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Troubleshoot Zoom Video Not Working

Authored by:
Support.com Tech Pro Team
This Guided Path® was written and reviewed by Support.com’s Tech Pro team. With decades of experience, our Tech Pros are passionate about making technology work for you. We love feedback! Let us know what you think about this Guided Path by rating it at the end.

Introduction

Many organizations require that their associates have both audio and video sharing enabled when participating in Zoom video conferencing meetings. If your device is having problems sharing video with other meeting participants, or is having major issues with quality once it's started, these are no doubt problems you'll want to address quickly.

Common video sharing issues with Zoom are related to video sharing not starting at all, your device not allowing the Zoom app to access the camera, or quality issues that can make your video feed very unpleasant for others to look at.

Regardless of which issue you're experiencing, we'll help you make sure your settings are where they should be. This guide will walk you through what to do if you're experiencing any of these Zoom video sharing issues.
Zoom banner

1 My Camera Does Not Work

If you've joined a Zoom meeting, but you are unable to see the video of the other participants, or your own camera isn't outputting any video, there could be something wrong with your camera or its settings, or this could be a limitation or restriction of the meeting room you've joined. Check the following to make sure your camera and settings are where they need to be.

Check the status of your camera within Zoom

The camera status button within the Zoom meeting control bar is easy to spot. It will be displaying one of two statuses. Depending on how the meeting you've joined has been set up, your video may be started for you automatically, or you may need to enable your video manually after joining.

Microsoft Windows|Apple macOSHow to Check Camera Status on Windows or Mac
  1. You can easily check the video status by looking at the camera icon on the bottom left of your Zoom Meeting window.
    The mute and video buttons for the Zoom meeting app
  2. The video icon has two different meanings:
    Your Camera is Turned On
    If you see a white camera on a black background, it means your camera is working and others should be able to see you. If your camera is turned on, it will give the option of turning it off.
    Your Camera is Turned Off
    If you see a white camera with a red strikethrough, it means others should not be able to see you. If your camera is turned off, it will give you the option to turn it on. If no camera is plugged in or available, the menu arrow will not be available and you will receive an error when trying to start video.
  3. Click the camera button to toggle between starting and stopping your camera video.
Google Android|Apple iOSHow to Check Camera Status on Android or iOS
  1. You can easily check the video status by looking at the icons at the bottom of the app.
    Bottom of the iOS app for Zoom
  2. The video icon has two different meanings:
    Your Camera is Turned On
    If you see a white camera on a black background, it means your camera is working and others should be able to see you.
    Your Camera is Turned Off
    If you see a red camera with a red strike-through, it means others should not be able to see you but you shouldn't be having any trouble seeing them.
  3. You can switch your camera from back or front using this button.
    The switch camera button

Check camera settings and/or permissions

Zoom has its own set of Video Settings that manages the camera that's connected or built-into your device. These can be used on a computer to select the correct camera and alter certain output settings. In the case of smartphones or tablets that run Android or iOS, we must make sure Zoom has the correct permissions to make use of the built-in camera.

Microsoft Windows|Apple macOSCheck Zoom Video Settings on a Windows or Mac Computer
  1. While actively on a meeting you can click the arrow next to Start and Stop video.
    The video menu toggle
  2. Click Video Settings.
    Video settings menu selection
  3. In the settings window you'll see a preview of what your webcam can see. If you don't see a picture, make sure your webcam is connected. If it is connected, make sure the correct camera is selected.
    Zoom camera selection
  4. Make sure that all other programs that use the camera, such as Skype, Hangouts, FaceTime, etc. are not using it or are closed.

    You may need to close and reopen Zoom to be able to initialize the camera.

  5. If you have an external camera but you can't see the live view, you may need to unplug and plug it back in, or even try a different USB port.

    Make sure you close Zoom before doing this, and only open it after the camera is plugged back in.

    USB port and connector
Google Android|Apple iOSMake Sure the Zoom App has Permission to Use the Camera on Android or iOS DevicesMake sure Zoom has permission to use your device's camera. Without this permission, Zoom's video function will be blocked. Though Zoom asks for this permission when the app is initially installed, you can still access it through settings.

