Started ‎05-18-2012 by
Modified ‎07-15-2014 by
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How can I fix my webcam?

Question

When I try to use my webcam, it doesn't work properly. How can I fix it?

Answer

Skip this and contact a professional

 

If you'd like to skip this guide and contact a professional, CLICK HERE.


When you attempt to use your camera, you might see an error such as "Connect a camera" or "Web camera initialization failed," or the camera might simply not work correctly.

 

There are a few easy steps to troubleshooting and fixing a malfunctioning webcam. Each step below might fix the problem. After each step, test the webcam. If it works, stop troubleshooting. If you don't want to go through each troubleshooting step, you can skip to the "System Recovery" section.

 

Check Device Manager

 

Open Device Manager. (In Windows 8, hold the Windows key and press the 'x' key to open a menu in the lower-left. Select "Device Manager" from this menu. In Windows 7, search for it in the Start Menu's search field.) There should be an entry titled "Imaging devices" that can be expanded. The webcam should be listed under Imaging devices. If it's listed, continue to the next troubleshooting section. If it isn't there, try slowly closing the laptop while continuing to watch the Device Manager. If it suddenly appears, it indicates a hardware failure and a repair would be needed. If it never appears, continue to the next section.

 

Reinstall Software

 

Right-click the camera in the Device Manager and select "Uninstall," then restart your computer. The computer should reinstall its camera driver.

 

If that doesn't work, check the Toshiba support site for an updated camera driver. For instructions on how to find your downloads from Toshiba, please see the following Knowledge Base article.

 

Finding downloads and support documents at support.toshiba.com

 

Look under the "Camera" category, and download the appropriate one for your version of Windows. Some laptops may not have one listed. This is fine, as many models don't use a specific camera driver, allowing Windows to provide the driver.

 

Check the UEFI or BIOS Settings

 

Some computers have the option of disabling the webcam in the UEFI or BIOS settings. Ensure that's it's enabled by performing the following steps. Note that some computers might not have this setting.

 

  1. Turn your computer off. If your computer uses Windows 8, hold SHIFT while seleting "Shut down" to perform a complete shut down.
  2. Start the computer.
  3. Begin tapping F2 when the TOSHIBA splash screen appears to enter the UEFI or BIOS settings. On some models, you might need to hold F2 while booting. If you have trouble entering the UEFI settings, please see the article titled How To: Enter the system BIOS or UEFI in Windows 8
  4. Select Advanced
  5. Select System Configuration
  6. Select Web Camera.
  7. Ensure it's set to Enabled.
  8. Save and exit.

System Restore

 

Try using the System Restore utility to restore the computer to a working state. Select the most recent restore point from before the issue arose.

 

How To: Understanding System Restore, Refresh, Reset, and, Recovery options in Windows 8 + Video

 

How To: Perform a system restore in Windows 7

 

Uninstall Other Webcam Applications

 

Uninstall any other applications that use the webcam besides the pre-installed Toshiba camera application. For example, uninstall Skype if it's installed. This is just a temporary troubleshooting procedure. If uninstalling the other applications doesn't fix the problem, reinstall them. If it does fix the problem, try reinstalling them again to check if the webcam continues to work. If it stops working again, the issue is that specific third-party application.

 

System Recovery

 

The final troubleshooting step is to perform a system recovery. Recovering the laptop to its original, out-of-the-box state is a great way to eliminate software as a possible cause of the problem. Note that doing a system recovery will return the laptop to its default conditions, completely wiping all data (personal documents, installed application, and everything else). Information on how to perform a system recovery can be found in the user's guide. On most models, the recovery utility can be started by holding '0' (zero) while booting. In Windows 8, you'll need to select Troubleshooting and then Reset after holding '0'. You could also see the video linked in the System Restore section more information.

 

Repair

 

If none of these steps fix the webcam, the laptop should be serviced. Alternatively, an external, USB webcam could be used.