Disabling Webcams During an Online Course

This post will explain the way to disable your webcam on Windows and Linux, so:

  1. On the OS level, prevent you from turning on the webcam by mistake, and live-stream your footage of having a meal lying on the bed playing games (NSFW)
  2. Prevent certain online lecturing software from secretly turning on the webcam.

Windows Procedures

Press the Win+R combination key to open the Run window, type devmgmt.msc and enter to open the Device Manager. Your camera will be in Image Acquisition Devices category, right-click on it to disable it.

(The following picture is taken from a Simplified Chinese Windows XP, but the procedure and icons should be similar for Windows 7 and 10.)

Windows Disabling Camera

When you need to use the camera, come back to re-enable it, and then close and reopen your browser or online lecturing software.

Linux Procedures

# First, close any software that uses your webcam,
# like your browser, online lecturing software, etc
sudo modprobe -rv uvcvideo
sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/disablecamera.conf
# Type in this line and save
blacklist uvcvideo

When you need your webcam, run sudo modprobe -v uvcvideo to load the drivers. After you're done, run sudo modprobe -rv uvcvideo to unload it. After the load/unload, you simply need to close and reopen your browser or online lecturing software.