Last Updated on March 27, 2021 by Muhammad Junaid Khalid
It’s always annoying when something stops working. If you have a separate webcam or laptop experiencing camera problems in Windows 10, you have come to the right place! With our fixes for webcam issues in Windows 10, you can nail down what went wrong and what to do. You may want to check if your webcam physically appears fine – check for any exposed wires, incorrect placement, poorly-plugged in cables, or other damage.
Reasons For Webcam Problems in Windows 10
Whether you have a built-in webcam or a separate camera device, Windows settings help manage both. If your webcam worked fine at first but suddenly developed problems, the following scenarios are worth looking at. You can try plenty of fixes for webcam issues in Windows 10.
External Webcam Not Detected
Solution: Ensure you plugged in your device properly and powered it on, and that the system correctly installed the drivers. Windows 10 automatically detects new hardware and installs drivers for it. Reboot the computer.
A New Update Messed with the Software’s Functionality
Solution: Remove the update, and update when the next one fixes the bug.
The Driver for the Webcam Did Not Function Properly
Solution: Update the driver, or roll it back is the previous version worked.
Privacy Permissions Prevent the Camera from Functioning in an App
Solution: Change which apps can access the camera.
Fixes For Webcam Issues in Windows 10
1) Update the Laptop Camera Driver
This is one of the simplest fixes for webcam issues in Windows 10 – any software issue. Using the device manager, you can install or manage updates for your driver webcam problems in Windows 10. Your computer needs to have an internet connection for this.
- Right-click on Start Menu, or press the Windows key + X and select Device Manager from the menu.
- Your camera appears under either Imaging devices; Sound, video and game controllers; or Cameras. Click accordingly.
- When the menu expands, right-click on the name of the webcam that needs fixing.
- Select Update Driver software from the menu.
- The update wizard prompts you to select how to search for the driver. Choose the option “Search automatically for updated driver software.”
- Click on Next. You will have to wait for a little as the wizard searches for drivers. If it finds updates, the wizard prompts you to confirm their installation and downloads them. Reboot the computer afterward.
- If your webcam driver is already the most recent, the wizard informs you so.
Still having webcam problems in Windows 10 after installing driver updates? Try installing Windows updates. Navigate to Start > click on Settings > open Update & Security > click on Check for updates in Windows Update. Reboot your computer if necessary.
2) Roll Back Webcam Driver To the Previous Version
If your webcam worked fine with previous driver versions, you can roll it back. You can also roll back the driver for webcams manufactured before Windows 7.
- Right-click on Start Menu, or tap on the Windows key + X > select Device Manager from the menu.
- Go to where your webcam appears in either Imaging devices; Sound, video and game controllers; or Cameras.
- Right-click on the name of your webcam, and choose Properties. In the properties, go to the “Driver” tab and click on “Driver details”. Search for a file named “stream.sys”. If you find it, your camera came from before Windows 7. You can either replace it or roll back the driver.
- Click on the option “Roll Back driver” in “Driver Details”. Select “Yes” on the prompt.
- When the rollback completes, restart your PC. Confirm whether your webcam works.
3) Using the Hardware Troubleshooting Wizard for Fixes for Webcam Issues in Windows 10
Software issues aside, you can experience webcam problems in Windows 10 due to hardware issues as well. Not to worry though – you can use the troubleshooter for Hardware and Devices for fixing the problem. This also ensures that the physical installation of the webcam was correct.
- Navigate to Control Panel.
- Click on the “View by” arrow at the right, and select the Large icons option to display all Control Panel items. Conversely, you can also search for “Troubleshooting” from the search menu on the top-right corner.
- Select Troubleshooting > click on Hardware and Devices, or Hardware and Sound.
- Click on the Next button, and follow the on-screen instruction for running the troubleshooter as it looks for issues to correct.
4) Uninstall/Reinstall Your Webcam
If updates don’t do the trick, try reinstalling the camera to fix your webcam problems in Windows 10.
- Right-click on the Start Menu button or press the Windows key + X > select Device Manager from the menu.
- Go to where your webcam appears in either Imaging devices; Sound, video, and game controllers; or Cameras.
- Right-click on your webcam name, and choose Uninstall from the menu.
- Go back to the Device Manager window > click Action (next to the File option) > choose “Scan for hardware changes”. The drivers install again automatically.
- Restart your PC afterward.
5) Using Compatibility Mode for Installing the Driver
One of the many fixes for webcam issues in Windows 10 includes installing the driver using compatibility mode.
For this, you need to download the correct version of the driver from the internet. You may find the driver for a built-in laptop webcam on the website for the laptop’s manufacturer. For a separate plug-in webcam, use the webcam’s manufacturer and model specifications to locate the correct driver.
- Download and save the correct driver somewhere you can easily find it.
- Open File Explorer, locate the driver installation file, and right-click to open the menu.
- Select Properties > open the Compatibility tab.
- Mark the option for “Run this program in Compatibility mode”, and select the operating system you want the compatibility of e.g. Windows 7 or Windows XP if it dates to that time.
- Apply the settings, and launch the installer.
- Once the driver installs, reboot your PC, and check for any problems.
6) Check Camera Privacy Settings
Sometimes, privacy settings can prevent your webcam from functioning correctly. To find out if this is the case, do the following:
- Navigate to Start Menu > Settings.
- Enter “webcam” in the search box.
- For managing access of individual applications to the camera, tinker with the toggles in “Choose which apps can access your camera”, and other camera privacy settings.
- Try running your camera again.
In a similar vein, check your antivirus settings. Some settings result in apps getting blocked from using your camera.
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