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How to Detect Hidden Cameras Within Minutes? Take This Step-by-Step Guide

How to Detect Hidden Cameras Within Minutes? Take This Step-by-Step Guide

The easiest way to detect hidden cameras is to use a flashlight. Turn on the flashlight and turn off the lights in your room. Pan the flashlight around the room. Go slowly and examine any suspicious positions from different angles. If you notice any reflective lights from an object, there might be a hidden camera there.

Of course, in the article we summarize 6 effective ways that can help you find hidden cameras in hotel rooms, bathrooms and homes.

Top 6 Simple Ways to Detect Hidden Spy Surveillance Cameras

If you're concerned that someone might be spying on you, there are a few simple steps you can take to check for hidden cameras. Most of these methods are totally free, and with a little effort you should be able to find any hidden cameras in your home or office. Just remember, hidden cameras can be hidden anywhere, so it's important to be thorough in your search. But with these tips you should be able to uncover any hidden surveillance in no time.

Here are 6 simple ways you can do to detect a hidden camera:

  1. Check for any unusual objects in the room.
  2. Turn off the Lights in Your Room to Spot Hidden Night Vision Cameras.
  3. Use Your Mobile Phones to Locate Hidden CCTV Surveillance Cameras.
  4. Use a Professional Camera Detector or Sensor to Spot Hidden CCTV Cameras.
  5. Check the Mirrors in Your Room to Pinpoint Hidden Spy Cameras.
  6. Use Flashlight to Find Hidden Cameras.

1. Scan the Environment Carefully to Detect Suspicious Hidden Video Cameras

One of the easiest ways to detect hidden cameras is by checking around the environment carefully. An inch-by-inch search would be helpful to spot "obvious" hidden cameras at the first step.

Most Common Places to Find Hidden Cameras Indoors

  • Smoke detectors
  • Air filter equipment
  • Books
  • Wall décor
  • Electrical outlets
  • Desk plants
  • Tissue boxes
  • Stuffed teddy bears
  • Couch cushions, table tops, and shelves
  • DVD cases
  • Lava lamps
  • Digital TV boxes
  • Wall sockets
  • Hairdryer holders
  • Wall or alarm clocks
  • Clothes hooks
  • Pens

Most Common Positions to Locate Hidden Cameras & Microphones Outdoors

  • House plants
  • Holes on the doors
  • The roof the house
  • The doorbell outside your home

Some objects may reveal suspicious wires, lights or lenses that are hallmarks of hidden spy cameras. If you find some unusual power outlets or adapters, unplug them immediately.

Listen as you walk through the entire room. Some hidden motion-sensing surveillance cameras would make an almost inaudible buzz when in operation.

2. Turn off the Lights in Your Room to Spot Hidden Night Vision Cameras

You can use the night vision security camera working principle to find hidden cameras in your room. Most hidden security cameras have red or green LEDs. The LEDs will blink or shine when in low-light conditions.

When in low-light conditions, the LEDs around the camera lens will turn on automatically to supplement the lighting for the cameras to produce clear night vision images.

You can follow the below steps to find hidden IP cameras when in dark conditions.

  • Step 1. Draw the curtains in your room, and turn off the lights.
  • Step 2. Check whether there are blinking red or green LEDs in your room.

No matter what hidden cameras you want to detect, wired or wireless types, you can use this way to detect surveillance CCTV cameras in your car, in stores, in the living room, bedroom, at your home, etc.

Should-Not-Miss Tip: It's also an easy way to check if a security camera is on.

3. Use Your Mobile Phones to Locate Hidden CCTV Surveillance Cameras

How to detect hidden cameras using iPhone and Android mobile phones?

Many Quora posters① ask whether they can use their mobile phones to find hidden cameras, and the answer is "Yep"!

There are 2 easy and free ways you can take to find hidden cameras using your iPhone or Android smartphones even without detectors.

Way 1. Use a Phone Call to Check for Hidden Cameras & Microphones

  • Step 1. Make a phone call with your friends or family.
  • Step 2. Walk around your room. Hidden surveillance normally would give off a special radio frequency that would interfere with your phone call signal.

