How to Unblur Your Webcam

By Matt Koble

When your webcam is blurry, it's like your identity is masked.
i Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Webcams make communicating "face to face" over the Internet a possibility. If your video is blurry, the wonder of it may be lost on you, replaced with frustration and confusion. Low image quality can stem from a number of issues ranging from improperly adjusted settings to a poorly manufactured webcam.

Resolution and Settings

Many webcams come with software to use the device and adjust settings. While the depth and quality of the settings offered vary by webcam and software, this program's settings menu may provide your solution. Try raising the resolution or adjusting any focus settings you find. If you're using the webcam to make video calls in programs like Skype and Yahoo Messenger, also check that program's video settings. Some webcams also have a manual focus ring on the device itself.

Internet Connection

Skype's support site warns that a poor Internet connection can lead to low video quality. If your webcam quality drops while using it to video chat with people over the Internet, this may be the issue. Poor connection quality wouldn't affect your picture quality while using the webcam offline, as when you're recording a video to save to your computer. If you think your connection may be to blame, close any other programs using the Internet. Try using an Ethernet cable to plug your computer directly into your modem if you're using Wi-Fi. Momentarily disable your computer's firewall and security software to see if your protection is slowing down your connection. While it's unwise to leave security software disabled, doing so briefly will at least help you rule it out as a potential source of your webcam problem.

Computer Issues

While most modern computers come with more than enough power to run a simple webcam, your PC may still be the issue. If your computer doesn't have much memory and you've got a Web browser, video player and game running in the background, there may not be any resources left for your webcam. Close any nonessential programs and see if video quality improves. If you're using a USB webcam, Skype support suggests removing any other USB devices so your computer can focus on your webcam.

Webcam Quality

If your webcam is a few years old or of low quality, it might be the problem. Unfortunately, not all webcams are created equal. Consider looking up your specific model online to see if other users have similar blurriness issues. If professional reviews and user opinion say it's a poor quality webcam, there may be nothing to improve the quality short of buying a new model.