After the recent updates to Windows 10, many old hardware drivers will not work correctly with the new operating system. You may get a message saying, “We can’t find or start your camera” with error codes 0xA00F4244 or 0x200F4244.
Windows has a new, system-wide option that will disable your webcam in all applications. The reason a webcam is not working could be your antivirus software, a problem with the driver, your privacy settings, etc.
Here are some troubleshooting tips that will hopefully fix your webcam.
Laptop Webcam Fixes
Having a webcam integrated into your laptop makes life a lot simpler, but it can get a little complicated if something goes wrong because it’s not just a simple case of plugging it into another USB port or buying a new one.
Another notable feature is that many laptops let you turn the webcam on and off with a physical button or keyboard shortcut. It’s possible that at some point you pressed this button to deactivate the webcam. On many MSI laptops, for example, the shortcut is Fn + F6. Carefully inspect your keyboard or research to see whether your laptop has such a button or shortcut and press it.
If your webcam isn’t being detected, you can also try pressing on the bezel around the camera. These are often made of plastic, making them relatively easy to “flex” with your fingers. The idea is that a connector to the webcam may have come loose, and by giving it a little squeeze, you can pop it back into place.
Windows 10 Camera Not Working in Zoom
A problem that’s been manifesting itself in recent months is the Windows 10 camera not working for popular video-calling apps like Zoom, Skype, Hangouts, Messenger and so on. This could be due to recent Zoom versions not playing nice with secondary or virtual cameras, and the solution could be to try an older version of the software.
You can find older versions of Zoom on Uptodown here. Try rolling back to a version before your current one and see if that works.
Specifically for Lenovo users, there’s been another problem affecting the webcam in Zoom, Skype and other video-chat apps.
To fix this, go to Lenovo Vantage, then click “Device -> My Device Settings -> Display & Camera.” Once here, turn off Camera Privacy Mode to make the webcam available for video-calling apps.
Check the settings
If your webcam is disabled here, no applications – not even desktop apps, will be able to use it. This option changed with the new Windows 10 April update. Before this update, only apps from the Windows store (UWPs) were affected – not desktop apps. Look in your Windows settings to check for this issue.
1. Open “Settings -> Privacy -> Camera.”
2. At the top, look for “Camera access for this device is on.”
3. If it is off, click the “Change” button and turn it on.
4. Under that, check for “Allow apps to access your camera” and make sure it is On.
5. Next, look at “Choose which apps can access your camera.” Make sure apps you want to use with your camera are enabled.
6. Re-enable the device.
Check the Windows Device Manager
1. Open Device Manager.
2. Expand “Cameras,” “Imaging devices” or “Sound, video, and game controllers.”
3. Right-click on your device.
4. Select “Enable Device.”
Check your antivirus
Antivirus software, which is designed to protect your privacy, can sometimes affect the ability of your webcam to work. It doesn’t want to allow the camera to turn on to avoid unauthorized access. Check the settings in your software and contact the manufacturer for more information.
Install or update drivers
Most of the time Windows will install the necessary drivers when it installs the hardware, but occasionally, this will not work correctly. If your webcam is not working, you may need to visit the manufacturer’s website and download the driver installation package from them. Even if your driver installed initially, it’s possible that there is an updated version that will solve your problem. Often, the website will offer other device-specific troubleshooting advice.
To check for an outdated driver:
1. Type “Device Manager” into the search box and click on the result to open it.
2. Open “Cameras, Imaging devices” or “Sound, video, and game controllers.”
3. Right-click on your webcam and click “Properties.”
3. Open the Driver tab and click on “Driver details.”
4. Look for a file called “stream.sys.” If it is there, your camera is outdated and not able to be used by Windows 10.
5. If it is not there, try rolling back the driver to a previous version by selecting “Roll back driver” on the Driver tab. If it is greyed out, you cannot perform this action.
Uninstall your webcam driver
Access the Driver tab as explained above.
1. Select “Uninstall -> Delete the driver software for this device.”
2. Click OK.
3. Go back to the Device Manager and open the Action menu. Wait for it to reinstall the drivers.
4. Restart your PC.
Check the connections
If you have an external camera and none of your apps can use the webcam, it’s always worth a shot to make sure that any physical connections are secure. Don’t worry – it’s easy to overlook. Even the most experienced among us will sometimes make this mistake. Simply unplug the cord and plug it back in again, making sure it’s securely attached.
It’s also possible that there is a problem with the USB port itself. Try plugging the webcam into another port.
Be aware that some newer laptops are including built-in covers for the webcam, so make sure there is not one covering the camera.
Choose the right device
If you have multiple video capture devices connected to your computer, the application you are trying to use may be attempting to select the wrong one.
Fix this by going to the settings screen of your application and looking for an option to select your preferred device.
If your device is not listed in the application settings, your app may not support the webcam you are trying to use. For example, the new Windows 10 store apps only support more recently manufactured webcams, so if you have an older one, it may not work with a new app. Most desktop apps are still compatible with the older webcams.
Try another computer
Finally, if you have an external webcam, plug it into another computer and see what happens. If it doesn’t work, it’s probably done for. Hopefully, though, you were able to fix any problem with one of these tips!
For more troubleshooting on that OS you love and hate, see our guide on fixing the “Your Location is Currently in Use” issue in Windows 10. Also, check out how to copy a folder’s file list in Windows 10.