How to Reinstall the Built-In Webcam in a Laptop

By Larry Simmons

Reinstalling the webcam in a laptop requires that you update your computer's operating system drivers to recognize that the webcam is present. You can update the drivers in two ways, either by running the Windows update manager in your PC or by installing directly from a driver downloaded from the laptop manufacturer's website. After installation, and rebooting your PC, the webcam should be functioning fully, both recognized and usable.

Things You'll Need

  • Windows Vista or Windows 7
  • Internet connection
  • System recovery or driver disc

Step 1

Run the "Add a device" application, accessed by clicking on the "Start" button, opening the "Control Panel," and then double-clicking on "Add a device." The "Add a device" window will open and Windows will search for devices connected to your system but not installed. Click on the webcam name that shows in the search box and then click "Next."

Step 2

Choose whether you want Windows to search for the webcam device driver using Windows Update over the Internet, or if you'd prefer to have the device manager search for the driver using a disc supplied by your laptop manufacturer. Most drivers can be found on the system recovery disc included with your laptop, if you choose to add the driver from the provided disc. Place a check in the box next to your choice and then click "Next>" to continue.

Step 3

Wait while Windows searches from the driver using Windows Update, if this was your choice. An active Internet connection is required for Windows to successfully do this. Allow the computer to install the driver and then reboot the system for the webcam to become recognized by the system.

Step 4

Otherwise, you can use the system recovery disc or a driver downloaded directly from your laptop manufacturer to install the driver without using the Windows Update search feature.

Step 5

Open the CD/DVD-ROM drive and insert the system recovery disc, or place the driver downloaded from the manufacturer in an easily accessed file directory on your PC, such as on the desktop, or in your "My Documents" folder.

Step 6

Choose the option "Install the software automatically (Recommended)" in the "Add a device" application, and press "Next>" to begin searching for your webcam driver. The hardware wizard will search the system recovery disc and install the driver automatically. Press "Finish" to close the wizard and then reboot the computer to allow recognition of the webcam. Choose the option "Install the software manually" in order to browse to the driver location where you saved the driver and install it from there. Use the opened file manager and locate the driver. Click the "Next>" button to install the driver, then reboot the computer to add webcam functionality.

Tips & Warnings

  • To avoid viruses, only install drivers downloaded from official manufacturer sources.