John Bokma MSN Messenger
freelance Perl programmer

Comments: Capturing MSN Messenger webcam


Often people ask me if it is possible to record and save the live web cam stream of a chat partner on MSN Messenger. The answer is: yes. Download Bulent's screen recorder, an excellent program to record a webcam session. It is able to capture a part of the screen and save it as an AVI (movie) file, so you can also use it in combination with Yahoo! Messenger or other webcam software. The new version, now shareware, can also record audio which is not possible with the freeware version. This article describes the use of the freeware version, 1.5a, of Bulent's screen recorder.

Read the rest of Capturing MSN Messenger webcam.


the program doesn't worked for me. Sometimes captured black screen, sometimes captured just one frame, instead of the motion in the region selected

Posted by user00 at 11:25 GMT on 23 June 2005

Which version of MSN Messenger and Windows are you using?

I will check later, haven't been using Bulent's Screen Recorder for quite some time.

Posted by John Bokma at 15:49 GMT on 23 June 2005

Excellent program! Very easy to set up and configure.. Reccomended

Posted by Mat at 16:52 GMT on 16 July 2005

Easy to setup and use thought it has lots of preferences (which i like). Does what it's suppose to do.

Dunno if the 'WatchIt mode' works properly. Slows down PC (especially when recording large areas, but what would you expect when its taking screenshots all the time)

PS: Nice of you to mirror it. Saved me a search :)

Posted by Very nice at 13:20 GMT on 26 July 2005


Try out this MSN webcam recorder, it doesn't do screen capture, it actually intercepts the webcam streams.

Posted by Ramiro Polla at 06:49 GMT on 21 August 2005

Hey, the Bulent's Screen Recorder seemed real nice, but i'm not sure if I made it work properly. I tried to capture a .mpg file played in a little window and chose "full desktop" from source. It did capure my screen, but the area in which my .mpg file was played it only capture black. Have I done something wrong in the configuration? Thanks in advance. Real nice website.

Posted by andre at 00:38 GMT on 21 September 2005

Hi Andre,

My best guess is that changing to a different video player might make it possible to capture the video, since I think the player writes directly to your videocard and hence making capturing impossible.

I would give VideoLAN / VLC media player a try.

Posted by John Bokma at 02:37 GMT on 21 September 2005

I have a question about the MSN messenger webcam. Can other people, except my chat partner, see my webcam without my invitation? Does MSN messenger have security for that?

Posted by Rebecca at 03:58 GMT on 15 October 2005

Great Program but can some1 please tell me how to play the file in windows media player after i have recorded it. i am using microsoft video 1 and get the error message i\one or more of the required codecs required are missing. any1 know how to solve this problem?

Posted by Snake at 07:58 GMT on 19 October 2005

hi! i was just curious.. is it possible for someone in the net to intercept my webcam even he/she is not invited? sort of hacking my cam? is yahoo messenger totally secured on that? pls answer... THANKS SO MUCH...

Posted by blask at 18:23 GMT on 19 October 2005

Hi, so i liked the info on your website and i went ahead and installed the screen recorder (free version) on my computer. But i am yet to get it to work. I get a blank screen when it replays the recorded files. I am using windows xp and i have both quick time and windows media player installed on my computer. Help please.

Posted by dongle at 22:03 GMT on 14 November 2005

It's is possible to avoid being recorded when I'm on MSN Messenger. Thank you in advance for any reply

Posted by CARLO at 07:27 GMT on 27 November 2005

Carlo, if your chat partner can see you because you share your webcam, then he/she can record what he/she sees. It is impossible to prevent this from happening.

Posted by John Bokma at 06:11 GMT on 1 December 2005

It is recording the whole screen, how can I make it record the web cam part only in MS messenger?

Many thanks

Posted by BS at 17:49 GMT on 9 December 2005

BS, that's explained in the tutorial: "Selecting a region to record".

Posted by John Bokma at 04:24 GMT on 10 December 2005

Awesome Program, worked like a charm on teh first try, I will get much good use out of this.

Thanks again

Posted by Starhawk at 23:44 GMT on 29 January 2006

this is a terrible thing to adverstise! i have been a vicitim of recording, this person has film of me that i never agreed to give! at best, these programs need removed, at least, the recordee needs to be notified that they are being recored and have the option to stop it.

