webcam used by another app
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Getting error Your webcam is being used by another application while using video calling apps on your Laptop. This can be annoying, especially if you’re not sure which application is causing the conflict. A number of users report this issue occurs with the integrated webcam on the Laptop and external cameras attached to the desktop computer, and it’s not specific to a particular app. This issue can occur due to various reasons, such as background processes or multiple applications trying to access the camera simultaneously. Again outdated camera drivers, security software blocking camera access, and applications don’t have permission to access camera on your laptop. Whatever the reason here is How To Enable A Webcam That’s Blocked By Another Application on Windows 11/10.

Camera Is Being Used by Another Application

Multiple reasons contribute to this error “Camera Is Being Used by Another Application” Outdated camera driver, antivurs blocking camera access, Multiple Instances of the Same Application or software glitches are common.

  • Sometimes, other applications may be running in the background and accessing your camera without your knowledge. This can include communication tools, video conferencing software, or browser extensions.
  • If your camera drivers are outdated or incompatible with the software you’re trying to use, it can result in conflicts and errors.
  • Your operating system or specific applications may have privacy settings that control which programs are allowed to access the camera. If these settings are misconfigured, it can cause issues.
  • Occasionally, software or system glitches can interfere with the proper functioning of hardware components like the camera.
  • While less common, it’s possible that there’s a hardware issue with your camera or related components.

Close Unnecessary Applications

If may be other applications may be running in the background and accessing your camera without your knowledge.

  1. Press Ctrl+shift+Esc to open the Task Manager.
  2. Review the list of running applications and look for any using the camera.
  3. Select the application using the camera and click “End Task” to close it.

Again if you are using an external webcam, disconnect and try connect it to a different USB port.

If you have third-party antivirus installed on your PC, In your antivirus app, look for settings related to blocking access or permission to use your webcam. Or temporarily disable or uninstall the antivirus and check whether the problem is solved or not.

Before applying any solutions simply restart Windows 10. This will refresh the system and fix minor software conflicts that may be causing the problems.

Allow apps to access your camera

The common reason for this error “Your webcam is currently being used by another Application” because the app doesn’t have permission to access the camera on your computer. Several users encountering the same exact problem have reported this issue was fixed after changing the camera app permission for that particular app.

Review and adjust your system’s privacy settings to allow applications the necessary permissions to access the camera.

  • Press Windows key + R, type ms-settings:privacy-webcam and click ok
  • Here make sure that the toggle associated with Allow apps to access your camera is turned On.
  • Again click on the Change button (under Allow access to the camera on this device) and ensure that the toggle associated with Camera access for this device is turned on.

Allow access to camera

Disable and Enable the Integrated Camera

Here is another possible solution help a few users unblock webcam or camera that is Blocked by another application in Windows.

  • Press Windows key + R, type devmgmt.msc and click ok
  • This will open the device manager and display all installed device driver list,
  • locate and expand the Cameras section right-click on the integrated camera and select Disable device.
  • Wait for a few seconds, again right-click on the integrated camera this time select Enable device.
  • Now, go back and check if the camera is working with the application.

Turn Off the Firewall

If you are getting this error while using web based video calling, it might be your Firewall blocking access to the site.

  • Press Windows key + R, type firewall.cpl and click ok
  • This will open the Windows Defender Firewall page, Click on Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off option on the left.
  • Select the radio button next to Turn off Windows Defender Firewall (not recommended) under both Private network settings and Public network settings.
  • Press OK to save changes and exit.

Turn off windows Defender firewallReset the Camera App

It’s quite possible the error message is caused because of a software glitch or a bug in the camera app. Let’s reset the camera app to its default settings that probably help fix the problem.

  • Right-click on the Windows 10 start menu select Apps & Features
  • In the right-pane, scroll down and click on Camera then Advanced options link.
  • This will open a new window with the option to reset the camera app, click reset
  • On the confirmation pop-up, click on Reset to confirm.
  • Restart your computer and see if you are still getting the error message on your computer.

reset camera app to default setup

Update Camera Drivers

Again corrupted or Incompatible webcam drivers also cause different problems or prevent apps complete video calls on Windows 10.  Reinstalling the webcam driver is probably a good solution to fix the problem.

  • Right-click on the Start button and click on Device Manager
  • This will display all installed device driver list, locate and expand the entry for Cameras (or Imaging Devices),
  • Right-click on your webcam select properties, Move to the driver tab then click uninstall the device,
  • when the confirmation popup opens click uninstall again and restart your PC.

Uninstall camera

  • Again, open Device Manager, this time click on the Action menu then select Scan for hardware changes.
  • Wait for it to scan and reinstall updated drivers, restart your PC, and then try opening the Camera app again.

Also, visit the webcam manufacturer’s website to download and install the latest Webcam and camera Drivers. If you have a Laptop (For example Dell laptop) visit the Dell support site for Webcam & Camera Drivers.

Check for Software Updates

Keeping both your applications and operating system up-to-date is essential for ensuring hardware compatibility and resolving potential conflicts. Updates often include bug fixes and improvements for smoother operation.

Open Microsoft Store,  click on the Library icon then click on Get Updates button. Wait until you get Your apps and games are up to date prompt.

To install Windows updates, Open the settings app using Windows key + I, Go to update and security then hit the check for updates button.

Again Running a thorough antivirus scan helps detect and remove any potential malware or malicious software that may be causing conflicts with the camera.

If your webcam still doesn’t work, try looking for help on the webcam manufacturer’s website.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What does the message “Webcam is Being Used By Another Application” mean?

  • This message indicates that another program or application on your computer is currently accessing your webcam, preventing other applications from using it simultaneously.

How can I identify which application is using my webcam?

  • Check your taskbar and system tray for any open applications or background processes that may be using the webcam. Also, check for any open browser tabs with active camera access.

Can I disable the exclusive access to my webcam by other applications?

  • Some webcam settings may allow you to disable exclusive access, but it’s not recommended as it can lead to conflicts between applications. It’s better to manually close any apps using the webcam when not needed.

How do I manage webcam permissions on Windows 10?

  • You can manage webcam permissions in Windows 10 through “Settings” > “Privacy” > “Camera.” From there, you can toggle on or off which applications have access to the camera.

What if I still can’t use my webcam after closing other applications?

  • If the issue persists, consider checking for driver updates for your webcam. Outdated or corrupt drivers can sometimes cause conflicts.

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Steve Ballmer
With over 7 years of experience in the IT industry, I have experience in IT support, helpdesk, sysadmin, network admin, and cloud computing. Certified in Microsoft Technologies (MCTS and MCSA) and also Cisco Certified Professional in Routing and Switching.