Update Webcam Drivers for Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7

Introduction

A webcam is, simply put, a camera that works in tandem with a computer to capture both still images and video. Some of the more popular manufacturers of webcams are Logitech, D-Link and Creative.

This device often comes in many shapes and forms. Some are built in directly into the screen of the device, which is the case for laptops and a few monitors. More commonly though, it is a standalone device that you need to plug into a computer’s USB port for it to work.

It’s most popular use is for video chatting with friends, family and colleagues through Skype or Yahoo Messenger. A webcam is also often used to take pictures like in a photo booth, as a makeshift baby monitor and for recording videos that can be uploaded to popular sharing sites like YouTube and Facebook.

Common Problems

It might look like a very simple device at first glance but operating it can prove to be a difficult task. For a webcam to work properly, your computer needs to have the proper webcam drivers installed. This is responsible for the smooth flow of data between the webcam and the PC, translating the images and videos the camera sees into digital form that can be read by the computer.

Sometimes though, the webcam’s driver may not be working properly. Some symptoms you might experience include:

  • Seeing a black box where the webcam image should be
  • Blotchy video or muffled sound
  • Sounds not in sync with the video
  • No sound at all (though the video shows up fine)
  • Webcam doesn’t shut down even after use. You can still see the little light notifying you that it’s still on.
  • The computer can’t detect the webcam at all.

Troubleshooting

Firstly, make sure you shut off any other programs and only use the webcam’s included camera application to check if it works in that manner.

If it still doesn’t work, you need to determine if the issue is with the webcam itself or if it is due to the drivers included. A quick and simple way to check is to plug in the webcam and install its accompanying drivers into a different computer.

If it works with that computer, then we can safely say that the issue is with the first computer. Otherwise, it might be the webcam hardware itself that is defective or there is a problem with the manufacturer’s included drivers.

A driver issue, thankfully, is easy to check. All you need to do is to go to the manufacturer’s website and search for the model number of the webcam you have. With any luck, it will show you links to updated drivers that you can download to get your device working.

If that doesn’t work for you or if you want a quicker solution, we have a utility that will help locate and install the correct webcam drivers for your system. It also automatically updates any other outdated system drivers you may have, possibly solving any conflict issues between your webcam’s drivers and your computer’s other drivers (which can also be the cause of your webcam’s malfunctioning). Click here to download our driver update tool.

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