Find that your camera or webcam is not working whenever on a Zoom video call?
Zoom is perhaps one of the biggest and most popular video conferencing apps in the world right now alongside both Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts.
However, one of the issues tons of users have had to put with is that their webcam is not working. Some users have even reported that even though the webcam works, it still gets choppy and the resolution which the webcam is recording is unviewable.
If this is something you’re currently dealing with, then this guide is written with you in mind, and we will go through how we can solve it, what are the causes as well as what can you do to prevent issues with the webcam to jeopardize your video call on Zoom again in the future.
By the end of this post, you will hopefully have fixed the issue and get your webcam working with Zoom.
Ready to get started? Let’s jump right in! 🙂
- 1. Restart the Device, Not Just the Webcam Itself
- 2. End Any Background Running Apps on your PC or Mac
- 3. Allow Zoom to Access Your Webcam
- 4. Do Not Turn Off Your Webcam Internally!
- 5. On a Mac Running macOS 10.17 Version? Do This Precisely
- 6. Make Sure Your Machine Is Kept Up-to-Date
- 7. Your Webcam May Be Closed With A Shutter or Cap
- 8. Uninstall Zoom and Reinstall
- 9. Update Your Webcam’s Drivers
- 10. Test Using Other Apps Which Uses Your Webcam
- 11. Contact Your Authorized Technical Service Provider
1. Restart the Device, Not Just the Webcam Itself.
We will progress from the simplest solutions to the more ‘hardcore’ ones. First things first you need to make sure that you restart your Windows PC, Mac, or any Linux-based machine rather than just trying to switch off the webcam itself. This is assuming you’re using an external webcam rather than the integrated (built-in) webcam that comes with your machine.
Regardless of whether your webcam is built-in or external, a restart of the whole system helps to shut down any background running processes which may be blocking the access to your webcam. When you restart your PC, only open up your Zoom app and then try to test a video call by reconnecting to your webcam.
2. End Any Background Running Apps on your PC or Mac.
Additionally, if you still find that the webcam is not working, make sure to go through your Task Manager (if you’re on Windows 10) or Activity Monitor (if you’re on Mac) and then end any application tasks that are running in the background. For instance, Discord, IDEs, desktop theme plugins, to name a few.
These tasks may have started up automatically the moment you have booted up your machine and are using a portion of your system resources (RAM, CPU cycles, etc.), and that makes your machine run a little slower.
We do advise that you do not terminate any tasks which are important to the proper functioning of your machine. This includes anything under Windows processes in Task Manager on Windows PCs or essential components on your Mac such as Spotlight or Dock, to name a few. It’s best to do a Google search on the task to find out whether it is necessary for your machine. If it is not, then remove it.
3. Allow Zoom to Access Your Webcam.
Your webcam will not work with Zoom, especially if the webcam is not selected as the correct one in your Zoom settings.
You can allow Zoom to access your webcam on both Windows PC and Mac by following the below steps :
- Open your Zoom app on your PC and then from the homepage, click on the little Settings gear icon on the top-right corner.
- You will be brought to the Settings page for Zoom. Now from the left-sidebar in the Settings page, select Video (it’s right under General).
- Now you should see your webcam turn on and showcase whether it is working or not. Assuming your webcam is not working, it will show up as a black screen. What you will need to make sure is that the Camera setting (right under the mini test screen) is set to Integrated Webcam or any other webcam especially if you’re using a third-party external webcam. Make sure it is the right one!
Test to see if the mini-test display screen shows your face now. You can also restart the Zoom application to ensure that the changes do take effect.
4. Do Not Turn Off Your Webcam Internally!
This is a pretty common source of the problem which we’ve discussed previously in our ‘How to Fix Microsoft Teams Not Detecting Camera‘ post.
Whether or not if you’re on a Windows PC or a Mac, you will need to permit the machine to use the camera by going into its settings. By default, the setting is turned on, but we highly recommend that you give a check on this in your settings to see if it is correct.
Here’s how you can allow camera or webcam permissions on your Windows PC or Mac:
If you’re on Windows PC
- Go into your Windows Start menu and click on the settings gear icon (just above the Power icon) or search for “Settings”.
