How-to get your webcam working again in Messenger

You have a webcam, connect it to your computer, but Messenger doesn’t recognize it? There are several tips you might try out.

  • Restart Messenger. The camera might appear now.
  • Doesn’t work? Restart Windows, having the webcam plugged in (if external).
  • Is the cable connected correctly?
  • Look in “My Computer” (Windows XP) or “Computer” (Windows Vista). Does your camera appear there? Messenger might have a problem with your camera. Contact the Windows Live team, including information about your webcam model.
  • Press Win+R. Type “devmgmt.msc”, and look in the appearing “Device Manager”. Your camera is not listed there? Your computer might have problems with either the USB Host Controller or the webcam driver itself.
  • Did you recently upgrade Windows? You might need a new driver version. Check your manufacturer’s website for new drivers, using the exact name and model of your webcam. If there is no recent driver—that’s bad.
  • Still no luck? If you are using Windows XP: Open Internet Explorer, and navigate to Microsoft Update. Check for “Custom search”, and look if there are any driver upgrades available from the “Hardware” section. If you are using Windows Vista: Use the Windows Update applet in the Control Panel.

It doesn’t work yet? Hmm, *scratches his head*.
Maybe one of you guys got an idea. Feel free to leave a comment.

Thanks to C.N. for the idea to this post!