Mouse Pointer Disappears in Windows 10? 12 Ways to Fix

Ever since Apple “borrowed” the concept of a graphical interface from Xerox and Microsoft also “borrowed” it in turn, the mouse pointer has been a central part of how we interact with our computers. So imagine the shock of booting up your PC to discover that there’s no mouse pointer at all! 

While it’s entirely possible to use a computer without a mouse, you probably want to get your pointer back. So let’s walk through the things you can do when your mouse keeps disappearing.

Before you try anything, use some shortcut keys to see if you can get the cursor back. Try Fn + F3, Fn + F5, Fn + F9, or Fn + F11 and see if any of those work. This basically re-enables your mouse if it got disabled for some reason. If this didn’t help, keep reading.

1. Restart Your Computer

Yes, we’re starting off with the standard advice. Turn your computer off and then on again. Sometimes it’s so obvious that people forget to do it at all. This eliminates any temporary glitches that may never happen again.

2. Check the Connection & Batteries

USB technology is very reliable these days, but it can still be finicky. So unplug your mouse, wait a second and then plug it in again. You may also want to try a different port, which sometimes also solves the issue.

In addition, if your mouse is connected through a docking station or hub, try connecting it directly to the computer or unplug the hub and reconnect it.

Lastly, in terms of connections, try disconnecting all other devices except the mouse and see if that helps.

If you’re using a wireless mouse, the issue could be as simple as having to replace the batteries. On Apple products, it’ll usually give you a message stating that you need to replace the batteries, but this doesn’t always happen in Windows.

3. Test the Mouse on Something Else or Try Another Mouse

If those two quick fixes don’t do anything, it becomes important to determine whether the problem is with the mouse or the computer itself. The easiest way to do this is by either trying a different mouse with the computer in question, or plugging the problematic mouse into another mouse-supporting device. 

If the mouse works elsewhere, you’re probably looking at a software or computer hardware issue. If the mouse doesn’t work anywhere else, well the mystery of the disappearing mouse has been solved.

4. On Laptops, Check for a Mouse Toggle Key

Most laptops have a large touchpad below the keyboard and many users who use an external mouse or type a lot find it distracting. It can happen that you accidentally touch it with your thumb while using the keyboard, causing the pointer to jump.

This is why most laptops have a toggle to disable the touchpad. If you have no external mouse connected and the touchpad has been disabled, you may not see your mouse pointer.

The good news is that this takes just a few seconds to fix. Refer to your manual for specific instructions, but in the vast majority of cases the toggle will be one of the function keys.

You’ll see a small pictographic of a touchpad or something similar on that key. To activate the toggle, you usually have to hold down the Fn button first, which changes the functions of the keys on the function key row while depressed.

5. Disable “Hide Pointer While Typing”

Sometimes your mouse disappearing is the result of a setting somewhere that’s been accidentally activated, or switched on by another user. If you see your mouse pointer only going away while you type, there’s a good chance the “Hide Pointer While Typing” option has been turned on. 

To check if this has happened:

  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. Type Mouse Settings and select it when it appears.
  3. Select Additional Mouse Options.
  1. Select the Pointer Options tab.
  2. Uncheck Hide pointer while typing.

6. Roll Back Recent Changes

If your problem happens right after something on your computer changes, you should consider undoing those changes if at all possible. This includes recent Windows updates, mouse driver updates or new software that you’ve installed.

Correlation does of course not equate causation, but having a system change happen close to a problem does raise the odds of a connection somewhat. Here’s how to roll back a driver in Windows 10.

7. Update Mouse Firmware or Software

Even without installing proprietary software, all USB and Bluetooth mice conform to generic interface standards for both types of connection. Well, that’s supposed to be the case, but sometimes your mouse will only start working after installing the manufacturer’s configuration utility. 

With some wireless mice, such as those from Logitech that use their in-house receiver, you may have to pair the receiver and mouse first using the utility.

