USB Webcam showing as Hidden in Device Manager

I have a USB Camera attached to my PC which is running Windows 10. When it was first connected everything seemed to be working as expected. When I last tried to use it with the Camera App that comes with Windows 10 I got an error message that tells me it can't find the camera. I opened Device Manager and the USB Camera does not appear under Imaging Devices until I select "Show hidden Devices". I've tried Updated the Driver bur the system tells me I have the latest Driver. I've read various forums and tried various "Fixes" without any results. The antivirus software I have is Windows Defender and I can't find anywhere to unblock the camera (if this is what is happening). If anyone has had this issue have they managed to get their camera working again?

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Hi,

 

The above issue might occur due to incompatibility of the webcam drivers with Windows 10 OS installed on the computer.

 

Before we assist further, what are the methods tried to resolve the above issue?

 

If haven’t tried, uninstall and reinstall the webcam drivers manually from Device manager by following the steps below and check if the issue is resolved.

 

  1. Connect the webcam to the PC, press Windows logo + X keys on the keyboard and select Device manager from the context menu.
  2. Expand and locate the webcam drivers, right click and select Uninstall from the context menu. Remove the camera device.
  3. Restart the computer and check if the drivers install automatically on connecting the device to the computer.
  4. Open Camera app and check if the issue is resolved.
  5. If the issue persists, download and install the latest and most compatible webcam drivers from the manufacturer’s website and check if the issue is resolved.

 

Refer to Windows can’t find or start the camera article and check if it helps:

 

Write to us with the methods tried to resolve the issue and the status of webcam showing the error message and the device drivers hidden in Device manager on the computer in the same post for further assistance. Your reply is most important for us to ensure we assist you accordingly.

 

Thank you.

 

 

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Hi Likhitha V,

I’m not convinced this is a driver issue at all as the issue appears to be that something has decided to make the device hidden hence the other apps on the PC not being able to find it. However here are the steps I have just tried as outlined in your reply.

  1. The webcam I have is an eSecure webcam, this is connected to a USB port and I know that power is being supplied to the Camera as the lights on the camera can be turned on.

  2. Opened the Camera App (as supplied with Windows 10) and the “We can’t find your camera message” appears.

  3. Opened Device Manager

  4. Expanded Imaging devices. Used the menu option under View to Show Hidden Devices. USB2.0 Camera is then listed.

  5. Right clicked on the device and selected Uninstall. Message box asking me to confirm Uninstall appears and I select OK.

  6. Webcam is removed from Device Manager list.

  7. Removed Webcam from USB port.

  8. Restarted PC and opened Device Manager. As anticipated no Webcam under Imaging devices even when Hidden Devices is selected.

  9. Re-attached Webcam to USB port. Device is still not visible under Imaging Devices.

  10. Opened Camera App and the “We can’t find your camera message” still appears.

  11. Scanned for hardware changes in Device Manager and the Webcam is still not visible.

  12. Power still being supplied to Webcam as the lights still operate.

So now I have a webcam attached to the system that I cannot see in Device Manager or use under any app.

 

When I ended up in a similar state to this before, by following similar steps (as described in other forums found by searching Google for this issue) I had to restore my PC back to a previous Restore point. To get the Webcam to be visible in Device manager again.

 

Regarding drivers, the manual supplied with the webcam states that the “eSecure Webcam does not require an installation driver CD. Simply plug in the USB wire to your computer and the drivers will automatically be installed”. As mentioned in my original post the Webcam worked when it was first attached but something, somewhere chose to make it invisible to the system.

 

The help on the error message mentions it may be blocked by Antivirus software. I have Windows Defender running and cannot see any setting that may be causing this blocking to happen but I'm not certain that I know enough to state that this categorically not the case.

 

Do you have any other ideas for me to try? Do I revert back to the restore point to at least get the PC to recognise the Device (albeit in a hidden state)?

 

Any further help would be appreciated.

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Hi,

 

Please reply, did you make any system changes prior to the issue?

 

The issue might have occurred due to certain hardware issues experienced by the operating system on the computer.

 

Method 1: Run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter by following the steps below and check if any of the hardware components is missing or corrupted.

 

  1. Press Windows logo key on the keyboard, type troubleshooter and select the top most search result.
  2. Click on View all from left side panel of the screen.
  3. Select Hardware and Devices, click on Advanced option and check Apply repairs automatically option.
  4. Follow the on screen instructions and wait for the troubleshooting to complete.
  5. After troubleshooting is completed, check the status of the troubleshooter shown on the window.

 

Method 2: Since the Camera app does not detect the webcam attached to the computer, run Windows apps troubleshooter to check if the any of the app files and folders are missing or corrupted.

 

In many cases, the Windows Store will automatically notify you if there’s a problem with an app and try to fix the problem. If you continue experiencing problems with an app, this tool can automatically identify and fix some problems with apps and the Store.

 

Write to us with the status of webcam drivers hidden in Device manager and not able to detect the same device using Camera app on the computer for further assistance. Your reply is most important for us to ensure we assist you accordingly.

 

Thank you.

 

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Hi,

Thanks for the response. No hardware changes were made prior to this issue being experienced.

