Help Mac

Solving your video and webcam issues (Mac)

This article will help you solve problems when your video or webcam has poor quality, freezes, stops working, or you can't see the video at all. 

Start here:

  1. Use the latest version of Skype.
    We’re always improving call quality, so for best performance, make sure that you and the person you’re calling are using the latest version of Skype. Download the latest version.
  2. Check your connection.
    If the video freezes, looks block-like or has motion blur, it might be your internet connection (or your friend’s) causing the problem. If Skype detects a weak connection, it will reduce the quality to try and stop the call from dropping altogether. Check out our guide to solving connection issues.
  3. Check your webcam.
    Make sure your camera is installed, plugged into your computer, and turned on. If you’re using an external camera and you’re having problems with video, try plugging it into a different USB port. If you’re using a USB hub, try plugging it directly into your computer.

If your camera still isn't working, try the steps in one of these sections:

If you can't see your friend's video, the problem is either with their video/webcam, or with your settings.

Check your privacy settings.
Go to Skype > Preferences and then choose Privacy. Under Allow video and screen sharing from, make sure that either Anyone or Contacts is selected. If you select Nobody, you won’t be able to see any video. 


If you still can't see your friend's video, then it's likely the problem isn't yours. Recommend that your friend follow the steps in this article. 

  1. Make sure your webcam is pointing towards you and that there's nothing obstructing it. 
  2. Is your video on in Skype?
    When you’re in a video call, make sure that your video is switched on. If the video button has a line through it, like this, it means it’s switched off.


    Click the button to switch it on.

  3. Test your webcam.
    Click Skype, select Preferences, and then select Audio/Video.
    If you see video, it means your camera is working fine with Skype and is ready to be used. If Skype can't see your webcam, you won't see any video and should continue on to the next step. 

  4. Is another application using your webcam?
    Close any applications that might be using your webcam – including video-editing software, virtual camera software, instant messengers and internet browsers. If your webcam has a light to show when it’s in use and you see it when you’re not in a Skype call, then some other application is using your camera.
  5. Do you have more than one camera?
    If you have more than one webcam connected to your computer (the built-in camera plus an external one), try changing the one that Skype is using.  Click Skype > Preferences, and then choose Audio/Video. Select a different device from the Camera drop-down.
  6. Check the manufacturer's website.
    With so many brands of webcams, there may be many reasons why something might not work. Each brand is different, so it's always a good idea to check the manufacturer's website for user guides or troubleshooting help. 


Still having video issues? 
Built-in cameras in older laptops may not produce the best results. You might want to invest in a newer webcam. Check out our list of best-rated USB webcams to use with Skype.


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