8. Check if the Mouse Is Switchable

Some Bluetooth mice, such as the MX Master series, support multiple device profiles. So you can switch between different devices at the touch of a button. If your mouse has this feature, make sure it’s set to the correct profile for the computer you want to use it on.

9. Do Some Driver Maintenance

While Windows usually does a good job of keeping things up to date, you may want to manually check that your mouse drivers are up to date. Alternatively, perhaps you should roll back a new mouse driver which may be causing problems. It can also be that your GPU driver needs to be updated, so that it plays nicely with a newer mouse driver.

10. If Your Pointer Only Disappears in Certain Apps

Sometimes a mouse pointer disappears only when it moves over certain applications. Common examples include video player applications and web browsers such as Chrome. This might happen because that application is trying to use hardware acceleration to render things more quickly and smoothly. 

Unfortunately, this sometimes means that the pointer disappears because of compatibility problems. Updating the application and your GPU drivers should be your first action, but if that doesn’t work check the software’s documentation to see where you can toggle hardware acceleration off.

11. Use Alt+Tab or Task Manager to Release a Captured Pointer

Sometimes your mouse pointer keeps disappearing because an off-screen application has captured it. This can happen when certain applications don’t close properly and don’t give the mouse back.

There are two quick ways to rectify this. The first is to press Alt and Tab together on your keyboard. This will switch app focus to a different app and hopefully release the mouse. If that doesn’t work, use Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open the Task Manager. Then select the suspected application and end its process by right-clicking on it and selecting End Process.

If your mouse didn’t release when switching to the Task Manager, you can simply press Alt + E to end a highlighted application.

12. Check for Malware

The last potential cause of a missing pointer is a long shot, but if it does turn out to be the case then it’s a serious issue. Some malware can take control of your system, which includes input devices such as the mouse and keyboard.

A missing pointer could be a symptom of this, so just be sure, disconnect your computer from the internet and then run anti-malware software on it. You may have to do this from a bootable flash drive, but in most cases you’ll be fine with simply installing and running applications such as Malwarebytes.

Getting to the Point(er)

There are so many possible reasons why your mouse pointer may have gone AWOL, but the solutions we’ve listed here are the ones with the highest likelihood of success as well as some of the fastest to try. 

If after all of this you still don’t have a mouse pointer on screen, you may have to consider installing or repairing Windows itself. You can try to boot up a live version of Linux from a flash drive or DVD to 100% confirm that Windows is the issue, but once you are sure Windows needs a fresh chance, head over to 3 Ways to Wipe & Reinstall Windows 10.

How to Turn Off Bluetooth on Windows 10 (Disable Bluetooth)

Depending on the hardware that you are running, Bluetooth connectivity may or may not be available, but most modern PCs and laptops have it by default.

You can use your PC’s Bluetooth to connect to a wide variety of peripherals, from wireless headphones to mice, keyboards, drawing tablets, and more.

Besides, you can use your Bluetooth connectivity to send or receive files to and from other devices, such as other PCs, mobile phones, and more.

However, if you’re using a laptop, you may want to turn off your Bluetooth, since simply keeping it activated can severely drain your battery, and it can also accidentally leave your PC open to unwanted device connectivity.

Turn off Bluetooth

That’s precisely why we’ve decided to create this step-by-step guide so that we can teach you exactly how to disable your Bluetooth on your Windows 10 PC.

How do I disable my Bluetooth in Windows 10?

1. Press the Dedicated Bluetooth/Airplane Mode Button

Many modern-day laptops offer a wide variety of buttons that provide one-click commands to perform complex tasks, such as disabling and enabling wireless connectivity, or activating Airplane Mode.

To that extent, there are laptops that have a dedicated button for enabling and disabling your Bluetooth, so if you have either of them, simply press the button.

2. Disable Bluetooth Via Settings Menu

Method 1

  1. Press the Windows key to open the Start Menu
  2. Open the Settings menu by pressing the cog-shaped button
  3. Select Devices
  4. Select Bluetooth & other devices
  5. Move the slider labelled Bluetooth to be set to Off

Method 2

  1. Press the Windows key to open the Start Menu
  2. Open the Settings menu
  3. Go to Network & Internet
  4. Go to Airplane Mode
  5. Move the slider labelled Bluetooth to be set to Off

3. Use The Action Center

  1. Look at the right-side end of the Taskbar
  2. Click it to open the Action Center
  3. Click on the Bluetooth button so that it says Not connected

4. Use The Device Manager

  1. Press Windows + X to open the Power User menu
  2. Select Device Manager
  3. Expand the Bluetooth entry
  4. Right-click it, and select Disable

5. Use PowerShell

Normally, enterprise administrators opt to disable Bluetooth connectivity in company PCs on a large scale in order to prevent potentially compromising file transfers.

While this type of procedure could easily be achieved through Group Policies, there aren’t any that disable Bluetooth devices.

However, a PowerShell snippet can still be used in order to achieve this, just as long as you remember to open PowerShell with Administrator rights:

# Must be ran as the System account $namespaceName = “root\cimv2\mdm\dmmap” $className = “MDM_Policy_Config01_Connectivity02”
# Turn off the Bluetooth toggle in the settings menu New-CimInstance -Namespace $namespaceName -ClassName $className -Property @{ParentID=”./Vendor/MSFT/Policy/Config”;InstanceID=”Connectivity”;AllowBluetooth=0}

Remember that the value for the AllowBluetooth portion of the snippet can only be 0, 1, or 2, with each meaning one of the following:

  • 0 – Disallow Bluetooth
    • The radio in the Bluetooth Control Panel will be greyed out
    • The user will not be able to turn Bluetooth on
  • 1 – Reserved
    • The radio in the Bluetooth control panel will be functional
    • The user will be able to turn Bluetooth on
  • 2 – Allow Bluetooth
    • The radio in the Bluetooth control panel will be functional
    • The user will be able to turn Bluetooth on

More so, the same principle applies to the following settings:

  • AllowNFC
  • AllowBluetooth
  • AllowUSBConnection
  • AllowVPNOverCellular
  • AllowConnectedDevices
  • AllowCellularDataRoaming
  • AllowVPNRoamingOverCellular

Once you’ve applied this snippet, this is what you will see whenever you try enabling or disabling your Bluetooth via Settings:

If you want to revert this setting, simply use this other snippet:

# Modifying the script (from 0 to 2 or vice versa)``$x = Get-CimInstance -Namespace $namespaceName -Query 'Select * from MDM_Policy_Config01_Connectivity02'``Set-CimInstance -InputObject $x -Property @{ParentID=”./Vendor/MSFT/Policy/Config”;InstanceID=”Connectivity”;AllowBluetooth=2} -PassThru
# Remove policy & return to original settings: Get-CimInstance -Namespace $namespaceName -Query 'Select * from MDM_Policy_Config01_Connectivity02' | Remove-CimInstance

Disabling Bluetooth In Windows 10: CONCLUSION

As you can see, there are plenty of ways a Windows 10 user can disable their Bluetooth connectivity, so it is up to personal preference which one you end up using.

Which method do you most frequently use to disable your Bluetooth connection?

Let us know by leaving your feedback in the comments section below.

The post How to Turn Off Bluetooth on Windows 10 (Disable Bluetooth) appeared first on AddictiveTips.

How to Manually Create a System Restore Point in Windows 10

You’ve probably read several troubleshooting articles that warn you to create a System Restore Point before making potentially drastic changes to your Windows computer. If you have no idea what a System Restore Point means, think of it as a backup copy of your PC’s settings and other vital system files.

Say you installed a malicious program or deleted a registry file by accident, and your computer begins to malfunction, you can easily undo these (unwanted) changes by performing a System Restore. That allows you to revert your computer to an initial state (called Restore Point) when things were working smoothly.