- In your Settings page, click on Privacy.
- Now take a look at the left-sidebar. Under App permissions, you should see the Camera option. Click on the Camera option.
Here’s where you will need to do a few things:
- Under the Allow access to the camera on this device option, make sure that you click on the Change button and toggle on for Camera access for this device.
- Now below Allow apps to access your camera, make sure you toggle the switch On.
- For the Choose which Microsoft apps can access your camera, you will want to make sure that the Zoom app is turned on. This is if you installed Zoom via the Microsoft Store.
- Lastly scroll down the page, under Allow desktop apps to access your camera, you will want to make sure that the button is switched on. You should see the Zoom desktop app you had installed appear under the list (as shown below)
- Lastly, test your Zoom.
If you’re on a Mac
- It’s a whole lot easier to manage your camera permissions on a Mac machine. On your Mac, select your Apple menu > System Preferences.
- Next, click Security & Privacy, then click Privacy.
- Now Select Camera.
- Here is where you want to pay close attention: Select the checkbox next to the Zoom app (or namely zoom.us) to allow it to access your camera.
5. On a Mac Running macOS 10.17 Version Or Earlier? Do This Precisely.
If you’re on a Mac and you’re on macOS 10.17 version or earlier then do know that there is a bug with this particular version which prevents your Zoom app on your Mac to not detect the webcam or camera.
But hold up, how do I know which macOS version I am on?
You can locate your macOS version by going into your Apple Menu (from the corner of your screen) and choosing About This Mac. You will see your macOS name, such as macOS Catalina, followed by its version number.
Now you know which macOS version you’re on, here’s what you can do to fix the bug:
- Firstly, open your Spotlight Search (⌘ + space) and then look for ‘Finder’. Select Finder once you’ve found it.
- Next, select Go to Folder.
- Copy-paste the following into the Go to Folder:
- Hit the Go button.
- Lastly, on the page, you will want to look around and delete the Video Glide, Sonix SN9C, 3ivx Video Codec, or Desktop Video Out components.
You can also bring up your Terminal app (Command Prompt) and simply copy-paste the following command into it:
sudo killall VDCAssistant
The command will instantly search through your Mac for all instances of the ‘Video Glide’, ‘Sonix SN9C’, ‘3ivx Video Codec’, or ‘Desktop Video Out’ components and disable them.
6. Make Sure Your Machine Is Kept Up-to-Date.
It’s almost always a good idea to go with a Windows update or a macOS update when available. This is because the update would have addressed issues with the webcam as well as the various other unknown problems which you’ve may not have come to encounter.
If you’re on a Windows 10 PC
- Go into your Windows Start menu and click on the settings gear icon (just above the power icon) or search for “Settings”.
- Next, click on Update & Security.
- Click on the Check for updates button and wait until the scan for updates is complete or says “You’re up to date”. If an update is available, you will need to download and install it as well as restart your machine in the process during the installation.
There have been instances where the Check for Updates is unreliable or simply doesn’t work for most users. This has had happened to us numerous times. What you will want to do is install the Windows 10 Update Assistant tool provided by Microsoft and run it to check for any updates. This will force an installation of an update if available.
If you’re on Mac (running macOS Mojave, Catalina or later)
- Firstly, select System Preferences from under the Apple menu.
- Next, click Software Update to check for updates.
- If you find that any updates are available, click the Update Now button to install them. Or click ‘More info‘ to see details about each update and select specific updates to install.
If you’re on Mac (running macOS High Sierra, Sierra, El Capitan or earlier)
- Firstly, open the App Store app on your Mac. If you’re unable to locate it, simply use Spotlight Search (⌘ + Space keys) to look for it.
- Next, click Updates in the App Store toolbar.
- Lastly, click on the Update button to download and install the latest macOS updates.
7. Your Webcam May Be Closed With A Shutter or Cap.
It’s also possible that you may have mistakenly closed the webcam shutter or forgotten to take its cap. If so, try to take open the shutter or remove the cap and test using your Zoom app once again.
