I get it – when your camera’s not working, it’s one of the most frustrating things!
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I put together this article with fixes to all the most common camera problems on various devices and software.
So, stop pulling your hair out and keep reading for the fixes.
Table of Contents
What To Do When Your Camera’s Not Working
Camera not working on your laptop? Here’s how to fix it:
- Use the automated Get Help app to run diagnostics and fix any issues it may find.
- If the app didn’t fix the problem, go to Start > Settings > Windows Update > Check for updates.
- Update the system. If it wasn’t the problem, go to Select Advanced options > Optional updates.
- Look for driver updates for the camera and install them.
- Restart the computer.
- If the camera is still not working, check your privacy settings. Go to Start > Settings > Privacy & Security > Camera.
- Make sure the Camera access is ON.
- Make sure “Let apps access your camera” is ON.
- If none of these solutions has fixed the problem, it’s probably the antivirus blocking the access. To solve this issue, you need to go to the antivirus software website and look for Help or Troubleshooting.
Camera not working on Zoom? Here’s how to fix it:
- Close any other apps that might be using the camera.
- Double-check that Zoom is using the right camera. To do so, click on the arrow next to the Start Video button and select the camera you want.
- Make sure Zoom has access to use the camera. You can check this on your device settings.
- If everything is OK so far, but the camera is not working, restart your device.
- The camera is still not working on Zoom? See if you have the latest version of the Zoom app. If not – update it.
- If there aren’t any Zoom updates, try re-installing the app.
Is your trail camera not working? Here’s how to fix it:
- Before you go out on the field and leave your trail camera, you should test it at home. If the trail camera isn’t working, start by checking the batteries. This is the best way to start because it’s the easiest fix. Simply put in new batteries.
- If the trail camera is still not working, check the battery box for corrosion. This could cause some connectivity problems. If there is corrosion, clean it or take it to a specialist for some maintenance.
- If everything is OK with the batteries, but the camera is still not working, it might be a problem with the SD card. Make sure you’re using one that’s suited for your camera. This means that it doesn’t have a larger capacity than the one supported by the trail camera.
- If you have the right type of SD card, make sure it’s unlocked. You can check this in a physical switch on the card.
- Once you’re sure that everything is as it should be, reformat the SD card. You can do this on the camera or your computer. Simply back up any files before formatting the card because everything in it will be deleted.
- If your SD card is very old, or it’s suffered water, shock, or other type of damage – it’s best if you get a new one.
- Another issue that might prevent your trail camera from working properly is the settings. Here you should check that it’s set to suit your needs. Review the camera mode, interval, burst number, etc.
- If the trail camera was working before you took it out on the field, yet it didn’t record anything – the problem might be the placement. Trail cameras have a maximum range; if your subject was too far away, maybe it didn’t trigger the camera. The angle of view is also important. You need to ensure that the camera is properly aimed at where the subject is set to pass.
Rear backup camera
Is your rear backup camera not working? Here’s how to fix it:
- Rear backup cameras are highly exposed to the environment. So, if your rear backup camera isn’t working, start by checking for physical damage. See if the lens or any part of the hardware is scratched or dented – you might have to dismount it to have a good look. If this is the problem, you’ll need to send it to a repair shop or buy a new one if the damage is too big.
- If there’s no external damage, it doesn’t mean that it’s not a problem due to the environment. Water can make its way to the inside and cause malfunctioning. See if there’s any condensation – not just on the lens.
- The last hardware checkup you can do is the connections. Make sure everything is plugged in and tightened.
- If the backup camera is still not working, it’s time to check the software. Restart the camera and the screen on your dashboard.
- If none of these generic fixes has solved your problem, it’s time to check the manual. Each manufacturer includes a troubleshooting section that you can use to fix your backup camera.
Canon / Nikon camera
Is your DSLR camera not working? Here’s how to fix it:
- The number one reason why a DSLR is not turning on is the battery. Start by charging the battery and see if this fixes the problem.
- A faulty battery might be the problem too. To check for this, you can see if the light in the battery charger turns on when you insert it. Otherwise, borrow another battery from a friend or a shop and put it on your camera – or put your battery in a different camera and see if it works.
- A third-party battery might cause problems as well because they’re often not compatible with your camera.