Posted by concerned at 23:57 GMT on 30 January 2006

concerned - how are you going to get a notification if the person on the other end just points a video camera at the screen and starts recording? Or if 20 people are in the same room, all watching?

I decided to publish this article for two reasons: first, I wanted to explain that this can be done, and how. Second, to make very clear that this can be done, and is even extremely easy to do so.

There is no way to prevent this. Removing "these programs" is not going to work, a program for recording a part of the screen is just a program. What is done with the recording is a different matter.

Think, if you had read my article earlier on, wouldn't you have been more carefull with your webcam?

Posted by John Bokma at 01:39 GMT on 3 February 2006

hi, how to view webcam of others secretelly.

Posted by dheeraj at 15:23 GMT on 6 February 2006

Is it possible to broadcast an msn webcam session to other msn users in real time? I heard this could be done by pressing "prnt Scr" and then pressing 3 keys simultaiously but i was not told which keys. Any help

Posted by chancer at 12:28 GMT on 8 February 2006

IT is up to the user who shows. Just the same way as u should not give a stranger a ride in your car, u should not "show" yoursely to strangers if u do not want it recorded! Even if these progs did not exist it is just as east to set up a viewcam to capture video output from a screen. Many boot leg movies are captured this way! :) If u dont want to be recorder, dont show!

Posted by Jose at 22:58 GMT on 18 February 2006

I used this free webcam recorder, but the saved file seems to be a black screen, i m using xp and have videolan as my avi player What do i need to do inorder to get it working?

Posted by Raj at 09:07 GMT on 19 February 2006

If those keys where Ctrl, Alt, and Delete it was a prank. I haven't heard of this feature, and maybe it doesn't exist.

Posted by John Bokma at 20:23 GMT on 16 March 2006

I have used this on my old PC and it works great! I was wondering if there is a Apple version of this program? Thanks

Posted by Appleman at 23:35 GMT on 4 April 2006

Whenever I try to record it gives an error, AVI file can't be written. Kindly help.

Posted by John at 23:58 GMT on 19 April 2006

Fascinating ! Everyone i had asked said this wasn't possible, but in an idle moment i done a google search and this site came up first! Just goes to show ...whether it'll make me think twice what i'm doing on web cam is another matter ! lol

I took a bit of time in the set up and followed John's instructions carefully. It all worked perfectly first time. I use Windows xp home edition.

Thanks John for taking the time and trouble to post up all the links, instructions and downloads.

Posted by Bus Driver at 14:10 GMT on 4 May 2006


Does anyone here know how to remove the Bsr logo's which u see when u play the recorded video? I read somewhere something about removing it(forgot where) Not sure if it's actually possible and most of all: if it is, how?! Hope y'all can help me! l8errr

dude from Holland

Posted by drumhead at 16:16 GMT on 10 May 2006

U my friend...are a G.D Genius! LoL thanx a lot.

Posted by Johnny Rebel at 02:56 GMT on 15 May 2006

i would like to know if some one can do that to yahoo webcam? i can be recorded thru yahoo???

Posted by ana at 03:28 GMT on 21 May 2006

I tried to record a webcam video conversation. It did work except the playback doesn't record the audio part. It only has picture and motion, but no voice! Any help would be appreciate! Thanks.

Posted by Anonymous at 03:36 GMT on 27 May 2006

The free version of Bulent's screen recorder doesn't support sound recording if I recall correctly. The shareware version does, however.

Posted by John Bokma at 20:54 GMT on 27 May 2006

ana, technically the image the webcam sees goes from computer to computer and finally ends up on the computer of your chat partner. Unless an encrypted connection is used, it is possible to copy the stream and record it. However, this is quite unlikely.

If you use a webcam, be always very aware that the other side can record it as soon as you start sending your webcam image.

Finally, technically it is possible to get a program on your computer that sends the webcam image to someone else without you being aware of this happening. So be always very careful of what you install on your computer.

If you are worried about this, disconnect the webcam when you don't use it.

Posted by John Bokma at 06:35 GMT on 28 May 2006

Hi. I'm trying to have a video convo with my friends on MSN messenger but it says that your webcam is not plugged in when it is! I have set it up and everything but I don't know why i can't do anything on MSN! I need help!

