If there is one thing that we have learned over the past couple of years is that webcams are coming back. For a while, they fell under the radar but now, the demand has increased. If you have a webcam and are wondering why my webcam is not working, stick around as we have a few tips to help you get it working again or at least understand what is wrong with it. If you do not have the patience to go through our troubleshooting steps, feel free to take a quick webcam test that you can find online which might be able to pinpoint your problem.
Before we get started, we need to understand that there are two types of problems that a webcam may have. A webcam can malfunction due to hardware problems or due to software problems. Following our guide, you will be able to tell what problem you have. Keep in mind that if there is a hardware problem with your webcam, you will need to replace it.
#1. Corrupt Applications
The most common problem with webcams not working is application-related. Applications may have corrupted files and may not be able to detect the webcam. When that happens, you get errors in your application which may lead you to believe that there is a problem with the webcam. Regardless of what software is at fault, be it Zoom, Discord, or anything else, you will need to reinstall it. What you should not do is reinstall the software over the existing software. You will first need to remove the currently installed application, download the installation package and then reinstall it. Remember to restart your computer after uninstalling it as it will clean up all the files associated with the software, ensuring that you install completely fresh files. If this did not fix your webcam issue, try the webcam test.
#2. Faulty USB Port
The first thing that you can do is to try a different USB port. If the webcam works, you have found the problem. The USB port in which it was plugged may be malfunctioning due to a hardware problem or due to a software fault. Usually, software faults associated with drivers for USB ports and other devices can be fixed with a computer restart. If it did not work with a different port, try the next step.
#3. Temporary Webcam Driver Errors
Sometimes, device drivers can misbehave. A computer restart will reload the drivers and may cause devices such as a webcam to start working again. The recommended way to do it is to first remove the webcam from the USB port, restart your PC or laptop then plug the webcam back in.
#4. Corrupt Device Driver
If the first two tips did not fix the problem for you and you are still wondering why is my webcam not working, consider reinstalling the drivers. You will first need to go to Device Manager by pressing the Start button and type Device Manager in the search bar. Once you open the Device Manager, look for your webcam, right-click and click on “Uninstall Device”. Remove the webcam from the USB port then restart your computer. Once your computer starts, download the drivers from the manufacturer’s website, plug the webcam back in and install the driver using the installation kit.
#5. Hardware Malfunction In Your Webcam
A hardware fault in your webcam means that you will need to replace it. If you want to make sure that your webcam is completely gone, you need to test it on a different computer. The worst-case scenario is for the webcam to not work on a different computer either which means there is a hardware problem with it and needs to be replaced. If it does work on a different computer, there may be an issue with your operating system or a dependent device driver.
#6. Corrupt USB Hub Driver
While USB drivers rarely get corrupted, this can happen. To fix this, you will need to do something similar to what was described in step 3. This time around, in Device Manager, you will need to search for Universal Serial Bus Controllers and uninstall everything there. Do not worry, your keyboard and mouse will stop working for a few moments. The system will automatically reinstall the drivers for you as this is an essential device. Once reinstalled, restart your computer and try the webcam again.
#7. Corrupted Operating System Files
If none of the above things worked but the webcam does work on a different computer, your operating system may be the problem. Files can get corrupted and can cause devices to malfunction, including your webcam. Because it is nearly impossible to tell what has been broken inside your operating system, the most secure solution is to completely reinstall your operating system. This will ensure that you get a fresh set of operating system files that are not corrupted and that work properly. This would be the final step that you can try to diagnose why your webcam is not working. In most cases, you will not reach this point but if it does, be prepared to allocate a couple of hours to reinstall your operating system.
Hopefully, the above 6 tips have helped you diagnose what is wrong with your webcam and you managed to fix it. If you are still wondering why my webcam is not working, you need to revisit the above-mentioned steps and try to troubleshoot the problem. Skipping steps or not doing things in order will only sabotage your troubleshooting attempts.
If you do not want to go through all the tips mentioned above, you can go the easy route and try a webcam test. While these tests work well in the vast majority of cases, if there is a hardware problem with your webcam and it is not detected by your system, the test will not be able to tell if you have a webcam connected or not. We would recommend taking a webcam test but the webcam should be tested on another computer as well to eliminate eventual hardware faults.