Why has my webcam suddenly stopped working?

A laptop camera is probably one of the most important features in the post-2020 world. From work meetings and live presentations to connecting with friends and family, the webcam has seamlessly been incorporated into the average daily lifestyle and has become an absolute lifesaver. This is why an unexpected laptop camera issue is one of the most stressful things that can happen in a day. Because, after all, a laptop camera problem is not just a technical malfunction but also a disconnection from your social and professional life.

A laptop camera not working is one of the most common issues that device owners experience. However, don’t fret just yet. Several of these internal or external webcam issues can be addressed and fixed at home with DIY troubleshooting. To make things even easier, here is a list of many common laptop camera problems and how to swiftly fix them.

The Difference Between Internal & External Webcams

Why has my webcam suddenly stopped working?
Why has my webcam suddenly stopped working?

Internal webcams are cameras that are built into your laptop. This feature is placed directly above your laptop screen. An internal camera works the same way an external camera would but may have limited capabilities. The cost of this camera is included in the value of your laptop and needs no additional setup.

Why has my webcam suddenly stopped working?
Why has my webcam suddenly stopped working?

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Most laptops feature a built-in camera, whereas other PC systems may require an external one. An external webcam requires an additional purchase and connects to your laptop with a USB cable. Different external cameras offer specific resolutions and features catering to every user’s needs and require manual installation. Here is the list of the best webcams you can buy.

Common Laptop Camera Problems & Solutions

1. Laptop Camera Showing Black Screen

It is one of the most frustrating things when you are just about to get on a video call and suddenly your webcam window is black. To start troubleshooting this laptop camera black screen issue, perform the following steps:

  • Make sure that your webcam is not blocked by an object or dust. If your webcam lens looks dirty, give it a good clean with a clean rag.
  • If your webcam has a privacy shutter, make sure it is completely open.
  • If you are using an external camera, check to see if the USB cable is properly connected to your computer.
  • If you can see a red or green light on your webcam, it is possible that the camera is being used by another application or website. If you are not certain which website may be using the camera, close all the tabs and restart your computer. This should fix the laptop camera issue.
  • Your laptop camera showing a black screen could be a result of denied app permissions. Make sure that the app that you are trying to use your camera on has permission to access the webcam. To fix this laptop camera issue, go to the Settings app on your computer, click on Privacy, select Camera under “App Permissions” and switch the camera access from Off to On.
  • This laptop camera black screen issue could have stemmed from a new update of your operating system. Open your camera’s official program, adjust the default video settings and restart your webcam. In case you are using an external camera, you may need to download the original software from the company’s website to adjust its settings.
  • Restart your computer in Safe Mode and open your laptop camera. If the laptop camera black screen issue still persists, you will need to update its drivers.

Why has my webcam suddenly stopped working?
Why has my webcam suddenly stopped working?

2. No Audio When Webcam Is Turned On

  • Before anything else, make sure that your microphone is not muted in your computer settings or on the website. Some websites may automatically mute your microphone and require you to manually turn the audio on. Look for the microphone icon on the application that you are using and click on it to turn it on. It is quite a simple thing that is easily overlooked.
  • Try connecting an external microphone or headset to your computer to see if the audio is working. If the audio starts working, then there might be an internal problem with your laptop. A laptop repair professional will be able to accurately detect the malfunctioning part and fix it.
  • If your computer is connected to multiple audio outlets, make sure that you have the correct one selected in the list of audio devices in the settings.
  • Sometimes sound effects and audio enhancements can cause an audio or camera problem in laptops. In this case, go to the control panel on your device and disable all sound effects and enhancements before turning your audio on.

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3. Mirror Image Or Inverted Camera Problem in Laptop

  • If every time you switch your webcam on you find that your image is upside-down, open the camera settings on the application, website or device that you are using and look for an option to rotate/flip the display.
  • There could also be a problem with the driver. To check which drivers are on your computer, go to Device Manager, select your webcam, select Properties and check the manufacturing company and development date under “Driver”. If the date is no longer relevant, go to your webcam supplier’s website and download the latest version of the software.