Posted by Allison at 23:46 GMT on 16 June 2006

The free version records audio - click configuration and then record audio - page two is where you set up where to record from. default is mic.

yes you can record yahoo too - you can record anything that is on your screen

Posted by camelman at 07:27 GMT on 17 June 2006

I've been a victim of webcam record. Can the person who record your webcam share this video with other people. I mean, like put it in website so every one can see it.

Posted by Sam at 03:13 GMT on 11 July 2006

Sam, yes, a recording of a webcam can be shared online. On a website, using bittorrent, via email, etc.

Posted by John Bokma at 19:11 GMT on 16 July 2006

Hi... I tried dis from my cousins webcam and it worked great! I found U can even record video stream from other movies off da net. The video quality isnt fantastic but its pretty gud. Cool tool!

In a post made here back in July 2005 I read something about another program that intercepts the webcam streams. What does that mean and how does that differ from this program... can anyone help with this question? If was on my webcam doing a vidchat could someone unknown to me intercept my webcam chat? Also is my camera still streaming video if it is only plugged in but I am not using it?

Thanks in advance for any help... and sorry for all the questions!


Posted by johny at 15:24 GMT on 6 August 2006

You are a god john *bows*. Haven't used the program yet, but the concept itself is friggen amazing...

Posted by Kino at 05:14 GMT on 1 September 2006

Similar complaint; just records a blank (in my case, blue) screen.

Posted by Adam at 23:44 GMT on 1 September 2006

Oh and the dude suggesting this type of screen recorder should be banned...well yes, on one level I agree, in that it refuses to work and is doing my blood pressure no good at all. However, using your logic you should outlaw cameras in case you're unwittingly photographed, or ban pens in case somebody writes something mean about you. :)

Posted by Adam at 23:49 GMT on 1 September 2006

If webcam is being utilized thru MSN, does it get recorded to hard drive of either sender or viewer? Or only if it is recorded via one of the softwares mentioned?

Posted by Darren at 17:40 GMT on 4 September 2006

Hi for yahoo messenger webcams,

CamGrab-2, Yahoo Messenger Webcam Capture

or for a bit more fun:

StickerCam lets you add animated stickers to your webcam you broadcast and view as well as recording both :)

Posted by Andy at 00:47 GMT on 5 September 2006

Yes, webcams streams can be recorded without your consent. However, there are tough new voyeurism laws coming out which make it a criminal offence to illicitly record someone on a webcam or ANY video image on with ANY device without your consent. Canada has one which has a max. penalty of five years in prison. The law also says that it is illegal to rebroadcast a non-consensual voyeur image anywhere. See Canada, Criminal Code, [R.S., 1985, c. C-46] >> 162. Voyeurism.

I think other countries are also adopting similar laws. If someone did that to me, I would track them down through their IPs and so on and have them charged if they were in Canada or have an exctradition request/charge put in if they were abroad. I dont CARE that the technology is there to record. In a YM or MSN chat I have a reasonable expectation of privacy that it will NOT be recorded without my permission. And if someone does do it anyway , dont be embarrassed because, once you claim that it was non--consensual, anyone you know will be held liable if they access it or tell others where it is (in Canadian law); so at least you can get anyone you know who is trying to malign you locally. Also, since this media now a legally recognized area of privacy, the public will be more sympathetic that YOUR privacy was violated. At least no company would dare fire you. And many internet sites would not dare post such things or face prosecution. Times are changing and the assholes that clandestinely record sexual chats had better not post things around anymore.

Posted by cody at 10:43 GMT on 9 September 2006

i m v impressed. this is the exact tool i hv been looking for. thank you so much.

one of my biggest worry of installing "unknown" software is that the s/w may send details back to an unknown host but i hv verified that this is definitely a "safe" utility.

thanks once again for introducting this s/w to us.

Posted by gold fish at 02:01 GMT on 10 September 2006

Hello to all, any thing you send or receive on the Internet can be intercepted but not easily. Eg programs like msn messenger will broadcast your webcam through a certain port say 1000 for example. If someone had abscess to your computer (very easy if on the same router) then you can easily view this with programs such as vlc. But over the Internet it is VERY unlikely to view if uninvited but if someone knew what your ip address was, the port it broadcasted on (UNLIKELY) then yes. I would suggest getting yourself a copy of Agnium Outpost Pro and this will solve the majority of these issues.

