5 January 2018

How to fix: Skype can’t seem to find the webcam

‘We never discover the value of things till we have lost them’
Dinah Craik

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that’s the gospel truth. But what if your PC has gone blind? How can you disseminate your charm if your webcam cannot be detected? How can you win hearts and minds with your smile if you cannot be seen while using Skype?

Well, you shouldn’t make that a big drama: you can easily fix your webcam-related issues by following our proven tips.

Fixing Skype can't see web camera

Here are 23 solutions to the ‘Skype doesn’t find the webcam’ problem:

  1. Make Sure Your Webcam Can Work
  2. Connect Your USB Webcam to Another Port
  3. Test Your Webcam
  4. Run the DirectX Diagnostics Tool
  5. Make Sure Your Webcam is Compatible with Skype
  6. Close Other Programs That Could Be Using the Webcam
  7. Disable and Enable Your Webcam
  8. Delete and Reinstate Your Webcam
  9. Check Your Privacy Settings
  10. Check Your Video Settings
  11. Check Your Webcam Settings
  12. Run Device Troubleshooter
  13. Update Your Skype
  14. Go Back to An Older Skype Version
  15. Reinstall Your Skype
  16. Reinstall Your Webcam Drivers
  17. Update Your Webcam Drivers
  18. Try Using Generic Drivers for Your Webcam
  19. Delete the StructuredQuerySchema.bin file
  20. Check Your Manufacturer’s Website
  21. Reseat the Webcam Connector
  22. Reset Your PC
  23. Replace the Webcam

So, let’s make your webcam detectable again.

Hurry up to work your way down:

1. Make Sure Your Webcam Can Work

First and foremost, let’s start with this pearl of wisdom. Please do take it seriously – lots of webcam issues are reported to have been resolved by following this pretty straightforward piece of advice.

So, take a closer look at your device:

  • Is it on?
  • Is it pointing towards you?
  • Is there anything obstructing it?
  • Is your video switched on?

If answering those questions hasn’t helped you fix the ‘Skype won’t detect my webcam’ problem, then you should dig a little deeper.

2. Connect Your USB Webcam to Another Port

Here are some port-related tricks to make your webcam accessible:

  • If you use an external camera, try connecting it to another USB port.
  • If your webcam is connected to a USB 3.0 port, connect it to a USB 2.0 port.
  • Your USB hub / docking station might be having issues – connect your camera directly to your computer’s USB port.

Check whether Skype can find your webcam now.

No luck? Then move on to the following tip – this decision may prove momentous.

3. Test Your Webcam

We know you can go to great lengths in order to recapture your precious webcam – especially if you have spent a small fortune on it. But before resorting to drastic measures, you should carry out a proper investigation into the case.

Let’s start with testing your webcam:

To test your webcam with the Windows Camera app, do the following:

  1. Windows logo key + X -> Search -> Type Camera into the Search box -> Enter
  2. Camera app -> Allow to give your computer permission to use the camera
  3. Examine the output on the screen -> Close the Camera app

You can also go to TestMyCam.com to test your device.

Besides, it is a good idea to check whether your external webcam is fine by testing it on another Windows-based PC. Obviously, a defective camera will not work anywhere, which means it must be replaced.

Now read on as it is time to run some diagnostics.

4. Run the DirectX Diagnostics Tool

First, make sure your DirectX version is at least 9.0 – otherwise, Skype video calls will not work.

Then run the DirectX diagnostics tool to shed some light on your webcam mystery:

  1. Windows logo key + R -> Type dxdiag.exe into the Run box -> OK
  2. Wait for the diagnostics to complete
  3. Save the results to a text file

We hope you have just scared up a valuable piece of information.

5. Make Sure Your Webcam is Compatible with Skype

The sad truth is, Skype can afford to be picky about webcams. So, if it refuses to detect your camera, chances are your device is not among the chosen ones. Examine this page to check whether you are the lucky owner of a Skype compatible camera.

6. Close Other Programs That Could Be Using the Webcam

Regrettably, Skype becomes too shy every now and then. Therefore, it is important to prevent other apps from hogging the limelight as well as your webcam.

So, if Skype’s attempts to detect the camera are futile, try closing other apps – they might be exploiting your webcam to the full.

To do that, make use of Task Manager:

Ctrl + Alt + Del -> Task Manager -> Processes -> Select the process which can be using your camera -> End Task

7. Disable and Enable Your Webcam

Reportedly, this quick and simple procedure is capable of fixing the ‘Skype doesn’t find the webcam’ issue.

