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My Camera Won't Connect to the Computer

by James Clark

Connection problems between a digital camera and a computer can be caused by a variety of issues and can happen even when the camera and computer are otherwise functioning normally. In most cases, the camera is connected to the computer with a cable, and software on the computer downloads the pictures. You often can fix the problem by examining each part of the process to determine where the malfunction is.

Step 1

Disconnect the USB or Firewire plugs and then firmly replace them into the ports on the camera and the computer to secure the connections.

Step 2

Set the camera to 'Upload" if it has a manual setting. Many digital cameras automatically convert to "Upload" mode for transferring files once connected to a computer, but some do not.

Step 3

Press the "Power" button to be sure the camera is not switched off or in standby mode. Also verify the computer is running

Step 4

Replace the camera batteries if the device does not turn on.

Step 5

Open the software that enables the computer to communicate with the camera if the software does not launch automatically when the camera is connected. In Windows, click the"Start" or flag button in the lower left corner, select 'All Programs," then click on the camera software in the list of programs that appears. On a Mac, click "Finder," select "Applications," then click on the software name, typically the brand name of the camera.

Step 6

Shut off the camera by pressing the "Power" button, then reboot the computer.

Step 7

Connect the USB or Firewire cable to a different port on the computer to verify the connection issue is not related to a particular port.

Step 8

Connect the camera to the computer using a different cable of the same type. Digital cameras usually connect to a computer with a USB cable or an IEEE 1394, commonly known as a Firewire, cable. The appropriate cable is typically included with the camera when purchased. Replacements for defective cables can generally be bought at computer, camera and electronics stores. However, some cameras may require special cables even though they use USB or Firewire connections. Check your camera manual to determine what it uses.

Reinstall the camera software using the CD-ROM that came with the camera. The computer may display a message noting the software is already installed. Click the appropriate button to continue with the installation. If the original software is corrupted, reinstalling from the CD-ROM may correct the connectivity issue. Reboot the computer after reinstalling the software.

Tip

  • Check the owner's manual for the camera for any troubleshooting tips that may be unique to a particular model.

Items you will need

  • Camera
  • Connector cable
  • Computer
  • CD-ROM software that comes with the camera.

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