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Chromebook camera not working? Here are 8 ways to fix it.

Don’t let your next video meeting turn into a nightmare.
August 31, 2023

While Chromebooks are known for offering a robust experience at an affordable price tag, issues like black screen and display flickering can leave a bad taste in your mouth. Many Chromebook users have also complained about glitches with the default webcam on their devices. Is your Chromebook camera not working? We provide our top troubleshooting tips to fix your Chromebook camera below.


An older Chrome OS update introduced camera issues to Chromebooks. Checking for and installing any updates might fix your Chromebook camera issues. If not, consider restarting your device, checking the camera switch, and reviewing app permissions.


How to fix a Chromebook camera that’s not working

Several factors can affect your Chromebook camera. It can be due to an outdated system build, denied camera permission, an active webcam privacy switch, a buggy app, and more. Let’s go through some basics first and move to advanced tricks.

Restart the Chromebook

Most users close the lid and lock their Chromebook. However, we recommend rebooting the device once in a while to fix the usual system glitches.

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Andy Walker / Android Authority
  1. Launch the Quick Settings panel from the bottom-right corner.
  2. Click the Power button at the top.
  3. Once you completely turn off the Chromebook, press and hold the power button to switch it on.
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Andy Walker / Android Authority
  1. Launch the Apps menu and launch Camera.

Continue reading if you still see a black screen in the Camera app.

Check the webcam privacy switch on the Chromebook

Some Chromebook models, especially those offered by HP, have a dedicated privacy switch to turn off the webcam. As expected, your Chromebook camera won’t work if you accidentally enable the privacy switch.

You should locate the privacy switch on one of the sides of your Chromebook and turn it off. You should also remove any accessory like a screen protector or a privacy shutter blocking the Chromebook webcam.

If you see a blurry video feed, wipe the camera with a soft cloth.

Check the camera permission for the affected app

If one of the installed apps doesn’t have camera permission, it can’t access the Chromebook webcam and may show a blank screen. You should tweak the permission from Chrome OS Settings. Let’s take Google Meet as an example.

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Andy Walker / Android Authority
  1. Click on the notification area in the bottom-right corner and open Settings.
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Andy Walker / Android Authority
  1. Select Apps from the sidebar and open the affected app.
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Andy Walker / Android Authority
  1. Enable the Camera toggle under the Permissions menu.

You can close the Chrome OS Settings and try using the webcam again.

Enable camera permission on the web

If your Chromebook camera isn’t working in one of the web applications like Zoom or Teams, check the default camera and site settings in Google Chrome.

  1. Launch Google Chrome, type chrome://settings/content/camera into the address bar, and hit Enter.
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Andy Walker / Android Authority
  1. Select a relevant one from the drop-down menu if several cameras are connected to your Chromebook.
  2. Under the Default behavior menu, click the radio button beside Site can ask to use your camera.
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Andy Walker / Android Authority
  1. Visit your preferred website in Google Chrome.
  2. Click the lock icon in the address bar and enable the Camera toggle.

Reload the webpage, and you are all set to join the next video meeting.

Reset Google Chrome

If the Chromebook camera issue is present only in the Google Chrome browser, reset it to the default settings. It deletes temporary files and cache, disables Chrome extensions, and resets homepage customization, search engine, and pinned tabs.

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Andy Walker / Android Authority
  1. Launch Google Chrome and click the three-dot menu in the top-right corner. Open Settings.
  2. Select Reset settings from the sidebar.
  3. Click Restore settings to their original defaults.
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Andy Walker / Android Authority
  1. Select Reset settings from the confirmation box.

Update Chrome OS

A buggy or outdated Chrome OS build may mess up your Chromebook’s camera. Google is quick to resolve such critical issues with software updates.

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Andy Walker / Android Authority
  1. Click the notification center in the corner and open Settings.
  2. Select About Chrome OS and hit Check for updates.
  3. Download and install the latest Chrome OS update to check if the webcam works.

Powerwash your Chromebook

Do you still face issues with accessing the Chromebook camera? It’s time to reset the Chromebook and set it up from scratch. The steps below will delete all the apps and files from your device, so back up your important files first.

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Andy Walker / Android Authority
  1. Click the time icon at the bottom and go to Settings.
  2. Select Reset settings.
  3. Select Reset beside Powerwash.
  4. A confirmation box appears. Select Restart.

Sign in with your Google account and follow the steps to set up a new Chromebook.

If the trick doesn’t work, read our separate guide to use the Chromebook Recovery Utility to recover Chrome OS.

Contact Google and the device manufacturer 

Chromebook’s camera issues can waste your productivity hours, especially when you join or compose several video meetings during work or study hours. If the camera problem persists, try contacting Google. Press the Alt + Shift + I keys, explain your problem, and send the info.

However, it’s a long process, and Google can only help you with software bugs. You should contact the Chromebook manufacturer and get it checked by professionals. You can also ask for a replacement if your Chromebook is still covered under warranty.