Giving Permission to Zoom on Android

  1. Navigate to your Android device's Settings.
    Android Settings
  2. Tap Applications then Application Manager.
    Applications and application manager selection
  3. Tap Zoom.
    Selecting Zoom
  4. Make sure Zoom has access to your device's camera. If it does not, you may need to reinstall the App.
    Camera permission is given

Giving Permission to Zoom on iOS

  1. Navigate to Settings.
    iOS Settings
  2. Tap Privacy.
    iOS privacy tab
  3. Tap Camera.
    Camera selection for privacy settings
  4. Make sure Zoom's permissions have been toggled on or green.
    Zoom's permissions are green

Make sure your camera is up-to-date or has the latest drivers

Camera issues can sometimes be caused by outdated or corrupted drivers. Drivers are specific software that tell the operating system how to operate the computer's internal components.

WindowsUpdate the Camera Driver on a Windows PC
  1. Search Device Manager.
    Windows 10 search bar
  2. Select Device Manager.
    Windows 10 search bar showing device manager
  3. Select the small arrow next to Imaging devices to expand that section. If Imaging devices doesn't show in the list, look for Cameras instead.
    Windows 10 device manager showing Imaging devices.
  4. Double click the camera to show its properties. Select the Driver tab.
    Camera properties with Driver tab highlighted.
  5. Select Update Driver.
    Driver Properties with Update Driver highlighted.
  6. Select Search automatically for updated driver software.
    Update Drivers with Search automatically for updated driver software highlighted.
  7. Windows will automatically locate any update available drivers.
    Update Drivers searching for drivers.
  8. If any updated drivers are available, you'll be offered the chance to install them. Once installed, or if none are available, close the driver updater.
    Driver up-to-date with Close highlighted.
AppleUpdate the Camera Driver on a Mac

There are two areas to check for updates for your Mac, the System Software and the Apps installed from the App Store. When you update your Mac System, it will also update your video drivers.

Update System Software

  1. Open the Apple menu, and select System Preferences.
    macOS Mojave Apple Menu with System Preferences highlighted.
  2. Select Software Update.
    Software Update Preferences
  3. Any updates to your System Software will be offered here.
    Software Update Preferences

Update App Store Apps

  1. Open the Apple menu, and select App Store.
    macOS Mojave Apple Menu with App Store highlighted.
  2. Select Updates on the left. Any updates available will be offered here.
    App Store with Updates highlighted.

2 The Quality of My Video is Bad

While you're attending a Zoom meeting, if other participants are having difficulty properly seeing you, or if there are complaints about your video feed being blurry, fuzzy, or choppy - this may indicate that your device is struggling with the connection to the meeting room. This can be caused by a lack of system resources (processing power or memory), a poor connection to the internet, or a malfunctioning or low-quality camera. While the following solutions may not apply to the device you're using, the following can be attempted to improve the quality of your Zoom video output.

Close any apps your device is not using

The computer, tablet, or smartphone you're using to attend your meeting may be performing poorly due to its processor (CPU) being overworked by too many apps at once, or a lack of available memory (RAM) could be causing some slowdown. Also, if multiple apps are also accessing the internet at the same time, this could be leaving Zoom with very little bandwidth while you're connected to your meeting. The best way to make sure this isn't a problem for your device is to quit or close any apps that aren't being used before joining your meeting.

WindowsClose Apps on a Windows PC Closing Unused programs will give your computer more resources to use elsewhere.
  1. Press the CTRL + ALT + DEL keys on your keyboard at the same time.
    keyboard with control, alternate, and delete keys highlighted
  2. Choose Task Manager from the screen that comes up.
    Lock screen showing task manager highlighted
  3. You will see a list of programs that are open. Choose a program you are not using, and click on End Task. Repeat as needed.
    Task manager with a program and end task highlighted. Screenshot
AppleClose Apps on a Mac

When you hit the red circle to close a window, the program may still run in the background. If you run too many applications at the same time you can have issues where you run out of memory, or an open program is using a good chunk of your CPU, and decrease battery life.

There are 2 ways to close a program on your Mac. The first way is preferred.

Quit A Program Normally

  1. Look at the Dock, the bar with the icons, usually at the bottom of your screen.
    Mac Dock with running items highlighted.
    • Items that are running have a small black dot below them. Select that item to bring that App to the forefront.

