Webcams stop working after Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Webcams stop working after Windows 10 Anniversary Update

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update, aka version 1607, has been found to leave many webcams inoperable.

The update prevents the use of webcams in applications such as Skype and Open Broadcaster Software (OBS), along with all manner of custom CCTV programs.

The Anniversary Update changes some aspects of how Windows handles cameras.  The issue appears to affect both USB webcams and network-connected IP devices. Traditionally in Windows, only one program has been permitted to access a camera at a time. If you’re using the camera in Skype, for example, other applications such as the Windows Hello facial recognition cannot use the camera.

Windows 10 1607 includes a new component to address this.  A system service called the Windows Camera Frame Server connects to the data streams from the webcams. Regular applications connect not to the camera hardware directly, but to this new frame server component.

Microsoft explained that the design of the frame server is the issue as it cannot handle compressed data that webcams typically use to transmit high quality video.

This means many people who use webcams to communicate with colleagues, friends or stream to services such as Twitch are currently unable to do so.

Microsoft is working on a way to fix the problem and get webcams working again. The fix is likely to be released in September.

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