How to Fix “Camera Not Detected” Issue on Mac

You use your Mac’s camera for a myriad of everyday tasks. Whether you’re on video calls on the FaceTime app, attending Zoom calls, or simply taking selfies on the Photo Booth app, the Mac Camera is necessary daily.

That’s why it’s essential to eliminate any camera issues instantly.

You’re at the right place if you’ve been seeing the Mac or Macbook “Camera Not Working” error whenever you launch your Camera app. This issue is commonly reported after various macOS upgrades, even in Big Sur.

However, the problem could be rooted in the hardware too. We’ve got all types of solutions for you wherever the issue arises.

Keep reading to find eleven ways to fix the built-in camera “Not Working” error on your Mac or Macbook.

How to Fix “Camera Not Detected” on Mac

Here are 11 troubleshooting tips to help you get rid of the Mac “Camera Not Working: error.

Restart Your Mac

The quickest and easiest way to overcome any glitch on your Mac is simply rebooting the system.

Unfortunately, minor glitches in the macOS system can cause these camera issues; it’s best to reboot your machine once.

Here’s how you can restart your Mac:

  1. First, click the Apple logo to open the menu bar in the corner of your screen.
  2. You’ll see a drop-down menu from which you have to select “Restart.”
  3. Wait a few minutes for the computer to shut down and restart.
  4. Once it’s running again, try to rerun your camera app.

You can also press the power button to turn your Mac off for a few seconds.

Then, hold the power button again to turn your Mac back on.

Restart Your Mac Camera

It may be that the glitch is just in the Mac camera app, not in the entire system.

You can fix the “Camera Not Working” issue by restarting the camera app.

Here’s you can reset the Facetime camera app on your Mac:

  1. Firstly, kill all apps that use your Mac’s camera (Photobooth app, Zoom, Facetime, etc.)
  2. Press the Spotlight and Spacebar keys together. Then, type “Terminal” in the search bar.
  3. Once you’ve opened the Terminal window, copy and paste this command there: sudo killall VDCAssistant.
  4. Then, press Enter, after which you’ll be required to enter your admin password. This will confirm the command and kill all apps.
  5. Now, you can open apps that use your Mac’s camera and check if it’s working.

Check for Mac Software Updates from System Preferences

New software updates may also have fixed the bug blocking the camera access.

If you haven’t installed the latest version of macOS, it’s best to do it immediately.

Here’s how you can update your macOS software:

  1. First, open the Apple menu by clicking the Apple logo in the corner.
  2. Next, select “System Preferences” and click “Software Update.”
  3. Finally, if any software update is available, click “Upgrade Now.”
  4. If you want to ensure that any future updates are installed automatically, check the “Automatically keep my Mac up to date.”
  5. Once the upgrade is complete, check if the camera works.

Allow Macbook Camera Access

If you’re still facing issues with your built-in camera, you may need to reset the permissions to your Mac or Macbook camera.

Here’s how you can allow camera access once again:

  1. In the Apple menu, click on the Apple logo.
  2. Next, click “System Preferences” and select “Security and Privacy.”
  3. Open the “Security and Privacy” tab and select “Camera” on the left sidebar.
  4. Check all the boxes for the apps you want camera access.
  5. Close the window and check again to see if you face the “Camera Not Working” error.

Check the Camera Indicator Light

Try this procedure if you keep facing issues with the built-in camera on your Mac.

Check the camera indicator light when an app fails to detect the Mac camera.

If it flashes a green light, there may be a hardware issue.

In that case, it’s best to contact Apple Support and get an exchange, or refund, or get them to fix the problem.

Change Antivirus Settings

If you have an antivirus installed on your Mac, it may be blocking camera access for specific apps.

If you keep seeing the “Camera Not Working” error, it would help to check and change the antivirus settings of your Mac.

Remove Screen Time Limit

Your camera is probably working on specific apps and not working on others.

For example, it may work on the Photo Booth app but not on the iChat app.

If that’s the case, it will help to remove the screen time limit on these apps.

If you’ve set a limit to using a specific app, the camera will stop working on that app once you exceed that time.

