iPhone and iPad

How to Use Your iPhone as a Webcam: A Step-by-Step Guide

Dan Price Updated 10-04-2020

Did you know it’s possible to use your iPhone as a webcam? Of course, it’s can’t quite mimic a webcam in the traditional sense. You can’t plug your iPhone into a computer’s USB port and expect it to work right away. But you can use apps to recreate the webcam experience.

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Our favorite app for this purpose is EpocCam. Let’s look at how to use EpocCam to make your iPhone act like a webcam. We’ll also introduce you to a couple of EpocCam alternatives.

What Is EpocCam?

EpocCam can turn your iOS device (iPhone or iPad) into a webcam for both Windows and Mac computers. There’s also an Android version that offers the same functionality. The developer claims the app can completely replace traditional USB webcams and integrated webcams.

The app supports both video and audio and is compatible with many of the leading video player apps, including Skype, Streamlabs OBS, and YouTube. It doesn’t matter whether you want to chat with your family, stream games to your followers, or engage in video conference calls with your colleagues—EpocCam is up to the task.

EpocCam Free vs. EpocCam Pro

EpocCam offers a free and a paid version. The free version provides 640×480 video resolution, USB support (if used with macOS), the ability to use your device’s front and rear cameras as the webcam input, and Wi-Fi connectivity. When using the free edition, you must accept watermarks on your videos as well as in-app ads.

The Pro version removes ads and the watermark. However, it’s only worth considering if you have a Mac. Many of the pro features are only available to users of Apple’s desktop operating system. Pro features include pinch-to-zoom, manual focus, flashlight support, HDR video, dual-camera, and dim-screen (also called “spycam”).

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The other major benefit of using the paid version is the increased video resolution. It jumps from 640×480 to 1920×1080.

Download: EpocCam for iOS (Free)
Download: EpocCam Pro for iOS ($7.99)

How to Use Your iPhone as a Webcam With EpocCam

Let’s take a quick look at how to set up EpocCam on your iOS and macOS or Windows devices.

Install EpocCam on macOS or Windows

The EpocCam software comes in two parts—an app for your mobile device and the drivers for your computer.

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Although you can view your iPhone’s camera output on your Mac using nothing more than the EpocCam Webcam Viewer (available for free in the Mac App Store), we recommend installing the drivers. They allow EpocCam to integrate with Skype, Zoom, and any other video chat tool you use. The Webcam Viewer only allows you to see your phone’s video output; it offers no integration with other services.

The EpocCam Mac drivers (as well as drivers for Windows) are available for free on the developer’s website, kinoni.com. Download and install them on your computer before moving on.

(Note: It’s a good idea to restart your machine after installing any new drivers.)

Set Up EpocCam on iPhone or iPad

epoccam ios connection screen

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Once you’ve downloaded and installed the mobile version of EpocCam on your iOS device, it’s easy to connect it to a Mac. Just make sure your iOS and macOS devices are on the same Wi-Fi network, then open the EpocCam app on your phone. You’ll see a black screen with a phone icon.

Now head back to your Mac and open an app that EpocCam supports. If you only want to test the connection, open the EpocCam Webcam Viewer app mentioned earlier. As soon as the phone app detects a supported app running on your Mac, it will make an instant connection and display a broadcasting image.

Make sure you set the video input method to EpocCam on the chat app you’re using the webcam with.

EpocCam Alternatives

If you’re not satisfied with EpocCam, there are a few other apps that allow you to use your iPhone as a webcam.

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1. iCam

iCam is a paid app that can turn an iPhone into a webcam. The mobile app is just one part of the equation; like EpocCam, you’ll also need the iCamSource component on your computer. Once you have both apps installed, you can stream live video and audio from any iOS device.

iCam also works as a security camera; it can send you instant alerts if it detects motion or sound. All motion events are automatically backed up to the cloud. In addition to the original iCam, the company also offers iCam Pro with some additional features. Check out the iCam Feature Comparison to learn more.

Download: iCam for iOS ($4.99, in-app purchases available)
Download: iCam Pro for iOS (Free, in-app purchases available)
Download: iCamSource for Windows | macOS (Free)

2. iVCam

iVCam is specifically designed for iPhone owners who have a Windows PC—you cannot use iVCam to stream your iPhone’s video output to a Mac.

The app works via WLAN or USB and allows you to connect multiple phones to one computer at the same time. You can stream video in 1080p, 720p, 480p, or 360p resolution. This multi-connection aspect means the software is ideal for anyone who wants to use their old iPhone as a CCTV device, a baby monitor, or a pet cam.

Download: iVCam (Free, premium version available)

3. AtHome Camera

AtHome Camera is unique. In addition to letting a a computer remotely view your iPhone’s camera feed, the iPhone app can also remotely view your computer’s webcam feed. It supports both Windows and Mac.