In this guide, we’ll explain how System Restore works in Windows 10 and teach you several ways to manually create a system restore point. 

Enable System Protection on Windows

System Protection is a section of the Windows OS where restore points are created and managed. To create restore points, you need to first have System Protection enabled on your device. Although some computers have this feature activated by default out-of-the-box, others may require you to manually turn it on.

To check if you have System Protection enabled on your PC, type “restore point” in the Windows search bar and click Create a restore point in the results.

That’ll redirect you to the System Protection window where you can configure System Restore on your device. An alternative route to this point is through Control Panel > System > System protection.

If the System Restore and Create buttons are grayed out, and the Protection status next to the System disk reads Off, that means System Protection is disabled on your computer.

To enable System Protection, select the System drive and click Configure.

Select Turn on system protection and click OK.

Windows automatically assigns about 3 – 10 percent of your hard drive for System Protection. You can change this by adjusting the Max Usage slider. However, make sure you assign at least 1GB (or more) because the System Protection feature won’t run if the reserved disk space is below 1GB.

If the reserved space gets occupied, Windows will delete older restore points to make room for new ones. We recommend that you proceed with the default disk space that Windows recommends.

The default allocation should be enough to accommodate as many restore points as possible. The more restore points you have, the higher the chances of recovering files, settings, and other configurations should your computer ever run into a problem.

With System Protection set up, you can now manually create restore points.

Manually Create a System Restore Point

Windows automatically creates restore points when you enable System Protection. It does so once every week or prior to significant events like a Windows update, driver installation, etc. You can also manually create a restore point if you’re making system-altering changes to your computer. For example, it’s always recommended to manually create a restore point before making changes to the Windows Registry.

To manually create a restore point, head to the System Protection window (Control Panel > System > System protection) and click Create.

Type a description in the dialog box and click Create to proceed.

Windows will create the restore point and display a success message when done.

The creation process may take a couple of minutes, depending on the sizes of files in the restore point as well as your drive’s performance.

Create a Restore Point Using Windows PowerShell

There are usually many ways to get things done on Windows. You can swiftly create a restore point in seconds using the Windows PowerShell. All you need to do is paste some commands in the PowerShell console; we’ll show you how.

Type “PowerShell” in the Windows search bar and click Run as Administrator on the results.

Paste the command below in the PowerShell console and press Enter.

powershell.exe -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -NoExit -Command “Checkpoint-Computer -Description ‘Restore Point Name’ -RestorePointType ‘MODIFY_SETTINGS’”

Note: You can replace the “Restore Point Name” placeholder in the command with any description of your choice.

Windows will create the restore point when the progress bar hits 100%.

By default, you can only create one restore point with PowerShell once in 24 hours. If Windows displays an error that reads “A new system restore point cannot be created because one has already been created within the past 1440 minutes,” that means Windows has automatically created a restore point for you in the past 24 hours.

How to Recover Changes Using System Restore

Now that you’ve created a restore point, how do you use it to revert to an earlier point if your PC runs into issues? Perhaps, you recently installed a Windows update or network driver that messed up your internet connectivity. Here’s how to undo system changes using System Restore.

Launch the System Protection window (Control Panel > System > System protection) and click System Restore.

Click Next to launch the System Restore window. On this page, you’ll find a list of all restore points, their description, as well as the date & time they were created. Windows also labels restore points by “Types”—Manual restore points are those you created yourself while System describes a restore point automatically generated by Windows.

Select the restore point and click Next to proceed. Make sure you select the restore point just before the event that triggered the issue you’re trying to fix.

Pro Tip: Click the Scan for affected programs button to see a list of apps that Windows will delete during the system restore process.

If you cannot remember the restore point’s description, or there are multiple items on the list with similar descriptions, check the date/time and select the most recent entry.

Click Finish on the next page to confirm your selection. Windows will restart your computer, so make sure you close all active apps to avoid losing unsaved files & data.

