How to Fix External Webcam That Is Frozen

Why Does My External Webcam Freeze

Outdated Drivers: Software drivers tell your computer how to talk to devices. An outdated webcam driver will cause miscommunication and freezes.

Camera Privacy Settings: Windows privacy settings sometimes block apps from using your camera making it look frozen. Search for Windows Privacy and see if Camera is being blocked software side in Windows.

USB Port Issues: Broken USB ports or insufficient power from a USB hub will prevent your webcam from working properly.

Conflicting Software: Other programs using your webcam simultaneously can cause it to freeze.

Overheating: Rarely especially these days, an external webcam can get too hot and malfunction.

Fixing a Frozen External Webcam: Step by Step

The Basics:

Reboot: A simple restart will usually clear temporary problems with the webcam.

Secure Connection: Make sure the webcam’s cable is properly plugged into a USB port directly on your computer (avoid the USB hub for now).

Check Privacy Permissions

Go to Windows Settings --> Privacy & security --> Camera.

Make sure the toggle for “Allow apps to access your camera” is ON.

Scroll and make sure the app you’re using is allowed access.

Address Webcam Driver Issues

– Open Device Manager (search for it in the Start Menu).
– Expand “Cameras” or “Imaging devices”.
– Right click on your webcam and select “Update driver”. Select the automatic search option to let Windows find the latest driver.
– If that doesn’t help, right click and “Uninstall device”. Restart your PC, Windows will usually reinstall the driver.

Close Other Webcam Using Apps

Programs like video conferencing software, even if running in the background, might hold onto your webcam. Close everything you aren’t currently using.

Test on a Different USB Port

Bad USB ports will cause freezing problems for your webcam. Try plugging the webcam into a different port, preferably at the back of your computer or on a different port on your laptop.

Check for Updates on the Video Calling App You’re Using

Outdated versions of video calling apps like Skype, Zoom and Microsoft Teams will cause compatibility issues with your webcam. Make sure you have the latest version of the software you’re using.

Manufacturer’s Website

Check the webcam manufacturer’s website for a specialized driver or troubleshooting advice specific to your model.

Still Frozen?

If nothing else works, try plugging your webcam into a different computer to isolate the problem. If it works correctly there then this might be a broader issue with your primary computer needing attention.

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