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How to use the camera on Chromebook?

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  • 7 min read

ChromeOS 76 update brought the native camera app to Chromebooks in 2019 and made the economical and portable workstations even more efficient and productive. Chromebook’s camera app isn’t only effective for taking photos or videos — and also in video calls — you can also scan documents or QR codes and even create GIFs directly.

If you’re new to the Chromebook experience or haven’t used the camera app in so long that you aren’t aware of its existence or what it offers, this Chromebook camera guide will help you with everything.

Here we’ve discussed the following topics related to using the camera on Chromebook.

Also read: How to delete downloads on Chromebook?

How to launch the camera on Chromebook?

Follow the steps mentioned below to launch the built-in camera app on your Chromebook.

  • Step 1: Click on the Launcher icon on the bottom left corner of your screen.
  • Step 2: Search and select the Camera app.
How to use the camera on Chromebook?

The camera on Chromebook will open, and now you can take photos and videos or scan documents and QR codes. You can customise photo and video settings, including the resolution and aspect ratio. The Camera app also has a few tools, including a Mirror preview toggle, grid and timer.

How to take a photo or video on Chromebook?

Once you’ve saved your preferred settings, all you need to do is select the Photo or Video tab and click on the capture button as shown in the screenshot below (white circle for photos and scans but features a red circle within the white one for videos).

How to use the camera on Chromebook?
Chromebook’s camera app UI

We’ve explained all the buttons on the camera app below, corresponding with the numbers in the screenshot above.

  1. The capture button.
  2. The thumbnail of the last photo/video/scan.
  3. Toggle to switch between Photos, Videos and Scan modes.
  4. Mirror Preview toggle, Grid and Timer tools – top to bottom.
  5. Settings button.

Tips for Chromebook’s Camera app

Here are a few tips when using the Camera app on Chromebooks

  • You can also take photos or start capturing videos using the up or down volume buttons of your Chromebook when it’s in tablet mode — only applicable for touch-screen Chromebooks.
  • You can also pause video recordings in between. Any paused video recordings are automatically saved, unless you delete them.
  • You can take photos while you record a video using the Take video snapshot button.

The button turns blue (in dark mode) when pressed. The saved photos and videos in your camera reel appear right below the capture button.

Also read: Top 7 drawing apps for Chromebooks

Chromebook camera settings and tools overview

Chromebook’s Camera app UI is quite minimalist, especially if you’re working on an entry-level machine.

The app’s Photo and Video tab has a Mirror Preview toggle, Grid and Timer tools.

How to use the camera on Chromebook?
Chromebook camera’s Grid tool options

It also has a Settings button where you can set the Photo/Video resolution and select the Photo aspect ratio — landscape or portrait, among others.

How to use the camera on Chromebook?
You can’t control the aspect ratio of videos

The mirror preview tool lets you flip the photo from left to right. The grid tool is useful for straightening the frame. The timer is useful if you need some time before the photo is clicked or the video starts recording.

How to use the camera on Chromebook?

You can’t adjust the aspect ratio of videos. The video tab also features a Microphone toggle to enable/disable it when shooting a video. You can also shoot GIFs using the Chromebook camera app — switch the tab from Normal to GIF with Video selected.

How to use the camera on Chromebook?
The video UI in Chromebook’s camera app

If your Chromebook has two cameras or you’ve connected an external camera, you’ll also see a button to switch between cameras. Some Chromebooks also have a Pan, Tilt and Zoom tool in the app.

How to use Chromebook’s camera with Google Assistant?

If you’ve set up Google Assistant on your Chromebook (via Settings), you can also ask the assistant to take photos and videos. You can use the following commands to use the camera on Chromebook with Google Assistant.

Launch my cameraOpen the camera
Take my pictureTake a picture
Take a portrait photoTake a portrait
Take a videoTake a video

How to scan a document on Chromebook?

Before you follow the steps below, here are a few things you should know about scanning on Chromebook.

  • Use a background that’s of a different colour than your document.
  • Ensure the area is well-lit.
  • Alight the edges of the document to the camera frame.
  • If a rear camera is available on your Chromebook, it’s recommended to use that to scan the document.

Follow the steps mentioned below to scan a document on Chromebook.

  • Step 1: Open the Camera app and click on the Scan tab.
  • Step 2: Make sure that all the edges of your document are within the frame. As soon as the document is detected, click on the Scan (capture) button.
How to use the camera on Chromebook?
Scan documents as photos or PDFs

You can now either save the scan as a photo or PDF. Alternatively, you can retake the scan.

If you want to continue scanning more pages, instead of saving the first scan, select Multi-page option and scan another page. Repeat the same steps if you want to scan more pages or save all the pages scanned using the multi-page option at once. You can use the Trash icon to remove any page from the multi-page document.

The ‘Save as photo’ option can only be used for single scans. Scans can also be done with a printer.

You can also scan QR codes using Chromebook’s camera app. Select the QR code option on the Scan mode and make sure the QR code you want to scan is placed inside the box on the screen — it’ll be scanned automatically.

How to use the camera on Chromebook?
Chromebooks also have a QR code scanner in the camera app

Also read: Top 7 Chromebooks with backlit keyboards



Writes news mostly and edits almost everything at Candid.Technology. He loves taking trips on his bikes or chugging beers as Manchester United battle rivals. Contact Prayank via email: