Camera Not Available or Working on Mac? Here’s How to Fix It

Don’t panic if your camera suddenly stops working during a video call or if you see a “No camera connected” or “No camera available” error when you launch an app. Camera issues on the Mac are usually minor, and their solutions can be as simple as just shutting down and powering up your computer. If you’re having trouble using your Mac’s built-in camera, try one of these quick fixes to get it working again.

If you need to use your camera right away or can’t dedicate a lot of time to troubleshooting the issue, try restarting camera-related processes like “VDCAssistant” and “AppleCameraAssistant” in the Terminal app. VDCAssistant and AppleCameraAssistant are programs that run in the background whenever you use your Mac’s built-in camera. Complications with these processes can affect any number of applications that can access the camera like FaceTime, iMovie, Messages, and Skype.

To force quit VDCAssistant and AppleCameraAssistant:

1. Close any application that has access to your camera.

2. Click the Spotlight Search icon, search for Terminal, and press Enter to launch it.

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3. Type:

and press Enter. If prompted, type in your password and press Enter.

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4. Type:

and press Enter.

Once you’ve stopped both processes, launch an application that uses the built-in camera and see if the problem is resolved.

There isn’t a camera section in System Preferences, so you can’t change the camera settings directly. However, most apps that use the built-in camera have adjustable camera settings. FaceTime and Skype let you specify which camera you want to use for video calls, so make sure the built-in camera is selected.

Another quick way to solve camera problems is to reboot your Mac. Be sure to completely shut down your Mac instead of choosing the Restart option. Restarting your computer will close your session and temporarily turn off your Mac but leave the RAM untouched. On the other hand, shutting down your Mac will clear the RAM and end all processes, including ones that might be interfering with your camera.

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If your camera doesn’t work with a specific photo-editing or video-conferencing app, it may be incompatible with that application. For example, you can’t make video calls using the Skype app if you or the person you’re contacting has an outdated version of Skype (version 2.8 or older). If you want to make video calls, both parties need to update the app to the latest version.

The same philosophy applies to your operating system. If you’re having camera problems, see if there’s a security update available for your Mac. Apple includes important bug fixes in each build release, so it’s important to update to your software to the latest available version. Chances are they’ve identified your camera bug and resolved it in the most recent update.

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It’s not always easy to pinpoint the cause of a camera issue on the Mac, but troubleshooting the problem is rarely difficult. Most camera-related issues and errors on the Mac are minor, and you can usually solve them in a few steps. However, if you’ve tried the above fixes and still can’t use your camera, contact Apple for further assistance.

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