Why is my webcam said to be occupied by another application and how can I get it to work?
Question by Rawand R /

When I try to set up or use the built-in camera in Skype or Yahoo, I get a message that the camera is occupied by another application. I get the same message when I try to use the Toshiba webcam application.

I looked thoroughly over the web and found no useful solutions. I reinstalled webcam driver, I uninstalled all instant messaging software, even uninstalled the pre-installed Windows Life bundle provided with the original OS (Windows 7 Home Premium).

The funny thing is that I tried to use the webcam log in feature by Toshiba, which enables to log into Windows after configuring the face image, and camera turned on and I was able to complete the configuration, which means that the hardware is OK, and it’s something wrong with the software on the PC. Does anyone have any clues?

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Answers (5)
  • Jim Chambers

    Maybe the face recognition software is the problem app. My laptop’s finger print recognition software always comes up when a password is needed for websites etc..
    Check the settings to see if you can use it only for start-up password.

    • Rawand R

      Indeed, I suspected the same and uninstall face recognition software earlier, nothing happened.

  • ha14

    boot to safe mode with networking and launch webcam, if it works then it is not driver problem

    How To Troubleshoot When Skype Has No Video [Windows]
    http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-troubleshoot-when-skype-has-no-video-windows/

    Start > Control Panel > System > “Device Manager” > Imaging Devices > Select the webcam,right-click, disable, wait for a min., enable it back again.

    boot windows 7 in minimal mode
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/331796
    try your webcam if it works then start each services one by one and try your webcam eachtime untill to find out the cause.

  • Rob Hindle

    It’s not easy to find out. Windows task manager may give a clue or microsoft/sysinternals Process Explorer.
    Adobe Flash can take control of the camera and there are some malware apps that use it to spy on you – and those obviously, are well hidden. In that case a good internet security suite may help.

    • Rawand R

      I think if the cam works, a LED indicator should lit. hence, the mal-ware can’t access the cam behind my back..
      as for Flash, I think if I don’t launch explorer or Firefox it shouldn’t be activated…