Camera not working on Chromebook? Here’s what you can do

There’s nothing more annoying than attending a video call or using a video app only to find out your camera’s not picking up anything. Camera not working on Chromebook is a very common issue that you may have experienced at least once or twice.

More often than not, this common issue is mostly resolved by doing some basic troubleshooting. Since most concerns are software-related, it’s safe to say that your issue might come from the same branch.

Before you freak out and fill out a request to have your device repaired, we highly recommend checking out our troubleshooting steps first. We have a general rule when it comes to sending in devices for repairs – see if it’s not software-related. Trust us, this is worth checking out.

camera not working on Chromebook
Isn’t it frustrating trying to get on a video call but your camera’s not working? Image Credit

The best troubleshooting step for camera not working on Chromebook

More often than not, the camera issues that Chromebook is experiencing can be due to a lot of reasons. The most common ones are apps not being able to detect your camera.

Here’s the bitter reality: not all Android apps are capable of detecting the camera hardware found on Chromebooks, especially on older models. If you suspect that his may be the case, we have provided some troubleshooting steps to make things easier:

  1. Check default Camera app on Chrome OS. If it works, your issue is mostly software-related (compatibility issues)
  2. If it doesn’t, check other apps that uses the camera. If the result is consistent with your stock camera app, there’s a big possibility it’s hardware-related
  3. Perform a System Reset/Powerwash – this is considered your Hail Mary attempt on resetting everything to its factory preset. This is a common solution to camera not working on Chromebook according to a handful of users.
  4. If issue still persists, it’s time to contact your Chromebook manufacturer

How to Power Wash Chromebook

powerwash your chromebook
  1. While on the lock-screen, press CTRL + ALT + Shift + R or ESC + Reload + Power
  2. Choose Restart and Select Powerwash
  3. Hit Continue and follow the on-screen instructions
  4. Sign in with your Google Account
  5. Follow on-screen instructions until you finish Chromebook Start-Up
powerwash confirm
Hit Continue whenever you’re ready. Image credit

External Webcam Options

If for some reason your camera not working on Chromebook is hardware-related, then it’s time to consider Plan B – buy an external USB webcam. The upside of this method is you’ll get a better camera compared to all the built-in ones found on all devices.

We’ve came across this website that lists down the best webcams for Chromebook. This is a good alternative if you’re looking to fix your camera problems without spending a fortune on a new Chromebook.

Here’s a basic rundown of their recommended products:

best 1080p webcam
The Logitech C920 Webcam is one of the best cams you can use on Chromebook.

From our initial research, we found that most USB webcams should work on Chrome OS without issues. However, we highly recommend Logitech products as they are plug-and-play devices and the audio and video quality are fairly decent compared to its competitors.

Conclusion

Hardware devices break and give out overtime – and some happen far sooner than the others. If your camera is not working on Chromebook due to hardware issues, we believe that the best option is to get an external webcam before buying a new one.

While new Chromebooks offer better hardware components, compared to a real HD webcam, even the best built-in camera is pale in comparison with a Logitech C922. Sure, it may be inconvenient setting it up, but the quality that you would get is more than enough to compensate for the minor inconvenience.

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