Windows Device Manager can help you out:

  1. Start -> Control Panel -> Performance and Maintenance -> System -> Hardware tab -> Device Manager
    or
    Win + X -> Device Manager -> Imaging Devices
  2. Right-click on your webcam -> Select Disable device
  3. Right-click on your webcam again -> Select Enable device
  4. Close Device Manager

Check whether your webcam is OK now.

8. Delete and Reinstate Your Webcam

If you want to beat ‘My webcam has disappeared’ problem, deleting and reinstating the problematic camera may prove really helpful.

Here is how to perform the trick:

  1. Win + X -> Device Manager -> Imaging Devices
  2. Left-click on your webcam -> Press Del on the keyboard to remove it from Device Manager
  3. Make sure Delete the driver software for this device option is unchecked ->Confirm your actions
  4. Device Manager -> Action menu -> Select Scan for hardware changes -> Your webcam will be automatically reinstated

9. Check Your Privacy Settings

If Skype can’t see your webcam, make sure your privacy settings are correct.

To check them, go this way:

  1. Tools -> Options -> Privacy settings
  2. Automatically receive video and share screen with -> Anyone or People in my contact list only should be selected

10. Check Your Video Settings

If your webcam has ‘gone missing’, we recommend you to check whether it is correctly configured.

To access your video settings, go this way:

  1. Skype app -> Tools -> Options -> Video settings -> Check your webcam configuration
  2. Select webcam -> Check what device is set as a default webcam (Skype might have picked a wrong device)
  3. If your webcam cannot be recognized, open its software
  4. Switch your camera on using its software
  5. Restart Skype
  6. Check your video settings again

Can you see video from your webcam being displayed?  If yes, your webcam has just made it up with Skype. If the issue persists, there is no need to worry – just move on to the following tip.

11. Check Your Webcam Settings

If you cannot be seen while Skyping, check your webcam settings – this may save the day.

Here is how to do that:

  1. Skype app -> Tools -> Options -> Video settings
  2. Webcam Settings -> There you will find your webcam’s detailed configuration and driver settings -> Make sure all the settings are correct

12. Run Device Troubleshooter

‘Skype not recognizing my camera’ can be just a preamble to a general webcam malfunction. We recommend you to make use of the built-in Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter – this tool can help you out by spotting and fixing your webcam problems.

To run the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter in Windows 10, follow these steps:

  1. Windows logo key + S -> Type troubleshooter into the Search box
  2. Troubleshooting Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound -> Hardware and Devices -> Next
  3. The Hardware and Devices troubleshooter will run a scan
  4. Restart your PC after using the troubleshooter

Has the method above provided a fix for your webcam?

If yes, we are pleased to share your joy.  If your webcam continues to ‘keep a low profile’, you might as well admit your Skype app is open to winds of change. Thus, hurry up to update it.

13. Update Your Skype

If you have run into the ‘Skype couldn’t find the webcam’ trouble, make sure you are using the latest version of Skype – older versions might be unable to ensure smooth performance.

Microsoft rolls out Skype updates on a regular basis. To check for them, go to:

Skype app -> Help -> Check for Updates

If your Skype is a bit over the hill, you can also go to its official website and update it.

After updating the app, check whether your webcam can be detected.

14. Go Back to An Older Skype Version

Old friends matter. So, if your newly updated Skype seems incapable of finding your webcam, consider downgrading the app to its previous version.

To revert to an older Skype version:

  1. Go to the Skype website and download an earlier Skype-version
  2. Uninstall your current Skype:
    Windows logo key + R -> Type appwiz.cpl -> Programs and features -> Skype -> Right-click on it -> Uninstall/Change -> Follow the prompts to uninstall Skype
  3. Go to the older Skype version -> Install it using the screen prompts -> Run the app

Well done! Is your webcam detectable now?

If yes, disable automatic Skype updates:

  1. Skype menu -> Tools -> Options -> Advanced
  2. Automatic updates -> Turn off automatic updates

If the issue persists, keep working your way down.

15. Reinstall Your Skype

If Skype cannot access your webcam, you might need to reinstall the app in question. Before proceeding with this measure, make sure your chat history and personal files are backed up.