If you notice that there is signal interference in a specific place or position, stop and check this place carefully to find out whether there is a hidden security camera there.

Way 2. Use Mobile App to Find Hidden Cameras & Listening Devices

  • Step 1. Install a "detect hidden cameras" app on your iPhone or Android mobile phones. For example, "Spy hidden camera detector" app (.apk) software is a good option.

  • Step 2. Launch the app on your mobile phone. The detector software will display a red glow when your smartphone approaches a hidden camera. Please note that it will also glow when near other types of hardware with radio frequency.

Helpful Tip: When you are traveling and stay in the hotel room, you can take a portable battery security camera with you. You can put it in your hotel room to see who entered your room without your permission. With a security camera installed in your hotel room, you can also keep tab on your stuff.

Reolink Argus 2E

Wire-Free, Battery or Solar Powered IP Camera

Rechargeable Battery & Solar Powered; 1080 Full HD; Stunning Night Vision; Built-In Siren; 120° Wide Viewing Angle; Two-Way Audio.

4. Get a Professional Camera Detector or Sensor to Spot Hidden CCTV Cameras

Professional RF signal detectors or other hidden camera bug detectors are quite effective to locate hidden security cameras.

A lot of news has reported that people keep finding hidden cameras in their rental Airbnb② homes. If you go on business or a vacation and rent an Airbnb house, you can find the hidden cameras with the detector quickly.

5. Check the Mirrors in Your Room to Pinpoint Hidden Spy Cameras

Remember to find hidden cameras in the mirrors in the toilet, changing or trial rooms, etc. As you may know, some awful guys would install a hidden spy camera on the other side of a mirror that is see-through, while the other side looks the same as a normal mirror.

How to find hidden cameras in the mirror?

There's a useful tip you can use to detect such two-way mirrors in fitting rooms, toilets, bathrooms, etc.

  1. Put your fingernail on the mirror.
  2. Observe the gap between your finger and the mirror.

If there's a gap between your finger and the image, it's a real mirror. If your finger and the image touch tip to tip, there would be a hidden spy camera in the mirror.

You can also use this trick to know whether there are hidden cameras in your hotel rooms when you travel.

6. Use Flashlight to Find Hidden Cameras

A straightforward way to detect hidden cameras is using the flashlight (works best in dark conditions).

  1. Turn on the flashlight and turn off the lights in your room.

  2. Pan the flashlight around the room.

Go slowly and examine any suspicious positions from different angles. If you notice any reflective lights from an object, there might be a hidden camera there.

How to Detect Hidden Cameras Using a Detector

  1. Buy a professional detector on Amazon or other online shops. The price varies greatly, ranging from several bucks to hundreds of dollars.

  2. Turn on the device and do a sweep of your room to detect hidden pinhole video cameras.

Typically the detectors will beep when they detect a signal, giving you an audible indication when you near a potential camera.

Please note that the RF hidden camera detector typically only picks up a kind of frequency. If the hidden security cameras and other bugs use multiple frequencies changing rapidly, the detector might not detect the presence of hidden spy cameras.

Good news is that bad guys would not install hidden cameras with complex frequent network signals, since this type of hidden spy cameras is much more expensive.

Best Hidden Camera Detector Devices Recommendations

Some of the readers have left their comments for the recommendations of hidden camera detector devices.

Thus, our team has done detailed research and shared some effective CCTV camera detectors that are effective to detect hidden spy cameras.

If you are looking for a spy camera detector to scan your bedrooms, living rooms, and other wide-range areas, especially in hotels and Airbnb, you can use the device that combines both RF signal and lens detection.

You can turn on the RF signal detection of the hidden camera detector first, and locate the main positions or areas.

After that, you can use the lens detection function to spot the hidden cameras.

A spy camera detector that combines the 2 functions would look like the one in the image below.

Popular brands that manufacture such professional counter-surveillance detectors are JMDHKK, Spy Hawk, etc.

This type of spy camera detector devices is often used in detecting listening or bugging devices and cameras in hotel rooms, bedrooms, confidential meeting rooms, dressing rooms, etc.

