How To Allow USB Webcam Passthrough RDP Session


COVID19 is changing how we work and will change permanently how we work in the future. Quarantine and social distance will and is normalizing work from home. For those of us who rely on RDP, Remote Desktop, to get work done it’s tricky to manage the resources between the remote terminal and the host.

If you need to join a video call, do you join via your host machine or do you join inside the RDP session? There are both pros and cons for doing one or the other. In this tutorial, we will show you how to use your webcam and enable USB passthrough inside the RDP session and have the remote machine to be able to use your host’s webcam.

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To do this you would need to have a webcam, preferably USB connected or your built-in webcam from your laptop or one of the monitor’s display. Open up mstsc.exe or Remote Desktop Connection. Go to the Local Resources tab and expand the section. Under Local devices and resources > More …

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Here you should see your USB webcam listed under the “Video capture devices” > “USB2.0 PC CAMERA“. Enable this and save the session.

Next time when you start your RDP session your remote machine will now have access to this webcam and you can use this webcam to join any meeting within your remote desktop session. With my testing, the additional setting adds little bandwidth when used as a remote desktop’s webcam. After all, with a highly optimized RDP protocol in Windows, your normal broadband connection should be able to handle this no problem.

Update: if you also wish to connect to your local microphone you can enable the pass-through via RDP session. Under the same Local Resources > Config remote audio settings. Go to Settings, under Remote audio recording select “Record from this computer” instead of the default “Do not record”. This way you can use local resources while joining meeting rooms inside an RDP session with local webcam and local microphone.

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  1. Nice tip. How does the mic go through the RDP session? We tried Zoom via RDP but it didn’t work well. So we are stuck with using a local computer for audio/video conference.

  2. Hi. I was use zero client but incapable use webcam. For 24 client. Are there software for webcam connect to zero client, vcloudpoint? Thanks.

  3. I can see my USB camera in the local resources and I checked it. But still I couldn’t detect my camera in the remote desktop. Surprisingly my usb camera has a built in microphone, I do can detect the microphone. Only camera doesn’t want to show up.

    Any suggestions will be appreciated

    • I also faced the same issue.When I connect from AWS Workspace or GCP Compute Engine,I couldn’t connect my Webcam,so that Video Calling is not possible.I think the Remote Server needs to install Webcam or any protocol issue.

    • no setting required as long as you have the config selected in RDP you can use those host devices in a remote session. One thing to keep in mind is if you have multiple devices, webcam or microphone you want to makes sure you have the one you want to use set as default devices in your host. Or else if you have 2 microphones only one can be passthrough via RDP.

      • Hi Jonathan
        I have tried your recommended RDP config but still webcam and audio features are not working in my RDP. Please guide me as I have to record a short video online, thanks

  4. To clarify the issues with non-available options in the RDP client:

    The feature to relay a webcam through RDP is only available when the RDP server is either a Windows Server 2019 (or newer) or it has RemoteFX configured. However, RemoteFX does not work with every webcam AFAIK.

  5. I want nested RDP to work. From my main desktop, which has the webcam, I want to RDP to a VM. Passing the webcam audio and video is no problem – that’s straightforward. From that VM, however, I want to RDP again and pass the webcam along. That doesn’t seem to work – the RDP session editor doesn’t show the webcam as being available.

    Is this doable – can I nest RDP sessions and pass the webcam along?

  6. Hello Jonathan Hu,

    I have five webcams connected to the five different computers. All of them are trying to access that webcam on the server using RDP. However, we have tried what is discussed here.

    Is that even possible?

    We are using Windows Server 2016.

  7. Hey Jonathan yu , what if I want to use integrated webcam over remote desktop connection . The above steps are not working for it .

  8. I can connect the local camera to a remote desktop, but the quality is bad.
    Is there a way to improve the quality?


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