Built-In Camera Isn’t Working on Your Mac

Discover what to do if your Mac’s built-in camera doesn’t turn on or appear in an app.

Check the Camera Indicator Light

If there is a green light flashing next to the camera on your Mac notebook, please contact Dave’s Computers.

Make Sure Your Mac’s Software is Up to Date

Always keep your Mac products up to date with the latest software. To avoid any data loss, make sure to perform a backup before installing an update.

Once you back up your device, go to the Apple Menu > System Preferences > Software Update. If the option “Upgrade Now” is available, click that button to install the newest update.

Check Screen Time Settings

If you have Screen Time enabled on your Mac running macOS Catalina, make sure the camera is turned on and apps have available time to use it.

To check, go to the Apple Menu > System Preferences > Screen Time. From here, click Content & Privacy in the sidebar, then click Apps, then make sure the checkbox for Camera is selected. Next, you’ll want to go to App Limits located in the sidebar.

Make sure the Limits checkbox is not selected if you need to use your camera with an app from the list.

Give Apps Permission

If your Mac is using macOS Mojave or later, you can choose which apps have access to your built-in camera by going to the Apple Menu > System Preferences > Security & Privacy. In the Privacy tab, click Camera. Check the box next to the apps that you want to use your camera in. You might need to quit and reopen an app before it can access your camera.

Try Another App

If your camera isn’t working in one app, try opening it in another. For example, test to see if you can use Photo Booth even if FaceTime isn’t cooperating. If you can use your camera in one app but not the other, there’s probably something wrong with the app itself rather than the camera.

Reset the SMC

If the built-in camera on your Mac isn’t working, resetting the SMC might help.

Contact Us

If you are still having trouble with your built-in camera, please contact Dave’s Computers for additional help.