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12 Best Methods To Fix Webcam Not Working Windows

webcam not working windows

Cameras are becoming quite common for PCs. We use meetings on Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, and other options.

The operating system might not be at fault if your camera isn’t working. You can use the given solutions to solve the Webcam Not Working Windows issue quickly.

We have covered hardware issues, software, and drivers. Here are some tips and diagnoses. You can use these for built-in cameras as well as USB cameras. With that being said, let’s begin:

Methods To Fix Webcam Not Working Windows PC / Laptop

  1. Ensure the Camera Is Compatible With the Version Of Windows 
  2. Use A Different USB Port
  3. Check The Camera Switch / Button / Plugs 
  4. Use The Get Help App
  5. Run Camera Troubleshooter
  6. Check For The Updates (Optional Updates)
  7. Enable The Camera On Your PC
  8. Change Apps Permission
  9. Check If Antivirus Software Is Blocking The Camera App
  10. Update The Camera Drivers
  11. Uninstall And Reinstall The Drivers
  12. Reinstall The Apps

1. Ensure the Camera Is Compatible With the Version Of Windows 

If you have an older camera, there’s a chance that the Webcam is Not Working On Windows with the latest Windows OS.

Windows 10 and 11 have different driver requirements. These drivers might not be compatible with older camera models.

Ensure that your camera supports your windows version. If the manufacturer claims to support but it still isn’t working.

  • Go to the Start Menu and use the Search option to type Device Manager.
searching for device manager in Start Menu
  • Launch the Device Manager and find the section ‘Cameras, Imaging Devices.’
  • If you don’t find any option like that, you can try the ‘Sound, Video, and Game Controllers options.
cameras, sound, video, and game controllers driver list
  • In both of these, you will find a Camera Driver. Right-click on the name of the Camera (that is usually the driver).
  • Select Properties, and go to the Driver tab in the new windows. There, you will find many options.
right click and selecting properties for driver
  • Don’t do anything but select Driver Detail in Driver Tab. 
Driver Details in Driver Tab for Camera
  • See if you can find anything named ‘stream.sys’, and if it is there, your camera won’t work.
  • The file exists for Windows 7 and older cameras. The latest cameras and their drivers don’t need this.

2. Use A Different USB Port. 

USB port

Try this if you have an external USB webcam. Sometimes,  the driver doesn’t get installed properly.

You might have an outdated USB port or the port the camera doesn’t support. So, you can try changing the port to another and solve the Webcam Not Working On Windows issue.

If you plug in the USB and the driver doesn’t install, try these steps:

  • Relaunch the Device Manager.
  • Click on the Icon for the ‘Scan for hardware changes’ as shown in the picture below.
scan for hardware changes icon
  • Then check if you have the driver or not.
  • If you still can’t find the driver in Camera Drivers, you might need to download the driver.
  • For that, visit the manufacturer’s website, or search for the driver that will work with it.
  • Download and install the drivers. Often, manufacturers provide a CD or website source to download the driver.
  • If you can’t find either, it is better to just buy a new camera.

3. Check The Camera Switch / Button / Plugs 

unplug cameras and more

Now. This step is quite simple. All you need to do is follow this and fix the Webcam Not Working On Windows issue:

  • Restart your PC if you have a built-in camera.
  • If you have a connected camera, unplug it and wait for a minute. Then plug it again.
  • Check for the power button on the camera, if it comes with one. If it doesn’t, then check if your laptop or PC has a camera button. You will have to check to ensure that camera is switched on.
  • Often, restarting the camera will solve the issue. But if there are no plugs or restart options, move on to another solution.
  • Make sure to check your PC or laptop manual to be confident there isn’t any camera button. 

4. Use The Get Help App

Before you move to the solutions given below, you can try Microsoft’s Get Help App. They have designed it specifically for people to diagnose and fix the issue.

  • Go to Start Menu.
searching for the get help app
  • Search for ‘Get Help’ and launch it.
  • You can also try pressing the F1 button.

You can make your queries troubleshoot and more. But if you don’t want to wait or do it yourself, read ahead. We have compiled a list of solutions for you.

5. Run Camera Troubleshooter 

There are plenty of troubleshooters. If the Get Help app didn’t work, you could try it out:

  • Press Windows + I to launch the System Settings.
Windows System Settings
  • Click on the Systems option and go to Troubleshoot.
troubleshoot options in System settings
  • Select Other Troubleshooters and see if you can find Camera in the options.
camera troubleshooter in the Windows 11
  • If there is a Camera option, click on Run to launch it, and it will fix the issues automatically.

6. Check For The Updates (Optional Updates)

If your Camera isn’t working, there can be software issues. The Camera App might have some bugs or glitches. We all know how infamous Microsoft is with bugs. So, it is better to check for the updates first:

  • Open Settings by pressing Windows + I keys together.
  • Find the Updates & Security and go to Windows Update. Windows Update is separate from Windows 11. 
Windows Update in Windows 11
  • Check for Updates and if there are any, download them and install them.
pending updates restart required windows 11
  • After that, return to the window and see if you can ‘View Optional Updates.’ If you can, then select and download these updates, as well. For Windows 11 users, it will be in Advanced Options. 
Advanced options optional updates windows 11
  • Restart your PC after the updates and see if this works well.