Can’t find a restore point in the System Restore window? Refer to this troubleshooting guide on fixing missing restore points on Windows.

Windows Won’t Boot? Here’s How to Perform a System Restore

The technique above shows you how to undo changes with System Restore when your computer is on. But what if your computer won’t start up at all? Or perhaps Windows boots correctly but crashes before you get to the System Restore window? How then do you restore your device?

Like we mentioned earlier, Windows often provides multiple ways to get things done. So, if your PC won’t properly load Windows, you can initiate a system restore from the Advanced Startup Options menu.

Power off your PC and turn it back on. Press and hold the power button as soon as the Windows logo appears on the screen to shut down your PC again. Repeat this three times and your PC should boot into the Windows Recovery Environment. 

Windows will diagnose your computer and display either of these error messages: “Automatic Repair couldn’t repair your PC” or “Your PC did not start correctly.” Ignore the error message and click Advanced options to enter the Advanced options menu.

Next, click Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > System Restore and select your username on the next page.

Enter your account password to continue. If your account isn’t password-protected, leave the password box empty and click Continue. Select a restore point from the list and click Next to proceed.

Never Lose Important Files & Settings

You’ve learned how to manually create a system restore point and how to perform a system restore, even when your computer won’t boot. However, you should note that a system restore isn’t a backup solution; it only saves system files and settings, not your personal data. 

In addition to manually creating a restore point, we also recommend creating a System Image Backup or a recovery CD/USB drive. With these, you can restore your computer (including all installed programs, settings, files, etc.) to a previous state should your PC get corrupted to the point where it won’t load Windows.

How to Change File Associations in Windows 10

How does Windows know which app or program to use to open all the different kinds of files on your computer? It comes down to file associations. Windows associates each file type with a program capable of opening that kind of file, but you have some choice in the matter, too! 

Imagine, for example, you just installed Adobe Photoshop on your PC. From now on, you want Windows to use Photoshop to open .jpg files, but currently Windows always opens .jpg files with the default Photos app included in Windows 10.

Below we’ll show you several methods of changing file associations in Windows 10 so that your files open with the application you prefer.

How to Change Windows 10 File Associations in File Explorer

One way to tell Windows which application should open a particular kind of file is through the File Explorer. In the example below, JPG files open in Microsoft Photos, and we will change the file association so that JPG files open in Adobe Photoshop

  1. Open File Explorer. An easy way to do that is to press Win+E
  2. Navigate to a folder containing a file whose association you want to change. 
  1. Right-click the file and select Open with. (Note: If you don’t see Open with, hold down the Shift key and then right-click the file.)
  2. Even if you see the program you want to associate with that file type in the list, select Choose another app. (If you just select the program from the list displayed, the file will open in that app this time, but the default file association will remain unchanged.
  1. A popup will appear asking you how you want to open this file. Select the application you want to associate with your file type and check the box next to Always use this app to open [filetype].
  1. Note: If you don’t see the app you want to associate with this file type in the Other options list, scroll down and select Look for an app in the Microsoft Store. Alternative, if you already have a program installed that doesn’t appear in the list, then select More apps and navigate to the application you want.
  1. Once you’ve selected the program you want to associate with this file type, select OK. From now on, files of that type will automatically open in the app you selected.

Another Way to Change Windows 10 File Associations in the File Explorer

Windows File Explorer offers a second way to designate which program should open files of a certain type. This technique works just as well as the method above. It’s up to you to pick which way you want to do it.

  1. Open File Explorer and navigate to a folder containing a file whose association you want to change.
  2. Select the file and make sure the Home menu tab is active. On the toolbar ribbon, select Properties. (Alternatively, right-click on the file and select Properties.)
  1. In the Properties panel, select the Change button.
  1. Continue from Step 5 in Method A above.

Change File Associations via the Control Panel

You can also use the Control Panel to change file associations in Windows 10. Here’s how.

