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How to use webcam over remote desktop

Olga Weis Olga Weis Dec 21, 2022

How we work has been permanently changed by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Working from home was introduced to stem the spread of the virus and will continue to be the way many individuals perform their jobs. Remote Desktop Connection became one of the most essential tools when working from home, but it can be difficult for users to access a webcam over a remote desktop session, making it impossible to join video meetings with colleagues.

We are going to demonstrate a solution that will help you to connect a webcam to a remote desktop session.

Use local webcam over RDP

With USB Network Gate, you can easily connect a webcam to a remote desktop session. It accomplishes this by virtualizing physical devices and making them available through your machine’s USB ports over an RDP connection.
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How to use a local webcam on remote desktop without needing any additional configuration changes? USB Network Gate redirects a virtual copy of the webcam to the remote session, providing a reliable means of transmitting video data. With USB Network Gate, it’s possible to engage in quality video conferencing with low latency from an RDP session.

USB Network Gate allows users running RDP sessions to use locally attached webcams with the same functionality of a direct connection.

How to use webcam over RDP

Use the following simple steps to use your webcam through a remote desktop session.
Download and install USB Network Gate on the computer with the physical connection to the webcam you want to access. We will refer to this machine as the server in this connection. The computer that will use the webcam over RDP is called the client. USB Network Gate needs to be installed on this remote machine as well to enable the connection to be established.
 Download and install USB Network Gate
Launch USB Network Gate on the server and a client machine.
Select the required USB webcam on the server by opening the “Local USB devices” tab in USB Network Gate and choosing “Share”.
 Select the required USB webcam on the server
To finalize the connection, go to USB Network Gate’s “Remote devices” tab and click the “Connect” button.
 finalize the connection

Once the connection is fully established, the remote desktop’s Device Manager will recognize the webcam and give the user the same control as that enjoyed by physically connecting to the peripheral.

Use webcam over remote desktop
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How to allow USB webcam passthrough to an RDP session

You may have options when joining a video call. It’s possible to connect using the host machine or from within an RDP session. There are advantages to both methods in certain situations. We are going to demonstrate how to enable USB passthrough so you can use a local webcam in an RDP session.

local resources rdp

You need to have a webcam available. It can be connected via USB or be a built-in model on a laptop or monitor. Open the Remote Desktop Connection by running mstsc.exe. Navigate to the “Local Resources” tab, expand the section, and click “More…” under Local devices and resources.

use webcam over remote desktop

Under “Video capture devices” you should find your USB webcam. Check the box to enable the device and save the session.

After connecting, you will be able to access the webcam with remote desktop to join meetings or conferences from an RDP session.


If RDP webcam passthrough is not working in a Zoom session, you can resolve the issue with a few easy steps.

  1. Open the Windows Start menu.
  2. Click Hardware Settings and then the Audio/Visual dropdown.
  3. Scroll down and toggle the Camera Privacy Mode to the off position.

For macOS users, look in System Preferences as shown in the following screenshot.

System Preferences
The issue may have been that you need to allow access to the Zoom Remote Desktop camera. Just enable it and you’ll be able to use the camera in your RDP session.
You can access your microphone if you are already using a local webcam through an RDP session by changing a simple default configuration parameter. Navigate to Local Resources > Config remote audio settings. Click on Settings and check the remote auto setting to “Record from this computer” rather than using the default option which is “Do not record”. Now the camera works in your Remote Desktop session as well as the microphone.
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