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Isight not working

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Casual Tourist


My internal isight camera on my Mac is not working within skype. It appears in the camera options under preferences however the screen is black. The camera works fine in other applications such as photo booth and Imovie. I have read that removing CamCamX file could help. I have tried to locate this file and I dont seem to have it on my mac. If anyone has any suggestions it would be greatly appreciated. 



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Message 1 of 36 (72,174 Views)
35 Replies
Routine Adventurer

I also get this issue from time to time. I think it has to do with how the Mac manages the built-in iSight's system resources. It happened to me on Leopard and Lion as well. I didn't have Snow Leopard long enough to use Skype (it was used only as a migration path to Lion)



As one type of workaround, I've found that you can usually open the Preferences and the iSight image will appear there.


Steps to do this:

1. If you are in a call with video activated, hit the camera icon to turn off the camera from within the call.


2. Go to Skype -> Preferences -> Audio/Video section


3. See if the iSight shows you your image in this dialog. If it does, without closing the preferences window, click on your call window and attempt to turn the camera back on. You may see a black box in the call window itself but you'll still be able to see the actual live image from the preferences pane.


In other workarounds, just check to see which applications are running that may make use of the iSight, even if they are not currently active or using the camera at the time. This would include QuickTime, iMovie, MacCam, FinalCut, PhotoBooth, YouTube, Facebook, etc., basically anything that would import camera stills/videos or that uses Flash (Flash Video can use the system microphone and/or camera if you so allow it). Quit out from any such applications, web browser tabs/windows, etc., Quit Skype, then re-launch Skype and try to use the iSight again. If you've used the iSight in any other applications since the last time you rebooted, then rebooting the system may help to reset things (like a stuck driver, for example, to release the resources holding it up).


Second, if you have other devices like an external camcorder or such attached, try unplugging them from the system before you reboot, just incase some wild app has seized them and somehow interferes with the iSight's ability to function as expected.


Best of luck to you!

Message 2 of 36 (72,096 Views)
Novel Tourist

I am having the same problem. It says the camera is in use by another program if I try to use it on skype (even when there are no other programs running). It works fine in the Photobooth program and ichat. 


None of the work arounds worked. Anybody else know how to fix this?

Novel Adventurer

Got the exact same problem. Got a black screen in the preference pane and impossible to get video active.


My camera works on others program like facetime or photobooth.


I'm running on the latest skype version available (5.3.xx).

Message 4 of 36 (72,041 Views)
Novel Tourist

Same issue.  New install for Mac OS X Lion.  Under preferences in Skype it detects the iSight but the preview is black.   Restarted computer and just opened skype with the same result

Message 5 of 36 (71,959 Views)
Novel Tourist

I have the exact same problem.  One month ago it worked fine, but I turned skype on last week and I get just a green screen for my video feed.  I have skype and Mac os x 10.6.8.  I have tried multiple fixes, including uninstalling and reinstalling various versions of skype half a dozen times, disabling and enabling my isight, resetting my skype preferences, running skype with no other applications running and even shutting off my computer for an hour with the battery out.  I have also heard of deleting the camcamx file, but cannot locate it on my computer.  This problem has been a source of constant frustration for me over the past week.  I just want it to work.  Like everyone else, my isight works with every single other application that uses it.  None of the suggestions I have been able to find fix this "bug," so I am at a loss as to what I should do.

Message 6 of 36 (71,853 Views)
Novel Adventurer

I am not sure how many people this will help, but I was having the same issue. The isight camera would not work in skype after upgrading to OSX 10.7. After a bunch of research  and no answers I did more digging. I forgot that I was using a security software called Redhand. Redhand uses the camera to photograph someone trying to access your computer when it's locked. I turned off Redhand and my camera works again. I hope this helps someone else.

Message 7 of 36 (71,760 Views)
Novel Tourist

I'm having exactly the same problem, camera works fine with photo booth, but skype doesn't work at all, just a black screen. running os 10.6.3

Message 8 of 36 (71,684 Views)
Novel Tourist

I am having the same problem. Brand new Mac, and a black video feed. Any more suggestions. I am also running Lion.



Message 9 of 36 (71,573 Views)
Novel Tourist

Same here... frustrating. Currently looking into other video alternatives. Skype seems far overrated for this many problems.

Message 10 of 36 (71,507 Views)
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