How to Fix Macbook Camera Not Working

camera not working on macbook

Is your MacBook camera not working?

Due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19, many companies have adapted the work-from-home setup. With this, virtual meetings and video calls are hosted by team leaders to keep track of everyone. 

In this case, having a computer with working webcams is a must. 

Speaking of webcams, MacBooks are probably among the few laptops with top-notch webcam quality. Unfortunately, some users have been experiencing problems with their MacBook’s webcam. 

This can be a problem, especially for heavy users who go into video calls throughout their day. 

Based on what we know, this problem is usually caused by a bug or glitch on your MacBook’s system or the video call app you are using. Improper configurations and broken hardware could also cause this issue on the MacBook.

To help you out, we’ve decided to make a guide for fixing your MacBook’s camera if it is not working. 

Let’s jump right in!

1. Check the Lens.

Before tweaking your system settings, you should always start with the basics. If your MacBook camera is not working, try to check if anything’s covering the lens. Nowadays, people put lens covers on their webcams for privacy purposes. 

However, there are times when they forget about it and start wondering why they only see a black screen during video calls.

If nothing is covering your camera’s lens, proceed to the following method below. 

2. Update Your Software.

When Apple releases a new version of macOS, it contains performance improvements, bug fixes, and new features. If your MacBook camera is not working, there could be an underlying bug or glitch on your software that causes the problem.

Follow the steps below to update your MacBook:

  1. First, click on the Apple logo at the top left corner of your screen. 
  2. Next, click on About This Mac
  3. Lastly, click on the Software Update button and wait for your MacBook to check for updates. 
macOS System Overview

Follow the on-screen prompts to install the update on your computer. Once done, try using your MacBook’s camera again to check if the problem is solved. 

3. Check Your Screen Time Permissions.

macOS has a Screen Time feature that allows you to limit your usage of a particular app or your MacBook in general. You can also control privacy restrictions in Screen Time. 

If your MacBook camera is not working, check if it is not restricted under your Screen Time settings. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. First, click the Apple logo on the upper left corner of your screen and go to System Preferences.
  2. Now, click the Content & Privacy on the left sidebar.
  3. After that, select Apps. 
  4. Lastly, make sure that Content & Privacy Restriction for Camera is disabled.
macOS Screen Time

Go back to the video call application you are using to see if your camera is now working.

4. Allow Camera Access for Your Apps.

MacBook doesn’t allow third-party applications to access your hardware by default. When you first launch a video call app, you probably get a prompt that asks you to give it access to your camera and microphone. 

However, you might have missed it, which explains why your camera is not working. 

Here’s how you can allow applications to access your camera: 

  1. On the top left corner of your screen, click on the Apple logo and select System Preferences.
  2. After that, click on Security & Privacy.
  3. Now, go to Camera and look for the Privacy tab.
  4. Finally, select the applications that you want to grant access to your camera.
MacBook camera not working

Keep in mind that you need to restart the application before the new permissions apply. After restarting the app, try joining a call to see if your camera is working.

5. Close Other Applications. 

Other applications on your MacBook could be using your camera, which causes it not to work on your video call application. To fix this, force quit unused applications on your MacBook that could be using your webcam.

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. First, click on the Apple logo on the top left corner of your screen and select Force Quit.
  2. After that, identify the apps that you think uses your camera. 
  3. Lastly, hit the Force Quit button to stop your applications from running.
macOS Force Quit Applications

Once done, wait for a few seconds then check if your webcam is now working on your preferred video call app.

6. Check Your Mac’s System Report.

Another way to check if your dealing with a hardware or software issue is by going to your MacBook’s system report. 

Follow the steps below to access your system information: 

  1. Start by clicking the Apple logo at the top left corner of your display.
  2. After that, select About This Mac and click on System Report.
MacBook camera not working
  1. Finally, choose Camera under the Hardware tab. 
MacBook camera not working

If your MacBook’s camera has an issue, you’ll be able to see it in the system report tab. Otherwise, it will just display the Unique ID and Model ID.

7. Remove Camera Assistants.

If you’re seeing an error message that says “There is no connected camera”, it indicates that there’s a problem with your camera assistants. To fix this, you’ll need to use the Terminal to remove your camera assistants. 

Follow the guide below to help you out: 

  1. Open the Terminal app on your MacBook using Spotlight
MacBook camera not working
  1. Next, type “sudo killall VDCAssistant” and hit the Enter key.
  2. After that, type “sudo killall AppleCameraAssistant” and press the Enter key again. 
  3. Finally, enter your admin password if needed and restart your MacBook.

Once done, go back to the video call app that you want to use to check if the problem is solved. 

8. Run Apple Diagnostics.

macOS has a built-in diagnostics tool that you can use to check for hardware or software related problems on your MacBook. If your MacBook camera is not working, we recommend running this tool on your system to figure out what’s really going on. 

See the steps below to use the diagnostic tool on your MacBook:

  1. First, click the Apple logo and select the Shut Down option.
  2. Now, wait for the system to shut down completely.
  3. Finally, press the Power button once then hold down the D key until you see the Language Selection screen.
MacBook camera not working

After that, follow the prompt that you will see on your screen to complete the diagnostics. If a problem was detected, take note of the error code and proceed to the last method below to report the issue to Apple Support.

9. Boot in Safe Mode.

When you boot your MacBook into Safe Mode, it prevents some software from starting, which can help you troubleshoot your system and isolate the cause of a software conflict. Booting into Safe Mode also forces a disk check, which can elimenate temporary errors.

Follow the steps below to restart your MacBook in Safe Mode:

  1. First, restart your MacBook.
  2. Now, when you see the startup screen appear, immediately press and hold the Shift key until the login screen shows up.
  3. Lastly, enter your account credentials to access your MacBook.
MacBook camera not working

If you’ve done the steps correctly, you should see a ‘Safe Boot’ icon next to the battery indicator in the upper right corner of your display. 

Now, try accessing your camera using different applications to check if you would encounter any errors. 

10. Contact Apple Support.

After performing the possible fixes above and your MacBook’s camera is still not working, there’s a chance that it is a hardware problem.

In this case, it is best to let the experts deal with the problem. Visit the nearest Apple Store in your region and have them take a look at your MacBook.

MacBook camera not working

Sadly, due to the current situations with COVID-19, it is best to check first the available support for Apple devices in your country. With this, you can know possible repair options or product replacement for your MacBook. 

This ends our guide on how to fix your MacBook camera if it’s not working on video call applications. If you have questions or other concerns, please leave a comment below, and we’ll do our best to help you out.

If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂


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