Tried method 1 as you described. Received a message which says – “Install a driver for this device. The driver for Unknown device is not installed. Install the latest driver for the device”. I selected “Apply this fix”. PC then had to be restarted to finish installing drivers and updates so I closed the dialogue box and restarted the PC. Once the restart was complete I did a couple of checks:-

  1. Opened the Camera App – still receive the “We can’t find your camera” message.

  2. Opened Device Manager – USB Camera still does not appear under Imaging Devices even when “Show Hidden devices” is selected.

Then opened the Windows Apps Troubleshooter which said that it couldn’t identify any problems.

I’m not certain what you mean by “Write to us with the status of webcam drivers hidden in Device manager and not able to detect the same device using Camera app on the computer for further assistance”. As mentioned above the Webcam is still not listed in Device manager and the Camera App still can’t find it.

Should I return to a previous restore point to a t least get the device listed in Device Manager even if it is in a hidden state?

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Hi,

 

Since the issue persists and the webcam drivers were detected under Device manager before, perform System Restore and check if the issue is resolved.

 

If you think an app, update, software or a driver that you recently installed or uninstalled caused problems with your PC, you can restore Windows back to an earlier point in time, called a restore point. System Restore doesn’t change your personal files, but it might remove recently installed apps and drivers.

 

Refer to Restore for a system restore point article to restore back to an earlier point on the computer.

 

Note: Though it is said that System Restore does not affect your personal information such as email, documents, photos, videos, etc., but there is highly possible that some of your personal files are deleted while system restoring.

 

During System Restore, there may be errors and such errors may cause damage to the files that are present in the system. And, computer shutdown during restoring process may also lead to file loss. Sometimes when System Restore is failed, it may lead to loss of important files as well.

 

Write to us with the status of the webcam issue experienced on the computer for further assistance. Your reply is most important for us to ensure we assist you accordingly.

 

Thank you.

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Hi,

Thanks for the response. When I started the PC this morning (with the webcam connected to the USB port) I did a few checks before anything else. Webcam still not being recognised by the Camera app. Webcam still not being listed in Device Manager (hidden or otherwise). Power is going to the Webcam as the lights on Webcam still operational. The microphone (integrated into Webcam) is operational as Cortana responds.

I then started a System Restore. The oldest restore point I was offered was 28/6/16 (Last critical update installed). Upon PC reboot I received a message saying that “System Restore was successful”.

Current state is that “USB2.0 Camera” is again listed in Device Manager under Imaging Devices but only when “Show Hidden Devices” is selected. I right clicked on the device and tried to Update Driver software but received a message to say that the “best driver software for your device is installed” which is the “USB Video Device” driver. Camera App still doesn’t recognise that a Webcam is attached.

Are there any tips or tricks that I can apply that will enable me to have the “USB2.0 Camera” device in a permanently visible state rather than hidden? Have you had any app or malware reported that hijacks the camera and makes it hidden to the system?

Any further advice would be appreciated.

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Hi,

 

The issue might also occur if the device or app is blocked by the antivirus security software installed on the computer.

 

Check if the app or device is blocked by the antivirus security software installed on the computer. If blocked, unblock to check if the issue is resolved.

 

Refer to the link below on Viewing Hidden Devices article and check if you can permanently make the device driver visible in Device Manager.

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/ff553955(v=vs.85).aspx

 

Write to us with the status of webcam drivers hidden and Camera app not detecting the device on the computer for further assistance. Your reply is most important for us to ensure we assist you accordingly.

 

Thank you.

 

 

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Hi,

As mentioned in my original post "The antivirus software I have is Windows Defender and I can't find anywhere to unblock the camera (if this is what is happening)." If you happen to know where I can go to see what (if anything) the Defender software is blocking please tell me and I'll check.

I read the Viewing Hidden Devices article and I think this is basically telling me what I've been doing all the time to see the USB camera in device manager. However Viewing the device in the list isn't allowing the Webcam to be "seen" by the Camera App. I need to be able to mark the device as visible or accessible to the system and I'm not certain any instruction you've given tells me how to do this.

Thanks for your continued help.

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Hi,

 

Refer to the steps below and check if the app is blocked in Windows Firewall settings:

 

  1. Press Windows logo + X keys on the keyboard and select Control Panel from the context menu.
  2. Select System and Security from the options and click on Allow an app through Windows Firewall under Windows Firewall.
  3. Check if webcam is located in the box and uncheck to unblock the device on the computer.

 

Write to us with the status of webcam issues experienced on the computer for further assistance. Your reply is most important for us to ensure we assist you accordingly.

 

Thank you.

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Hi,

Firstly apologies for not getting back sooner but I've been on holiday for a couple of weeks and didn't have access to my PC.

I'm trying to check whether the webcam is blocked or not by following your instructions. I've followed Step 1 and 2 OK as requested. Your step 3 implies to me that I should now see a list of blocked apps in a box. However when I click on Allow an app through Windows Firewall what I get is a list of the allowed Apps and Features rather than a list of Blocked Apps. I cannot see webcam or anything similar in the list of allowed apps.

Did I follow your steps correctly. Am I missing something here?

Webcam is still classed as hidden in Device manage and the Camera App still cannot see it.

Regards

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Last updated January 13, 2021 Views 14,894 Applies to: