How-to: Webcams

How do I use the LifeCam Dashboard?

You can use the Microsoft LifeCam Dashboard to control the appearance of a video image.

The LifeCam Dashboard contains three areas:

  • The Effects tab, that enables you to select a graphic or animated effect to add to your video and photos.
  • The Settings tab, that enables you to adjust the image resolution, select a different LifeCam (if you have installed two or more LifeCam webcams), change the camera properties, adjust the video settings, and visit the Microsoft Hardware Web site to check for updates to the LifeCam software.
  • The LifeCam Controls, that enables you to pan, tilt, and zoom.


Not all LifeCam models are equipped with these features.

To open the LifeCam Dashboard

  • Click the arrow on the right side of the LifeCam window to open the LifeCam Dashboard.

Viewing recordings or photos in the LifeCam Preview Pane

The most recently captured video clips, audio clips, and photos appear as thumbnails in a clip tray at the bottom of the LifeCam window. When you close your webcam session, unsaved clips and photos are not saved or retained in the multi-clip tray.

To view or play an item in the clip tray

  • From the thumbnails displayed in the clip tray at the bottom of the LifeCam window, click the one you want.

To view or play a previously captured item

  1. Click the Open LifeCam Files button.
  2. Browse through the list of recorded clips and photos, and then double-click an item to view it or play it.

Adding a video effect

Video effects are foreground animations and images that add a personal touch to your video calls and photos.

When you select a video effect, it is added to the live streaming video and becomes part of the video call or photo.

To add a video effect

  1. Click the arrow on the right side of the LifeCam window to open the LifeCam Dashboard.
  2. Click the Effects tab.
  3. Click the effect that you want.


  • With some Microsoft LifeCam models, video effects are unavailable for a resolution setting higher than 800 x 600 pixels. To add a video effect, select a resolution setting of 800 x 600 pixels or lower.
  • You must add a video effect before you capture a photo. You cannot add a video effect to an existing photo.

To remove all video effects

  • To remove a video effect, click the Clear video effects button.