Finder, the first icon on the bar, will always be running, and can be ignored.

  1. Select the name of the program from the menu bar at the top, then choose Quit.
    App menu with Quit highlighted.

Force Quit a Program

  1. Select the Apple menu, then select Force Quit.
    Apple menu with Force Quit highlighted.
  2. Select the program you are having problems closing, then select Force Quit.
    Force Quit window with app and Force Quit button highlighted.
  3. You will be prompted to confirm, select Force Quit.
    Force Quit dialog with Force Quit button highlighted.
  • Any unsaved work will be lost from a program that you Force Quit.
  • You can not close the Finder application.
AndroidClose Running Apps on an Android Device
  1. Tap Recent Apps at the bottom of the screen.
    Home screen with the Recent Apps button highlighted.

    The Recent Apps button may be located on either the bottom left or bottom right as either an onscreen button or a physical button. If you're unsure which button it is, please refer to the user manual of your android device.

  2. Either tap the X or swipe to the side to close an app.
    Recent Apps screen with arrows indicating to swipe to the right on an app to close it.
AppleClose Running Apps on an iPad or iPhone

The way to show all running apps on an iOS device varies with the model you have:

  • Older iOS devices, up to the iPhone X, still come equipped with a circular home button beneath the screen.
  • Newer iOS devices, beginning with the iPhone X, no longer come equipped with the circular home button beneath the screen.

On iOS Devices with a Home Button

  1. Double-press the Home button quickly.
    Home button highlighted on iOS device.

On iOS Devices Without a Home Button

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen and pause slightly in the middle of the screen.
    Arrow showing slide direction on iOS screen.
  1. You will now see a list of apps that are currently open. Swipe up on any of the apps to close them.
    Recent programs screen with arrows indicating to swipe up on an app

Reboot the device you'll be connecting to your meeting with

Slow performance may also be caused by underlying issues such as not enough memory. This can be quickly resolved by simply rebooting the device.

After rebooting your device, there may still be the need to close some apps that start up with it.

WindowsReboot a Windows PC
  1. Select the Start menu, then select Power.
    Windows 10 Start Menu
    Windows 10 Power Button
  2. Select Restart.
    Windows 10 Power menu with Restart highlighted.
AppleReboot a Mac
  1. From the menu bar across the top of the screen, select the Apple menu, then Restart...
    macOS Mojave Apple Menu with Restart highlighted.
AndroidReboot an Android Device
  1. Hold down the power button on your Android device.
    Android Phone with power button highlighted.
    Depending on the manufacturer and model of Android device you have, the location of the power button will vary.
  2. Select Power Off.
    Power menu with Power off highlighted.
    If the menu does not pop up, continue to hold the power button, and your Android device will shut off.
  3. Wait 30 seconds.
    Wait 30 Seconds
  4. Push and hold the Power button for a few moments, and your Android device will start back up.
    Android Phone with power button highlighted.
AppleReboot an Apple iOS Device
  1. Push and hold the Power button for a few moments.
    iPhone with power button highlighted.
    Depending on the model of iPhone you have, the location of the power button may be on the top or on the right-hand side.
  2. Slide the Power symbol on your screen to the right to shut down your iPhone.
    Slide to Power off Prompt with power switch highlighted and arrow indicating to slide to the right.
  3. Wait 30 seconds.
    Wait 30 Seconds
  4. Push and hold the Power button for a few moments to turn your iPhone back on.
    iPhone with power button highlighted.

Troubleshoot your Internet connection

If your device's performance isn't an issue, poor video quality issues can be caused by a slow or struggling Internet connection. Troubleshooting an Internet connection can become a bit complicated and may take a longer time to resolve. Whenever possible, we suggest that you use a computer that can be hardwired to your Internet equipment rather than using WiFi, as WiFi speeds will always fluctuate. In the case that you need to troubleshoot your internet connection, the following guides may be of use to you:

If possible, use a different camera or device

If all of the above has been exhausted and you're still having video issues, it may make the best sense to try a different device entirely or replace the camera on the device you're working with (if possible).

Unfortunately, the cameras that are built-into your smartphone, tablet, or laptop computer cannot be removed or replaced. While an external camera of far better quality can be connected to your laptop using a USB connection, there is no way to add a different camera to a smartphone or tablet. These types of devices would need to be replaced or upgraded entirely if using a different device altogether is not an option.

Upgrading your device's camera will only improve the way others see your video feed. This will not improve the video quality of other meeting participants.

 

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Many organizations require that their associates have both audio and video sharing enabled when participating in Zoom video conferencing meetings. If your device is having problems sharing video with other meeting participants, or is having major issues with quality once it's started, these are no doubt problems you'll want to address quickly.

Common video sharing issues with Zoom are related to video sharing not starting at all, your device not allowing the Zoom app to access the camera, or quality issues that can make your video feed very unpleasant for others to look at.

Regardless of which issue you're experiencing, we'll help you make sure your settings are where they should be. This guide will walk you through what to do if you're experiencing any of these Zoom video sharing issues.
Zoom banner

If you've joined a Zoom meeting, but you are unable to see the video of the other participants, or your own camera isn't outputting any video, there could be something wrong with your camera or its settings, or this could be a limitation or restriction of the meeting room you've joined. Check the following to make sure your camera and settings are where they need to be.

Check the status of your camera within Zoom

The camera status button within the Zoom meeting control bar is easy to spot. It will be displaying one of two statuses. Depending on how the meeting you've joined has been set up, your video may be started for you automatically, or you may need to enable your video manually after joining.

Microsoft Windows|Apple macOSHow to Check Camera Status on Windows or Mac
  1. You can easily check the video status by looking at the camera icon on the bottom left of your Zoom Meeting window.
    The mute and video buttons for the Zoom meeting app
  2. The video icon has two different meanings:
    Your Camera is Turned On
    If you see a white camera on a black background, it means your camera is working and others should be able to see you. If your camera is turned on, it will give the option of turning it off.
    Your Camera is Turned Off
    If you see a white camera with a red strikethrough, it means others should not be able to see you. If your camera is turned off, it will give you the option to turn it on. If no camera is plugged in or available, the menu arrow will not be available and you will receive an error when trying to start video.
  3. Click the camera button to toggle between starting and stopping your camera video.
Google Android|Apple iOSHow to Check Camera Status on Android or iOS
  1. You can easily check the video status by looking at the icons at the bottom of the app.
    Bottom of the iOS app for Zoom
  2. The video icon has two different meanings:
    Your Camera is Turned On
    If you see a white camera on a black background, it means your camera is working and others should be able to see you.
    Your Camera is Turned Off
    If you see a red camera with a red strike-through, it means others should not be able to see you but you shouldn't be having any trouble seeing them.
  3. You can switch your camera from back or front using this button.
    The switch camera button

Check camera settings and/or permissions

Zoom has its own set of Video Settings that manages the camera that's connected or built-into your device. These can be used on a computer to select the correct camera and alter certain output settings. In the case of smartphones or tablets that run Android or iOS, we must make sure Zoom has the correct permissions to make use of the built-in camera.

Microsoft Windows|Apple macOSCheck Zoom Video Settings on a Windows or Mac Computer
  1. While actively on a meeting you can click the arrow next to Start and Stop video.
    The video menu toggle
  2. Click Video Settings.
    Video settings menu selection
  3. In the settings window you'll see a preview of what your webcam can see. If you don't see a picture, make sure your webcam is connected. If it is connected, make sure the correct camera is selected.
    Zoom camera selection
  4. Make sure that all other programs that use the camera, such as Skype, Hangouts, FaceTime, etc. are not using it or are closed.

    You may need to close and reopen Zoom to be able to initialize the camera.

  5. If you have an external camera but you can't see the live view, you may need to unplug and plug it back in, or even try a different USB port.

    Make sure you close Zoom before doing this, and only open it after the camera is plugged back in.

    USB port and connector
Google Android|Apple iOSMake Sure the Zoom App has Permission to Use the Camera on Android or iOS DevicesMake sure Zoom has permission to use your device's camera. Without this permission, Zoom's video function will be blocked. Though Zoom asks for this permission when the app is initially installed, you can still access it through settings.