8. Zoom Webcam Not Working on Lenovo Machine? Here’s What To Do!
Several users with Lenovo machines have reported that the devices are prone to camera and webcam issues that happen frequently.
Although Lenovo has not provided any official help page, the following steps should help fix the webcam issue you face on your Lenovo machine:
If you’re on Windows 10
- Click on the Start menu button located on the bottom-left corner of your screen.
- Next, type in ‘Lenovo‘ into Windows Search.
- Now click on Lenovo Vantage. If you’re unable to locate it, then download the Lenovo Vantage app from here.
- Once you’ve opened the app, select Hardware Settings. Then select Audio and Visual.
- You will want to make sure that you disable the Camera Privacy Mode. If you find that this mode stays turned on, then make sure to press the camera button on your laptop to disable it.
If you’re on Windows 8
- Go ahead type in “Lenovo” in the Start menu.
- Go to Lenovo Settings or download the app from the link above.
- Click on Camera.
- Lastly, turn off the Privacy Mode option.
If you’re on Windows 7
- Type in Lenovo Web Conferencing in the Windows search bar and launch the app.
- Enable your laptop webcam.
- Shut down the Lenovo Web Conferencing program.
8. Uninstall Zoom and Reinstall.
Zoom also recommends to uninstall the application and then reinstall it if you continually feel like the webcam and microphone is not working.
Here’s how you can uninstall and reinstall the Zoom application on both Windows PC or Mac machines:
If you’re on a Windows PC
- Click Windows Start (bottom-left) and search for “Add or remove programs”.
- Look for Zoom in the list under Apps & features.
- Click on Zoom and Uninstall it.
If you’re on a Mac
- Firstly, open your Spotlight Search (⌘ + space) and then type ‘Finder‘.
- Click on Applications in the Finder sidebar.
- Do one of the following:
- If the Zoom app is in a folder, open the app’s folder to check for an Uninstaller. If you see Uninstall [App] or [App] Uninstaller, double-click it, then follow the onscreen instructions.
- If the Zoom app isn’t in a folder or doesn’t have an uninstaller, drag the Zoom app from the ‘Applications’ folder to the Trash (at the end of the Dock).
Once you’ve uninstalled your Zoom, you can reinstall it back and test it to see if this method has fixed the issues.
9. Update Your Webcam’s Drivers.
Updating your webcam’s drivers is vital to keep it functioning. This suggestion works whether or not if the webcam is integrated with your machine or you’ve bought it as an external peripheral accessory.
To download and install the latest drivers for your webcam, you will want to do a quick google search of the manufacturer’s website to locate the driver downloads page for the webcams. For convenience, we have linked a few popular webcam device manufacturer’s support and downloads page to help assist you in updating your webcam/camera driver:
10. Test Using Other Apps Which Uses Your Webcam.
If you’ve gone through all eleven methods laid out in this guide but to no avail you see any results, then we suggest you to see if there is something wrong with the hardware itself of your webcam.
Now one of the questions you may have is how do we go about testing if the webcam is defective?
Assuming, you’ve provided the permissions, updated your machine, and went through all of the methods in this guide; you can test the webcam by using it with another application that uses the webcam.
Here’s a list of some great alternatives to Zoom which you can try:
- Microsoft Teams
- Google Hangouts
- Cisco WebEx
If you find that the webcam works with the other services but not with Zoom, then you will want to reach out to Zoom’s technical support directly and let them know of the issue. Additionally, it will help expedite the support request if you mention the various solutions you’ve tried from this post to address the issue.
11. Contact Your Authorized Technical Service Provider.
For hardware inspections, repairs and replacement, we strongly advise that you bring in your machine to an authorized service provider to help fix it. They will be able to inspect the webcam and figure out if there are any damages or abnormalities.
For Microsoft users, this varies, and it is usually a repair centre that is provided by the manufacturer of your machine (Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer, Asus, etc.). Additionally, authorized service providers for those manufacturers can also help assist in repairs and hardware diagnostics.
If you have any questions, feel free to comment below, and we will try out best to help.
If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