8 Ways to Fix It When Your Webcam Is Not Working

Don't rush out and buy a new one just yet

If your webcam is not working, there are ways to fix it. We'll show you how to fix a malfunctioning webcam using most internal and external webcams for PCs running Windows 10, 8, and 7. If you have an Apple computer, learn what to do when your Mac camera is not working.

Causes of a Webcam Not Working

A non-working webcam may be due to malfunctioning hardware, missing or outdated drivers, issues with your privacy settings, or problems with your antivirus software.

Windows usually installs drivers automatically when it detects new hardware. Still, if you recently upgraded to Windows 10, you may need to update your hardware drivers manually. Some Windows Store apps only support newer webcam models, so your older device could be incompatible. Most desktop programs, however, still support older cameras.

Windows 10 offers a feature that disables the internal webcam. Keeping your webcam turned off when not in use is a great idea to protect your privacy. However, it can cause problems if you accidentally toggle this feature.

How to Fix a Webcam Not Working

Follow these steps, in the order presented, to troubleshoot your webcam and get it working again.

  1. Check your antivirus settings. Antivirus software can occasionally interfere with webcams. Investigate the software settings to see if your antivirus prevents your camera from launching.

  2. Plug the webcam into a different computer. If you're using an external camera, plug it into another device to make sure it works. If you have problems with it on several computers, the problem is with the webcam.

  3. Check the device connection. Jiggling the cable or unplugging and plugging it back in can sometimes fix the problem.

  4. Check the USB port. Connection problems can occur on the computer's end. Plug something else into the USB port to rule out a faulty or mis-mapped port.

  5. Make sure the correct device is enabled. If you have a built-in camera and an external webcam plugged in, applications can get confused about which one to use. Check the application's settings and find the option to select your preferred device.

  6. Consult the manufacturer. For external webcams, check the user manual or the manufacturer's website for further guidance. Many manufacturers offer troubleshooting applications that check common device-specific settings.

  7. Update the webcam drivers (Windows 10, Windows 8, or Windows 7). If the webcam driver is out of date, it may not work properly.

  8. Change your webcam system settings (Windows 10, Windows 8). There may be a system setting that interferes with the function of the webcam.

You must be logged in as your device's administrator to change driver settings.

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