How to test your webcam to make sure it's working properly before a video call
- You can test your
webcamonline or using programs that come with Windows 10 or your Mac.
- You don't have to wait for a video call to find out there's a problem with your webcam - test it ahead of time.
- Most web conference apps like Skype and Zoom let you see video from your webcam in Settings.
Starting a video call or web conference can be surprisingly stressful. Will your webcam work the way it's supposed to? Is it compatible with your web conferencing software and is everything set up properly?Related Article Module: A brief guide to
If your webcam isn't working right when the meeting starts, it's already too late. That's why it's a good idea to test your webcam ahead of the scheduled call - it can save you some potential embarrassment if the video is misconfigured or not working at all.
How to test your webcam online
Is your webcam working properly? You should probably test it using the web conferencing software you plan to use, but if you want to quickly ensure the camera itself is working and is connected properly, test it in a web browser.
There are a handful of websites you can try; a reliable one is Webcam Test. Visit the page and click "Test my cam." You might need to give your browser permission to access the camera, but after a moment you should see your video on the page along with detailed information about your webcam on the left.
How to test your webcam on Skype
To make sure your webcam is working properly in Skype, start the desktop app and click the three-dot menu on the left side of the window. Click "Settings" and then, on the Settings page, click "Audio & Video."
You should see your video. If you don't, the wrong camera might be selected - try the drop-down menu above the video window.
How to test your webcam on Zoom
Like Skype, Zoom makes it easy to test your video from the app's Settings screen. Start Zoom and then click your account avatar in the top right corner of the window. In the dropdown menu, choose "Settings." In the Settings window, click "Video" and you should see a live view of your camera feed at the top of the page.
How to test your webcam on Windows 10
You might not be aware of this, but Windows includes a Camera program that automatically displays the feed from your webcam. You can use the app to take still images and record video. To test your webcam with this utility, click the Start button and type "Camera." When you see the Camera app appear in search results, click it. The app will appear, automatically displaying video from your webcam.
How to test your webcam on a Mac
Just like Windows, your Mac has a camera app built-in. Find Photobooth in your dock or by searching for it in Finder. When it starts, you should automatically see your webcam feed.
Troubleshooting your webcam
As a general rule, your webcam should be a plug-and-play device that works effortlessly and is largely trouble-free. If you do encounter trouble getting it to work, here are the most common issues:
- This might seem obvious, but if you have a standalone webcam, make sure it's properly plugged into the USB port of your computer.
- Most webcams don't require you to install any software drivers, but if you have a new camera that doesn't seem to work, check the user guide it came with (or the manufacturer's website) to see if it requires you to install drivers or additional software.
- If you don't see any video when you test the webcam, make sure your webcam is selected. In most video and web conferencing software, you should find a webcam selection dropdown menu. Be sure the current webcam is selected - sometimes a webcam you no longer have connected is still selected.
- Make sure the webcam isn't in use by another program. For example, if you have Skype running in the background, that program might have a "lock" on the webcam, so Zoom will only show a black screen in the video window.
- If all else fails, restart your computer. Sometimes there could be an issue with the USB port or corrupted software in memory that a reboot will resolve.
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