Some of the app’s key features include:

  • Two-way talk: Whether you’re using the streamer app or the viewer app, you can talk to any connected device and hear the audio from that device.
  • Motion detection: You’ll get an instant notification if there is movement on your camera.
  • Scheduled recording: If you want to monitor your camera at certain times of the day—perhaps while you’re at work—you can pre-program the app to do this.

The app is ad-supported and comes with options to upgrade for a premium fee. As with the others, try before you buy to see if it works for you.

Download: AtHome Camera (Free, in-app purchases available)

Other Ways to Use Your iPhone Camera

It’s fairly easy to use your iPhone as a webcam. But that’s not the only way get can more out of your iPhone’s camera hardware.

To learn more, check out the best iPhone camera The 7 Best iPhone Camera Hacks You Must Try These iPhone camera hacks will let you unlock more features of your phone's camera. Try them out and take even better photos. Read More tricks and iPhone camera settings you should tweak to take better photos 8 iPhone Camera Settings You Must Master to Take Better Photos If you take pictures with your iPhone, these are the most important iPhone camera settings you must know for better photos. Read More .

Related topics: Home Security, iOS Apps, iPhone Tricks, Security Camera, Webcam.

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  1. NYGuy
    April 25, 2020 at 2:37 pm

    You can't use your phone as a webcam on Zoom, they disabled that on the Mac. If someone has a workaround that would be great.

  2. Parmanand Brijwala
    January 19, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    THIS DOES NOT WORK WITH THE WEBSITE OMEAGLE A VIDEO CHATTING WEBSITE......SO I CONSIDER THIS NOT A WEBBROWSER (WEBCAM)

  3. Dermaklos
    October 7, 2013 at 1:35 am

    Hi.
    Please, tell me how can i use Iphone as a simple usb cam? Not using wifi.... only usb... Best regards.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 8, 2013 at 4:16 pm

      Hmm, Dermaklos, I ran this search: "using iPhone as webcam USB connection", and came up with this result: [Broken Link Removed] . Hope that helps.

      • Khaled
        June 21, 2016 at 9:38 pm

        Mobiola only works on wifi.

  4. Neil
    July 2, 2013 at 4:22 am

    Hi I actually have windows based application that requires a USB webcam. The application is looking for a camera that is attached to it.

    Is there some way that these approaches you mentioned can be used with an iphone?

    I have tried a standard usb webcam however the quality of the images and the lack of an easy way to do a wide angle shot is a limitation of all of the ones I have seen.

    Any help gratefully received.

  5. David R
    April 30, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    A Message to Bakari and the rest of the MakeUseOf Team:
    You folks continue to amaze me! I used to buy a variety of computer magazines trying to keep up with new technology and find better ways to use what I have. I don't need to do that now. Your articles are timely, well written and practical. Add to that the comments and tips from your technically savy readers! This article is a good example of how well the partnership works. Thanks for an excellent article and to the "comment" contributors for their valuable additions!

    • Bakari Chavanu
      April 30, 2013 at 8:17 pm

      Hey David, thanks so much for you feedback. I have to agree with you. We put out three to four times more content in a month than most magazines do in an entire year. Feedback from our readers really helps know what type of content is most interesting. Thanks.

  6. Bridget
    April 29, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    PS..you can also save photos AND sound clips from Third eye, also you can make the image you see in the browser full screen. Wow, this one is the winner to me!! 5 stars! =)

  7. Bridget
    April 29, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    Well I have the new ipod touch, which has facecam, but unfortunately cannot facecam to an email address in contacts. There is no facecam button there. Okay, next one the Mobiola, I'd like to see a free version to see if it works for me. (I have a pc, not mac) Next one, the pocketcam failed for me. Everything installed fine, but the app never refreshed the picture..
    I have tried "Mini webcam" and so far it is the only one I have found that works,( and works pretty well), letting my ipod be the cam instead of needing one hooked up to my pc, which is what I am looking for here. It's FREE too, or at least was when I downloaded it.
    Okay just found another which I am going to say is even better! Check out an app called "Third Eye". The Lite version impressed me enough that I paid for the full version ($1.99, not bad at all on the price!) and it has color video capture with sound! All you do is copy the url link into a web browser, and the images are sharp, close up, and I can also HEAR what is going on. I like it! =)

    • Bakari Chavanu
      April 30, 2013 at 8:19 pm

      Cool, Bridget, thanks for the tip. I don't have a touch, so sometimes I can't always know what its limitations are. Your app tip will be useful to other readers using the iPod touch.

  8. Robert Forcier
    April 29, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    Great article, while I knew about facetime, never through there was an app to connect to my system and use as a web cam.... ya I know "there's an app for that".

    • Bakari Chavanu
      April 30, 2013 at 8:18 pm

      Thanks for the feedback, Robert. Really appreciate it.