How to turn microphone and camera on / off during a video call in Windows 10

Windows 11 introduces a new feature that allows users to mute and unmute their microphone by pressing the spacebar. This feature is only available for Microsoft Teams and will eventually be available for other apps. It is unclear when this will happen, but for now, the feature is coming to Windows 11, not Windows 10.

Turn on / off microphone and camera during a video call

If you want to add a universal shortcut in Windows 10 that can turn the microphone and camera on or off, you will need a third-party app. The application must be able to control the microphone and camera at the OS level or at the application level. PowerToys recently added a feature that does just that.

PowerToys: turn on / off microphone and camera during a video call

PowerToys receives regular updates with new features and a universal keyboard shortcut for mute / unmute , and in October a universal keyboard shortcut for turning on / off the webcam was added.

  1. Download and install PowerToys from Github.
  2. Open PowerToys settings.
  3. Go to the Video Conferencing tab.
  4. Turn on the Enable mute for video conferencing switch.

After enabling this feature, you need to configure it for use with the video conferencing tool you usually use. You can set it up for use across multiple instruments if you need to use more than one instrument per day. For this, we’ll use Zoom as an example.

  1. Open Zoom.
  2. Go to the application settings.
  3. Select devices.
  4. Open the Microphone drop-down list and select Mute PowerToys Video Conferencing.
  5. Apply the change.
  6. Repeat these steps for all conferencing tools.

How it works

The PowerToys video conferencing tool will add the toolbar to your desktop when you use a microphone or webcam. You can change the position of the toolbar in the PowerToys settings. The toolbar will show the status of the microphone and webcam, i.e. whether it is disabled or not.

  • To switch the microphone and webcam, use the keyboard shortcut Win + N.
  • To switch the microphone, use the keyboard shortcut Win + Shift + A.
  • To switch the webcam, use the keyboard shortcut Win + Shift + O.

You can change these shortcuts in PowerToys settings if they conflict with other applications you are using on your desktop.


Video conferencing has become an important part of the daily work for many people. Many video conferencing tools have added new features to meet these requirements, but not all of them have a quick shortcut to mute or unmute the microphone. Most laptops and keyboards have a key to mute the speakers, but nothing for the microphone and definitely nothing for the camera. PowerToys is arguably the best solution that can work with most, if not all, popular video conferencing tools.

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