How to Test Your Webcam to Ensure It Works With Skype

By Techwalla Internet Editor

If you have a webcam, you can make video calls on Skype and let your contacts see you as well as hear you. Skype works well with most webcams, but if you experience any problems, follow these steps to test whether your webcam works with Skype.

Things You'll Need

  • Internet access
  • Computer
  • Skype account

Step 1

Install your webcam. Follow the instructions that came with it.

Step 2

Update your webcam drivers. Visit the manufacturer's Web site and look for patches and updates to your driver.

Step 3

Make sure your computer meets the minimum system requirements for your webcam. Your webcam will need a certain level of memory, processor speed and other elements to function correctly. These minimum system requirements will be listed in the webcam's instructions or manual.

Step 4

Download and install DirectX (see link below). Skype recommends you install the latest version of DirectX for video calls.

Step 5

Double click the Skype icon to open Skype.

Step 6

Open the menu for video options. Click "Tools," then "Options," and then click the "Video" tab on the left.

Step 7

Enable Skype Video. Check the box next to "Enable Skype Video."

Step 8

Open the pull-down menu of devices. Select your webcam from the list.

Step 9

Click "Test Webcam." This will open the test page where you should see what your friends will see when they video chat with you.

Step 10

Click the "Webcam settings" button below to adjust the settings.

Tips & Warnings

  • Skype recommends a system with 1Ghz CPU, 512MB RAM, a video card with at least 16MB of memory (also the latest version of DirectX installed) and a 512/256kbit (down/up) connection for best performance.
  • If your available bandwidth is low, try reducing the frame rate on your webcam settings to improve video functioning.
  • Some webcams have manual-focus lenses. Try adjusting the lens to get a better picture.
  • Sufficient light is crucial to good video.
  • As of now, Skype does not support Firewire devices.