4. Computer Cannot Detect the Webcam

  • If you are constantly getting notified that your computer is not able to find your webcam, check if you have accidentally deactivated the webcam. Most laptops come with a keyboard shortcut key that lets the user turn the webcam on or off with just one button. Check online to see if your laptop has a particular keyboard shortcut to access the webcam and press it.
  • Make sure that this issue is not caused by a hardware malfunction by pressing the bezel around the webcam. In case the mechanism that connects the camera to your laptop has come loose, this should pop it back into place.
  • Check your system’s settings to see if all the applications have permission to use the camera. If camera-related permissions are denied, no website or application will detect the webcam. Open your computer settings, click on Privacy, select Camera under “App Permissions” and change the camera access from Off to On.
  • Sometimes, antivirus software that is devised to protect your privacy can disable the camera feature on your laptop. To prevent unauthorised access, some software programs require you to manually enable your webcam. In this case, open your antivirus application’s settings and enable access to your webcam.
  • If you are using an external camera, make sure that the USB cable is connected securely. Remove the cable and reattach it to see if it makes a difference. Determine if the problem lies in the USB port by attaching the webcam to a different port and turning it on.

Why has my webcam suddenly stopped working?
Why has my webcam suddenly stopped working?

 5. Laptop Camera Glitching Or Freezing

  • The problem of your laptop camera glitching could be a byproduct of using an older version of your computer software. Check if there are any pending updates on your laptop and download them. The latest software update should help all your applications run more efficiently.
  • If you are using an external camera, test it by connecting it to a different PC. If your webcam is malfunctioning on the new device as well, then it is most likely a hardware problem and your webcam needs to be repaired or replaced.
  • If the problem still persists, run an SFC (System File Checker) scan on your computer to check for any corruption or incorrect changes. The SFC tool is a feature on Windows 10 that checks for any problems on your device and swiftly replaces any incorrectly modified file with the correct version.

A malfunctioning laptop camera can be a major hindrance to a productive and well-managed personal and professional life. We hope this article helped you troubleshoot your webcam issues and get your laptop up and running again. But, if you’ve tried all the DIY solutions above and your laptop camera problem still persists, it’s time to call the professionals. 

If your laptop is covered by a brand warranty, you can have it fixed by the authorised service centre. For laptops that are not covered by brand warranty, you can choose Onsitego’s Laptop Service. Our expert service engineers have more than 10 years of experience and are equipped to handle even the most tricky of laptop problems! The best part about Onsitego’s Laptop Repair & Maintenance Service is the at-home service. Our engineers will come over to your home to resolve the issue. If your laptop needs to be taken to a service centre for repairs, we offer free pick-up and drop-off. Your laptop will be returned to you in the promised turnaround time.  

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How do I fix my webcam not working?

Fixing problems with your integrated webcam.
Check your antivirus software..
Install or update camera driver software..
Make sure the correct device is enabled..
Check webcam settings..
Rollback webcam driver..
Uninstall and add webcam again..

Why did my camera suddenly stop working?

If your device software does not update, it might be the reason why your Android camera is malfunctioning. Thats why fixing this issue requires checking for updates on your Android device and then updating the device software. To also update your device or app software, go to your settings software.

Why did my external webcam stop working?

USB devices, including webcams, can sometimes stop working due to glitches in the operating system or with the USB port itself. One of the quickest ways to try and fix a USB device is to unplug it and then plug it back into the computer. Unplug the webcam from the computer and then plug it back into the computer.

How do I fix my webcam on Windows 10?

To update the camera driver to fix problems on Windows 10, use these steps:.
Open Start..
Search for Device Manager, and click the top result to open the app..
Expand the Imaging devices, Cameras, or Sound, video and game controllers branch..
Right-click the webcam and select the Update driver option..