7. Enable The Camera On Your PC 

The first thing that you can do is test the camera app and see if it has permissions. Often, not having permission leads to the camera not working. So, try these:

  • Go to the Start Menu once again. Search for ‘Camera.’
launching camera app windows 11
  • If you don’t have one, then you have to download it. But usually, the camera app is available for the latest Windows.
settings for camera app
  • If it asks for permissions like allow access to Camera, tap yes. You can decide on a location and other permissions.
  • See if this solves the issue.

Another thing for you to try is to check if the Camera driver is enabled. So far, I have talked about updating and reinstalling them, but they might be disabled. Follow this set of instructions:

  • Relaunch the Device Manager.
  • Go to the Camera Driver section and right-click on it.
  • See if you can find the ‘Disable’ or ‘Enable Device’ options.
Disable enable device option device manager
  • If you find the Enable option. Click on it.
  • If you find the Disable option. There’s no need to click on it. But you can choose to Disable the driver, restart the PC, and then come back to enable it. This sometimes works as a solution.
  • If you can’t find Enable/Disable in the Right-Click, select properties.  Go to the Drivers tab. You will find the Disable Device option there.

If you don’t have the camera app, you can download it from Microsoft Store Apps. It should be there for you to find. 

8. Change Apps Permission

Sometimes, the permission gets reset or edited. So, it is better to check them and give them again to your Camera App and other apps:

  • Right-click on the Start button.
  • Select Settings from the options.
  • Go to Privacy and Security.
privacy and security in Windows 11 settings
  • You will see Camera in the list of options if you scroll a bit. (In-App Permissions) 
camera in privacy and security settings windows 11
  • Make sure to change the access to the camera and turn it on.
different settings and permissions for Camera App
  • Turn on the ‘Allow apps to access your camera’ option.
  • If there is any specific app that fails to use a camera, then use this option. You can find that app in the list and allow Camera access.
  • If you have other apps, go to the ‘Allow desktop apps to access your camera’ and toggle it on. After that, you can go ahead and make similar permission changes.
Microsoft App Store
  • If you can’t change permissions for some reason, you need admin access. So, log in with the admin account.

9. Check If Antivirus Software Is Blocking The Camera App

Windows Security In Windows 11

There are a few antiviruses with privacy features. They can block the camera app from functioning. Some antivirus can also prevent apps from using the camera app. They can even take away all the permissions.

Usually, such apps will have extra ‘privacy settings’ features. They can also control app access.

So, if you use an antivirus program other than Microsoft Security, it is worth checking. Check for the privacy options.

You can also try to disable your antivirus and restart the PC with the antivirus disabled. See if this fixes the issue. If so, then the antivirus is interfering with the camera app.

10. Update The Camera Drivers

updating camera drivers

If nothing else has worked so far, you can try updating the driver. As mentioned earlier, updating the driver can often solve the problem. So, for that:

  • Once again, go to the Device Manager.
  • There are different options depending on the version of Windows you use.
  • You can try finding a Camera or Imaging Device. If you can’t find either, try Sound, Video, and Game Controllers. One of these sections will have your webcam’s Driver.
  • Next, right-click on the Driver and go to Properties. In the driver tab, you will see an option to Update.
update driver in properties of a device
  • Make sure to select the automatic option and let the driver updates take place.
Make sure to select the automatic option
  • Restart your PC and see if it worked.
  • If updating the driver fails (automatic option), you might have to find the driver manually. This corresponds to the first solution. 

11. Uninstall And Reinstall The Drivers

Uninstall device in Windows 11

If you already have the right drivers and tried everything else, it is worth reinstalling. Sometimes, there is some software glitch or faulty driver installation. It can prevent the device from operating properly. So you can try these steps:

  • First, detach your camera from the PC, if you can. If not, then move ahead.
  • Go to Device Manager > Camera Driver > Properties > Driver Tab.
  • In the Driver Tab, you will see an option to Uninstall the Device. Click on it and carry it through.
  • Restart your PC. Reconnect your Camera. This should start driver installation. If not, then go to the Device Manager and click on the ‘Scan For Hardware Changes’ option.
  • If your camera comes with a CD, USB, or a website to download the driver, do that.

Now check if your camera is working correctly.

12. Reinstall The Apps 

programs and features add or remove program

Sometimes, certain apps, like Skype or Discord, could be causing the issue. You can check the built-in settings in those apps. See if they are supporting your camera. If not, then you can try to reinstall these applications as well.

  • Go to Control Panel
  • Find the Add And Remove Program option.
  • Find the app you want to uninstall.
  • You can also visit the Apps option and uninstall the software from there. 
Apps settings in Windows 11