6 easy fixes to get your Mac camera up and running in 2023
All models of Apple’s range of portable computers, aka MacBooks, feature in-built cameras that facilitate users to attend video conferences, capture photos, and record videos whenever needed.
The in-built cameras of Macs automatically get enabled whenever users open an application that has the ability to use them. Therefore, to unlock a Mac’s camera, users simply need to open an application that uses it. Two examples of such applications are Photo Booth and FaceTime. To know more, visit https://setapp.com/how-to/open-camera-on-mac.
The green light beside the cameras lets users know that their camera is on and functioning normally. However, on some occasions, the built-in cameras refuse to function normally.
If the Mac camera suddenly stops working, don’t assume it is a hardware issue and you must run to the nearest service center to claim warranty service. This is because there’s no camera settings app on the Mac and most applications using the Mac camera have their set of configurations. Even if you think it is a hardware issue, it can be quickly solved with the help of a few simple hacks.
Fortunately, there are multiple ways to get MacBook cameras back to working normally. Here are some of the most efficient fixes users can follow:
Terminate all Background Camera Processes
When the in-built camera on a MacBook is not working as it usually does, an efficient way to resolve the issue is terminating all background processes related to the camera. To terminate or kill all macOS camera processes, users need to follow the given steps:
Step 1 – Close all applications that use or are using the Mac’s camera.
2 – Open a new Terminal window by navigating to the Utilities section or by searching for the native utility and clicking on its icon.
3 – Input the following command – sudo killall VDCAssistant and press the “Enter” key.
In some cases, users are asked to enter the administrator password to proceed with the procedure. After this, users need to reboot their Macs to resolve the issue completely. In most instances, this trick works like a charm and resolves the issue instantly.
Restart the Mac
Although turning off a Mac and turning it back on again might sound like a generic and non-effective way of solving problems, it works exceptionally well in most cases, including instances when the Mac camera exhibits issues. To restart their Mac, users need to follow the simple given steps:
Step 1 – Take the cursor to the top-left corner of the screen and click on the Apple logo.
Step 2 – Click on the “Restart” option.
Besides following the aforementioned steps, users can also shut down their Macs and turn them back on again using the dedicated power button to do the job efficiently. After the Mac has restarted, users simply need to open the app in question and check whether the problem is resolved.
Provide Permissions to Applications to Access the Camera
All applications on Mac require permissions to function normally. Hence, if you own a MacBook and are facing issues when trying to use the camera, the issue may be related to the permissions, i.e., the app may not have the permissions required to start up the camera.
If this is the case, giving the app the required permissions is the best course forward. To do so, you simply need to follow the given steps:
Step 1 – Open the “System Preferences” utility on your Mac.
2 – Open the “Security & Privacy” window.
3 – Click on the “Privacy” tab, followed by the “Camera” option.
4 – Enable or turn on the toggle beside the application that is struggling to access the Mac’s camera.
Check for applications using camera at the same time
The Mac camera is automatically turned on by the applications using it. It is critical to note here that the camera can only be used by a single app at a time.
Hence, if the camera is not working, check whether it is being used by another application.
To check this, open the Activity Monitor > quit all the other applications using the camera like Photo Booth, FaceTime, Skype, etc.
If you are unsure which application is using the camera, you can save your work and close all apps. Then, restart the app you want to use and see if the problem is solved.
Reset the System Management Controller
The System Management Controller or the SMC is responsible for managing power-related activities and processes on Macs. There are times when a Mac’s SMC prevents the device’s camera from functioning properly. Fortunately, there is an easy way to resolve the issue – resetting the SMC.
Here are the steps following which users can reset their MacBook’s SMC:
Step 1 – Power off the Mac.
2 – Press and hold the “Shift,” “Option,” and “Control” keys together along with the dedicated power button for 10 seconds.
3 – After 10 seconds, release all the keys together.
Note – This trick works only on Macs powered by Intel chips. Users whose Macs are powered by Apple Silicon chips are advised to close and open their MacBook’s lid when trying to solve the issue.
Download and Install the Latest macOS Updates
Sometimes, an outdated macOS version prevents native utilities from functioning normally, including the apps that require access to the Mac’s camera. To make sure that they operate normally again, you simply need to download and install the latest macOS update by following these two steps:
Step 1 – Navigate to the “System Preferences” utility and click the “Software Update” option.
Step 2 – Click the “Update Now” option if any new updates are available.
After installing the latest updates, restart your Mac and launch the camera-using application to use it normally.
Although it seems complicated, getting a MacBook camera to work normally again is an easy task, especially if users follow the efficient fixes mentioned above.
However, if the camera issue persists after following the tricks mentioned above, you may have to run to the nearest Apple service center.