Webcam Not Working? 4 Common Issues and Fixes

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Not every video application can boast the results Zoom has seen socially and economically since the start of the 2020 pandemic. The company was able to reach $3.7 billion in sales, with profits of over $671 million by the end of 2020.

What does this mean for us?

COVID-19 forced almost the entire world to switch to a work-from-home lifestyle which includes webcams. Whole industries popped up overnight.

It’s surprising, then, that the standard internal camera on our laptops is the same 1MP camera from the close of the 1990s!

Aside from using old tech, these webcams tend to have other issues, too. Do you have one of these top five problems? Keep reading to find out how to fix it!

1. The Settings Aren’t Right

While services like DeviceTests can help you to learn whether your camera is working or not, far in advance of a meeting you still need to have the right settings to get it to work.

First of all, you’ll have to have your webcam turned on for certain apps. It’s generally done automatically by Windows, but if not you can check your settings.

Hit the start button or Windows key and click the settings icon. Next, select the privacy settings and then “camera.” Now you can click “let apps use my camera” to let your apps turn your camera on and off.

This will fix most of your issues with the webcam not working on Windows 10.

2. You Didn’t Give Permission

Many companies and services allow you to do a video call right through your browser. The first time you connect to something that wants to use your microphone or camera, your security settings may ask you to approve it.

If you aren’t sure what it is, or you misclick, you could accidentally deny it.

The way to fix this issue is (if you’re using Chrome) to click the icon next to the “https://” in your address bar. Usually, this is a padlock icon, but it could look different.

From there, click on “site settings” and you can see the permissions for this specific site. It should be defaulted to “Ask,” unless you denied or blocked permission for the site.

If it is, don’t fear. simply click the dropdown box next to the camera and microphone and select “Allow.”

3. Third-Party Webcam Isn’t Detected

It’s frustrating to have webcam issues because of the 1MP camera that’s included in your laptop, only to have another set of issues after buying a third-party webcam.

This could be an issue with a power cable, USB connection, or a simple power switch.

USB-C connections transmit data and power in most cases. If it’s an older USB-A 3.0 connection, you’re almost certainly going to need to have a power cable plugged in, too. Don’t forget to check the manual for a power button or switch, too.

4. Antivirus Programs Are Suspicious of the Webcam

If the webcam uses proprietary software, the antivirus app you use (including Windows Defender) may be blocking it from streaming data.

This is especially true of external or third-party webcams and virtual webcams (OBS, XSplit Vcam, ManyCam).

The most common antivirus programs are McAfee, Kaspersky, Webroot, Norton, Avast, and Trend Micro. Whether you decide to use an antivirus program or not is up to you to decide. Try disabling it for a moment to see if the webcam works.

If it suddenly does start working, you’ll need to find the blocked process and whitelist it in your app.

“Webcam Not Working” Is a Thing of the Past 

Even though your webcam not working is a pain, these top tips should cover most of the common situations that cause webcams to malfunction. We didn’t cover a Mac webcam not working because it tends to work more often due to the proprietary nature of Macs.

This guide should have helped you learn how to fix a webcam for Windows 10 computers. If you’ve gotten a taste for fixing issues on Windows 10, keep browsing our articles to find out how to fix the rest!

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