Try these 8 ways to fix your laptop camera when it isn’t working

By: Elsie Otachi
5 minute read
fix laptop camera not working

There are many different uses for the laptop camera, but most people use it either to take photos, hold video chats like on Skype or Google Hangouts, among other uses.

But the laptop camera may not always launch or work the way it is ordinarily expected to.

Here are solutions to help you fix your laptop camera when it just won’t work.

How to fix your laptop camera on Windows 10

Solution 1: Run Hardware troubleshooter

If you’re experiencing problems with recently installed device or hardware on your computer, then run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter to resolve the issue.

This checks for commonly occurring issues and ensures any new device or hardware is correctly installed on your computer.

Here’s how to go about it:

  • Right click Start
  • Select Control Panel
  • Go to View by option on the top right corner
  • Click the drop down arrow and select Large icons
  • Click Troubleshooting
  • Click View all option on the left pane
  • Click Hardware and Devices
  • Click Next

Follow the instructions to run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter.  The troubleshooter will begin detecting any issues.


 

Solution 2: Update the laptop camera driver

  • Right click Start
  • Select Device Manager

fix laptop camera won't work

  • Go to Imaging Devices and click to expand it

fix laptop camera won't work

  • Right click on the laptop camera or integrated webcam driver
  • Select Update Driver software
  • When prompted to choose How do you want to search driver, select Search automatically for updated driver software. If there’s an available driver on your computer, select Browse my computer for driver software then choose the appropriate location for updating it (make sure you’re online to do this)
  • Select Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer
  • Select USB Video device
  • Click Next then follow the on-screen instructions
  • Restart your computer

If this doesn’t fix the chop, go to the next solution.


Solution 3: Reinstall the laptop camera

In order to reinstall the laptop camera driver, especially for HP users, do the following:

  • Right click Start button
  • Select Device Manager
  • Go to Imaging devices and click the arrow to expand the list

fix laptop camera won't work

  • Right click on your laptop camera or integrated webcam
  • Choose Uninstall
  • Reboot your computer

Let it install the driver automatically on Start, then launch the laptop camera again to check if this resolves the issue.


Solution 4: Install driver in compatibility mode

Follow these steps to install the laptop camera in compatibility mode:

  • Download the latest driver from the manufacturer’s website
  • Save it on your local disk
  • Right click on the driver set up file
  • Click Properties
  • Click Compatibility tab
  • Check the box next to Run this program in Compatibility mode
  • Select the Operating System from the drop down list
  • The driver will install, then check its functionality.
  • Restart the computer and check if the issue persists

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Solution 5: Roll back driver

If your webcam driver is outdated, do the following:

  • Right click Start
  • Select Device Manager

laptop camera

  • Go to Imaging devices and click the arrow to expand the list

fix laptop camera won't work

  • Right click on your webcam
  • Choose Properties
  • Locate Driver tab then select Driver details button

Find a file name with stream.sys. If you have this on your computer, then your webcam needs to be replaced as this shows it was designed prior to Windows 7. If not, then roll back your webcam by going to Roll Back Driver using these steps:

  • Select Device Manager
  • Go to Imaging devices and click the arrow to expand the list
  • Right click on your webcam
  • Choose Properties
  • Locate Driver tab then select Roll Back driver

  • Click Yes

Once roll back is finished, reboot your computer and try to open webcam again.

If this doesn’t work, go to the next solution.


Solution 6: Check your antivirus software

If your laptop camera doesn’t work or open, or you get an error saying that the laptop camera cannot be found or cannot start, it may be caused by antivirus software that is blocking it, or an outdated webcam driver.

In this case, check your antivirus software and look for settings related to blocking access or permission to use your webcam. You can also visit your antivirus software company’s website.


Solution 7: Check camera privacy settings

Is your laptop camera’s privacy settings turned on?

Do the following to execute this:

  • Click Start
  • Click Settings
  • Type webcam in the search field box
  • Click Webcam privacy settings
  • Check if the Let apps use my camera toggle is On

Solution 8 Create a new user profile

You can also create a new user account and check whether your laptop camera works under the new profile, then change settings to administrator privileges, and check if the issue of the laptop camera not working persists.

Here’s how to do this:

  • Click Start
  • Select Settings
  • Select Accounts

laptop camera

  • Click Add someone else to this PC

fix laptop camera

  • Fill in the form with the user name and password. Your new user account will be created.
  • Click on Change account type
  • Click the drop down arrow and choose Administrator to set the account to administrator level
  • Restart your computer
  • Login to the new account you just created

If the issue goes away, then it may mean your other user profile is corrupted.

You can try the following in case of a corrupted user profile:

  • On your new account, use it to downgrade your usual account
  • Click Apply or Ok
  • Raise back your old account to its default admin level
  • Rinse and repeat a few times as this will help to remove any corruption
  • Leave your account on as Administrator

Check whether the laptop camera works when using the newly created account. If it does, then you can either Fix the old user account or migrate to the new account.

Let us know in the comments section whether any of these solutions worked to resolve the laptop camera issue.

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