Here’s how you can change or reset the screen time limit for installed apps on your Mac:

  1. Open the Apple menu by clicking the Apple icon.
  2. Click on “System Preferences” and select “Screen Time.”
  3. Then, select “Content and Privacy” in the sidebar.
  4. Open the “Apps” tab and check the “Camera” box.
  5. Then, click “App Limits” in the sidebar.
  6. Uncheck the “Limits” boxes for all the apps you want to unrestrict.
  7. Reopen the camera app to apply these settings and check if the camera works.

Check if Mac is Detecting the Camera app

For the camera to work, your Mac must detect the camera app.

If your Mac cannot detect the camera, it may just be a hardware issue, so that you can consult Apple Support.

Here’s how to check if your Mac is detecting the camera app:

  1. First, open the Apple Menu and select “About this Mac.”
  2. Next, open the “Overview” tab and click on “System Report.”
  3. Then, go to the “System Information” menu and click “Hardware.”
  4. Finally, select “Camera,” and see the camera information and model ID number on the right panel.

If this information is unavailable, your Mac does not detect the camera app.

Apply VDCAssistant Command

The VDCAssistant can also cause camera errors since this background process manages all the camera settings.

This process can continue by closing the app to prevent further camera connections with apps on your Mac.

In the Terminal window, you can apply the “sudo killall VDCAssistant;sudo killall AppleCameraAssistant” command to fix this error.

Reinstall macOS

If all the fixes mentioned above did not help, it might be time to reinstall macOS.

Before you do anything else, you have to find out which type of Mac you have.

Here’s how you can do so:

  1. First, open the Apple menu and click “About this Mac.”
  2. Now, open the “Overview” tab and check the label Processor description.

You’ll see whether your Mac is running on Apple Silicon or Intel.

For Apple Silicon

Here’s how you can reinstall macOS if your Mac’s processor type is Apple Silicon:

  • First, start your computer in macOS Recovery.
  • Next, open the Apple menu and select “Shut Down.”
  • Next, press the power button until “Loading startup options” appear.
  • Then, select “Options” and click on “Continue.”
  • Next, follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.
  • Finally, open the Recovery app window and select “Reinstall” before clicking “Continue.”

For Intel

Here’s how you can reinstall macOS if your Mac’s processor type is Intel:

  1. Start your computer in macOS Recovery.
  2. Open the Apple menu and select “Restart.”
  3. Then, immediately press and hold the key combination that fits your needs.
  4. If you want to install the latest version of macOS, press Option+Command+R.
  5. If you’re going to reinstall your computer’s original version of macOS, press Option+Shift key+Command+R.
  6. If you’re going to reinstall your current version of macOS, press Command+R.
  7. Open the Recovery app window and select “Reinstall” before clicking “Continue.”

Create New User Account

The last thing you could do to fix the “Camera Not Working” error is to create a new user account.

Here’s how you can do so:

  1. Open the Apple Menu and select “System Preferences.”
  2. Click on “Users and Group” and press the lock icon at the bottom to unlock the preference pane.
  3. Then, press the + icon on the bottom left.
  4. Select “New Account” and then pick “Administrator” as a type of user.
  5. Now, you can enter your details, such as your full name, account name, and password.
  6. Lastly, click on the “Create User” button.
  7. Restart your Mac to enter your new password on the login screen.
  8. Launce your camera app again to see if it’s working.


Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about Mac’s camera error.

How do I turn the camera settings on my Mac?

Here’s how you can turn on the camera app on your Mac:

  • Firstly, open the Finder app and click on the “Applications” folder.
  • Next, select the “Photo Booth” app. The indicator light beside your camera means a connected camera.
  • You can also access your camera for video calls with other apps, such as Facetime or Zoom.

Can I adjust the camera for video calls on my Mac?

You cannot adjust the camera on your Mac, but you can adjust the height and angle by tilting your screen up and down. Adjusting the height of your chair or desk may also help.

It’s worth noting that you also cannot zoom in or out on a Mac camera.

On the bright side, you can connect an external camera to your Mac. Not only are they adjustable, but they also provide better video quality.


The fact that the Mac Facetime HD Camera provides better quality than most PCs makes it one of the most excellent features on the computer. That’s why you should ensure you can access it whenever you want!

You’ve probably found a solution for your Mac “Camera Not Working” issue if you’ve read all our tips. However, if the error is still popping up, it’s probably best to go to the Apple Store or run Apple Diagnostics to get it solved.