Laptop camera not working? 9 ways to fix it now

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as a front-end web developer. Read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Having a working laptop camera is an essential piece of hardware for holding a video call.
  • If the integrated camera is not working, you can try to update the drivers by following our steps below.
  • Also, if the built-in camera is not working, you have to make sure any webcam protection software is properly configured. 
  • You should check the camera privacy settings, and keep reading our article below for more camera troubleshooting solutions.
How to fix the laptop camera if is not working
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There are many uses for the laptop camera, but of the 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, so read on!

How do I fix my laptop camera if it’s not working?

  1. Run the Hardware troubleshooter
  2. Update the laptop camera driver
  3. Reinstall the laptop camera
  4. Install driver in compatibility mode
  5. Roll back driver
  6. Check your antivirus software
  7. Check the camera privacy settings
  8. Create a new user profile
  9. How to fix camera issues on specific laptop models

1. Run the Hardware troubleshooter

  1. Right-click Start, and select Control Panel.
  2. Go to the View by option in the top right corner.
  3. Click the drop-down arrow and select Large icons.
  4. Select Troubleshooting, and click on the View all option on the left pane.
  5. Choose Hardware and Devices, and click Next.

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

If you’re experiencing problems with the recently installed device or hardware on your PC, 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.

You can’t open Control Panel? Take a look at our step-by-step guide to find a quick solution.

2. Update the laptop camera driver

  1. Right-click Start, and select Device Manager.device manager
  2. Go to Imaging Devices and click to expand it.device manager imaging devices
  3. Right-click on the laptop camera or integrated webcam driver.
  4. Select Update Driver software.
  5. 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).
  6. Select Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.
  7. Choose USB Video device.
  8. Click Next, then follow the on-screen instructions.
  9. Restart your PC.

Finding the right driver can be a difficult task. Therefore, we recommend you using an automatic driver tool, which you can find below, to keep your system up-to-date with the latest drivers.

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  5. Wait for the app to download and install the newest drivers.
  6. Restart your PC for the changes to take effect.
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3. Reinstall the laptop camera

  1. Right-click Start button, and select Device Manager.
  2. Go to Imaging devices and click the arrow to expand the list.device manager imaging devices
  3. Right-click on your laptop camera or integrated webcam, and choose Uninstall.
  4. Reboot your PC.

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

In order to reinstall the laptop camera driver, especially for HP users, you have to follow the above steps.

4. Install driver in compatibility mode

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

5. Roll back driver

  1. Right-click Start, and select Device Manager.ldevice manager
  2. Go to Imaging devices and click the arrow to expand the list.
  3. Right-click on your webcam.device manager
  4. Choose Properties.
  5. Locate Driver tab, and select the Driver details button.

Find a file name with stream.sys. If you have this on your PC, 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:

  1. Select Device Manager.
  2. Go to Imaging devices and click the arrow to expand the list.
  3. Right-click on your webcam, and choose Properties.
  4. Locate Driver tab, and select Roll Back Driver.roll back camera drivers
  5. Click Yes.

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

If the rollback works, you’ll need to prevent Windows from automatically updating your driver in the future. To do that, follow the simple steps in our dedicated guide.

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.

7. Check the camera privacy settings

  1. Click Start, and select Settings.
  2. Type webcam in the search field box.
  3. Select Camera privacy settings.
  4. Check if the Let apps use my camera toggle is On.

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Is your laptop camera’s privacy settings turned on? Follow the above steps to execute this.

If you want to know more about Privacy setting and how to change them on Windows 10, check out our detailed guide for this matter.

8. Create a new user profile

  1. Click on Start, and select Settings.
  2. Choose Accounts.win 10 settings accounts
  3. Click Add someone else to this PCadd new user windows 10
  4. Fill in the form with the user name and password. Your new user account will be created.
  5. Click on Change account type.
  6. Click the drop-down arrow, and choose Administrator to set the account to administrator level.
  7. Restart your PC.
  8. Log in to the new account you just created.

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.

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:

  1. On your new account, use it to downgrade your usual account.
  2. Click Apply or Ok.
  3. Raise back your old account to its default admin level.
  4. Rinse and repeat a few times as this will help to remove any corruption.
  5. 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.

As an alternative, you can use an external webcam. Sometimes, this may be the best solution, especially if you want higher quality photos and videos.

Take a closer look at our best 4K webcams list for quality video conferences, and find the proper one for your needs.

9. How to fix the webcam issues on specific laptop models

1. Lenovo laptop camera not working

  1. Turn off camera privacy mode
    • Go to Lenovo Settings, and click on the camera
    • Locate Privacy Mode
    • Disable the privacy mode, and check if the camera is working now
  2. Update the camera driver
    • Launch the Device Manager
    • Go to Imaging Devices
    • Right-click on Lenovo EasyCamera
    • Select Update Driver to install the latest driver updates
  3. Check the settings of the problematic program

If your Lenovo laptop camera is not working in particular programs, make sure the Lenovo EasyCamera is set as the default camera for those programs.

2. MSI laptop camera not working

  1. Run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter from the Settings app (Update & Security > Troubleshooter)
  2. Re-enable your laptop camera:
    • Press Fn-F6 to turn on the webcam
    • Click on the TurboBattery + icon
    • Select the Windows icon from the toolbar
    • Click on the webcam to enable it again on the laptop.

3. HP laptop camera not working

  1. Make sure your HP laptop webcam is set as the default camera in the program you’re using
  2. Update the webcam driver using the Device Manager
  3. Uninstall other webcam drivers and programs which may cause conflicts with your HP webcam
  4. Disable the webcam from the Device Manager
    • Go to Imaging devices
    • Right-click on your HP webcam
    • Select Disable

4. Dell laptop camera not working on Windows 10

  1. Check your webcam privacy settings and make sure Windows 10 is allowed to use the webcam
  2. Run Windows 10’s built-in Hardware and Devices troubleshooter
  3. Install the latest webcam driver updates using the Device Manager

5. Asus laptop camera not working

  1. Make sure your webcam is turned on
  2. Install the latest OS and driver updates
  3. Disable unnecessary processes running in the background

Let us know in the comments section below whether any of these solutions worked to resolve the laptop camera issue. Also, leave there any other questions you may have.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • If your laptop camera suddenly stopped working it is perhaps a Windows Update was performed. Here’s how to update Windows 10 offline and avoid the camera issues.

  • Most webcams are automatically recognized as soon as they are plugged in and powered on (optional) if they are not integrated. Check out our dedicated guide on how to fix the camera app if it’s not working in Windows 10.

  • If a certain software is unable to use the webcam it is usually because of a faulty device driver. Update the device driver to fix this. Check out our best driver update software list for Windows 10 and find the proper one for your needs.

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