Can't get webcam to function

I decided it was time to access my laptop’s built in webcam. I went through settings and gave all the necessary permissions, chose the native camera in device manager. Opened a Zoom test window that showed that camera was the selected one. Speakers work. Mic works. But no video. Just a black window. (Windows 10 - 64-bit)

I opened camera from the start menu. Likewise a black window. I selected the video icon and the button and timer showed that it was recording, but no picture - just black.

I dicked around with this, googling, checking forums, etc. I concluded that the camera must be defective. Anyway I read that built in cameras aren’t all that great. Fine. Went to amazon and found that webcams have doubled (or more) in price in the last couple of months. And they’re mostly sold out and won’t ship for a month. No prob. After researching and deciding I wasn’t prepared to spend $199 for the best one that Wirecutter recommended, so I settled on this one:

Webcam 1080p HD Computer Camera - Microphone Laptop USB PC Webcam, HD Full Gaming Computer Camera, Recording Pro Video Web Camera for Calling, Conferencing, 110-Degree Live Streaming Widescreen Webcam

It got decent reviews and it was $75. It wasn’t supposed to come until April 24, but it came today. Most of the reviews said, plug and play. I plugged, but it did not play. Same problem as before. I went through settings and device manager. Disabled native camera, enabled new one. Turned on ALL permissions, even Cortana (whom I hate almost as much as Paper Clip Man). Red power light on the front of the camera ON. When I open a Zoom or Skype window or the camera window from the start menu, the green “transmitting” light (or whatever it is - there’s virtually no documentation with this because apparently they feel there is no need) is on. Mic is on. I click the video icon, and it seems to be active and recording. But no picture - just a black window. I unplugged it just now and got a message in the black window that said “we can’t find your camera,” so obviously the computer DID find the camera, but there was no picture. I’ve looked at the lens with a magnifying glass trying to see if there is some sort of protective coating or sticky on it. The camera did come with a separate lens cap.

As my late DH used to say, “I’m out of airspeed, altitude, and ideas.” Maybe the camera is defective… BUT is it likely that **both **cameras would be? I’m suffering brain fog from too much googling. One of the amazon reviewers said he got one that didn’t work, sent for a replacement, and that one worked fine.

Any ideas or suggestions?

Skype preview window. (Room getting dark.)

What laptop do you have?
And you’ve tried updating the drivers, right?

A Dell Precision 7720.
The device manager tells me that the USB Camera is up to date and is running correctly. Apparently it doesn’t have drivers as such. I have disabled and uninstalled the native webcam from the device manager.

Are you 100% certain you aren’t a vampire? This may be a first sign. Try something with a lot of garlic and see if you burst into flame. :slight_smile:

The software at least recognizes that the camera is there, so that is a good sign. Try Solution 4 on this page and see if it helps:

The issue might not be a missing driver, but a bad/wrong driver being automatically applied to all webcams you try to use.

All cameras have drivers. They wouldn’t be to communicate with the computer without them.
Go into your device manager, find your webcam, and right click to expand the menu. Try updating the driver from there. If that doesn’t work try uninstalling the driver then installing it again.

You’ve probably done this already but you’ve gone into camera options and allowed Zoom to access your camera, right?

I did that.

Yes, I’ve given permission for everything to access the camera.

I just installed AMCap in the hope that I would learn something. I got this. “Access denied.” The FAQs say:

I just checked for Windows updates again and I’m up-to-date.

I feel like I’ve done this several times today, i.e., uninstalling and reinstalling drivers, but I will try again tomorrow. Right now I’m exhausted from wrestling with this all afternoon. Thanks. I’ll report.


Kaspersky was blocking my webcam. :smack:

I know everyone here has been through this. You’re exhausted from wrestling with a computer problem. You shut down. Go eat something. Watch TV. Whatever. But you can’t keep away. You drag yourself back to your desk… blahblahblah.

I have another, older laptop in my office, and I decided to try the new webcam with it.

Anyhoo, at first the screen was black, and then my ownself popped up on the screen. What a shock in more ways than one. (When no one has seen you closer than 6-10 feet in three weeks, you do deteriorate.) A little notification appeared that said that Kaspersky was allowing the camera.

Checking back on my primary laptop, sure enough I had Kaspersky blocking the camera. I unblocked it and now it is working.

I came across something the other day that said check your antivirus to make sure it’s not the culprit and I started to do that and then got distracted. I probably would have circled back around to it, or one of y’all would eventually have suggested it.

Thanks to all who played. :slight_smile:

Damn, I thought my vampire theory was solid.

I should have known that it was actually a Russian plot all along.

Either way, I’m glad you figured it out.

It was a good theory. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m revising my program of not wearing makeup while home alone. Yikes! :eek: