Why Doesn't My Webcam Work With Skype?

By Danielle Gream

Webcams fail to work with Skype for a few common reasons.
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Skype is a powerful tool that allows users to have face-to-face conversations with others via webcam. Webcam chat connects families and friends and facilitates intercontinental business meetings. A malfunctioning webcam, however, can lead to frustrations while using Skype. If you've already taken the obvious step of ensuring your webcam is plugged in properly and powered on, take a look at some of the common causes for webcam failure.

Other Programs

Your webcam can only be used with one program at a time. If your webcam is unresponsive with Skype, close any background programs that may be using it. Programs that may use your webcam include instant messaging programs and some websites.

Driver Issues

Drivers are programs that are installed with your webcam to ensure its proper function with your computer. Some webcams use preinstalled drivers, eliminating the need for you to install any. You need the most up-to-date drivers installed to guarantee that your webcam works properly. Up-to-date drivers for your webcam can be installed from the webcam manufacturer's website.

Webcam Compatibility

Like other computer hardware, webcams are compatible with certain operating systems and have certain system requirements. Check the documentation that came with your webcam to ensure your computer system meets its requirements.

Test Your Webcam

After you've taken steps to remedy any system and/or hardware issues, test your webcam on Skype. To do so, navigate to Skype's Options panel from the main menu, select "Web Devices" and click "Test." When your webcam is working with Skype, you see a video of yourself.