Back up your Skype history by following these simple steps:

  1. Windows logo key + R -> Type %appdata%\skype into the Run box -> OK
  2. Copy the My Skype Received Files folder and the ‘Your Skype Name’ folder
  3. Move them to another location

To uninstall Skype, do the following:

  1. Quit Skype: Ctrl+Alt+Delete -> Task Manager -> Processes -> Skype -> End Task
  2. Windows logo key + R -> Type appwiz.cpl into the Run box -> OK
  3. Skype -> Right-click on it -> Remove / Uninstall
  4. Install the latest Skype version

You might need to completely uninstall Skype to fix your webcam issues. Here is how you can do that:

  1. Back up your Skype history and quit Skype (use the instructions above)
  2. Windows logo key + R -> Type appwiz.cpl into the Run box -> OK -> Skype -> Right-click on it -> Remove / Uninstall
  3. Go to C:\Program Files -> Find the Skype folder and the SkypePM folder -> Delete them

The next step is to delete Skype entries from the Registry. The problem is, tweaking your Registry is like skating on thin ice: even a tiny mistake can cause irreparable damage to your system. That is why we recommend you to back up your Registry and personal files and/or create a system restore point.

To back up your Registry, do the following:

  1. Windows logo key + R -> Type regedit.exe into the Run box-> Enter
  2. Registry Editor -> Select the registry keys and/or subkeys you want to back up -> File > Export
  3. Choose the location and name for the backup file -> Save

To back up your personal files, you can use portable storage devices or special backup software, e.g. Auslogics BitReplica.

To create a system restore point, go this way:

  1. Start menu -> Type restore -> Create a restore point
  2. System Properties -> Create -> Describe briefly the restore point -> Create

Now feel free to edit your registry:

  1. Windows logo key + R -> Type regedit.exe into the Run box-> Enter -> Registry Editor
  2. Edit -> Find -> Type Skype into the Find box -> Find Next
  3. Right-click on the search results to delete them
  4. Install the latest Skype version

If everything is OK, restore your Skype history:

  1. Quit Skype -> Windows logo key + R -> Type %appdata%\skype into the Run box-> OK
  2. Place the My Skype Received Files folder and the ‘Your Skype Name’ folder into this folder

If something has gone wrong, restore the Windows Registry:

  1. Windows logo key + R -> Type regedit.exe into the Run box-> Enter -> Registry Editor
  2. File -> Import -> Import Registry File -> Locate the necessary backup file -> Open

Or roll back your computer:

  1. Start (right-click) -> Control Panel -> System and Security
  2. File History -> Recovery -> Open System Restore -> Next
  3. Select the most recent working restore point -> Next -> Finish -> Yes

16. Reinstall Your Webcam Drivers

You can try reinstalling your webcam drivers to fix the ‘Skype can’t find the camera’ issue.

Make use of Device Manager:

  1. Start -> Control Panel -> Performance and Maintenance -> System -> Hardware tab -> Device Manager
    or
    Win + X -> Device Manager -> Imaging Devices
  2. Right-click on your webcam -> Uninstall device -> Uninstall
  3. Reboot your PC
  4. Your webcam drivers will be installed automatically

Check whether your webcam is back home again.

17. Update Your Webcam Drivers

The notorious ‘My webcam is not detected’ problem is often caused by outdated webcam drivers. To get them back on track, move on to the following solutions.

Run Driver Verifier

Windows Driver Verifier is a built-in tool that can help your figure out if your webcam drivers are having issues.

To use it, go this way:

Windows logo key + S -> Type verifier into the search box -> Enter

or

Command Prompt -> Input verifiergui.exe -> Enter

Follow the prompts to track down problematic drivers.

Use Device Manager

If Skype keeps having issues with your camera, your webcam drivers might need updating. In such a case, Device Manager can lend you a helping hand.

To update your webcam drivers using Device Manager, perform the following steps:

  1. Start -> Control Panel -> Performance and Maintenance -> System -> Hardware tab -> Device Manager
    or
    Win + X -> Device Manager
  2. Imaging Devices -> Double-click on your webcam -> Properties
  3. Click on the Driver tab -> Right-click on your webcam -> Update driver -> Search automatically for updated driver software
  4. If newer webcam drivers are found, install them and check your webcam

Fix Your Webcam Drivers Manually

If you are a natural troubleshooter, you might enjoy updating your webcam drivers manually:

  1. Go to your vendor’s website, find and download the driver for your webcam model
  2. Double-click on the downloaded exe.file and follow the on-screen prompts to install the driver

Bear in mind that there might not be a Windows 10 driver for your camera. In such a case, you will have to download the driver for Windows 7/8 – they tend to work well on Windows 10.

