By using this site you agree to the use of cookies for analytics, personalised content and ads. Read more

Webcam being used by another program/Other Person does not see video

This topic has been archived. To keep discussions in the Skype Community relevant we archive topics that haven't seen activity in the past 6 months. Read more about about archiving
Casual Adventurer

Okay, here's the problem. I just bought a new windows 7 PC and it came preinstaled with Skype. I tested the webcam and everything seemed fine. Then we got a video call from someone that uses an ipod and the video wouldn't work. I looked and it said that my webcam could not be used because another program must be using it. Only thing is, NO OTHER PROGRAMS ARE RUNNING. Not even Explorer or Firefox.


So I decided to do some testing. First I tried downloading it on my Android phone to make sure it wasn't related to an iphone/ipod problem, still doesn't work. Then I double checked to make sure my drivers and software were all updated. Everything is up to date. Then I disabled auto-sign-in on startup in case skype was loading before my webcam driver was, still nothing.Then I tried running in compatability mode for windows xp, Skype freezes and wont even start. Now I'm officially out of ideas


So to sum it up. When I start skype, and go to video, my webcam will work, but as soon as someone tries calling, they can't see any video. I'll list all my stats below. This is very frustrating because this is the same webcam that I was using on an older computer that recently gave me problems, so I bought an entirely new computer and it works great, but now skype won't work. Why can't this stuff ever be simple?


Windows 7 64bit.

AMD DUAL CORE 1.3ghz processor

4 GB of RAM

Skype 5.9

Webcam Logitech c110

Webcam is designed to work with windows 7

Webcam software and drivers are all up-to-date

Webcam worked with Skype on windows XP just a week ago

Webcam works with other programs NONE OF WHICH are ever running in the background. Double, no Tripled checked. No messenger, Oovoo, Explorer, Firefox, Yahoo, or anything.


Does anyone have ANY ideas? This is really important to me. We recently moved out of state and this is the only way we can see my family. Thank you in advance for any help.


Message 1 of 87 (123,039 Views)
86 Replies
Casual Adventurer

One more thing. After this problem happens, the green light that indicates the webcam is being used stays on and will not shut off. So, after skype 'breaks' the webcam, no other program will work with the webcam until I restart.


BEFORE this, if I tried to use my webcam on other programs it worked fine and turns off just fine. It's only AFTER skype does whatever it does, that this problem happens. So I KNOW its Skype causing it. Whatever 'it' is.


I also forgot to mention in the original post that I have tried Uninstalling Skype. Restarting the computer, then reinstalling Skype and it still doesn't help.

Message 2 of 87 (123,012 Views)
Novel Tourist

Hi, I also have some kind of similar problem.

When I'm using skype video call, I can see another side, but my video appears "can't start video. Try closing other programs that might be using your webcam".

Even though, I only open skype program after restart my laptop without open any other programs.

I try restarting many times, sometimes my video work but sometimes it doesn't work.

I have no idea why my video call doesn't work as well.


I'm using compaq laptop window 7- 32bit

skype version

Message 3 of 87 (122,999 Views)
Casual Adventurer

This seems to be happening to multiple people. I have been searching and I've found reports of similiar problems happening since Skype 5.5 Funny how after how many updates this is still happening to some people. Does anyone here have any ideas?

Message 4 of 87 (122,970 Views)
Novel Adventurer

I have the same error: webcam being used by another program, and there isn't one running.

However, webcam was working fine for months with both Skype 5.9 and Windows 7-64 bit.  My problem began recently and coincidentally at the same time I set up a (secondary) Hotmail email account and downloaded all of the associated messaging garbage that goes with it.  Now when I open my Webcam options, it has somehow automatically linked the webcam to that email account and it won't let me unlink it. I am wondering if somehow the Windows instant messaging stuff is messing with the webcam.


The webcam itself works fine (a Logitech), it just doesn't work anymore with Skype.

I downgraded to Skype 5.5 but now based on some of the prior comments, I'm wondering if I can find an earlier version.

The response I got from Skype's help desk was unsatisfactory - they gave me instructions and diagrams that didn't even look like the options I have with 5.9 or 5.5. They ended up trying to blame it on Logitech.