Giving Permission to Zoom on Android

  1. Navigate to your Android device's Settings.
    Android Settings
  2. Tap Applications then Application Manager.
    Applications and application manager selection
  3. Tap Zoom.
    Selecting Zoom
  4. Make sure Zoom has access to your device's camera. If it does not, you may need to reinstall the App.
    Camera permission is given

Giving Permission to Zoom on iOS

  1. Navigate to Settings.
    iOS Settings
  2. Tap Privacy.
    iOS privacy tab
  3. Tap Camera.
    Camera selection for privacy settings
  4. Make sure Zoom's permissions have been toggled on or green.
    Zoom's permissions are green

Make sure your camera is up-to-date or has the latest drivers

Camera issues can sometimes be caused by outdated or corrupted drivers. Drivers are specific software that tell the operating system how to operate the computer's internal components.

WindowsUpdate the Camera Driver on a Windows PC
  1. Search Device Manager.
    Windows 10 search bar
  2. Select Device Manager.
    Windows 10 search bar showing device manager
  3. Select the small arrow next to Imaging devices to expand that section. If Imaging devices doesn't show in the list, look for Cameras instead.
    Windows 10 device manager showing Imaging devices.
  4. Double click the camera to show its properties. Select the Driver tab.
    Camera properties with Driver tab highlighted.
  5. Select Update Driver.
    Driver Properties with Update Driver highlighted.
  6. Select Search automatically for updated driver software.
    Update Drivers with Search automatically for updated driver software highlighted.
  7. Windows will automatically locate any update available drivers.
    Update Drivers searching for drivers.
  8. If any updated drivers are available, you'll be offered the chance to install them. Once installed, or if none are available, close the driver updater.
    Driver up-to-date with Close highlighted.
AppleUpdate the Camera Driver on a Mac

There are two areas to check for updates for your Mac, the System Software and the Apps installed from the App Store. When you update your Mac System, it will also update your video drivers.

Update System Software

  1. Open the Apple menu, and select System Preferences.
    macOS Mojave Apple Menu with System Preferences highlighted.
  2. Select Software Update.
    Software Update Preferences
  3. Any updates to your System Software will be offered here.
    Software Update Preferences

Update App Store Apps

  1. Open the Apple menu, and select App Store.
    macOS Mojave Apple Menu with App Store highlighted.
  2. Select Updates on the left. Any updates available will be offered here.
    App Store with Updates highlighted.

While you're attending a Zoom meeting, if other participants are having difficulty properly seeing you, or if there are complaints about your video feed being blurry, fuzzy, or choppy - this may indicate that your device is struggling with the connection to the meeting room. This can be caused by a lack of system resources (processing power or memory), a poor connection to the internet, or a malfunctioning or low-quality camera. While the following solutions may not apply to the device you're using, the following can be attempted to improve the quality of your Zoom video output.

Close any apps your device is not using

The computer, tablet, or smartphone you're using to attend your meeting may be performing poorly due to its processor (CPU) being overworked by too many apps at once, or a lack of available memory (RAM) could be causing some slowdown. Also, if multiple apps are also accessing the internet at the same time, this could be leaving Zoom with very little bandwidth while you're connected to your meeting. The best way to make sure this isn't a problem for your device is to quit or close any apps that aren't being used before joining your meeting.

WindowsClose Apps on a Windows PC Closing Unused programs will give your computer more resources to use elsewhere.
  1. Press the CTRL + ALT + DEL keys on your keyboard at the same time.
    keyboard with control, alternate, and delete keys highlighted
  2. Choose Task Manager from the screen that comes up.
    Lock screen showing task manager highlighted
  3. You will see a list of programs that are open. Choose a program you are not using, and click on End Task. Repeat as needed.
    Task manager with a program and end task highlighted. Screenshot
AppleClose Apps on a Mac

When you hit the red circle to close a window, the program may still run in the background. If you run too many applications at the same time you can have issues where you run out of memory, or an open program is using a good chunk of your CPU, and decrease battery life.

There are 2 ways to close a program on your Mac. The first way is preferred.

Quit A Program Normally

  1. Look at the Dock, the bar with the icons, usually at the bottom of your screen.
    Mac Dock with running items highlighted.
    • Items that are running have a small black dot below them. Select that item to bring that App to the forefront.

Finder, the first icon on the bar, will always be running, and can be ignored.