- If there’s no problem with the battery, then check the battery case. Make sure there isn’t anything preventing good connectivity.
- When your camera is turning but it’s not recording photos or videos, the problem might be the memory card. While it may sound obvious, start by checking there’s a memory card inside the camera.
- If there is, but your Canon or Nikon camera is still not working, take out the memory card and insert it again. Make sure the camera is off before taking out the card.
- Another common fix is to format the card. You can do this with the camera – just make sure you’ve backed up all your photos and videos. When you format the memory card, the camera deletes all the files.
- If the problem with the camera is not that it’s not recording but the quality of the photos and videos – then check the settings. Make sure the size, quality, and type of format meet the requirements you want.
- Often with DSLR cameras, the problem is a specific type of error reported in the LCD screen. You can look at the user’s manual and look for the error number to see what’s wrong with your camera and how to fix it. For example, Canon Err 01 is a communication problem between the camera and the lens. In Nikon, the FEE error means that the lens isn’t properly connected. All these errors are reported in the manufacturer’s troubleshooting guide.
Is your security camera not working? Here’s how to fix it:
- If your security camera isn’t working, start with the easiest problem to fix – connectivity. If you have a wireless security camera, make sure the Internet connection is working. If it’s a wired one, check that everything is in place and none of the cables have loosened.
- If everything looks OK, but your security camera is still not working, reboot it.
- The next thing you can do to fix a security camera that isn’t working is to update the software and firmware. You can check for updates on the provider’s website.
- When everything is up to date, but you’re still having problems – check the settings. Ensure that all the necessary features are set up and enabled. You might want to reverse everything to the factory settings and start over.
- If none of these common fixes have worked, contact the tech support of your security provider.
Is your Spypoint camera not working? Here’s how to fix it:
- Start by replacing the batteries of your Spypoint trail camera. Make sure you’re using Alkaline batteries. Often the reason why a Spypoint camera is not working is that you use NiMh rechargeable batteries, which don’t provide enough voltage.
- Double-check the points of contact of each battery. If one of them is not making contact, you can carefully bend it until it does.
- If the Spypoint camera is turning on but is not recording pictures, then check the SD card. Make sure you’ve inserted it correctly, and it’s properly formatted. If this is correct but still doesn’t work, try with a different SD card.
- When your Spypoint camera is only recording black pictures, update the software.
- If the problem is that you can’t activate the camera, try restarting the app. Otherwise, delete and re-install the app.
- If you can’t scan the activation code, you can input it manually. Type everything continuously without hyphens.
- When the Spypoint camera is working, but it’s not sending the pictures, check the battery. Below 30% battery, the camera won’t send the pictures.
- If the battery is fine, check on the app that the Mobile Radio is enabled and the configuration of the schedule.
- Lastly, check for any updates.
- If none of these solutions have fixed your Spypoint camera not working issue, please contact customer support.
Is your camera not working on Teams? Here’s how to fix it:
- If your camera isn’t working on Microsoft Teams, check that it’s not being used by other programs or apps.
- To test your camera, you can go to Settings and more > Settings > Devices > Audio Devices > Make a test call.
- Try updating your operating system and the Teams app.
- If you use Windows, check for app permissions in Settings > Privacy > Camera. Make sure that Camera access is ON.
- On Mac, you can check for app permissions in System Preferences > Security and Privacy > Privacy > Camera. Then, select Microsoft Teams.
- If you’re using Teams on the web, check your browser’s settings and allow permission to use the camera.
Is your camera not working on your Mac? Here’s how to fix it:
- The first thing to do if the built-in camera on your Mac is not working is check the apps permissions. Go to the Apple menu > System Preferences / System Settings > Privacy & Security > Turn on any app you want to allow.
- If the apps are allowed, you can try to update the operating system.
- Restart your computer.
- Is the camera on Mac still not working? Contact Apple.
Is your camera not working on Chromebook? Here’s how to fix it:
- If the camera on your Chromebook isn’t working, you might see a sign that says, “Camera not found.” The first thing to try to fix this problem is to restart it.
- Now, open the program where the camera was failing and see if it works. If not, try to use the camera on a different app. If it works, uninstall the app where the camera doesn’t work and re-install it.
