HP PCs - Troubleshoot the webcam (Windows 11) (2022)

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Use these steps to troubleshoot and repair your webcam.

Note:

Depending on your version of Windows 11, some graphics and information in this document might vary. You can get the latest version from the Microsoft Store.

Certain HP notebook and All-in-One computers come with built-in webcams that you can use to capture video motion or still images. A webcam is a video input device, similar to a scanner or camera, and requires software to function. The two most common types of software that use webcams are internet messaging software (for making video calls over the internet) and video editing software (for creating and sharing video files).

Set up the webcam hardware and software

If you need to confirm that you have a webcam and install webcam software, use the following steps. If you have already confirmed that you have a webcam and have installed the webcam software, make sure that you apply any available updates to your software.

Look for webcam hardware

Take a moment to visually inspect the top of your computer display. If your computer has a webcam, you should see a small lens in the top center, above the screen. Some models do not come with a webcam and the area where the webcam would normally reside is replaced by a small plastic plug.

Note:

Often, there are small holes near the top center of your display. These holes are for the microphone or other sensors and do not contain a webcam.

  • If your computer does not have a built-in webcam, you must use an external USB webcam.

  • If your computer has a built-in webcam and you cannot use it, find and use the webcam software that came with your computer.

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Find and use the webcam software that came with your computer

If your computer came with a built-in webcam, you can use the Camera app to record and share webcam video. The Camera app comes preinstalled on Windows computers. It is also available to download for free in the Microsoft Store.

Select the search icon in the taskbar, type camera, and then select Camera.

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  • If you can see an image in the main display window, then your webcam is working.

  • If you cannot see an image in the main display window, restart the computer, and then try again. If the problem persists, see Basic webcam troubleshooting.

Basic webcam troubleshooting

Use basic troubleshooting steps to restore your webcam to standard functionality, including turning off the webcam privacy switch, configuring your antivirus software, and verifying that the app you are using can use your webcam.

Note:

You might need to adjust your firewall settings to include the webcam software as an allowed application. See your antivirus software documentation for more information.

Locate and toggle the webcam privacy switch or press the webcam shutter key

Select HP notebook models come with a webcam privacy switch or a webcam shutter key that turns the webcam off and on. By default, the webcam is turned on. You might need to turn the webcam on if it has been turned off.

Locate and use the webcam privacy switch

The webcam privacy switch is located on either the right or left side of your computer. To turn off your webcam, slide the webcam privacy switch toward the icon next to the switch. To turn the webcam back on, slide the switch away from the icon.

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Locate and use the webcam shutter key

The webcam shutter key is located on the action key row of your keyboard. To turn off your webcam, press the webcam shutter key. To turn the webcam back on, press the shutter key again. On some computers, you might need to simultaneously press the fn key and the action key.

Note:

Shutter key locations vary within the action key row.

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Webcam shutter key light

Webcam shutter LED

Webcam status

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Light on: The webcam is off.

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Light off: The webcam is on.

Verify that your app can use the webcam (Windows 11 only)

Use these steps to make sure that your app can access your webcam.

  1. Right-click the Start button, and then click Settings > Privacy & Security > Camera.

  2. Make sure that the setting in the Camera access section is set to On.

  3. Under Let apps access your camera, select On for the apps that you want to have access to the webcam.

Video is not displayed in your webcam software (such as Zoom, Skype, Messenger, and so on)

You can open webcam software, such as YouCam, Skype, or Zoom, but video is not displayed in the main viewing window. To repair this problem, make sure that the webcam is the selected device, uninstall and reinstall software, test your webcam, and then update the webcam drivers.

Note:

Make sure that other programs or applications that use the webcam are completely closed or not in use.

Note:

The webcam might be associated with another software program or not responding. Often, simply restarting the computer can correct the problem. Restart the computer, and then open your webcam software as soon as Windows finishes loading.

Make sure that the webcam is the selected video/capture device for your webcam software

Your webcam must be selected as the video capture device in your webcam software. If the computer has multiple video input sources, your webcam software might be connected to something other than your webcam.

To select the webcam as your video source, open your webcam software and look for video camera, video source, or video caption in the software properties or preferences.

Note:

The name of your webcam might display as USB Video Device, HP Webcam, USB 2.0 Camera, HP Pavilion Webcam, or similar. If you do not know the name, select video device names until you see the video from your webcam display in the window.

Configure CyberLink YouCam webcam settings

You might need to configure your app settings to select your webcam.

  1. In YouCam, click the Settings icon HP PCs - Troubleshoot the webcam (Windows 11) (7).

  2. Select the name of your webcam from the Capture Device drop-down list.

    HP PCs - Troubleshoot the webcam (Windows 11) (8)

  3. Click OK, and then restart the YouCam application to view an image.

Configure Skype webcam settings

You might need to configure your app settings to select your webcam.

Note:

These steps pertain to Skype version 8. The version on your computer might be different.

  1. In Windows, search for and open Skype.

  2. In Skype, select the More icon HP PCs - Troubleshoot the webcam (Windows 11) (9), and then select Settings.

  3. Select Audio & Video.

  4. Select the name of your webcam from the list on the right side of the page.

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Uninstall and reinstall webcam software

Your webcam software might need to be reinstalled to repair a software or hardware conflict.

  1. In Windows, search for and open Add or remove programs.

  2. Next to your webcam software, select the Settings icon HP PCs - Troubleshoot the webcam (Windows 11) (11), and then select Uninstall.

  3. Go to the webcam software website to install the latest version of the software.

Test your webcam (Zoom)

Test your webcam using Zoom, either in or out of a meeting.

Test your webcam while not in a Zoom meeting

Use these steps to make sure that your webcam is working while not in a Zoom meeting.

