Zoom camera works in test but not meeting, Help plz.
November 21, 2020 4:19 PM   Subscribe

This is the most boring thing to ask, I'm so sorry. I scoured the old answers and good ole Google for help before bringing this here, but I'm about to throw this dang computer out the window. It's an HP Pavilion laptop, Zoom was working fine for a long time, and now the camera says "Failed to start the video camera. Please select another video camera in Settings." and before that it was saying "camera being used by another application" but it ISNT! I need zoom every day, and haven't been able to have a camera for two months now, and it's driving me up a wall.

When I use the 'test video' in Zoom it works totally fine, I see myself, everything's great! But then in the meeting, the camera won't work for one of the two reasons above. I've tried uninstalling and reinstalling zoom, dis-enabling and re-enabling the camera itself, turned the computer on and off a hundred times, did everything google told me to do and I'm still here. I've shut off every other thing in the background that I could think to. I don't get why it works in the test but not the meeting... the privacy settings of the computer are set to allow camera for Zoom also.

I wonder if I hit some button at some point, it is probably something super simple, but I've exhausted my abilities and I really need it to work. please help. apologies again for the zoom-related question, as I think the whole world is suffering from Zoom-fatigue. thank you.
posted by emirenic to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Zoom does a terrible job of auto-updating, but I have to admit some sympathy for them; not many companies have had to navigate the path from “somewhat interesting player in a relatively niche market” to “tier-1 critical-path global infrastructure” in like six weeks.

Re-download their most recent client and install it fresh. That’s where to start, and might well work.
posted by mhoye at 4:54 PM on November 21, 2020 [3 favorites]

Have you looked to see if your laptop has new firmware or drivers for the camera on the HP site? That's the only other thing I can think of trying, when I've had this issue in the past turning it off and on always seemed to fix it for me
posted by JZig at 5:00 PM on November 21, 2020 [4 favorites]

Do any other programs use the camera properly?
posted by wenestvedt at 5:13 PM on November 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

This is a long shot, but I've had the same problem. Do you by any chance have a Logitech webcam? Do you have Logitech Capture installed? That's the error message I get when Logitech Capture is running; I have to shut down Logitech Capture, shut down Zoom, then restart Zoom. (If you have another webcam + associated software, it may be something similar?)
posted by Jeanne at 6:18 PM on November 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

You are referring to the laptop's built-in camera, right? You might just consider buying a webcam and seeing if that fixes your problem. Granted, you'll have to shell-out some cash (about $42 for this Logitech C270 camera), but it might solve your problem. Since uninstalling and re-installing Zoom didn't work for you, and you've been suffering for two months, maybe this would be a worthwhile investment. Plus, you can always return the camera if it doesn't work.
posted by alex1965 at 7:58 PM on November 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

By any chance did you or someone else install a program/app that enhances your lighting or makes it easier for you to use a virtual background or add filters? I tried that once and the app takes control of running your camera and you have to point zoom to “filterCam” and not “UsualPCWebcamName.” Except FilterCam (not a real name) is crummy and buggy and is running but not showing up in the options.
posted by kimberussell at 8:02 PM on November 21, 2020 [3 favorites]

It turns out a software update on my Lenovo had a privacy setting, which would not let me stream from my webcam. HP might have something similar?
posted by politikitty at 9:12 PM on November 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Yeah I'm talking about the built in camera. I think I already uninstalled and reinstalled it but I'll try that one more time, and the other stuff y'all are talking about is a bit over my head (I am not super computer savvy!) but getting a webcam is actually a pretty good idea I think! That doesn't seem too expensive for something I really need. Thank you all, I'm going to read these all again slower and see if I get more from it haha
:) thanks again!
posted by emirenic at 4:44 PM on November 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I have a feeling I only 'deleted' and didn't actually *uninstall* Zoom last time, this time it seems to have done the trick. Hopefully that's that on that, thank you all so much. Still thinking of a webcam also, could be helpful!
posted by emirenic at 6:16 PM on November 22, 2020 [3 favorites]

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