How to Allow (or Block) Camera and Mic Access in Chrome

Use Chrome's settings to control when the mic and camera can be used

chrome camera and microphone settings
Getty Images (Credit: Tim Robberts #185500851)

The Google Chrome web browser lets you control which websites have access to your webcam and microphone. When you allow or block a website from accessing either device, Chrome stores that website in a setting that you can later change.

It's important to know where Chrome keeps the camera and mic settings so that you can make changes to them if you need to. You can then do things like stop allowing a website access to your camera, or stop blocking a website from letting you use your mic, or block access to your camera or mic from all websites.

Allowing and blocking webcam and microphone access is relevant no matter where you're using those devices. Maybe you want to set up mic access on YouTube, allow your camera to be used on your favorite video chat room, and block Skype's access to your mic. No matter what you're doing, all the mic and webcam settings are found in the same place.

Chrome Camera and Mic Settings

Screenshot showing the camera and mic settings in Chrome

Chrome keeps the settings for both the microphone and the camera within the Content settings section.

  1. With Chrome open, click or tap the menu at the top right. It's represented by three horizontally stacked dots.

    One quick way to get there is to hit Ctrl+Shift+Del and then hit Esc when that window appears. Then click or tap Content settings and skip down to Step 5.

  2. Choose Settings.

  3. Scroll all the way down the page and open the Advanced link.

  4. Scroll to the bottom of the Privacy and security section and choose Content settings.

  5. Choose either Camera or Microphone to access either setting.

    Screenshot of Chrome allowing webcam access for Facebook

For both microphone and webcam settings, you can force Chrome to ask you what to do each time a website requests access to either. If you block or allow a website to use your camera or mic, you can find that list in these settings.

Hit the trash icon next to any website to remove it from the Block or Allow section in either the camera or microphone section.

Screenshot of Facebook requesting camera and mic access in Chrome

Allowing a website to access your mic or camera is done through the website itself—you can't allow or block access to either from within Chrome's settings. For example, if you want Facebook to have access to your camera, you have to first go to Facebook.com and try using the webcam. From there, you can give Facebook access to the camera, after which it will show up in the list of allowed websites.

More Information

By default, you cannot manually add a website to either the block or allow list. However, you can set up Chrome to always ask you about accessing your mic or camera by choosing the Ask before accessing option in the Microphone or Camera settings screen.

Another option is to always block access, in which case Chrome will just deny access to either without asking. Again, this isn't a site-specific setting but a global setting. In other words, if you configure Chrome to always block camera access, it will block access to all websites that request it, not specific ones.

Screenshot of the mic settings in Chrome where you can choose a mic to set up options

Chrome stores settings only on a per-website basis, not per device. As a result, even if you have multiple mics plugged in, if you deny Chrome access to your mic, it will block all your microphones.

When Chrome asks if you want to allow or block access to your webcam or microphone, another option is to exit that screen. When you do that, Chrome will block access to that device but will not remember your decision through a setting. Exiting that screen is basically a way to temporarily say "no"; if you were to refresh that page and try again, it would ask for access again.

If you remove a website from the "block" list, it doesn't move it into the "allow" list, and vice versa. Instead, deleting a website from Chrome's list of blocked sites lets you choose Allow or Block next time the site requests access to your camera or mic. In contrast, if the site is on the list of blocked sites for the camera and you try using your camera, you won't be asked to use it. It will be blocked automatically without asking.

The same idea is true behind the list of allowed devices. Deleting a site there does not move it into the list of blocked sites. Having it in the "allow" section will make it work without asking each time.