  1. Open the Control Panel. An easy way to do this is by pressing Win + R, typing control and then selecting OK.
  1. Select Default Programs.
  1. Next, select Associate a file type or protocol with a program.
  1. In the Default apps window that displays, select Choose default apps by file type.
  1. Next, find the file type in the list on the left under Name. In our example, we’ll look for .jpg
  2. Select the default program to the right of the file type association you want to change. The Choose an app panel will appear. Select the app you want to associate with the file type, and you’re done!

Changing File Associations in Windows Settings

Sometimes you might want an application to open every kind of file it can. In that case, rather than associating file types with the application one by one, you can tell Windows to use that application to open any kind of file it can handle.

For example, you might want your favorite web browser to open web pages, no matter what file type they are. Here’s how to do that.

  1. Open Windows Settings by pressing Win+I.
  2. Select Apps.
  1. In the list on the left, select Default apps.
  1. Now you can choose the default apps for things like email, maps, music, photos, videos, or web browser. Let’s change the default web browser from Google Chrome so that all web page file types are associated with Firefox instead. Under Web browser, select the default app that is listed. In this case, it’s Google Chrome.
  1. Next, select the app you want from the list. We’ll choose Firefox.

That’s it! Now Firefox has an association with all the file types it can handle.

Bonus: How to View File Extensions in Windows 10 File Explorer

In a previous section, we searched for file extensions in a list. If you use that method, you’ll need to know the file extension you want to associate with a particular app. 

Configuring Windows File Explorer to display file extensions in file names is quick and easy. Just open the file explorer by pressing Win+E. Then select the View tab on the menu ribbon. Lastly, check the box next to File name extensions

Now you’ll be able to see the file extension for any file in that folder.

Save Yourself Some Time

By following one of the methods above, you’ll save yourself some extra time and irritation. Taking a moment to change your file associations so your files open in the applications you want is a gift you can give your future self!  

How to Turn On Webcam On/Off OSD Notifications in Windows 10

Camfecting (hacking into a device’s webcam) is a form of cyberattack that not too many people pay attention to. A malicious program or spyware can infect your webcam and record you without your knowledge. So, you should always be aware of the apps using your webcam.

The tiny LED indicator light next to your computer’s webcam can help determine if your webcam has been hacked. It comes on whenever an app activates your webcam. But what if your laptop’s webcam doesn’t have a physical indicator light? Or the webcam LED is faulty and doesn’t work? How do you know when the camera is recording? 

The Windows operating system ships with a virtual on-screen display (OSD) notification that functions as a makeshift webcam indicator.

Activating this feature will prompt Windows to send you notifications every time an app activates (or deactivates) your webcam. Webcam OSD notification is disabled by default on all Windows 10 devices. 

In this guide, we’ll show you several ways to turn webcam OSD notifications on or off.

How to Turn On Webcam OSD Notifications

The option to activate this feature is tucked in the Windows Registry. We’ve outlined two ways to activate the registry file responsible for OSD notifications.

Note: The Windows Registry is a database of sensitive files and settings. So, it’s important to make a backup of the registry before you attempt to enable camera on/off notifications. Damaging any registry file may corrupt the Windows OS and cause your computer to malfunction. A backup serves as your insurance should anything go wrong. This guide on backing up and restoring the Windows Registry has everything you need to know.

Method 1: Manually Modify the OSD Registry File

1. Launch the Windows Run box using the Windows key + R shortcut.

2. Type regedit in the dialog box and click OK.

3. Paste the path below in the Registry Editor’s address bar and press Enter on your keyboard.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\OEM\Device\Capture

Locate the key labeled NoPhysicalCameraLED. If you don’t find this key in this directory, proceed to the next step to create one. Otherwise, jump to Step 6 to change its value.

