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FIX: Zoom is unable to detect a camera in Windows 11 & 10

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Kazim Ali Alvi

by Kazim Ali Alvi

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Kazim has always been fond of technology, be it scrolling through the settings on his iPhone, Android device, or Windows. And at times, unscrewing the device to take a look at the hardware, although… Read more






  • Several users have recently reported that Zoom is unable to detect a camera in Windows 11 / 10.

  • The problem can be fixed by checking the camera, updating the OS and the drivers, modifying the permissions, running the troubleshooter, amongst other methods listed below.

  • Also, find out some other good video-conferencing apps that you could use instead of Zoom.


Zoom cannot detect a camera




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Zoom, a name we have been hearing way too often in the recent past, has now become a necessity owing to the WFH culture. It’s a video conferencing platform with a user-friendly interface and a plethora of user-oriented features. But, what if Zoom is unable to detect a camera in Windows 11 or 10?


Being part of a video call without your footage being shared is a dreaded nightmare for many. It could be due to a bunch of underlying issues, most of trivial nature. Once you identify the issue, troubleshooting wouldn’t be a problem anymore.


Hence, in order to effectively eliminate the problem and get things back on track, it’s imperative that you understand why Zoom is unable to detect the camera.


Why Zoom is unable to detect a camera in Windows 11 & 10?


Though the underlying issues can be many, we have listed the most common ones below:



  • Running an older version of Zoom or Windows

  • Misconfigured settings

  • Zoom doesn’t have the permission to access the camera

  • Outdated camera drivers

  • Problems with the Zoom itself


Try and identify which of the above issues might be causing the camera problem in Zoom. For instance, if you started encountering the error after changing camera settings or modifying the camera permissions (both app or system), revert to the previous ones.


What do I do if Zoom is unable to detect a camera in Windows 11?


1. Some basic checks


1.1 Verify camera selection



  1. On the Zoom app mainscreen, then click on the Settings icon near the top-right corner.Zoom Settings

  2. Go to the Video tab from the navigation pane and select the functional webcam from the Camera dropdown menu.Verify camera selection if Zoom is unable to detect a camera in Windows 11 / 10

  3. Restart the Zoom app and check if Zoom is now able to detect a camera in Windows 11 / 10.


1.2 Remove any obstructions


Another common issue often found to the underlying cause is an object obstructing the camera. It generally happens with the external webcam, and since the video appears black, users believe it to be a problem with the system itself. Check for any obstructions and remove them.


Also, some webcams have shutters for privacy. Make sure these are open to allow a perfect video output from the camera. This has fixed Zoom camera issues in Dell laptops since several of their models have shutters.


1.3 Check if the camera is enabled


Certain computers, generally laptops, have a button that can be used to enable/disable the camera. Check if it was used previously to disable the camera, and if that’s the case, press the button to re-enable it.


Moreover, check if there’s a switch on the external webcam and make sure that’s it’s turned on. Also, certain webcams have a small light to indicate when the camera is turned on.


If Zoom is unable to detect a camera on Lenovo devices and the light doesn’t turn on as well, it could be a problem with the webcam itself.


1.4 Restart the device



  1. Navigate to the desktop and press Alt + F4 to launch the Shut Down Windows box.

  2. Click on the dropdown menu and select Restart from the list of options.Restart Windows to fix Zoom is unable to detect a camera error

  3. Click on OK to restart the computer.Confirm restart


If it’s a trivial bug that’s behind Zoom being unable to detect a camera in Windows 11, restarting the computer should fix that.


1.5 Identify if the problem lies with Zoom or the computer


Check if the camera works fine on the other apps. If it does, the issue, in all likelihood, lies with Zoom and you should first execute the fixes specific to Zoom.



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In case the webcam does not work with other apps as well, go for methods like updating the driver, running the troubleshooter, or installing the latest version of the OS.


2. Update Zoom



  1. Launch the Zoom app, click on the Profile icon near the top-right corner, and select Check for Updates from the list of options that appear.Check for updates to fix Zoom is unable to detect a camera in windows 11 / 10

  2. If a newer version is available, install it and check if the Zoom camera problem is resolved.


3. Update Windows 11



  1. Press Windows + I to launch the Settings app.

  2. Select Windows Update from the tabs listed in the navigation pane on the left.Update Windows to fix Zoom is unable to detect a camera in Windows 11 / 10

  3. Click on Check for updates to scan and download the latest version of the OS, if any is available.Check for updates


Running an outdated version of the OS is also known to cause issues with the performance and increases the likelihood of encountering errors. Hence, it’s recommended that you update it and check if the Zoom is unable to detect a camera in Windows 11 / 10 problem is resolved.


