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

Rawand R January 9, 2013
Ads by Google

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?

  1. Jim Chambers
    January 11, 2013 at 3:52 am

    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
      January 15, 2013 at 9:38 am

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

  2. ha14
    January 9, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    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]

    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
    try your webcam if it works then start each services one by one and try your webcam eachtime untill to find out the cause.

  3. Rob Hindle
    January 9, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    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
      January 15, 2013 at 9:40 am

      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...