Use a Special Tool

Old webcam drivers make your life more complicated – that’s pretty obvious. You can update them all in one click using a special tool, e.g. Auslogics Driver Updater, to save your time and spare your nerves.

18. Try Using Generic Drivers for Your Webcam

Unfortunately, there are some ifs that may prevent you from updating your webcam drivers in a traditional way.

Here they are:

  • if your webcam is a real old-timer;
  • if your manufacturer has left the game;
  • if there are no drivers for your particular device;

your efforts to renew the webcam drivers might seem doomed to failure.

Nevertheless, despite this gloomy context, the silver lining thing is still yours: just try using the generic “USB Video Device” drivers for your webcam and see what happens.

Device Manager is your partner in crime in this business:

  1. Start -> Control Panel -> Performance and Maintenance -> System -> Hardware tab -> Device Manager
  2. Imaging Devices -> Double-click on your webcam -> Properties -> Click on the Driver tab -> Right-click on your webcam -> Update driver
  3. Browse my computer for driver software -> Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer -> USB Video Device -> Next
  4. Wait for the installation process to finish -> Close
  5. Reboot your computer

If the solution above has not brought positive results, you need to do some cleaning.

19. Delete the StructuredQuerySchema.bin file

We recommend you to resort to this trick if you:

  1. have recently upgraded from Windows 8 to Windows 10;
  2. are using the Skype Preview app.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Windows logo key + R -> Type %localappdata%\Microsoft\Windows\1033 into the Run box -> OK
  2. File Explorer -> 1033 -> Right-click on the StructuredQuerySchema.bin file -> Delete it
  3. Restart your computer

Your webcam is supposed to be detectable now. If it keeps playing up, get ready to surf the Net.

20. Check Your Manufacturer’s Website

Your webcam model might be unhappy in its own unique way. So, it won’t hurt to visit your webcam/laptop manufacturer’s website and check whether other users are having the same issue.

Besides, you can report the ‘Skype cannot detect my webcam’ issue in order to receive tailored assistance from the support team. Keep in mind that you might be asked for you laptop serial number / service tag.

To find it, move this way:

  1. Taskbar Search -> Type PowerShell into the box -> Open PowerShell > Type Get-WmiObject win32_bios -> Enter
  2. Find your Serial Number / Service Tag

21. Reseat Your Webcam Connector

Not all answers are hidden in plain sight – in some cases, you have to dig deep to find the truth. For example, if Skype is having difficulty accessing your integrated camera, you might need to crawl inside your computer.

If your laptop:

  1. has been recently dropped;
  2. has sustained some other mechanical damage;
  3. survived moving to a new house or your all-night party;

chances are your built-in webcam has got loose.

Well, you might not be the main culprit:

  1. Your webcam connector might have been loosely attached by your vendor or service manager.
  2. Your camera might have gone haywire thanks to the repeated closing and opening of the laptop lid.

Anyway, you are the one to face the music:

To resolve the issue, you are supposed to open your PC and inspect your webcam connector. Its exact location depends on your laptop model. Unplug the webcam connector and then plug it back. If it seems broken, there is no need to despair – it can be repaired or replaced at a reasonable cost.

Bear in mind that this particular fix should be performed only by an advanced user. So, if you feel that delving into your laptop’s entrails is not your cup of tea, get a professional to do the job.

22. Reset Your PC

Resetting your PC might sound quite a drastic procedure. Well, in truth, it is an easy way to give your machine a fresh start. The good thing is, your Windows 10 allows you to reset your computer without losing your personal files – you will only have to reinstall your non-Windows apps.

To reset your computer, follow these steps:

  1. Restart your PC -> Login Screen -> Power ->Hold down Shift -> Restart
  2. Choose an option -> Troubleshoot -> Reset this PC -> Keep my files
  3. Follow the instructions

23. Replace the Webcam

If all the above fixes have been to no avail, you have nothing to do but invest in a new device. When choosing a new webcam, opt for the one that is reported to be on good terms with Skype. Therefore, we recommend you to look through the list of the best USB headsets and webcams to use with Skype.

We hope our tips have proved helpful to you.

Do you have any ideas or questions regarding this issue?

We are looking forward to your comments!

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