4. Check browser settings (if not using the Zoom app)



Note icon
NOTE

This fix is only for users who use a web browser instead of the Zoom app. We have listed the steps for Google Chrome, and once you get an idea of the concept, it would be easy to change the settings on other browsers as well.




  1. Launch the browser, type/paste the following in the address bar and hit Enter:chrome://settings/privacy

  2. Click on Site Settings under Privacy & security.Site settings

  3. Next, click on Camera under Permissions.Camera

  4. Ensure that the Sites can ask to use your camera option is enabled, and Zoom is not added under Not allowed to use your camera.Check Camera settings to fix Zoom is unable to detect a camera in Windows 11 / 10 problem


5. Check camera permissions



  1. Press Windows + I to launch the Settings app.

  2. Select Privacy & security from the tabs listed in the navigation pane on the left.Privacy & security

  3. Click on Camera under App permissions.Camera

  4. Make sure that Zoom has access to the camera.Enable permissions to fix Zoom is unable to detect camera in Windows 10 / 11


6. Update camera drivers



  1. Press Windows + S to launch the Search menu.

  2. Enter Device Manager in the text field at the top, and click on the relevant search result that appears.Launch Device Manager to fix Zoom is unable to detect a camera in windows 11 / 10

  3. Double-click on the Cameras entry to view the various devices under it.Cameras

  4. Right-click on the malfunctioning webcam, and select Update driver from the context menu.Update driver to fix Zoom is unable to detect a camera in Windows 11 / 10

  5. Next, select Search automatically for drivers from the two options in the Update Drivers window.Search automatically for drivers

  6. Windows will now automatically scan for the best available driver on the computer and install it.


If the above methods have not worked, it could be an outdated driver behind the Zoom being unable to detect the camera. Hence it’s recommended that you update the driver.


The Device Manager method only looks for updated versions on the computer itself and not the web, thus acting as an offline update. If it isn’t able to find one, you can always check for the latest driver version in Windows Update or the manufacturer’s website.


In case that sounds like too much trouble, you can always go with reliable third-party software. We recommend using DriverFix, a dedicated tool that scans the web for the latest versions and keeps the installed drivers up-to-date.


7. Run the troubleshooter



  1. Press Windows + I to launch the Settings.

  2. Click on Troubleshoot on the right in the System tab.Troubleshoot

  3. Click on Other troubleshooters.Other troubleshooters

  4. Next, click on the Run button next to the Camera troubleshooter.Run camera troubleshooter to fix Zoom is unable to detect a camera in Windows 11 / 10

  5. Now, choose the appropriate responses and follow the steps listed by the troubleshooter to fix the issue.


8. Terminate conflicting programs



  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to launch the Task Manager.

  2. Locate any programs that might be using the camera, for instance, other video-conferencing apps.

  3. Select the conflicting program, and click on the End task button at the bottom.terminate conflicting apps to fix Zoom is unable to detect a camera in windows 11 / 10


After terminating the conflicting programs, you should be able to fix Zoom is unable to detect a camera in HP as well as other devices.


How can I fix Zoom camera detection issues in Windows 10?



Note icon
NOTE

While most of the fixes listed above work on both Windows 11 and Windows 10, the ones that are different for the latter have been listed separately here.



1. Update Windows 10



  1. Press Windows + I to launch the Settings app.

  2. Select Update & Security from the options listed here.Update & Security

  3. Click on the Check for updates in the Windows Update tab.Check for updates to fix Zoom is unable to detect camera in Windows 11


Now, check if Zoom is still unable to detect a camera in Windows 10. If that’s the case, head to the next fix.


2. Check camera permissions in Windows 10



  1. Press Windows + I to launch the Settings app.

  2. Select Privacy from the options listed here.Privacy

  3. Click on Camera from the tabs listed on the left, enable the toggle for Let apps use my camera hardware, and ensure that Zoom has access under Choose apps that can use my camera.Check if Zoom has access to the camera


What are some other good video-conferencing programs?


If you encounter way too many issues with Zoom, though it’s highly unlikely, there are several other efficient video-conferencing apps that can act as a substitute for Zoom.


But, you might be missing out on features like live transcriptions, which do offer a certain appeal. Weigh the pros and cons to make an informed decision before you switch.


These are the most effective ways you can resolve the Zoom is unable to detect a camera in Windows 11 / 10 problem. In case the problem persists, you can reset Windows 11 to its factory settings.


Also, check out our extensive guide on how to use Zoom in Windows 11 and the best fixes in case Zoom video stops working.


Tell us which fix worked or if you switched to a different app in the comments section below.





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