Webcam Black Screen Issue In Windows 10

A webcam is a useful computer accessory for making VoIP calls or for video broadcasting if you are into game streaming.  Although most webcams out in the market today are plug and play on your Windows 10 PC there are instances when certain issues can occur. In this latest installment of our troubleshooting series we will tackle the webcam black screen issue.

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Before performing any of the recommended troubleshooting steps listed below it’s best to restart your computer first. This action refreshes the operating system and removes any corrupt temporary data that could be causing the problem.

How to Fix Webcam Black Screen Issue In Windows 10

Use the Windows Troubleshooter

The Windows Troubleshooter is a great tool that can detect and fix most of the common Windows related problems.

  • Type in Troubleshoot in the search bar then click on the Troubleshoot settings app.
  • From the menu, choose Hardware and Devices. This is the option that scans your computer for connected devices (such as your webcam), and potentially fixes any problems you might be having with them.
  • Press Run the troubleshooter.

Try to check if this fixes the problem.

Update the webcam driver

You will need to make sure that your computer has the latest webcam drivers installed.

  • Right click on the Start button then click on Device Manager.
  • On the left side panel you will need to expand the Imaging devices group. Locate your camera, right click it and choose Update Driver.
  • Click on search automatically for updated driver software.
  • Wait for the update to download and install.
  • Restart your computer.

Check if the webcam black screen issue still occurs.

Download the latest driver from your webcam manufacturer

In case updating the driver using the device manager does not work then you should proceed with downloading the specific driver from the manufacturer website. In case a new version of driver is available then you will need to uninstall the current driver installed in your computer before installing this new version.  Once installed try to check if you still experience the black screen problem.

Reinstall the recording application

There’s a possibility that the problem is caused by an issue with the recording software that you are using. To check if this is the culprit you will have to uninstall it then do a fresh install.

  • Uninstall the application you are trying to use the webcam in windows 10.
  • Go to the application website and download the latest version compatible with your computer
  • Install the application then restart your computer.

Check if the screen problem still occurs.

Make sure the webcam is on

Try to check the manual that came with your webcam if it has an  on/off switch. This switch might be in the off position which is why you are getting a black screen. For laptops, the switch might be with the function key on the keyboard.

You should also check the USB cord that connects the webcam to your computer and make sure it is working properly. If necessary, try replacing this cord and connect it to a different USB port on the computer.

Try to add the webcam manually

  • Hold the Windows Key and Press R.
  • Type hdwwiz.cpl and Click OK
  • Click Action and choose Add Legacy Hardware
  • Click Next, and choose “Install the hardware that I manually select from the list” and click Next, scroll down to choose Imaging Devices and Click Next.
  • Locate the missing device through the manufacturer’s tab and add it.

Check if the issue still occurs.

Perform a clean boot

There’s a possibility that the problem is caused by a software conflict. To fix this you will need to do a clean boot configured to exclude third-party software and services.

  • Hold the Windows Key and press R.
  • Type msconfig and click OK in the Run dialog box.
  • Choose the Services Tab, then put a check on Hide All Microsoft Services and select Disable All.
  • Click Apply, and Click OK. This prompts you to restart; choose Restart Later.
  • Hold the Windows Key and Press R.
  • Type msconfig and click OK.
  • Choose Start Up and select Open Task Manager.
  • At the last field called Start-Up Impact disable all the ones with High Impact.
  • Reboot your system and it will start up in the clean boot mode.

If the issue does not occur in clean boot then the problem could be caused by a software installed in your computer. Start by enabling one service at a time in the same manner and stop when the webcam problem comes back. You should uninstall the service or application that is causing the problem.

To undo the clean boot

  • Open Start.
  • Search for msconfig and click the top result to open the System Configuration experience.
  • On the General tab, select the Normal startup option.
  • Click the Services tab.
  • Check the Hide all Microsoft services option.
  • Click the Enable All button.
  • Click the Startup tab.
  • Click the Open Task Manager link.
  • On the Startup tab, select each item and click the Enable button.
  • Close Task Manager.
  • Restart your computer.

Check if the webcam black screen issue still occurs.

Other fixes

Listed below are additional fixes that you can perform.

  • Try connecting the webcam to a different USB port
  • Try using a different USB cord to connect the webcam to the computer.
  • Try checking if the webcam is indeed functioning by using it on another computer.
  • Disconnect other USB devices connected to the computer and only connect the webcam.
  • Check if the webcam is compatible with your computer.