>From NZ

Posted by dean at 11:35 GMT on 15 September 2006

i downloaded it in office, works fine, but when i downloaded it to my home pc, it couldnt start. i keep on getting the msg: Run time error "5": Invalid procedure call or argument. what that means? how can i resolve the problem?

Posted by kurt at 04:13 GMT on 25 October 2006

to the people that are complaining about their cam bein recorded without consent: i say theres 2 moments where you give your consent, 1 is when you accept someone in your msn list and the second is when you start sending your cam. so theres 2 moments where you can think about it twice, do so if you hesitate but dont complain afterwards

Posted by recorder at 16:42 GMT on 7 November 2006

The thing is, you give your consent for the other party to watch your web cam, not for recording it nor, worse, spreading it all over the Internet. It's very simple, if you want to record someone, ask. The reason people don't ask is in most cases because they won't get permission. Which implies that the consent you talk about is non-existent.

Posted by John Bokma at 20:28 GMT on 7 November 2006

I installed the software and when I click on Select Source and then Window the box disappears with the start record button on. I get a red frame round everything I move mouse over but how do I start to record when the box has disappeared?

Posted by Johann at 01:29 GMT on 13 November 2006

i have read some of these questions, but do not want to assume anything. if one had an in real time sexual chat with one's boyfriend and nobody else via our webcams, neither of us recorded anything. What are the security liabilities to this exactley? thank you.

Posted by cattoon at 19:54 GMT on 24 November 2006

is it possible also to share the recorded avi file to someone as a webcam? like it was your own cam w/ a person watching over YM?

Posted by WONDERING BOY at 17:14 GMT on 10 January 2007

Good question. I am sure it's possible but I am not aware of such a program.

Technically one needs to write a program that convinces Windows XP that it's a webcam driver, but actually loads and plays the file.

Some time ago I had plans to look into this myself, but so far haven't had time to do so. Maybe someone else reading this knows about an available solution?

Posted by John Bokma at 01:50 GMT on 16 January 2007

Hiya i am Rachel Smith

My cam not work i try get to on but my cam still BLUE :'( i really want get on now because i been new cam but not work i try other new cam still not work. i HATE my cam for EVER.

Plz u need hlep on my cam is work.



Posted by rachel at 20:50 GMT on 21 January 2007


can i know is there any program make me know is there anyone record my chat or record and save the live web cam stream of a chat partner on MSN Messenger!!! and how i can stop him??? plz answer, tnanks

Posted by meho at 21:47 GMT on 15 February 2007

@meho - you can't detect if someone is recording your webcam unless you can install software on the computer at the receiving end.

If you want to be 100% sure that your webcam is not recorded just disconnect it.

Posted by John Bokma at 00:23 GMT on 6 March 2007

Hi ,actually I've had some web cam conversations on windows live messenger which i couldn't record at the same time. And i want to know if it's possible to the get past web cam conversations. please answer..


Posted by arv at 12:10 GMT on 6 March 2007

Great program, works like a charm!!! Thx a lot!!

Posted by Ruud at 20:55 GMT on 14 March 2007

@arv - past web cam conversations are not stored on your computer so you can't watch them back.

Posted by John Bokma at 04:54 GMT on 29 March 2007

I bought a new linkseys wireless web cam and I can see the camera is set up on my computer, but I can't figure out how to use it with yahoo messenger or any of the messengers. Can someone help? What am I doing wrong?

Posted by marsel at 05:47 GMT on 9 May 2007

Hi it is possible to view a webcam to the chatmate without asking a permission?

thanks. jhune

Posted by jhune at 08:30 GMT on 13 June 2007

@jhune - theoretical yes, but this is unethical to say the least.

If you're worried that someone else can do this with your webcam, just disconnect the cam if you don't use it, or point it at the wall.

Posted by John Bokma at 06:05 GMT on 18 June 2007

isnt it dangerous to be using this program ?

Posted by lizzy at 16:08 GMT on 6 July 2007

Hi Lizzy,

The version on this site is as far as I know 100% safe.

