Skype Can't Access My Philips Webcam

by David Nield

While it does have audio calling and instant messaging features, you're not really using Skype to its full potential if the software can't utilize your webcam. If you're struggling to get Skype working with a Philips webcam, the issue could lie with Skype, with Windows or with the webcam itself.

Troubleshooting Your Webcam

Double-check the connections between the webcam and the computer, ensuring the webcam is firmly plugged in. Switch to an alternative USB port to see if this makes any difference. Run the webcam's supplied software or an alternative webcam tool (such as Yahoo Messenger) to see if the webcam works with any software or if the issue is restricted to Skype. If you cannot get the webcam working at all, repeat the installation process from scratch as detailed in the supplied instructions. In addition, download and install the latest drivers for the device from the Support section of the Philips website (link in Resources), making sure to choose the right downloads for your operating system.

Troubleshooting Skype

Uninstall Skype through Control Panel, then download and install the latest version of the client for your operating system from the official site. This ensures the most recent bug fixes and compatibility updates are applied, as well as removing any corrupted files, data or registry entries associated with the program. Check the camera settings from the Options entry on the Tools menu to see if Skype can access the webcam correctly.

Troubleshooting Windows

Open the Windows Update section of Control Panel and download and install the latest updates for your version of Windows. This ensures maximum compatibility with both the hardware and software on your system. If you're running Windows XP, download the latest version of DirectX from the Microsoft website. Downloading and installing the latest drivers for your video card or graphics adapter can also help resolve the issue, and you'll find these online at the video card or motherboard manufacturer's website.

Troubleshooting Third-Party Programs

Another possibility is that a third-party program on your system is using your webcam and preventing Skype from accessing it. Close down any applications you think may be doing this, particularly any video capture or home surveillance applications. Shutting down the software supplied with the Philips webcam may also help. Malware may also interfere with your webcam and Skype -- to check for this, download the most recent updates for your anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall tools, then run a full system scan looking for problems.

About the Author

An information technology journalist since 2002, David Nield writes about the Web, technology, hardware and software. He is an experienced editor, proofreader and copywriter for online publications such as CNET, TechRadar and Gizmodo. Nield holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and lives in Manchester, England.

Photo Credits

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