a paid edition allows for higher resolution feeds, wide-angle camera views, and access to your phone's microphone.

First, snag the mobile app from the App Store. Then download and install the required Camera Hub Windows client. Open the mobile app and follow the screens. Grant the app permission to access your camera and local network. Your phone should then be transformed into a webcam.

3 Steps for setting up and connecting with EpocCam

EpocCam setup and connection.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney

From the mobile app, you can switch between the front and rear camera, and flip the video horizontally. From the Windows software, you can tweak the brightness, contrast, and saturation, as well as apply different AR lenses, such as a background blur, green screen, and sepia.

Man using EpocCam controls for different filters

EpocCam controls.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney

After you've adjusted the different settings, fire up your virtual meeting. Change the video source to Elgato Virtual Camera to use your phone as your webcam.

Man using EpocCam in a virtual meeting

EpocCam in a virtual meeting.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney

Also: The 10 best webcams

iVCam Webcam

Another app designed for iOS, iPadOS, and Android, iVCam Webcam works over Wi-Fi or USB, offers a high-resolution feed, and lets you take a snapshot or recording of your feed. The major downside is that the free version saddles you with intrusive ads. At $9.99 for a one-year subscription and $24.95 for a permanent subscription, the paid version dispenses with the ads and provides other advanced features.

Download the mobile app from the App Store or Google Play, and then grab the Windows client for your PC. Then fire up both programs. A USB connection is automatically detected, while a Wi-Fi connection may require you to enter the IP address of your phone, which is listed in the Settings screen of the app. Just click the Connect button in the Windows client to type the address, and the connection is made.

Man in frame of iVCam Webcam during setup and connection

iVCam Webcam setup and connection.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney

Using the mobile app, you're able to switch between the front and rear camera, flip the picture horizontally, and adjust the lighting and other factors. With the Windows client, you can tweak the picture as well as take a snapshot or recording of the video feed. Plus, you can set the orientation, switch the size and resolution, and change the frame rate.

iVCam Webcam camera settings with different control features.

iVCam Webcam camera settings.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney

After you've established the connection and tweaked the different settings, launch your virtual meeting. Change the video source to e2eSoft iVCam, and your phone takes the stage as your webcam.

iVCam Webcam being used by a man in a virtual meeting

iVCam Webcam in a virtual meeting.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney
Editorial standards