Numerous causes can prevent Skype webcam from working properly. Skype can be an incredibly useful app for communicating with friends, family, and colleagues with its voice and video calling functionality. If the Skype video doesn't work properly, however, it's a common problem for those using the Windows 10 Skype app and various other versions of the popular chat app on iOS, Android and Mac.
Here's what you need to know when the Skype video camera doesn't show videos and when the person you're talking to doesn't see you.
Causes of Skype webcam problems
The Skype webcam does not work the way you want it can be the result of a series of causes ranging from incorrect settings chosen within the Skype app or from the operating system of the device to the disconnected or physically covered camera. Even the device drivers, operating system and Skype app may not be updated and need to be updated.
Fortunately, most potential solutions to common Skype camera problems can be performed relatively quickly and with little advanced knowledge required. If you are having problems with Skype in addition to a defective webcam, something else could be the problem.
Let's deepen it first by reading: Windows 10 Webcam not working? See how to fix
How to solve Skype camera problems
When trying to resolve webcam problems on Skype, it's important to understand what the actual causes of the problems are. To understand what is causing the Skype camera to malfunction on your computer, tablet or smartphone, check out this list of solutions and suggestions until the video call function starts working properly.
- Discover your webcam. If you have trouble seeing any images from your webcam on Skype, check if it is obstructed by paper or tape. You should be able to see the glass lens of the webcam if it is visible correctly. This is a problem that you may encounter when using someone else's computer, some people choose to cover their webcam due to privacy issues or they could move their webcam to the outside due to a lack of use.
- Check if your webcam is connected. This may be an obvious suggestion, but many people neglect this when they have problems with their webcam. If you have an external webcam that is not integrated into your device, make sure it is connected to your computer, laptop or smart device and, if necessary, also connected to a power source.
- Turn on your webcam. While integrated webcams usually turn on automatically when a video call starts, some external webcams must be turned on before the computer or smart device can detect them.
- Restart the computer, tablet or smartphone. An advice as old as time, but that often works when it comes to problems with electronics. A quick system restart can often solve problems with the Skype app and takes less than a minute.
- Update the Skype app. Updating the Skype app on your computer, tablet or smartphone can often resolve hardware compatibility problems like with your webcam.
- Perform an operating system update. Whether you're using a Windows, macOS, Android or iOS device, if your operating system isn't up to date, some Skype features like video chat may not work as expected.
- Close other apps. If you have many apps open, some slow down the Skype app and prevent it from fully utilizing all its features. Having multiple apps open can also slow down the Internet speed on your device which in turn can disable the webcam on Skype.
- Check your Internet connection. Skype will disable the webcam if Internet speed is not fast. A slow internet connection can also cause video buffering and poor image and sound quality.
Also read: 7 things that could slow down your WiFi
- Generally, if your webcam turns off in the middle of a Skype video call, it means that the low connection speed is the problem. If the person you're talking to on Skype loses the signal with his webcam it means it's his connection that causes the problems. Skype will automatically reactivate the webcam when Internet speed increases again.
- There are several quick ways to test the Internet speed on the device.
- A 3G or 4G connection can often be faster than wired or wireless Internet in many countries. If your Internet service is too slow for Skype video chat, try disabling Wi-Fi and instead use the chosen mobile network.
- Restart your Internet connection. If your Internet connection is too slow or doesn't connect properly, restarting it can potentially speed it up. This can be done quite easily by manually disconnecting the modem and the router from the wall, waiting for about five minutes and then reconnecting it.
- If your Skype webcam is working properly and you can see your camera feed in your app, but the person you are calling cannot see you, its low connection speed may be the cause. In this case, there is nothing you can do personally to solve the problem. The person you are calling will have to set up their Internet connection.
Let's deepen it first by reading: 10 Best Similar Skype Software for Video Calls
- Activate the webcam in the Skype app. It is possible that you have initiated an audio call on Skype by mistake. You can quickly switch to a video call by clicking on the camera icon while the call is active.
- Check the Windows 10 privacy settings. If you are having trouble making your webcam work on a Windows 10 device, you may need to grant permission for it to work in the privacy settings. To do this, open All Settings> Privacy> Camcorder and make sure that the switch in Allow apps to access the camera is set to Yes.
- Check your Google Chrome settings. If you are using the Google Chrome web browser, you may have previously blocked access to your webcam to increase your privacy and security. This setting can prevent you from accessing your webcam when you use the web version of Skype that works completely with browsers. Fortunately, you can allow access to your webcam again at any time via Google Chrome settings.
- Check the Skype Status web page. Skype is a service provided by Microsoft and sometimes some aspects of it can go unnoticed. This can affect your ability to use certain Skype components, such as the webcam during a call, and can even completely disable all calls. To check if some Skype services are offline, visit the Skype Status web page.
- Try making a Skype call with someone else. A video call on Skype may have nothing to do with your app, device or Internet connection and could be caused by problems on the receiver's side. To check if this is the case, try calling another contact. The Skype app actually offers a feature that lets you make a Skype test call at a fake number. This can be used to control your webcam and other settings such as the audio levels of your microphone.
- To start a Skype test call, click...> Settings> Audio and video> Make a free trial call.
- Check if your device is fully compatible with the Skype app. If your device is a bit old, it may not meet the official minimum requirements for using all of Skype's features. The full list of minimum Skype requirements is available for reading on the official Skype website or on individual app store listings.
- Set up your Skype webcam manually. If you haven't used Skye for a while or it's the first time you use the app on your device, you may need to set which webcam to use. To do this, open Skype and click...> Settings> Audio and video, then select your favorite webcam from the drop-down menu.
- Connect your device. It is possible that Skype is limiting the functionality of the webcam in an attempt to save power on a disconnected laptop or smart device. Try connecting the device to a power source to see if this resolves problems with the faulty webcam.
- Update your webcam's drivers. If you are using a Windows 10 computer, laptop or tablet, you may need to update the webcam device drivers. Usually, this occurs automatically during a Windows update, but you can also check if you need a new driver by opening Device Manager> Cameras> and right-clicking on the webcam name and selecting Update Driver> Automatically Search for updated driver software.
- Try an alternative video chat app. If you've tried everything and still can't get your camera to work properly on Skype, you should try another video call app. Fortunately, there are several apps that perform the same function as Skype and are completely free to use. Some free video chat apps that are worth trying are Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, Line, and WeChat. Most friends and family members with a smartphone will probably have at least one of these apps installed on their device, while those using a Windows or Mac computer can make a video call via the Facebook website with any type of web browser.