  1. Select the name of the program from the menu bar at the top, then choose Quit.
    App menu with Quit highlighted.

Force Quit a Program

  1. Select the Apple menu, then select Force Quit.
    Apple menu with Force Quit highlighted.
  2. Select the program you are having problems closing, then select Force Quit.
    Force Quit window with app and Force Quit button highlighted.
  3. You will be prompted to confirm, select Force Quit.
    Force Quit dialog with Force Quit button highlighted.
  • Any unsaved work will be lost from a program that you Force Quit.
  • You can not close the Finder application.
AndroidClose Running Apps on an Android Device
  1. Tap Recent Apps at the bottom of the screen.
    Home screen with the Recent Apps button highlighted.

    The Recent Apps button may be located on either the bottom left or bottom right as either an onscreen button or a physical button. If you're unsure which button it is, please refer to the user manual of your android device.

  2. Either tap the X or swipe to the side to close an app.
    Recent Apps screen with arrows indicating to swipe to the right on an app to close it.
AppleClose Running Apps on an iPad or iPhone

The way to show all running apps on an iOS device varies with the model you have:

  • Older iOS devices, up to the iPhone X, still come equipped with a circular home button beneath the screen.
  • Newer iOS devices, beginning with the iPhone X, no longer come equipped with the circular home button beneath the screen.

On iOS Devices with a Home Button

  1. Double-press the Home button quickly.
    Home button highlighted on iOS device.

On iOS Devices Without a Home Button

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen and pause slightly in the middle of the screen.
    Arrow showing slide direction on iOS screen.
  1. You will now see a list of apps that are currently open. Swipe up on any of the apps to close them.
    Recent programs screen with arrows indicating to swipe up on an app

Reboot the device you'll be connecting to your meeting with

Slow performance may also be caused by underlying issues such as not enough memory. This can be quickly resolved by simply rebooting the device.

After rebooting your device, there may still be the need to close some apps that start up with it.

WindowsReboot a Windows PC
  1. Select the Start menu, then select Power.
    Windows 10 Start Menu
    Windows 10 Power Button
  2. Select Restart.
    Windows 10 Power menu with Restart highlighted.
AppleReboot a Mac
  1. From the menu bar across the top of the screen, select the Apple menu, then Restart...
    macOS Mojave Apple Menu with Restart highlighted.
AndroidReboot an Android Device
  1. Hold down the power button on your Android device.
    Android Phone with power button highlighted.
    Depending on the manufacturer and model of Android device you have, the location of the power button will vary.
  2. Select Power Off.
    Power menu with Power off highlighted.
    If the menu does not pop up, continue to hold the power button, and your Android device will shut off.
  3. Wait 30 seconds.
    Wait 30 Seconds
  4. Push and hold the Power button for a few moments, and your Android device will start back up.
    Android Phone with power button highlighted.
AppleReboot an Apple iOS Device
  1. Push and hold the Power button for a few moments.
    iPhone with power button highlighted.
    Depending on the model of iPhone you have, the location of the power button may be on the top or on the right-hand side.
  2. Slide the Power symbol on your screen to the right to shut down your iPhone.
    Slide to Power off Prompt with power switch highlighted and arrow indicating to slide to the right.
  3. Wait 30 seconds.
    Wait 30 Seconds
  4. Push and hold the Power button for a few moments to turn your iPhone back on.
    iPhone with power button highlighted.

Troubleshoot your Internet connection

If your device's performance isn't an issue, poor video quality issues can be caused by a slow or struggling Internet connection. Troubleshooting an Internet connection can become a bit complicated and may take a longer time to resolve. Whenever possible, we suggest that you use a computer that can be hardwired to your Internet equipment rather than using WiFi, as WiFi speeds will always fluctuate. In the case that you need to troubleshoot your internet connection, the following guides may be of use to you:

If possible, use a different camera or device

If all of the above has been exhausted and you're still having video issues, it may make the best sense to try a different device entirely or replace the camera on the device you're working with (if possible).

Unfortunately, the cameras that are built-into your smartphone, tablet, or laptop computer cannot be removed or replaced. While an external camera of far better quality can be connected to your laptop using a USB connection, there is no way to add a different camera to a smartphone or tablet. These types of devices would need to be replaced or upgraded entirely if using a different device altogether is not an option.

Upgrading your device's camera will only improve the way others see your video feed. This will not improve the video quality of other meeting participants.