Windows 11 offers improvements on a lot of fronts when compared to the last iteration of the operating system. However, like any other software, some bugs have still managed to creep into this latest iteration and create hassles. One of the areas where users are facing problems on Windows 11 is with their camera. And in the era of remote meetings, when your camera stops working, it can be a pain unlike any other.
Fortunately, this is typically a software problem rather than a hardware one and you can use several fixes to resolve it. Follow the methods below to easily fix the camera issues on your computer, be it an in-built camera or an external webcam.
Before proceeding with any fixes, if you’re using an external webcam, unplug it and then plug it again. While you’re at it, also change its port to make sure it isn’t a faulty port causing the problem.
Method 1: Restart your PC
Restarting might seem like a very elementary method, however, it can do wonders when it comes to unexplained and abrupt issues on your computer. Restarting the system helps in clearing out process interference and resolving issues.
To restart your PC, head to the Start Menu and click on the ‘Power’ button. Then, choose the ‘Restart’ option to restart your PC immediately.
Alternatively, you can also press the Alt+F4 keys to bring up the Shutdown dialog and select the ‘Restart’ option from the drop-down menu. Finally, click on the ‘OK’ button to restart your PC.
Once the computer restarts, check if the camera is working again.
Method 2: Check for a Physical Button/Shutter
Many modern PCs are equipped with a privacy button or shutter that at times physically disconnects the webcam from the system and hence, will not let the system detect the installed camera on your device. Check for these to make sure they aren’t the ones causing the trouble.
Typically a webcam shutter is placed right where the camera is installed and covers the camera lens completely when shut.
Whereas a button might be placed in the
Fn keys row on your keyboard.
Alternatively, some laptop computers also have a switch located on the side of the laptop where usually all the ports reside.
If you find any of these buttons/ shutters on your system, make sure they aren’t blocking the camera.
Method 3: Run the Camera Troubleshooter
Windows has an in-built troubleshooter for the camera that you can run to find and fix any problem with your camera device.
First, go to the ‘Settings’ app from either the Start menu or by using the Windows + I keyboard shortcut.
Next, click on the ‘Bluetooth & devices’ tab from the left sidebar to proceed.
After that, click on the ‘Cameras’ tile from the left section of the window.
Now, click on the webcam tile listed under the ‘Connected cameras’ section to proceed.
Then, click the option for ‘Troubleshoot’.
A separate window for troubleshooting will open. Follow the instructions on the screen to let Windows troubleshoot the camera for you.
Method 4: Check Camera Privacy Settings
If the camera is not working properly in a particular app/group of apps, it could also indicate a misconfiguration of camera privacy settings. It can be easily changed from the Settings app on your system.
Head to the Start Menu and click on the ‘Settings’ tile. Alternatively, press the Windows+I keys together to open the app.
Then, go to ‘Privacy & Security’ from the navigation menu on the left.
Scroll down in the right section until you reach the ‘App Permissions’ section and click the option for ‘Camera’.
Then, make sure that the toggle for ‘Camera access’ is on. Also, enable the toggle for ‘Let apps access your camera’.
Then, click the ‘Let apps access your camera’ tile to expand the list of apps underneath and make sure that the toggle for the specific app where you’re experiencing the trouble is on.
Method 5: Update your Camera Driver
If the webcam is not able to display the picture properly or is completely dark, updating the driver for the hardware might also fix the problem. You can either choose to update the driver automatically or use a driver package that you already have to update the camera.
First, head to the Start Menu and type Device Manager to perform a search. Then, click on the ‘Device Manager’ tile to proceed.
After that, double-click on the ‘Cameras’ section to expand it.
Next, right-click on the below-listed hardware devices and choose the ‘Update driver’ option to continue. This will open a separate window on your screen.
Now, on the separate window, click on the ‘Automatically search for drivers’ option to let the Windows search for drivers. Otherwise, click on the ‘Browse my computer for driver’ to open a File Explorer window and select a driver package to update the driver.
Method 6: Check your Anti-Virus Software
Many third-party anti-virus software can block access to the camera these days to provide the utmost security. But if you aren’t aware of this, it can spell disaster for you. Go to your anti-virus software and check the settings to make sure that access to the camera isn’t blocked. If you can’t find anything, disable your anti-virus software temporarily and try using the camera to make sure it isn’t interfering.
Method 7: Reset Camera from the Settings App
In case none of the above-mentioned methods have worked for you so far, you can try to reset the Camera app to recalibrate the settings and supporting files.
First, head to the Start Menu and click on the Settings app tile. Alternatively, type Settings in the menu to perform a search for it.
After that, click on the ‘Apps’ tab from the left sidebar to proceed.
Then, click on the ‘Installed apps’ tile to continue.
Next, either type Camera in the search bar or manually scroll down to locate the app tile.
Once located, click on the ‘ellipsis’ (three horizontal dots) icon and choose the ‘Advanced Options’ to continue.
After that, scroll down and click on the ‘Reset’ button.
If a confirmation prompt appears, click ‘Reset’ again to proceed with your choice.
That’s about it, folks. Using the above-mentioned methods, you should be able to get the camera working again on your Windows 11 device. If it still doesn’t work, it’s time to entertain the possibility that your camera might be broken.