Bedroom Living Room Camera Detector

If you want to scan if there are any shower cam or hidden mic in the bathrooms or fitting rooms, you can get a  small and light camera detector like the below one.

Popular companies that make this type of light camera detectors are Flyeego, KJB Security, etc.

This type of camera detectors is suitable for detecting bugging devices in bathrooms, fitting rooms or other small rooms.

It's easy to use and quite small so it's portable to take.

Bathroom Spy Camera Detector

Infographic on Top 6 Ways to Detect Hidden Cameras & Listening Devices

We also sum up the top 6 ways in the below infographic (you can share with your friends and family).

How to Detect Hidden Cameras Infographic

What to Do If You Detect Hidden Spy Surveillance Cameras at Your Place

If you find hidden cameras in your room, you should take the below procedures.

  • Step 1. Don't move or touch the hidden cameras. (The police would collect the fingerprints to locate the criminal.)
  • Step 2. Take all of your belongs out of the viewing angle of the camera.
  • Step 3. Take pictures of the camera for evidence.
  • Step 4. Call the police or other authorities to investigate the case.

Hottest Questions on How to Find Hidden Cameras & Microphones

We are always trying to answer as many questions as you may have on how to detect hidden cameras.

If you have other questions or any insights, leave them in the comment below! We will feature your ideas in this post.

Q 1. What Do Hidden Cameras Look Like?

A 1: Hidden cameras come in different sizes and shapes, and they can look like almost everything. Hidden spy cameras can be as small as the pinhole or keychain, and they are often placed in our everyday devices, such as smoke detectors, adapters, etc.

There are several popular types of hidden cameras in the market:

  • USB flash drive spy cameras
  • AC adapter type
  • Smoke detector type
  • Clock radio type

Q 2. How Do Hidden Camera Detectors Work?

A 2: An OP on Quora④ would like to know about the operation theory of the hidden camera detectors, and we add this question here.

Most spy camera detectors mainly offer 2 ways to find hidden cameras:

  • Check for the reflective lights from the camera lens (like using a flashlight).
  • Detect the RF broadcast of the camera. Typically the detectors will beep when they find the signal, and give you the audible alerts.

Q 3. How to Deal with My Boss, Parents and Neighbors Spying on Me with Hidden Cameras?

A 3: If you suspect your boss, parents or neighbors are bugging you, you can use the above top 6 ways to find the hidden cameras.

Take pictures of the hidden camera if you find it, and then report it to the police immediately.

Q 4. Legislation on Hidden Cameras

A 4: Laws have strict legislation on privacy. Under no circumstances should anyone use hidden cameras to do illegal spying or surveillance.

Hidden spy cameras are not allowed in the below areas:

  • Restrooms
  • Other people's homes
  • Dressing rooms
  • Locker rooms
  • Other areas that related to personal privacy

Laws also require that people cannot gather audio from:

  • Eavesdropping
  • Remote recording
  • Other illegal audio recording methods

Breaking News About Hidden Spy Cameras (Keep Updating)

Here you’ll get the latest and most breaking news about hidden cameras. We will keep updating the news here so that you can see how serious the misuse of spy cameras it is.


Most importantly, always pay attention to your personal privacy, and get the prying eyes out of your private life!

Share the post here to let your friends and family know the latest news on hidden cameras, and get the 6 effective ways to detect hidden cameras.

Breaking News 1: Around 1,600 People Secretly Filmed by Hidden Cameras in South Korea Motels

According to South Korea Police on March 20, 2019, about 1,600 people have been secretly filmed by hidden spy cameras in the motel, hotel, inn rooms.

4 suspects have been caught and the case is now under further investigated. You can also check more details about the news here>>

The videos were live-streamed online for paying customers to watch. This is the first time the police caught where videos were broadcast live on the Internet.

South Korea police search the motel and inn rooms to detect hidden cameras, and found hidden cameras inside a hotel wall outlet and hair dryer stand.