Message 5 of 87 (122,945 Views)
Novel Adventurer

I found another version of this thread elsewhere on the site, and the person who responded suggested looking in the "system tray" or notifications (lower right hand of taskbar) to see what other programs were running that might be using it. Personally I looked at Task Manager.


HOWEVER - I just tried something five times in a row, and it seems to have solved my problem. I wonder if it will help anyone else.

I usually start my Logitech webcam software and THEN start Skype. This is when I get the dreaded "in use by another program" message.  But just now, I inadvertently turned on my webcam by starting Skype FIRST and going into Tools, Options, Video Settings - and that brought my webcam up.  I've just tried it over and over and it worked. It also said "Webcam in use by Skype" instead of "in use by another program".

Can it be this simple?? Please someone else try it and let me know.  BTW I have a PC with a separate webcam, not a laptop with a built-in cam, so I don't know if the laptop webcam software automatically starts before Skype.

Message 6 of 87 (122,940 Views)
Community Ambassador

You should never start webcam software before starting Skype. There is difference between webcam software and webcam drivers. Skype is using webcam drivers in order to access the webcam. If any other application is using these drivers, and this can be webcam’s own software or any other application, then Skype will not be able to access the webcam. Actually, you don’t need to have any webcam software installed on your computer for Skype being able to use the webcam. Only webcam drivers are required.

Message 7 of 87 (122,937 Views)
Novel Adventurer

When I say "software" it's whatever came on the Logitech mini-cd with the camera - it could just be drivers. But it's good to have confirmation in any case - I just never knew it.


Message 8 of 87 (122,873 Views)
Novel Tourist

I also have the same problem.Can skype technical please suggest solutions.My built in webcam was working just fine yesterday now its not.I am using a compaq laptop Presario CQ57.I can see video of the other person but they cannot see me.The error message keeps saying webcam is used by another program,The only program I have open is skype.No other programs is opened.I have gone on tools on skype to video settings and its set as my HP built in webcam.I have restarted it so many times.Still nothing.Please help

Message 9 of 87 (122,857 Views)
Casual Adventurer

I am also having the same subject problem.  When I go to Tools->Options->Video settings the video stream is OK.  So what interfering software is running during a video call that is not running when I check the video settings?  I have included some thoughts and observations below.


My webcam device name in Windows is:  USB Video Device.  The OS is Windows XP Pro SP3.  SKYPE version is  Webcam is Logitech C210 and I am using the Microsoft USB video device driver, not the Logitech drivers. I have uninstalled the other Logitech software a long time ago. 


When I open My Computer in Windows and click on “USB Video Device” the  USB Video Device window opens with webcam preview video displayed as long as no other programs are using the webcam.  If SKYPE is running and producing video (Tools->Options->Video settings), instead of good video displayed on the USB Video Device window I get the Windows video error message shown below.



Windows video error message: 


window title: Video Preview Failure.

“Creation of the video preview failed.

Please check the device connection and make sure that the device is not being used by another application or user.”



Similarly, If I start SKYPE (Tools->Options->Video settings)with no other programs running that use the webcam I get good video.   However, if I start the Windows USB Video Device preview video before I start the SKYPE video, I get the SKYPE video error  message shown below that indicates that SKYPE can’t start the video. 



SKYPE video error  message: 


Black window with white exclamation point in red circle. 

“Can’t start video.  Try closing other programs that might be using your webcam.”



While this little experiment is completely expected, I have been getting the SKYPE video error  message when I try to make video calls.  Just before the call, Tools->Options->Video settings results in a good, solid video stream.  During the call I can see and hear my contact but my contact can only hear me.  The SKYPE video error  message appears.  The webcam icon shows a red diagonal line through it.  My contact can very briefly see me when I click on the webcam icon temporarily removing the red diagonal line.  But then SKYPE returns to the error state.


As far as I could tell no other applications were running that could conflict with SKYPE and result in this error condition!  Does anyone have any additional suggestions for identifying the interfering  software or application?  Or is there some other reason this particular SKYPE video error message occurs?


Thanks in advance for any suggestions.


P.S.:  It’s too bad the SKYPE program can’t provide some diagnostic clue to help the user identify the offending application software.






Message 10 of 87 (122,764 Views)