Check your software
Webcams are built into most laptops and you might have one for your PC, sitting on top of the screen. They’re not just for Skype: you can use a webcam to take a quick photo.
You might already have software installed to take photos with it (search the Start menu for camera, webcam or the manufacturer name to see if there’s a utility) but here we’ll show you how to use a handy website.
In a web browser, go to
www.webcamtoy.com and click the ‘Ready? Smile!’ button to start.
Click on the ‘Use my camera!’ button to grant permission for the site to access your camera. No photos are saved or stored online unless you choose to share them.
You might see a pop-up asking for permission to use the camera. If you don’t check around the screen to look for a ‘pop-up blocked’ message.
Set your options
You’ll see a live preview from your webcam. Click the cog to choose options. By default there’s a countdown timer after you click the shutter button.
Using the arrows in the middle, you can scroll through the available effects, including the obligatory set of Instagram-style filters plus distortion and mirror effects.
Take a photo!
Click the camera button to take the photo and, if you like the shot, click the Save button to immediately download it to your computer. Alternatively click the Facebook or Twitter buttons to share the photo.