4. Right-click on a blank area in the directory and select New and DWORD (32-bit) Value.

5. Name the newly-created key NoPhysicalCameraLED and press Enter.

6. Double-click the NoPhysicalCameraLED item or right-click on it and select Modify.

7. Change the Value data to 1 and click OK.

8. Close the Registry Editor.

By modifying the value of the NoPhysicalCameraLED registry key, you’re informing Windows that your webcam lacks a dedicated physical LED. That will prompt the Windows Shell to provide an alternative—an on-screen indicator—that lets you know when your webcam starts or stops streaming.

Method 2: Create a Registry File Shortcut

This is a quicker alternative that entails creating a text file with a registry (.reg) extension. This registry file will serve as a shortcut you can use to enable and disable OSD camera on/off notifications at the click of a button.

1. Launch Notepad and paste the content below in the window.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\OEM\Device\Capture]
“NoPhysicalCameraLED”=dword:00000001

2. Press Control + Shift + S to save the file.

3. Name the file, add the .reg extension at the end of the filename— e.g. Enable-Camera-OSD.reg— and click Save.

4. Double-click the registry file to enable OSD notifications.

5. Click Yes on the warning prompt.

6. You’ll get a message saying the keys and values have been successfully added to the registry. Select OK to continue.

Proceed to the next section to test the webcam OSD on/off notifications.

How the OSD Camera Notification Works

When you enable OSD notifications for camera activation and deactivation on your computer, Windows will show an alert every time an app activates your webcam. Here’s how it works.

Launch any app that needs to access your camera to work, e.g., Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, etc. You can find a full list of apps with camera access here: Settings > Privacy > Camera.

Start a test video call or meeting on your preferred app. As soon as you turn on video in the call window, or as soon as the app starts using your webcam, you should see a Camera on alert at the top-left corner of your PC’s screen.

When an app stops using your webcam, a Camera off notification pops up and disappears within 5 seconds.

OSD Notifications Not Showing? Check These Out

If your computer doesn’t display the Camera on/off alerts despite enabling OSD notifications in the Windows Registry, try the following.

1. Restart Your Computer

Sometimes, changes made to the registry may not go into effect until you restart your computer. Confirm that you’ve changed the NoPhysicalCameraLED registry key, restart your computer, and try again.

2. Switch to an Administrator Account

You cannot make changes to certain registry keys from a standard or guest account. If you can’t enable OSD camera notifications camera from the Registry Editor, make sure you’re signed in to Windows as an administrator. Go to Settings > Accounts > Your Info and make sure the account has the Administrator label.

Refer to this guide to learn how to change a standard account to an administrator account on Windows 10.

Don’t Want OSD Notifications Anymore? 2 Ways to Turn It Off

If you no longer need Windows to display the on-screen camera notifications, here’s how to turn off the feature.

Method 1: Modify the Registry

Head to the registry and revert the NoPhysicalCameraLED key back to default.

Double-click on the NoPhysicalCameraLED key, change the Value data to 0, and select OK.

Method 2: Create a Registry File Shortcut

You can also create a dedicated registry file that’ll serve as a shutdown button for the OSD webcam notification. Launch Notepad and follow the steps below.

1. Paste the command below in the Notepad window and press Control + Shift + S to save the file.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\OEM\Device\Capture]
“NoPhysicalCameraLED”=dword:00000000

2. Name the file, add the .reg extension at the end of the filename—e.g. Disable-Camera-OSD.reg—and click Save.

3. Head to the desktop (or wherever you saved the file) and double-click the file to disable OSD notifications.

4. Click Yes on the warning prompt.

An Extra Layer of Protection

Even if your Windows PC has a webcam indicator that works correctly, you should also consider activating the OSD camera notification. It’s an additional security system that notifies you of a webcam hack. 

If the webcam indicator light or OSD camera notification comes on at odd times when you aren’t making a video call or video recording, there’s probably an unrecognized program or browser extension using your webcam in the background. In this case, it’s a good idea to run a scan with Windows Defender or a third-party scanner.