How to Flip the Camera on a Surface Pro

Switch cameras on your Surface tablet

What to Know

  • The Microsoft Surface Pro has two cameras: Microsoft Camera Front and Microsoft Camera Rear.
  • You can switch between these cameras in any app that supports a webcam.
  • Microsoft Camera Front is the default camera. This can't be changed, though there is a workaround.

This article provides instructions on how to flip the camera on a Surface Pro (and other Surface devices).

How to Flip the Camera on a Surface Pro using the Camera App

The Microsoft Surface Pro has a camera on the front for video conferences and a camera on the rear for photos and video. Apps will use the front camera by default.

The Camera app, included with every installation of Windows 10, is the default app for snapping photos and recording video on a Surface device.

You can flip the camera in this app by tapping the camera icon in the upper right side of the application.

Camera flip icon in Surface Pro camera app

How to Flip the Camera on a Surface Pro in Other Apps

Flipping the camera in the Camera app is easy, but not all that useful. The change only applies to the Camera app. Odds are you spend more time using the camera with video conferencing apps like Zoom or Slack. Here's how to flip the camera in other apps.

  1. Open the settings menu in the app where you'd like to flip the camera.

  2. Find the camera settings menu. Most apps will label this Camera or Video.

  3. Find a drop-down menu or radio box used to select your camera. You will see two options. Microsoft Camera Front is the front-facing camera, while Microsoft Camera Rear is the rear-facing camera. Change the selected camera to the camera you prefer.

    Microsoft Front Camera highlighted in Surface Pro camera settings

Most apps will save your camera selection after you exit the app, so you should only need to change this setting once in each app unless you frequently switch between the front and rear cameras.

How to Change the Default Camera on a Surface Pro

Surface devices will default to using Microsoft Camera Front in all apps unless you've changed that selection in the app you're using. The Surface Pro does not have a system-wide setting to let you change this default.

There is a workaround, however. You can force the issue by disabling one of the two cameras, leaving just one possible camera. Here's how to do it.

  1. Perform a Windows Search for Device Manager. Open it when it appears in the search field.

    Device Manager highlighted in Windows search
  2. Expand System Devices by tapping the arrow next it.

    System Devices highlighted in Windows Device Manager
  3. Scroll through the list until you see Microsoft Camera Front and Microsoft Camera Rear (the list is alphabetical, so they'll be near the middle).

    Microsoft Camera Front and Back in Windows Device Manager
  4. Right click the camera you do not want to use as the default camera.

  5. Tap Disable device.

    Disable Device in Windows Device Manager with Microsoft Camera Front selected
  6. A confirmation window will appear. Select Yes.

The selected camera will no longer be accessible by Windows and Windows apps, effectively forcing them to use the other camera.

Unfortunately, this means you won't be able to use the camera you disabled at all. This workaround is not useful if you frequently switch between cameras.

You can revert this action by right-clicking the camera in Device Manager and selecting Enable device.

  • Can I use a digital camera as a webcam?

    Yes, if your device supports it. To use your digital camera as a webcam, use the webcam software provided by your camera manufacturer, or use an HDMI-to-USB capture device.

  • How do I disable my Windows 10 webcam?

    To disable a webcam on Windows 10, go to the Device Manager and find your camera, then right-click it and select Disable.

  • How do I rotate the screen on my Surface Pro?

    To rotate the screen in Windows 10, go to Settings > Display and select the Display Orientation dropdown menu. In tablet mode, you can rotate the Surface Pro screen by turning your device. Go to Settings > Screen to toggle the auto-rotate feature.

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