How to Fix a Mac’s Built-in Camera That Isn’t Working

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The built-in camera on Apple Macs (MacBook and iMac) makes video calls simple. FaceTime can be used for video chats with loved ones or for professional purposes. And third-party apps like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and even Skype operate seamlessly with the camera

image credits: technika10

However, users may be unable to make calls if the camera on their Mac stops working. This article includes every conceivable solution for the Mac’s built-in camera not working.

1. VERIFY APPLICATION PERMISSION TO USE WEBCAM

We frequently install programmes in a rush and neglect to provide sufficient permissions, particularly for video calls. It’s a good idea to double-check if you’ve refused camera permissions for any app you want to use. Follow the steps below.

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Step 1: Open Spotlight Search by pressing Command + Spacebar, then typing System Preferences and pressing Return.

Step 2: Select Security & Privacy from the drop-down menu.

Step 3: Select Camera from the left-hand menu.

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On the Mac, you’ll get a list of all the apps that have access to the camera.

Allow an app to use the built-in camera by following these steps.

Step 1: At the bottom left, click the Lock symbol.

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Step 2: Sign in with your Touch ID or password.

Step 3: Select the checkbox next to the app’s name to enable camera access.

Step 4: To save your changes, click the Unlock symbol.

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2. REMOVE WEBCAM SCREEN TIME LIMITATIONS

The macOS Catalina introduced the Screen Time feature. This software allows you to keep track of, control, and restrict app usage on your Mac. You may also use Screen Time to disable the webcam for a set amount of time. If your Mac’s built-in camera isn’t working, look into the Screen Time limits. Follow the steps below.

Step 1: To open System Preferences, click on the icon or press Command + Space. Type system preferences into Spotlight and press Return.

Step 2: Select Screen Time from the drop-down menu.

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Step 3: Select Content & Privacy from the Screen Time menu.

Step 4: Go to the Apps section.

Step 5: Verify that you have permission to use the camera. If not, enable it by checking the box.

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3. USE WEBCAM TO FORCE QUIT AND RESTART APPS

You can try force-quitting and restarting any apps that need your Mac’s built-in camera. If another programme, such as FaceTime, is already accessing the camera, you can close and restart those apps. You can also force quit and restart your browser if you’re browsing a website that requires you to click a picture through the camera.

Follow the steps below.

Step 1: In the top-left corner, click the Apple logo.

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Step 2: From the drop-down option, choose Force Quit.

Step 3: Select the app that is using your webcam from the Force Quit tab and click Force Quit.

Step 4: Restart the programme and try again using the webcam.

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4. FOR INTEL-BASED MACS, RESET THE SMC

If you have an Intel-based Mac, you can try to fix the problem by resetting the SMC (System Management Controller). It’s a chip that manages and stores crucial information about your Mac’s hardware functionality. The built-in camera is controlled by one of them. Follow the steps below.

Step 1: Select Shut Down from the Apple logo.

Step 2: Restart your Mac after a few seconds of waiting.

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If the instructions above don’t work, here’s another option.

Step 1: Restart your Mac and shut it down.

Step 2: Hold the Shift + left Option + left Control keys together. Also, press and hold the Power button.

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Step 3: Hold the four keys down for another seven seconds. While you hold down the keys, your Mac will play the start-up bell once more.

Step 4: Restart your Mac after releasing all four keys.

5. USE TERMINAL TO RESTART THE BUILT-IN CAMERA

When you use an app that requires it, your Mac’s built-in camera will instantly launch. If this does not work for you, you can use the Terminal app to manually restart the built-in camera. This is how.

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Step 1: Open Spotlight Search by pressing Command + Spacebar, then typing Terminal and pressing Return.

Step 2: Type sudo killall VDCAassitant and hit Return in the Terminal programme.

This command will force all apps that use the webcam to close.

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Step 3: Press Return after entering your Mac password.

Try using the webcam in the app or on the website.

6. IN THE SYSTEM REPORT, CHECK THE CAMERA ID AND MODEL NAME

If none of the following ways work, the built-in camera hardware may have been destroyed. You may check this by going to your Mac’s System Report menu. Follow the steps below.

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Step 1: Select About This Mac from the Apple logo.

Step 2: Select System Report from the drop-down menu.

Step 3: From the left menu, choose Camera.

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The model ID and Unique ID of your built-in camera should appear on the screen.

If it doesn’t, your Mac’s camera is either broken or unusable.

In that situation, you should go to an Apple Service Center that is certified.

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FIX YOUR MAC’S BUILT-IN CAMERA

If your Mac’s built-in camera stops working, these solutions can assist. When buying a new Mac, it’s always a good idea to get the Apple Care+ plan. Also, if you’re using your Mac in a very demanding setting, the camera may not respond (temperature-wise).

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