When you buy a web camera, all the associated webcam drivers should be on the installation disk that came with your webcam. And whatever operating system you are using – Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 – your installation disk should contain the related drivers.
Your webcam most likely will have a USB connection cord. You must first install the webcam drivers, before plugging in your new webcam. Insert the installation CD into your CD-ROM drive. The setup screen should automatically appear. If your operating system did not pick up the auto run feature, you may load the setup yourself. You can follow these simple steps to get to your webcam drivers setup.
• Click Start.
• Click Run.
• Click Browse.
• Choose your CD-ROM drive from the drop down box.
• Highlight the SETUP.EXE or INSTALL.EXE.
• Click Open.
You should now have the setup screen showing. The steps are simple and the on screen prompts will walk you through loading your webcam drivers. Once all your webcam drivers have been loaded successfully, you will be prompted to restart your system. After you have rebooted and are back into Windows, you will be asked to plug in your webcam. All your webcam drivers should be loaded and your webcam working properly!
Webcam Drivers for Wrong Windows Version
In case you do not have the right driver for your Windows version, for example you have no Windows 7 driver for your webcam, you can always try using a driver for a previous Windows version. Windows Vista drivers often work as is in Windows 7, but even Windows XP webcam drivers can sometimes be used in Vista or even Windows 7. If running the installer does not work the first time, try running the installer as an adminstrator or run it in XP compatibility mode (both by right-clicking the installer file).
Missing Webcam Drivers Installation Disk?
If you have purchased a webcam without an installation disk (or lost the disk), you will need to find the necessary webcam drivers yourself. You can go to the manufacturer’s web site and usually find the webcam drivers. If the manufacturer does not have the webcam drivers you are looking for, search the net. You can search with the major search engines to locate the webcam driver’s specific to your operating system. You can also seek out forums or blog posts that may relate to your webcam (links to your webcam drivers may be found here).
The same is true if you have a netbook without a CD/DVD drive. It would be possible to use a USB stick to transfer the webcam driver files, but the common solution in that case is also to simply download the drivers from the manufacturer’s website through the Internet.
Why You Need to Update Your Webcam Drivers
True, the required drivers are on the installation disk of your webcam when you bought it but guess what? These drivers may not be the latest drivers at all.
You see, that installation disk was compiled when the webcam was produced. Now, consider warehouse time, delivery time to stores, time on the shelf, and others, and many months – even years – may have passed. Since then, the webcam maker may have released several updated versions of the driver already.
In addition, if you install new software or change to a new operating system, the webcam drivers may need updates to suit these changes.
You can find updated webcam drivers on the manufacturer’s site. You can also find the webcam drivers online via forums and driver-related blogs. You can also use a third-party tool such as DriverFinder, which can scan your PC for webcam drivers and check if you need updated ones.
Once your webcam is working again, have some fun with your instant messenger friends and record each others webcam chat with EatCam.
If you want to make your own movies with your webcam, have a look at our article on recording video with your webcam.
Installed the webcam drivers, but the webcam is still not working? Check out our article on troubleshooting webcam problems.
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