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(FIXED) Webcam Black Screen Issues in Windows 10

An integrated webcam is easy to use; it’s all set up when you boot to your desktop. Any app that you install will be able to detect it and stream from it. In some cases, you might need to grant the app permission e.g., when Chrome tries to access the camera, it will ask for permission. That’s all you have to do in most cases to start using the camera however, it doesn’t always work. Sometimes, the camera just shows a black screen.

Webcam black screen issues in Windows 10 [FIX]

Some webcam brands have problems of their own. Logitech is one very popular webcam manufacturer and its products sometimes have problems particular to its own cameras. Here are a few things you can try to fix problems with any type of webcam. Before you start though, give your system a restart first and see if that fixes things.

1. Check for obstructions

It is possible that something is physically blocking the lens of your webcam. If it’s a brand new device, you may not have removed all protective stickers/films from the device so take a good look at it and remove anything that’s still pasted on. Don’t leave anything on just because it’s transparent.

2. Turn Camera On

Camera access on Windows 10 can be enabled and disabled for the entire OS. If it’s disabled, no app will be able to use it.

  1. Open the Settings app and go to Privacy>Camera.
  2. Make sure you see the message ‘Camera access for this device is on’ is visible.
  3. If not, click Change and enable it.
  4. Restart your PC.

3. Check permissions

Windows 10 lets you set camera access on a per-app basis. It is possible that the app you’re using the camera in doesn’t have access to the device.

  1. Quit the app that you’re using.
  2. Open the Settings app.
  3. Go to the Privacy group of settings, and select Camera.
  4. Scroll down to the ‘Allow apps to access your camera’ section and turn the switch on.
  5. Scroll further down, and look for the app you’re trying to use the camera in, and make sure it has access to the device.

4. Check app settings

Every app that can access the webcam on your system normally has its own settings screen. Skype has them, Chrome does, and so does OBS. Open the settings panel for the app and make sure the camera is detected in it. Try a few different apps. If the camera screen is black in a particular app, you have to troubleshoot it and not the webcam.

5. Update webcam driver

A webcam, like any other hardware on your machine, needs drivers to run. Drivers for a webcam are installed automatically but they may not be up to date. This holds true for both internal and external webcams.

  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Expand the Cameras group of devices.
  3. Right-click it and select Update driver from the context menu.
  4. Install any drivers that Windows 10 finds.

Install proprietary drivers/apps

If you’re using a Logitech webcam, or another brand, it is a good idea to install any apps that are available for configuring it. Download and install the app. If the app doesn’t fix the problem, download drivers directly from the device manufacturer and install them manually.

  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Expand Cameras, and right-click your webcam.
  3. Select Update driver and select ‘Browse my computer for software’ option.
  4. Go through the steps and select the driver that you downloaded.

Don’t see the webcam in the Device Manager? Follow these instructions to fix it.

6. Uninstall and reinstall webcam

Try uninstalling and reinstalling the device.

  1. Open Device Manager, and expand Camera.
  2. Right-click the Camera and select Uninstall device.
  3. Once uninstalled, restart the system.
  4. Open Device Manager again, and click the ‘Scan for hardware‘ button.
  5. Windows will scan for new hardware and install drivers for it.

7. Check device is On

Webcams have a light on them to indicate when they are in use. Check if the light on your webcam turns on when you access it. If it doesn’t, the device simply isn’t turning On. It might be a hardware problem.

  1. For an external webcam, change the port that it is connected to. Change the wire that you use to connect the device to your machine.
  2. For an internal webcam, check your BIOS to make sure the device is enabled. If the device doesn’t appear in BIOS, you’re going to have to take your machine in for a check. It is possible the camera isn’t connected. It might be minor and easy to repair.

8. Remove other USB devices

It may help to remove all USB devices from the system. Disconnect them all and see if the webcam starts working. It is possible that another device was interfering with the connection.

9. Check other apps

Normally, a webcam can only be used by one app at the time. If an app on your machine is already using the webcam, you won’t be able to access it in other apps. The easiest way to check which app is using it is through the Settings app.

  1. Open the Settings app and go to Privacy>Camera.
  2. Scroll through the list of apps and you will see ‘Currently in use‘ under the app that is using it.

10. Check virtual webcam apps

If you have a virtual webcam app installed on your system, remove it or disable it. It can interfere with and block apps from accessing the webcam.

Conclusion

Webcams are a lot like speakers or headphones; they’re easy to use and easy to set up. You can run into trouble now and then but it shouldn’t be too hard to fix unless you have serious hardware issues.

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