Windows Hello, use external camera instead of Laptop

Copper Contributor

Ok, this has been working, although a bit of a hit-n-miss sometimes for the screens we have in the office, Philips Brilliance 499P, which have Windows Hello compatible cameras. Most often if I boot my laptop at work and start it with the lid closed the external camera on the 499P will log me in.


However, if I at some point during the day open the lid on the laptop (Dell XPS 17, also with Windows Hello camera), it stops working on the external screen and only the laptop camera will log me in (which is annoying as I have the laptop on a shelf underneath the table).


I recently got a Logitech BRIO 4K with Windows Hello for my home office but that is even harder to get working with Windows Hello. The camera works fine, and if I chose to "improve my face recognition" Windows happily is using the Logitech BRIO cam and not the Laptop one.


If I boot my laptop at home with the lid closed the Logitech BRIO logs me in the first time, but if I lock my computer, or it goes to sleep over lunch, the Logitech BRIO isn't working anymore (Windows Hello says it can't find the device) but logging in with password and checking the device manager the camera is there and working. Also, opening the lid of the laptop instead of giving the password also logs me in, so clearly Windows has chosen to use the laptop cam and disabled the external one (even though the lid has been closed all the time).


I found a post to set the Registry Key "Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Power\LidNotifyReliable" to 0 (zero) and that seems to help getting the external camera enabled for Hello again, but again, just once... Locking the computer and trying Hello again, and it won't work...


I've also seen a number of posts saying to "set a default camera" in devices and printers but that option hasn't been there since Windows 8 I think so that is not a helpful answer...


Let me try and summarize my issue real short:

- Windows Hello works every time when I am using the laptop camera only

- Hooking up the Philips 499P screen camera or Logitech BRIO 4k (both over USB-C/Thunderbolt) it most often works to use any of those cameras once after being hooked up after closing my lid on the laptop.

- After successfully using the external camera once, and then try to use it again it normally fails with a message it couldn't use the camera and I should use another method of signing in.

- If I open the laptop lid after it has failed the laptop camera works and logs me in.


So, it's like Windows Hello is losing the "connection" to the external camera but it can still find and use the laptop camera.


Windows Version and Edition?

Version 21H2 (22000.376)

Windows 11 Business


I had thought that since Windows 11 Hello would support multiple cameras... :(

11 Replies

@AwasenWe are experiencing the same issue and continueing to search for a solution have you had any headway on this or update? 

@Awasen do you have a fix for this already? i have the exact same issue (Brio camera, windows 11 business, dell laptop with windows hello enabled camera)


Same issue here 

Logitech BRIO, Lenovo Z13 , Windows 11 21H2

Windows hello does not work with lid closed.

noticed I had a few questions here... Sorry, for the late response...


No, unfortunately no change in behavior. The external camera on the screens are working maybe once in the morning (when laptop comes up from hibernate or starts up) and if I have the lid open it always pick the laptop camera, but about half of the times the "face" option is not working and I have to use password (no camera comes on).


I bought a Logitech Brio 4K cam for home when my old one died on me, and while it is expensive as *** Windows hello actually works with that camera most of the times (with the lid open, closing the lid and face login is not an option as it doesn't start the camera).

Same issue with Dell Precision 5550 and Brio 4kI've tried the LidNotify regkey, but it doesn't work 80% of the time. I have to lift my laptop lid an inch or so for the Brio to start scanning my face.

@Todd Hawkins I think we can conclude that Microsoft has not provided a simple configuration setting to choose which camera to use as default for Hello and and the ability to switch to an alternate camera automatically when the default camera is unavailable.  The most common situation is for laptop users booting with a closed lid and using external monitors.  I have to believe there are millions of users fitting this situation.  So if someone from Microsoft is monitoring these chats please run this up the chain until some addresses this issue. In the meantime , for those of us that boot from a closed lid laptop, the Hello login feature is a non-starter.

@AwasenI don't know if it's doable for your case, but since I don't use my built-in camera whatsoever, I went to Device manager and disabled the integrated camera. That did the job.

@Blasty_Utopia I'm having the same issue with my Brio 4k and my work-supplied Surface 5 Laptop running Windows 11 Enterprise 22H2. I can't even get Windows Hello to recognize the Brio, works everywhere else e.g. Teams.  I'm a consultant who travels for work a lot so disabling the default camera wouldn't work for me. I need options! Hope Microsoft fixes this ASAP.

Same problem: at best 50-50 chance that my external camera is used over my laptop one (that is not facing towards me, and thus not usable). There should be a setting to select which camera to use for Hello.

Similarly I have a Surface 4 and a Dell WB7022 Windows Hello compatible external camera and on the very latest Windows 11 updates etc. The machine recognises the camera and it works in Teams etc. but I cannot get it to use it as the Windows Hello camera, even if I disable the integrated camera. I am of course using the laptop with an external screen so the lid is down.

To resolve the issue with Windows Hello not consistently recognizing and using the external camera instead of the laptop camera, you can try the following steps:

Update drivers: Ensure that you have the latest drivers installed for both your laptop's integrated camera and the external cameras (Philips 499P and Logitech BRIO). Visit the manufacturer's support website for each camera to download and install the latest drivers.

Disable laptop camera: To force Windows Hello to prioritize the external camera, you can try disabling the laptop's integrated camera temporarily. Here's how:

Open Device Manager by right-clicking the Start button and selecting "Device Manager".
Locate the camera under the "Cameras" or "Imaging devices" section.
Right-click on the laptop camera and select "Disable Device".
Confirm the action when prompted. Note that this will disable the laptop's camera across all applications until re-enabled.
Reconfigure Windows Hello settings: Try reconfiguring the Windows Hello settings to ensure that it recognizes and prioritizes the external camera correctly. Here's how:

Open Settings by pressing Windows key + I.
Go to "Accounts" and select "Sign-in options" from the left sidebar.
Under the Windows Hello section, click "Remove" next to your face or fingerprint settings.
Set up Windows Hello again, ensuring that you do this while the external camera is connected and working.
Clean boot: Perform a clean boot to eliminate any conflicts caused by background processes. Here are the steps:

Press Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box.
Type "msconfig" and hit Enter to open the System Configuration window.
In the General tab, select "Selective startup" and uncheck "Load startup items".
Go to the Services tab, check "Hide all Microsoft services", and click "Disable all".
Click OK and restart your computer.
Test Windows Hello with the external camera after the clean boot.