South Korea Motel Hidden Cameras

  • Spy cameras found by South Korea police inside a motel wall outlet (left) and hair dryer stand (right).

South Korea has a serious problem with hidden spy cameras. In 2012, there were 2,400 cases of illegal filming, but the number surged to 6,700 cases in 2017.

Breaking News 2: A Viral Tweet Said Hidden Cameras Can Come As Unexpected Forms

A Malaysian netizen shared a Tweet about how covert a spy camera can be. A spy camera can even be disguised as a screw!

Hidden Cameras Disguised as Screws

In light of the breaking news of South Korea and this Tweet, Malaysian netizens searched online shops and found out it’s dead easy to get these spy cameras on popular e-commerce websites.

The hidden cameras can take different disguises or forms, such as:

  • Screws
  • Fitness trackers
  • Wall clocks
  • Car keys
  • Clothes hooks
  • Alarm clocks
  • Pens
  • USB drives
  • Charging plugs
  • Power banks

With the alarming surge in cases like these, you’ll need to stay extra vigilant. Be careful when using a public toilet, hotel, or dressing room. And share the top 6 ways here to let more people learn to detect hidden cameras.

We also hope the authorities can take action to make such spy cameras that are not easily accessible for these potential voyeurs or peeping Toms.

Breaking News 3: About 1,800 Patients Secretly Recorded by Spy Cameras in California Hospital Delivery Rooms

You can’t imagine that there are hidden cameras in the hospital’s labor and delivery rooms. The places that should be the most private are installed spy cameras.

On April 3, 2019, CNN reported a piece of shocking news that about 1,800 women were secretly recorded in California labor and delivery rooms.

Patients’ faces and their delivery processes were all recorded, completely and clearly.

California Sharp Grossmont Hospital

“It’s the most fundamental breach of privacy,” said Allison Goddard, a lawyer representing over 80 women who say they are part of the victims.

According to Allison, in the videos, she can see everything clearly including how women were rolled into the operating room, how they were prepped for surgery. And she can even see the birth of the baby.

Everything is just recorded extremely clearly and patients have no privacy!

It’s even worse that the videos were saved on desktop computers, and some without the need for a password. In other words, anyone can access the videos without an effort!

Why did a hospital install spy cameras in 3 of private rooms?

According to the hospital’s document, the installation of the hidden cameras is to catch a thief.

The file states that around May 2012, drugs were stolen from medial carts in operating rooms, so the hospital installed motion-detecting cameras on the carts to captured who stole the drugs.

John Cihomsky, Sharp Healthcare’s vice president of public relations and communications, said, “Although the cameras were intended to record only individual in front of the anesthesia carts removing drugs, others, including patients and medical personnel in the operating rooms, were at times visible to the cameras and recorded.”

Hospital is a private zone. “There are a very long list of reasons why taping, recording, videoing for anything other than medical or treatment purposes has to be strictly off-limits, because you're trying to protect people who can't protect themselves.”, said Art Caplan, head of the Division of Medical Ethics at the New York University School of Medicine.

And a lot of people have commented on this case: it’s totally unacceptable for a hospital to install hidden cameras in private rooms recording patients’ most fragile times. It’s undoubtedly a severe violation of patients’ privacy.

Currently, the case remains ongoing and the hospital was unable to comment further about this case.

We will keep updating the case here once the authorization updates the process of the case.

Join in the Discussion

How can you detect hidden cameras in TV or laptop? Do you have other easy tips to spot hidden spy cameras? Share your ways with us below ↓.

① Quora posters' questions: How to detect hidden cameras using iPhone and Android mobile phones? How to detect hidden cameras and microphones in a hotel bedroom using cellphones?
② An Answers.Yahoo poster's question: How to detect spy cameras in my hotel/Airbnb room?
③ Reddit OP's question: How to detect a hidden camera that I suspect is in the bathroom mirror at my job?
④ Quora OP's post: How do hidden cameras detectors work when spotting spy cameras?


All Comments Are Welcome

When not diving into writing about home security, Elvia spends her time watching movies, hiking, reading, etc. Also, she is a big fan of Star War and Orphan Black.