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- Chrome can't access the camera or microphone lately, it's generally the misconfigured settings or driver issues to blame.
- To fix that, you'll have to take a look at the camera settings.
- More so, if the camera is new, removing it or the related software might help.
Google Chrome is one of the most popular web browsers for the Windows platform. But, several users reported that Chrome can’t access the camera or microphone.
When the browser tells you that an error occurred when trying to get access to the camera and/or microphone, the first thing to do is check the settings for that hardware.
Try the solutions below and we hope that you’ll get rid of the error in no time.
Why can’t I access my camera or microphone?
If Chrome can’t access the camera or microphone, it could be due to issues with the browser settings, website settings, or even the system settings.
In case the problem is limited to a particular website, it’s likely that the relevant permissions have not been granted and the website settings need to be modified. While if the issue is encountered across websites, it’s the browser or system settings to blame.
Conflicting programs or corrupt/outdated drivers may also lead to the problem. Several users also reported that the issue started after updating the OS, and the simplest solution for it would be to wait for the next version.
Some of the error message that you might come across are:
- Although you granted permission to use the appropriate devices, there was a hardware error at the operating system, browser, or web page level that prevented access to the device.
- Check your device camera and microphone hardware
Let’s now head to the solutions when Chrome can’t access the camera or microphone in Windows.
How do I get Chrome to access my camera & mic?
1. Consider using a different browser
If the problem persists even after trying all troubleshooting steps, then your only option left is to simply switch to another browser.
One browser that is just as good, if not better, than Chrome is Opera One. Both tools are based on the Chromium engine, so their extensions are cross-compatible, but Opera One focuses more on speed and a high level of customization.
More so, it is updated frequently, so any potential errors that you may find will not be there for long, especially since you can easily send error logs if they do happen somehow.
Finally, if you love private browsing, you’ll like knowing that Opera One has a built-in VPN and an ad-blocker, unlike most browsers that have these only via extensions, and most of the time those are limited anyway.
Opera OneExcellent web browser that offers many useful tools, including the ability to save and print your web pages.
2. Turn access for camera and microphone for Chrome in Windows
- Press Windows + I to launch Settings, and then select Privacy & security from the tabs on the left.
- Under App permissions select Camera.
- Make sure that Let desktop apps access your camera toggle is enabled, and that Google Chrome is listed under it.
- Go back to the previous window, select Microphone, and make sure the same options are enabled for it as well.
Restart your PC and check for any improvements. If Chrome still can’t access the camera or microphone, head to the next method.
3. Enable camera and microphone access in Chrome
- Launch Chrome, paste the following path in the address bar and hit Enter:
- Click on Camera under Permissions.
- Now, make sure that the desired camera is selected from the dropdown menu, and then select the option for Sites can ask to use your camera.
- Also, verify that no websites are blocked from accessing the camera. If there are any listed here, click on Delete icon.
- Navigate to Microphone, and make the same changes there as well.
- Relaunch the browser for the changes to come into effect.
If you have blocked access to your camera for any website, you may see that a hardware error has occurred for the webcam.
4. Remove recently installed hardware
- Press Windows + I to launch Settings, and select Bluetooth & devices.
- Click on Devices on the right.
- Look for any of the recently installed hardware like a Mouse or Bluetooth speaker.
- If you find any, click on the ellipsis next to it, and select Remove device.
If you noticed that Chrome can’t access the camera or microphone after you installed a new hardware device to your PC, remove the device or uninstall it.
Some hardware devices such as Bluetooth speakers and other wireless devices can create conflict with the web browser and apps, resulting in this error. Make sure you uninstall the hardware device completely and restart the PC.
5. Remove recently installed software
- Press Windows + R to launch the Run command, type appwiz.cpl in the text field, and click OK to launch the Programs and Features window.
- Select the problematic software and click on Uninstall.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.
Third-party software might lead to this issue due to the incorrect configuration. To fix the error, it’s best to uninstall them and prevent future conflicts.
6. Update camera and microphone drivers
- Press Windows + S to launch the Search menu, enter Device Manager in the text field, and click on the relevant search result.
- Expand the Cameras entry.
- Now, locate the problematic webcam and select Update driver from the context menu.
- Next, select Search automatically for drivers.
- Restart the PC after the drivers are installed for the changes to apply.
- Similarly, update the microphone drivers as well.
A better way to update your drivers is to use third-party tools such as Outbyte Driver Updater. By using it, you’ll be able to automatically update all drivers on your PC with just a couple of clicks.
Disclaimer: Some functions of this tool might not be free
7. Update Windows
- Press Windows + I to launch Settings, and select the Windows Update tab.
- Click on the Check for updates button on the right.
- If an update is available, click on Download & install to get it.
If Chrome can’t access the camera or microphone after an update, it’s likely a bug in the current version, and a patch for it should be available in the subsequent releases.
Fix: There was an error trying to activate your camera or microphone
This error message is encountered due to the same reasons as the ones discussed earlier, and the solutions for it too pretty much remain the same.
In addition to these, you can also try disabling the antivirus for a while to verify if that’s preventing your camera or microphone from activating. Also, terminate tasks that are currently using the camera to fix the error.
How do I grant my browser permission to use my webcam?
- Paste the following path in Chrome’s address bar and hit Enter:
- Next, click on the website that you want to specifically grant access to the webcam on the browser.
- Click on the dropdown menu next to Camera, and select Allow from the options.
- Similarly, grant permission to all the required websites to use the webcam through the browser.
These are our proposed solutions if Chrome can’t access the camera on Windows, and one of the must-have fixed the error for you.
Also, find out what to do if you can’t print from Chrome.
If you used another way to restore your mic or camera functionality, let us know in the comments.