Webcam not working on a laptop Windows 10

Sometimes your computer or laptop components fail to work properly without any apparent reason. We are talking not only external devices connected to your machine but also about integrated equipment such as loudspeakers or webcam. Today we’re going to explain what to do if your laptop integrated webcam stopped working.

Before we begin, we want to make it clear: all tips and advice in this guide allow fixing only software issues with the equipment. So if your webcam is damaged physically, there is only one reasonable solution – take your laptop to a service center for diagnostics and see whether it is possible to repair the damage. Continue reading to find out what is wrong with the device.  

Step #1: check whether your webcam is connected and recognized by the system properly.

This is what you need to do:

1.    Right-click the Start button and select Device Manager.

2.    You can use another method to open it as well. If you don’t know them, you recommend you to read another article on our website, where we have covered all the options.

3.    Now look for a submenu named «Imaging Devices». Ideally, you should find your integrated webcam there.

4.    If you didn’t find a webcam in that menu or you don’t have the «Imaging Devices» submenu in Device Manager at all, fear not. Check other submenus including «Universal Serial Bus controllers» and «Sound, video and game controllers.» In case of software failure, your webcam will most likely be labeled with an exclamation (or question) mark. Sometimes it can be missing from the list of known installed devices and labeled as «Unknown device».

5.    If you cannot find your webcam in any menu in Device Manager, then you should try to update your laptop configuration. To do that, go to the Action menu up top and click «Scan for hardware changes».

After the scan, your webcam will appear in one of the menus we mentioned. If you still cannot find it anywhere, don’t fall into despair just yet. Of course, it is possible that your webcam is broken (corrupted contacts, damaged wiring, and so on) but there is still a chance that you have a problem with software, which can be fixed easily. Read on to learn how.

Step #2: reinstall your device

After finding your webcam in Device Manager, you should try to reinstall it. This is a very easy trick to do:

1.    Open Device Manager once again.

2.    Find your webcam on the list and right-click it. You will see a context menu where you need to click «Uninstall».

3.    Another window will appear – click «OK» to confirm device uninstall.

4.    Now you need to initiate another hardware scan. Go to the Action menu and click on the «Scan for hardware changes» option.

5.    Wait for a few seconds for your webcam to reappear on the list of connected devices. The system will automatically install the software for the cam. Please note that your webcam should be active immediately after. If it didn’t happen, right-click on it and select «Enable».

Now you can reboot your laptop to save the changes made and then check if your webcam is functional again. If you had minor problems, this method should fix them.

Step #3: install or roll back drivers

Windows 10 is a smart operating system that automatically downloads and installs all needed software for properly connected devices. But sometimes it fails on this duty and users have no other options but to install drivers manually. There are several ways to do this: from a download from the official website to installing driver packs from trusted sources. Furthermore, there is another good option available, which is worth trying in this situation. Just repeat these simple actions:

1.    Open Device Manager one more time.

2.    Find your webcam on the list of connected devices in one of the available submenus. Right-click it and select «Properties.»

3.    Now go to the «Driver» tab and look for the button «Roll Back Driver.» Click it. (Note: sometimes this button can be inactive, which means that drivers for the device have been installed just once, so it is impossible to roll back to the previous version. In this case, you should install the newest software first as we described above).

4.    After performing the rollback procedure, you need to update your laptop’s configuration. Click «Action» in the Device Manager menu and select «Scan for hardware changes.»

After that, Windows 10 will try to download and install software for your integrated webcam. You just need to wait a bit and try to activate your camera.

Step #4: change system settings

If no previous steps yielded a positive result, you should check your Windows 10 settings. There is a high chance that you have camera access disabled. This is how you can check it:

1. Click the Start button and select Settings (an icon with a small gear).

2. Select the «Privacy» menu.

3. Find the «Camera» menu of the left sidebar and click it.

4. Here you need to turn the «Let Apps use my camera hardware» setting on.

5. Also, you should check whether any selected apps can use your webcam now. Just scroll down the menu you are currently in and switch app you want.

After completing these actions, see if your webcam is back to life.

Step #5: install the latest Windows 10 updates

Microsoft release new patches and updates for Windows 10 regularly. But truth to be told, sometimes those updates may break software settings on your computer or laptop. As a result, you may end up with your webcam not functioning properly. Usually, the developers release patches for updates with critical bugs. To find and install them you just need to check for updates. In order to do that you just need to do two simple things:

1.    Press Win+I to open Windows Settings (or open that menu using the Start button menu) and click on «Update and Security».

2.    In the upper section of the menu to appear, you will find a button – «Check for updates.» Click it.

This will initiate the update search. If your system finds fresh updates that have not been installed on your laptop, it will immediately start downloading them and install as well (of course, if you didn’t change update settings set by default). You need to wait until everything installs and reboot your device. Your webcam might be working after that.

Step #6: change BIOS settings

Some laptops allow users to turn the integrated webcam on and off using BIOS. We would recommend this method only when all other techniques failed as it requires a bit of technical knowledge. If you are not 100% positive about what you are doing, we suggest you stay away from altering BIOS settings. It may result in crippling your operating system and your laptop as well.

1.    First, you need to start BIOS. In order to do this, you need to press a specific button during booting. Laptop manufacturers use different buttons for this purpose. Check your laptop’s manufacturer and search online how to open BIOS on your device.

2.    Usually, settings for enabling and disabling an integrated camera can be found in the «Advanced» menu. Open it and find «Onboard Device Configuration».

3.    Look for the line «Onboard Camera» or the one that mentions the camera. Make sure it is set to «Enabled» (or switch it on, if it was disabled).

4.    Now you need to save new settings. Go back to the main menu in BIOS by pressing the «Esc» button. Look for the tab «Exit,» and then select «Exit and Save Changes.»

This will cause your laptop to reboot, and your integrated camera should be working. Please note that this method described may not be accurate for all laptops. For example, your laptop may lack the functionality that allows turning it on and off using BIOS.

This concludes our guide, where we have explained all methods to solve the problem with webcam not working in Windows 10. We hope that at least of this techniques will help you.