Posted by John Bokma at 18:38 GMT on 6 July 2007

John, Are there laws against a sexual chat?

Posted by Ray at 05:05 GMT on 19 July 2007


I am not a lawyer, so I can't really answer that one. It also depend on the country you live in, and the country your chat partner lives in.

I do know that people have been arrested for having a sexual chat with people who are not of legal age.

Posted by John Bokma at 01:52 GMT on 21 July 2007

i was wonderin, if one is having a private conversation with a bf in another state via webcam, using msn and on an unsecured wireless network. Would the owner of the wireless network be able to view my webcam when it is on?

Posted by hi at 14:10 GMT on 4 October 2007

@hi - technically, yes. It's called a man-in-the-middle attack (MITM). See Man-in-the-middle attack (Wikipedia).

Posted by John Bokma at 16:48 GMT on 31 October 2007

Dear sponser, I do appreciate this program as it is very successful one, it worked with me perfectly for both photos and videos... you are amazing guys.

Thanks again

Looking forward to see you fabulous creations in the future, go go go...

Posted by Anita Gustavo at 02:33 GMT on 31 January 2008

Hi Anita,

Full kudos must go to Bulent, who has written this program. I am just hosting the very old freeware version of his program. If you like the program a lot, you might want to check out the latest version (which is no longer free).

Posted by John Bokma at 03:57 GMT on 1 February 2008

hi...i'm wondering about being on the receiving end of being recorded without your knowledge. Is it common to see the frame freeze during a session? If not, would this be an indication that the person may be recording you?

Posted by tito at 08:48 GMT on 10 February 2008

Hi tito,

No, I can't think of any kind of indication that you can get that someone is recording. I mean, recording can also be done by pointing a video camera at the screen. But even if it's done on the receiving computer using a program, it will not result in frames freezing at your computer.

Posted by John Bokma at 21:09 GMT on 14 February 2008

I am an avid chatter and find it amasing to be able to talk to so many different people from so many different places.

Regarding the camera usage, I see now that people can record conversations.

Is there anyway a person can stop that from happening on the other end? Aside from just not using the camera

Posted by puppy at 13:12 GMT on 13 March 2008

Hey, you have mentioned that the best solution is disconnecting your webcam, is this possible when you have a built in webcam on your laptop? and do those programs work as easy on that? What solution do I have to prevent this? Thank you

Posted by Kamy at 22:40 GMT on 20 March 2008

Hi Kamy,

If you want to be 100% sure, the easiest might be to fold a piece of white carton (for example an index card) and hang it in front of the webcam.

The notebook of my wife turns a LED on (blue light) whenever the webcam is activated, but I have no idea if that can be circumvented (i.e. if a program can be written that turns the LED off while the camera is on).

Posted by John Bokma at 17:54 GMT on 27 March 2008

Hi, my wife and I are in different parts at the moment, we use webcam communication but would like t involve someone else in this. Is it possible for my wifes webcam to broadcast to my computer and another persons at the same time, we are using windows live, also we don't need two way conversations, just video, basically looking for her webcam to be shown on both windows live, but only need one actual conversation. Many thanks.

Posted by gary at 09:06 GMT on 29 April 2008

Bulent's Screen Recorder is awesome!

Took 5 minutes to set up 10 minutes to learn to run and I'm good to go. (and I'm slow at this)

Many Thanks....

Posted by Bud at 17:46 GMT on 4 June 2008

hi fella...i would like to say this is reli fabulous trick to record any cam on any messenger..i think mite be the most easiest way to record cam.. thanks alot...

Posted by Jigs at 00:22 GMT on 25 November 2008

how can i stop some one to record my video on messenger...pls answer me

Posted by tr at 14:47 GMT on 13 December 2008

@tr: by not sending video in the first place. Even if it could be prevented by software, as soon as it shows up on a monitor people could record it with a video camera, a mobile phone or digital photo camera that can record video.

Posted by John Bokma at 17:34 GMT on 17 December 2008

if you cant view the videos after saving find the file location saved in a folder called BSR videos and right click and set quick time player as default player

Posted by munchy at 17:58 GMT on 5 September 2009 it possible for a webcam conversation on Yahoo Messenger chat be leaked without being recorded or seen by other people??

