Help Windows Desktop

Solving your video and webcam issues for Skype Preview for Windows 10

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
In Skype, select Tools, then select Options. In the Skype Options window, under Automatically receive video and share screens with, make sure that either anyone or people in my Contact list only is selected. If you select no one, you won't be able to see any video. 


If you still can't see your friends video, then 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.
    If your room is too dark, your webcam will try to amplify the light to make the picture brighter, which reduces the video quality. 

  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 video button to switch it on. 
     

  3. 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.

  4. 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. Select Tools, then select Options. In the Skype Options window, select Video Settings. Select a different device. 

  5. Is your webcam installed correctly?
    Select the Windows key and type Device Manager, from the search results select Device Manager. Under Imaging devices, make sure your camera is listed. Right-click it and select Enable (if you see a Disable option, then the camera is already enabled). If it's not listed, or if you see a question mark or exclamation mark, you'll need to update your driver software. Right-click it and select Update Driver Software, then select Search automatically for updated driver software. If Windows doesn't find a new driver, try looking on the device manufacturer's website. 

  6. Have you recently upgraded from Windows 8?

    • Select the Windows key and type Run, from the search results select Run

    • Type: %localappdata%\Microsoft\Windows\1033 then select OK

    • Delete the file named StructuredQuerySchema.bin.

    • Restart your PC. 

  7. 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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