- If this doesn’t fix the problem, or the camera didn’t open on any app – try doing a factory reset on your Chromebook. Make sure you back up your files first. To do this, press Ctrl + Alt + Shift + R. Select Restart > Powerwash > Continue and follow the instructions.
- Lastly, if nothing has fixed the camera, you can recover your Chromebook. This will remove and re-install the OS – so back up everything before you do this. Always leave this step as a last resort. If you’re unsure if you should be doing it, contact customer support first.
Is your camera not working on a Samsung phone? Here’s how to fix it:
- To determine whether it’s the camera or just the app that it’s not working, download a third-party camera app. See if you can take photos using this new app.
- If the problem is the camera app, start by checking that you have the latest update.
- Also, go to your Samsung settings and find the Camera app. Then, tap on Storage and Cache and clear both of them.
- You can also check the permissions in Settings > Security & Privacy > Privacy. Grant all the permissions needed for the app to work.
- If the camera isn’t working yet, restart your phone. To do this, press and hold the power button – then tap on Restart.
- The above steps should work if the problem were the camera app, but what if the camera didn’t work with a third-party app either? Then, start your phone in Safety Mode.
- Press the power button until you see the menu. Then, tap and hold Power Off. Then, tap on Safety mode.
- Try to use the camera now. If it works, the problem is caused by one of the apps you’ve downloaded. So, you can disable or delete one by one until the camera starts working. Afterwards, you can re-install the other apps that weren’t responsible for the problem.
- Suppose the camera didn’t work in Safety Mode. You can try a factory reset or maybe take your phone to a repair shop.
Is your camera not working on a Lenovo Laptop? Here’s how to fix it:
- Most times, a camera is not working in a Lenovo laptop because it’s disabled. On the Lenovo computers, you can manually enable and disable the camera. Find the button with the camera icon (usually F8) and press it. The camera was disabled; this should fix it.
- If that wasn’t the problem, make sure the Camera Privacy Mode is off. To do so, you should open the Lenovo Vantage application and go to Hardware Settings > Audio/Visual > Camera Privacy Mode.
- If your camera is still not working, go to the Lenovo website, where you can input the model of your computer and get specific troubleshooting instructions.
Is your camera not working on iPhone? Here’s how to fix it:
- If the screen of your iPhone is black when you turn on the camera or you get blurry photos – you may need to clean or unblock the lens. Remove the case and make sure there’s nothing blocking the camera. Use a microfiber cloth to clean the lens.
- If the flash isn’t firing or it only fires sometimes – open the camera app and change the flash settings.
- Restart your iPhone.
- Update the camera app and the iOS.
- If none of these solutions gets your camera working again, you can try factory resetting. However, this isn’t advised by Apple. What they encourage you to do is to contact them if not of the non-invasive solutions worked.
Is your camera not working on HP Laptop? Here’s how to fix it:
- If the camera is not working on your HP laptop, start by checking your privacy settings. Press the Windows logo key. In the search bar, type camera. Choose Camera Privacy Settings on the options. Then, enable Allow apps to access your camera.
- Once you enabled this feature in the privacy settings, make sure the app you want to use is allowed, as you can select which apps can access the camera.
- If the settings weren’t the problem – try re-installing the camera app. When you bought your computer, it was already installed. However, you can find it in the Microsoft store for free.
- If you use multiple programs to record videos and photos, make sure that only one is active. Maybe they’re creating conflict between apps. You can also restart your computer to solve this issue.
- Another solution is to update the driver. You can use HP Support Assistant or manually find the latest versions of each driver on the HP website.
- If none of these solutions gets your camera working – contact HP help support.
Is your camera not working on Google Meet? Here’s how to fix it:
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- If you’re trying to use Google Meet and you get the message “Camera fail”, you probably need to grant access to your browser.
- Using Google Chrome, you’re prompted to grant access to your camera the first time you join a video meeting. If you didn’t give access then, you can click on the camera icon on the address bar and change the settings to allow it.
- If this didn’t solve the problem, make sure the camera cover or privacy switch is in the right position. Note that not all devices have these.
- Your camera is still not working? Make sure there aren’t any other apps using it.
- Try restarting your browser to see if that fixes the problem.
- Otherwise, restart the computer.