Posted by Kiran at 17:57 GMT on 27 September 2010

Just loaded the software and recorded the video chat with my son. When I played this back the video worked but the sound had not been recorded. We were obviously able to talk and hear each other during the recording. We were using Windows Live messsenger. Whats wrong?

Posted by Tappers at 22:55 GMT on 14 November 2010

is MSN will record any video calls by any one means by default by any one eg... By msn (microsoft) untill we did not saved... pls it's most important for me thanks for ur urgent reply to my comment

Posted by shams at 20:38 GMT on 15 January 2011

how i know if some one record from my webcam and how i can do something they cant save any video of my web cam , thanks alot

Posted by pooyeh at 15:29 GMT on 27 February 2011

Can a hacker record our MSN vedios?

Posted by Ums at 19:19 GMT on 2 March 2011

Hi everybody its not easy to try i try it but its dosent work its Crap.

Posted by Emily67 at 17:06 GMT on 18 March 2011

I was having a video chat with a friend when suddenly my screen, me, appeared on his window so that both windows mine and his showed me! How is this possible?? Does this mean i was hacked??

Posted by Mary at 16:24 GMT on 6 May 2011

i have been a vectim of a cam2cam recording , how can i track the IP of the person who did this to me ? & how can I find laws to stop him in msn messenger knowing that i don't know where he lives , plz help me , & advise me what to do thanks a lot

Posted by zakton007 at 21:54 GMT on 18 May 2011

it is possible to broadcast my camera to many people at the same time here in msn??? i mean like in yahoo many people can see u at the same time????

Posted by dhan21 at 07:29 GMT on 24 May 2011

Can someone record your illicit webcam then tell you they are selling it to a site, then tell you that you can buy it back if you pay that person through paypal or americheck? Is this legal?

Posted by hosed at 06:26 GMT on 8 July 2011

I just want to say that recording sexual acts (and) distributing is a despicable thing to do. Realise: some people do not actually KNOW that recording/distribution is possible. SOME people are vulnerable, and clueless. To claim that they have given consent just because they open a chat box is ridiculous. I live in fear every day that there are videos of me out there. Imagine, waiting for someone you know to come across a video of you, naked, doing explicit things? I am constantly afraid and I think these programmes are unethical and ANYBODY who records and DISTRIBUTES WITHOUT CONSENT is scum of the earth, horrible, unkind, and selfish. I sure am pleased there are being laws introduced, I hope any of you who do this pay.

Posted by Lucy at 14:43 GMT on 18 July 2011

if i sent a picture to one of my friends through msn, would other people know about it

Posted by reee at 20:47 GMT on 7 August 2011

nedd shome girl for live chat

Posted by disel123 at 06:25 GMT on 16 August 2011

how cm i know dat sm1 is recording my video chat?

Posted by dolly at 11:17 GMT on 25 August 2011

I think that my husband is using the webcam to chat with other women when I am at work. Is there a program, like a keystroke logger, that will do the same thing when the webcam is activiated and record what it is viewing without anyone knowing?

Posted by Pissedoffwife at 08:34 GMT on 2 September 2011

I am wondering i met a girl online from the UK. I was wondering on yahoo messenger. Because she has hesitated to invite me to cam if it is possible for someone to innvite me to cam and it be a recorded video of someone else and not them...Or when someone does invite you to cam it has to be the actual person? Please Help!!!!

Posted by Charles at 15:43 GMT on 15 September 2011

When i am on a video call with my friend i can only view his or her cam.I cant see my webcam niether my friend cant see my webcam, plz find me a proper solution

Posted by Tohid at 04:59 GMT on 13 October 2011

hi i want to know if iam talking video chat ,if someone can record it please ?????

Posted by nina at 15:41 GMT on 14 October 2011

hey was chatting to guy on msn, he wanted me me to cam 4 him, i said sure thinking he was going to aswell. when i send throu request he accepted , then i was on alone plus on his side back the front as saw myself again not him. I asked what that was on screen, his cousor was on screen moving plus two boxes at bottom as he moving red box to adjust screen space tellin me he didnt know what it was... was he recording me maybe???

Posted by caydin at 23:50 GMT on 21 October 2011

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