Fix “Web Cam Not Working” Errors in Windows 7

If you have recently upgraded to Windows 7, there is a probability that some of your peripheral devices will not work on this operating system (OS). Several users have found that their webcam, which worked perfectly in older versions of Windows, is not recognized or does not work correctly under Windows 7 – (they get an error which says their webcam is not compatible with this OS or experience messages like “device cannot start” etc.)

You may think there is no other option other than to run out an purchase a new webcam – however before you jump the gun, let’s look at some troubleshooting steps that can get your webcam working correctly in Windows 7 🙂

Troubleshooting Step 1: Install Webcam Driver

This step needs to be followed if your webcam is listed in Device Manager and you can see a yellow exclamation mark next to it. (See image below)

 Webcam Driver Error - Windows 7

Note: The yellow exclamation mark usually signifies that there are no compatible drivers installed for the device.

The reason why your webcam is not working in the above scenario is that there are either no drivers (or incompatible drivers) installed.

Before You Continue – Read This!

Drivers are small software programs that enable the OS to recognize and control the devices attached to your system. You can either use a tool like this Driver Updater Tool to easily scan and download your missing webcam device drivers or else you will need to go to your webcam manufacturer’s support site and check if they have provided drivers to make the model of your webcam compatible with Windows 7.

If your webcam manufacturer provides the drivers for Windows 7, you will need to find, download and install them.

Next, you should restart you computer, after which your webcam should be automatically detected and installed under Windows 7 device manager. If your webcam manufacturer does not provide drivers for Windows 7, proceed to troubleshooting step 3.

Tip: To open Device Manager in Windows 7, click Start, type Device Manager in the Start Search box and press Enter.

Troubleshooting Step 2: Use Troubleshooting Wizard to Identify the Problem and Fix it

If your webcam is listed in Device Manager but does not work even after updating the drivers, you can use the Hardware and Device Troubleshooter provided in Windows 7. Follow the steps given below to start Hardware and Device Troubleshooter in Windows 7-

  1. Click on the Start button
  2. Click on Control Panel
  3. Under the System and Security category, click Find and fix problems
  4. Next, under Hardware and Sound, click Configure a Device
  5. Your system may prompt you to enter the Administrator password
  6. Enter the Administrator password
  7. Follow the instructions given in the troubleshooting wizard to identify and fix the issue

Troubleshooting Step 3: Install Windows Vista Driver in Compatibility Mode

If your webcam manufacturer does not provide drivers for Windows 7 for your make and model of webcam, you can try installing the Vista Driver in compatibility mode. You will get an error which says that the program is not compatible with your version of Windows when you click on the setup file. In such a situation, you need to follow the steps below to install the webcam in compatibility mode:

  1. Right click on setup file for the webcam
  2. Scroll down to Properties and click it
  3. Click on Compatibility mode
  4. Check the box for “Run this program in compatibility mode for…”
  5. Select Window Vista SP1 from the dropdown menu
  6. Under the Privileges level , check “Run as an Administrator”
  7. Click on Apply
  8. Click OK
  9. Double click on the webcam setup file to start the installation procedure.

In a majority of the cases, the webcam will work after either updating the drivers or installing in compatibility mode.

Some popular webcams that could be affected in Windows 7 are:

  • Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 Webcam
  • Microsoft LifeCam Cinema Webcam (USB)
  • Logitech QuickCam for Notebooks Pro Webcam (USB)
  • Logitech QuickCam Orbit AF Webcam
  • Logitech C310 HD Webcam
  • Logitech C510 Webcam
  • Labtec Webcam 1200
  • HP KQ246AA 8.0MP Deluxe Webcam
  • Veo Wireless Observer
  • D-Link DVC-1000 i2eye
  • Veo Connect
  • Creative Live! Cam Socialize Webcam
  • Built-in Standard and HD Webcams for Dell, HP and Toshiba Laptops

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