Google Hangouts is one of Google's most popular products, and also one of the best tools out there for communicating via text, voice, and video. Regarding video communication, some users are unable to use Google Hangouts on their computers because it isn't detecting the device's webcam. In this guide, we'll show you six (6) different ways to get Google Hangouts to recognize your PC's camera so you can get back to communicating without glitches.
When you are unable to make Google Hangouts video calls on your computer because the host browser has failed to detect your webcam, the following are some of the things you can do to fix it.
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1. Check Camera Permission
When you use Hangouts on your computer (or browser) for the first time, the service typically requests for access to use your computer's camera and microphone.
Denying Hangouts camera access is one of the major reasons why the app refuses to detect the camera upon subsequent use.
To fix that, check that Google Hangouts indeed has access to use your PC's camera (via the web browser). For Chrome browser users, follow the steps below to check Google Hangouts camera permission and how to modify the settings to get your camera up and running for video calls again.
Method 1: Tinker Chrome Browser
Step 1: Tap the three-dotted menu icon on your Chrome browser.
Step 2: Select Settings.
Step 3: Select 'Privacy and security' in the Settings menu.
Step 4: On the new page, tap Site settings.
Step 5: Under the Permissions section, select Camera.
Here, you'd be able to view web apps and websites that have permission to use your PC's camera.
Step 6: If the Google Hangouts website is under the Block section, you should delete it. Simply tap the drop-down icon next to the Google Hangouts website to proceed.
Step 7: Tap the drop-down icon next to Camera.
Step 8: Select Allow.
Now head back to the Google Hangout tab on the browser, reload the page, and check if your camera is detected.
Method 2: Check Your PC's Camera
Here's a faster alternative to check that Google Hangouts isn't blocked from using your PC's camera. If there's a canceled video icon (as seen in the image below) on the URL bar of the Hangouts video call window, this means Google Hangouts has been restricted from accessing that PC's camera.
A simple way to unblock the Hangouts camera restriction is to tap on the canceled out video icon, check the 'Always allow https://hangouts.google.com to access your camera and microphone' option, and tap Done.
Now reload the Google Hangouts page and check if it now recognizes your computer.
2. Check Camera Connection
If you have an external camera hooked to your computer via USB, you want to ensure that the device is properly fitted into your PC's port and is turned on. You could also unplug the camera from your computer, close the Hangout call window and plug the camera back to your device. Reinitiate the Hangouts call on your web browser and see if it detects the camera.
If your computer, web browser, and other apps are unable to recognize the device, you could try using the camera on another computer to confirm whether it is faulty or not. If the external camera works on another computer, then you should check that your PC's port(s) are working properly and you have the necessary software/driver required for the camera to work installed on your computer.
3. Close Interfering Programs
If there are other programs and apps simultaneously using your PC's webcam at the same time as Google Hangouts, there's a high chance of interference — where one (or more) apps would not be able to use the camera. Whenever Google Hangouts doesn't recognize or detect your computer's camera, you should ensure that other apps (particularly video calling apps) that could be using your device's camera are closed and not active.
4. Close Google Hangouts/Browser
Still unable to use Google Hangouts because it won't detect your camera? You should close the browser and launch it again. Afterward, open Hangouts in a new tab and see if you're able to use your camera to make video calls.
5. Restart PC
If any of the above doesn't fix the issue, you should turn off your computer and turn it back on. Restarting your computer could help fix the issue(s) preventing Google Hangouts from detecting the camera.
6. Update Browser
A bug in your browser could also cause Google Hangouts not to work with or detect your computer's camera. If Google Hangouts works perfectly on another web browser without any camera detection issues, you should update the browser that didn't work to the latest version.
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Communicate Without Hiccups
It doesn't matter how often you use Google Hangouts for video calls and chats, nothing should hold you back from using the tool whenever you want/need to. If you're unable to make video calls on your computer because Hangout isn't detecting your PC's camera/webcam, any one of the above-listed tips should help get things back to normal.
Got important messages and media you don't want to lose on Google Hangouts? Read the next article linked below to learn how to backup and restore Hangouts messages on your Android device.