  1. Log in to the Zoom client.

  2. Click your profile picture, and then select Settings.

  3. Click the Video tab.

  4. If your webcam is working, a preview of your webcam is displayed. You can also choose a different webcam, if available.

Test your webcam while in a Zoom meeting

Use these steps to make sure that your webcam is working while in a Zoom meeting.

  1. Click the arrow (^) next to Start Video or Stop Video.

  2. Click Video Settings.

  3. If your webcam is working, a preview of your webcam is displayed. You can also choose a different webcam, if available.

Update or change the webcam driver

Some software applications might require updated drivers for your webcam to display video. Use the following steps to change the driver for your webcam.

  1. Go to the HP Customer Support - Software and Driver Downloads page.

  2. If a Welcome to Software & Drivers, let's identify your product to get started page is displayed, click Laptop or Desktop.

  3. Type the serial number or model name for your computer in the Enter your serial number field, and then click Submit. For example, type Pavilion HPE h8-1360t Desktop, and then click Submit.

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  4. When a Matching products web page is displayed, select your model number from the list.

  5. Select the operating system and version for your computer.

    Note:

    If you cannot find the operating system you want in the list, HP does not have drivers for that operating system.

  6. From the list of available software and driver categories, find the webcam driver. If a webcam driver update is available from HP, download the file to your computer and install the software according to the instructions on the webpage.

  7. In Windows, search for and open Device Manager.

  8. Double-click Cameras to expand the list of webcam drivers.

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    • If there is not a Cameras category listed in Device Manager, stop following this procedure and see Webcam is not listed in Device Manager.

  9. Right-click the webcam, and then select Update Driver.

  10. Select Browse my computer for drivers.

  11. Select Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer.

  12. Select Next to install the webcam driver.

  13. Select Close when driver installation is complete.

  14. After the device has been updated, restart your computer and open your software.

    If the problem persists, install the latest BIOS update from HP and download the latest Windows updates from Microsoft.

Webcam is not listed in Device Manager

Webcam drivers are not listed in Device Manager under Cameras. To resolve this problem, use the following steps.

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  1. Restart your computer. If the problem persists, continue these steps.

  2. In Windows, search for and open Device Manager.

  3. If there is no Camera category listed, select Action > Scan for hardware changes.

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  4. If Device Manager does not recognize the webcam after the scan, use Microsoft System Restore to go back to a time when the webcam was working properly. Go to HP PCs - Using Microsoft System Restore for more information.

    If the problem persists, the webcam might have become unplugged internally, and the computer might require service to correct the issue.

Webcam stops working after an update

Sometimes a webcam that was working in a preinstalled program suddenly stops working after installing Windows updates or after installing a recommended update to the webcam software. To resolve this issue, reinstall the original driver.

  1. In Windows, search for and open Device Manager.

  2. Double-click Cameras to expand the list of webcam drivers.

  3. Right-click the driver, select Update driver, and follow the on-screen instructions.

  4. Restart your computer and open your webcam software to see if the problem is resolved.

    If the problem persists, use Microsoft System Restore to go back to a time when the webcam was working properly. Go to HP PCs - Using Microsoft System Restore for more information.

Webcam does not work after installing other webcam programs

Installing multiple webcam drivers and programs might cause conflicts.

If you are using more than one software program to use your webcam, such as Skype for instant messaging and YouCam for saving videos, make sure that only one program is open when using the webcam. Do not attempt to open both programs at the same time, and close your webcam software when you are done. It is a good idea to wait 5 to 10 seconds after closing one webcam software before opening another webcam software program.

Restarting the computer can resolve most software conflicts. If problems persist, uninstall one of the webcam software applications, and reinstall the software that you want to use.

Webcam image quality problems

The webcam works, but the image is too dark or the video is choppy.

If the image is too dark, take the following actions:

  • Make sure that your video recording environment has good lighting.

  • Change the image quality, brightness, contrast, and make other adjustments in the webcam software.

To resolve problems with choppy playback, take the following actions:

  • Reduce the size of the video image in the webcam software.

  • Use a high-speed internet connection.

  • Do not use other high-speed USB devices while using the webcam.

Reinstall the original webcam software that came with your computer

If your computer came with a built-in webcam, Microsoft and HP both provide software that you can use with your webcam. If this software program is removed, you can reinstall it.

Depending on the webcam software that came with your computer, you might be able to download the software from the Microsoft Store, HP, or the manufacturer's website.

Note:

If the operating system on your computer was upgraded, these steps do not work. Instead, go directly to the HP Customer Support - Software and Driver Downloads page or the software manufacturer’s website.

  • Check the Microsoft Store. Many of the apps that came preinstalled on your computer are available to download for free in the Microsoft Store app. To open the app, select the search icon in the taskbar, type Microsoft Store, and then select Microsoft Store.

  • Go to the HP Customer Support - Software and Driver Downloads page. If a Welcome to Software & Drivers, let's identify your product to get started page is displayed, select your computer type, type the model name or serial number of your computer, and then click Submit. From the list of available software and driver categories, find the software you are looking for, click the category name, and then click Download.

  • Go to the software manufacturer's website.

Disable the webcam

You can use Device Manager to disable the webcam so that it cannot be used.

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  1. Unplug any external USB devices.

  2. In Windows, search for and open Device Manager.

  3. Double-click Cameras.

  4. Right-click the name of the webcam and select Disable device.

    HP PCs - Troubleshoot the webcam (Windows 11) (18)

  5. Click Yes to confirm.

  6. To make sure that the webcam is disabled, search for and open the Camera app. If the webcam is still producing video in the Camera app, you might have disabled the wrong device. Repeat these steps to disable the correct webcam.

    Note:

    To enable the webcam, repeat these steps and select Enable device.

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