CURRENT BYTES: Resolving Black Blank Webcam Screens & Other Camera Challenges

Sara Stauner

, TECH

Our techs this week continue to see a recurring theme of challenges that are brought on by our new virtual work/school lifestyle. As we see each week, the balance of our virtual reality is delicate.

 

Symptoms list described by the clients

  • Webcam is not displaying an image or picture.
  • No activity from the webcam just a black blank screen.
  • The camera light is on, but no one is home.

 

Causes for the symptoms listed above

  • Attending virtual classes and meetings in which utilizing the webcam is needed for participation.
  • Increase in performance requirements of the usage of the computer’s camera in both onboard webcam’s (cameras that are included or built into the computer) and external webcams (not built into your computer but purchased separately and is sitting on top of your computer).
  • Overuse of our technology before being able to reset itself by closing and restarting. While I am specifically referring to computers, this statement has an overarching meaning to our own “on-the-go, multi-tasking, dual role” life that we are currently living. Just as overuse is detrimental to our health, it is the same is for our technology. (See my last article on Resolving Home Learning and Remote Work Issues for additional help.)

 

 

 

 

Recommendations to resolve your webcam issues so that you can get back to work/school!

Is your webcam turned on?

Be sure that your camera is NOT turned off! Sounds pretty straightforward, however as a default, your webcam settings could be set to OFF when your meeting/class begins.

 

Is your screen cover still on the lens?

If you have a covering that slides over your webcam for privacy and protection — be sure that it is not covering the lens.

 

Reboot your computer

Reboot your computer by turning it off, waiting and turning it back on. Letting your system reboot allows it take reset and will also take advantage of any needed software updates. (Software updates may take a little time, I suggest that you test your webcam and perform any updates before you need to use it.)

 

Are your webcam software drivers up-to-date?

Any device that you attach to your computer needs software to run it. Confirm your Webcam software drivers to the most up-to-date version. If not, install the most recent version.

 

Is your camera compatible with your computer?

If your webcam is external, confirm with the manufacturer or the place of purchase that it is compatible with your computer. It’s best to check for compatibility before you buy — confirm it’s compatible with your computer and the version of the operating system that is installed on your computer.

 

 

 

Sara Stauner attended the University of Wisconsin-River Falls for her Bachelor’s in Business Communication and Master’s in School Counseling. While working at a local software business, she became a technical writer, where she developed “How To’s”, “FAQ’s” and a Department Operations Manual. In addition, she also learned and developed her software IT troubleshooting skills.

Later, both Sara and her husband (Peter J. Stauner, Jr), founded Computer Support Group. Computer Support Group can help you get your virtual work/school life back on its feet. When Sara isn’t working you can find her running around the Cornelius trails, biking and spending time with her 3 children.

 

 

 

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