When your camera and then your images stop working – don’t panic!

Most of the time, the Microsoft Windows updates happen without incident. Sometimes you notice that something has changed, sometimes not. Then, every now and again something goes wrong with the update. It did for me last week. This is the story of the symptoms and how I fixed the problems.

No camera

What to do when your camera stops working
Now what?

We have all been using Zoom a lot over the last few months. It has been so useful for both client meetings and running workshops. So, imagine my dismay when yesterday I went onto call a client to discover my camera wasn’t working.

Investigating further, it wasn’t just on Zoom that it wasn’t working; there was a nasty blank everywhere I could access my camera. The Camera app, however, told me the camera was working fine – hmmm. That told me that it wasn’t Zoom but something to do with the operating system. I found out there was an automatic software upgrade last week. It had updated the camera driver and this obviously hadn’t worked.

How to fix this problem

  1. Uninstall the camera driver from the machine (you will need to be signed in as an admin.
  2. Reboot the machine. This reinstalls a working version of the driver.

“Registry Error” on .png and .jpg images

Having sorted the camera, I then found that I couldn’t open any images with Microsoft Photos App, set as my default viewer. It came up with an error message saying “invalid value for registry”.

Googling this, the answer was again talking about an update having failed. Microsoft obviously had a bad time last week!

The good news was that any other application can view the images, so the files themselves are OK.

How to fix this problem

  1. Take a backup of the images onto an external device, just to be safe.
  2. Go to Start > Settings > System.
  3. I wanted to find “Apps and Features”, but it wasn’t in the list, so I did a search to find it.
  4. Click on the Microsoft Photos app.
  5. When this opens, click on Advanced Options and then on “Reset”.

This solved the problem easily and I didn’t have to be admin to do it.

The moral of the story

These things happen. Just don’t panic – investigate the problem a bit further, search for answers and make a note of what to do if it happens again. I’m just hoping I don’t need to read this blog again.