How to Disable Your Laptop’s Webcam in Ubuntu 18.04

June 21, 2018

For security or any other reason, here’s how to disable your laptop’s webcam in Ubuntu 18.04, and also all other current Ubuntu releases.

To disable Webcam temporarily:

You can disable your webcam device easily via modprobe command.

Open terminal either via Ctrl+Alt+T or by searching for ‘terminal’ from app launcher. When it opens, run command:

sudo modprobe -r uvcvideo

The command removes the module from Linux kernel. Webcam is disabled until you reboot Ubuntu. Just start (or restart) Cheese to check it out:

To permanently disable webcam in Ubuntu:

You can add a rule into configuration file, so your Ubuntu machine never starts the webcam kernel module on boot.

Open terminal and run command to edit the configuration file:

sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

When the file opens, add two new lines and save it.

#Disable webcam
blacklist uvcvideo

To revert the changes, simply remove the 2 lines, save the file and finally reboot.

I'm a freelance blogger who started using Ubuntu 5+ years ago and wishes to share my experiences and some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers. Please notify me if you find any typo/grammar/language mistakes. English is not my native language. Contact me on Google Plus or email to ubuntuhandbook1@gmail.com

6 responses to How to Disable Your Laptop’s Webcam in Ubuntu 18.04

  1. or put a sticker over it ;)

  2. To “temporarily” or “permanently” disable the web cam in one function, not very sophisticated but certainly “simple” and “flexible”, is to put a piece of masking tape on the camera lens. I chose black to match my laptop. :-) Cheers!

  3. how do I enable it again

    • “To revert the changes, simply remove the 2 lines, save the file and finally reboot.” read all

  4. thanks ;)

  5. You do not need to reboot to reactivate it.
    simply type:
    sudo modprobe uvcvideo

    And the camera is reactivated