Before jumping into any online meeting, you’re going to want to make sure everything is in working order, especially your webcam. More and more, it’s expected that participants turn on their cameras to participate in the meeting. Why? Seeing each other’s faces forges a better human connection. It’s helpful to put a face to the name if there are people you haven’t met and if you can’t meet in person, well, video chat is the perfect placeholder!
Whether you’re hosting or participating, you want to leave a good impression and that means your face should be coming through clearly without disruption or delay. Are you using a standalone camera or embedded? It totally depends on your device and while most mobile devices (like smartphones, tablets, and laptops) come with embedded cameras, standalone is still commonly used.
Here are a few ways to test your webcam before a meeting, plus some troubleshooting tips.
Typically, stand-alone webcams are pretty pain-free. They are designed to be effortless by simply being plugged in and played, and turned on and turned off. Issues aren’t common, but in the case of a problem, consider the following common possibilities:
- This can be obvious but is oftentimes accurate – Try eliminating the source of power first especially if you’re using a standalone webcam. Start by double-checking it’s not only plugged in but that it’s a secure connection. Try a different port too.
- These days, the majority of webcams don’t require the installation of a software driver, but if you have a camera that doesn’t seem to work, look at the manufacturer’s website or consult the user guide for further instruction. This is especially helpful if the camera is an older model.
- Usually, once the webcam is plugged in, you should see a prompt or drop-down menu. If not, then look to see if your current webcam is selected. Oftentimes, an old connection might still attempt to connect. In that case, delete the old one and make sure the new one is selected.
- Some programs have a “lock” feature, so check to see if your webcam is running in the background or being used by another program.
- And if it’s still not working, then try the age-old solution of shutting down your device and turning it back on. There could be a problem with the port or corrupted software.
Once you’ve ruled out all of the above methods, you can jump online to find a site that will help you sort through your technology. Most video conferencing software comes with its own test (and with FreeConference.com you get an all-in-one diagnostic test that checks more than just your video!), but if you want to make sure that the camera itself (external or embedded) is fully functioning, then try the following options:
How to Test Your Webcam Online
Connected to the internet? Good! From here, you can search “online mic tester” to come up with a few sites that give you a fast and easy way to check your camra. Usually, all you have to do is open the page and click “play.” You will receive a prompt that asks you for permission to use our camera. Click allow, and you will be able to see a live preview.
How to Test Your Webcam Offline on Mac
This is a great hack that most operating systems on laptops come with:
- Click on the Finder icon.
- Click on Applications from the list on the far left-hand side.
- In the Applications folder, look for Photo Booth. This will pull up your web camera’s feed.
- If you have an external webcam, look at Photo Booth’s drop-down, drag your cursor to the menu bar towards the top of the screen and click Camera.
How to Test Your Webcam on Windows
Windows has a camera program that can be opened up using the Start menu. Your external or embedded camera can be accessed from here and opened up for further investigation. The camera app also comes loaded with settings and controls for navigating how your camera works. Look to the Settings option on the bottom left window
For Windows 10, open the Cortana search bar on the taskbar then type Camera into the search box. You will be asked permission to access the webcam. From there, you will be able to see the camera’s feed.
How to Test Your Webcam With FreeConference
While all the above are excellent for testing your webcam, FreeConference has a Call Diagnostic Test that allows you to run through all your gear in your video conferencing platform. You don’t need to venture anywhere else, everything is conveniently located in one place. FreeConference.com tests your microphone, audio playback, connection speed, and video before your meeting. Just one click of a button and all your tech is checked for a frictionless experience in your online meeting.
With FreeConference.com, you can feel confident entering any meeting knowing your video conferencing technology is top-notch. You cover the hardware, and FreeConference has you covered for the software. Browser-based technology ensures your connection is fast, easy, and seamless.