Laptop Webcam working fine, only displaying black screen

I used my laptop as normal on Wednesday for a Zoom meeting, no issues.
I tried to log into my Zoom meeting on Friday morning, and all I'm getting is a black screen. The camera function is working correctly, it's just not displaying anything but a black screen.

I've rebooted the laptop twice, checked the camera permissions, updated Zoom, tried the camera on the Windows camera app and through Discord and, (which is erroring out every time I try it,) so the issue is my laptop, not Zoom. 
I checked the camera drivers, no new updates. 
I checked for Windows updates, and installed Feature Update Win10, v20H2 last night, and restarted the laptop again.
The only step on the internet guides that I have not tried is to remove the laptop battery and re-install it, and I'm not confident enough to do that.
I do not have a F10 "camera-off" function button. I did recently stick on a camera privacy shield, maybe 5 weeks ago. Yes, it's open.

Now, it's a 6-year-old laptop that I never unplug, so the battery is probably shot, and it's currently blinking red and stuck at 72% (not charging higher, afraid to unplug in case it goes lower.) Would that have any affect on the webcam?

It's an Asus Model N56JN, Win10, ESET, Chrome browser. I bought it as a workhorse, have never used it to its full potential. I could invest in a (another) new battery (this time out of warranty), or I could get a modern laptop for about the same price as the battery replacement that'll handle docs & internetting just fine.


  • JS_MC
    Hello @MelissaG Welcome to the community! I'm sorry to hear that you're experiencing issues with your webcam.
    Thanks for the details of what you've tried so far!
    are you sure that you've closed all apps that may be using the webcam? Your webcam can only be used by one program or app at a time. Also, have you tried uninstalling the Webcam driver and then reinstalling it?

    To uninstall your webcam driver, open your Device Manager and then selecting Cameras. Right-clicking the camera and then uninstalling the driver. You should then be able to restart the computer and then reinstall the webcam drivers.
    If this doesn't work for you, here's an article from ASUS about troubleshooting steps for your webcam.
    Please let me know if this doesn't resolve the issue for you, I'd be happy to continue to work through this with you!
  • MelissaG
    Thank you for responding, Landshark! I went ahead and uninstalled the driver and restarted my laptop, twice. Both times, when I turned it back on, the camera was operational again without needing me to re-install the driver. The black screen persists. I then Disabled Device in the same popup, and re-enabled it, thinking that might break any connections with any programs. I'm fairly sure, between all the restarts and the uninstalling/disabling, that no apps *should* be monopolizing the webcam. 

    The next steps in the guide involve a restore point, which I have not done and therefore cannot restore to, and completely resetting the system, which I'm nervous about doing. I'll plug in my portable HDD and run a backup tonight anyway.

    I really suspect it may have to do with the battery. Is that a possibility?
  • JS_MC
    Hmm, sounds like it's possible that a battery reset may offer a solution.
    You should be able to pull the battery out easily.
    There is a lock switch on the bottom of your laptop that holds your battery in place.
    Sliding this and pulling the battery out would allow you to fully reset the laptop. I'd recommend leaving the battery out for at least 2 minutes.
    If you're uncomfortable with this, I'd recommend bringing it into our service department. We can offer a diagnosis for $39.99.
    I hope the battery reset is the answer for you! Let me know!
  • MelissaG
    UPDATE: Working now.
    The next suggestion was a reset, which I'd prefer not to do, but I got out my portable HDD and backed up my computer for the first time in a couple years (I know).  Within minutes of the backup being completed, the camera started working again! No idea why.

    Thanks for your help! I may still do the battery reset, but for now, problem solved! 
  • JS_MC
    Interesting, but thank you for the update! We're glad to hear that you're back up and running!
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