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Turning On A Toshiba Satellite Webcam

Kasey from Denver, CO writes:

I recently purchased a Toshiba Satellite A665D Laptop with a built in cam and speaker system (Windows 7). When I use Skype, my web camera no longer can be found, and doesn’t work. Neither does my built-in mic. Contacted Toshiba help: They say to download the software (web Camera App) and boot it up again. This didn’t help. What Am I Doing Wrong?

If your laptop’s webcam and built-in microphone were working previously for chatting with video programs like Skype, Ovoo, or Facebook video chat, but have since stopped functioning, the issue is likely caused by a simple software glitch that is easily resolved. The Toshiba Satellite A660 line of laptops includes a program installed by the manufacturer that lets you change webcam settings, such as brightness or contrast. This tool even gives you the option to disable the device completely, which prevents video programs from detecting your webcam. Fixing the problem is only a matter of accessing the software and turning the camera back on.

To navigate to the Toshiba webcam software, open the Windows 7 Start menu and click the “All Programs” button.

Opening the Start Menu

Scroll through the alphabetical list of program folders and open the folder labeled “Toshiba.”

The Toshiba Folder

Inside the “Toshiba” folder, click the sub-folder labeled “Utilities,” which is positioned below the entry labeled “Toshiba Media Controller.”

Opening the Utilities Folder

Scroll down through the list of programs in the “Utilities” sub-folder and click the entry named “Web Camera Application” to access the Toshiba webcam software.

The Webcam Application

Open your Toshiba webcam’s settings by clicking the icon at the bottom of the window showing two gears rotating together.

Opening the Settings Menu

Turn your webcam back on by clicking the “Connect” button located at the left side of the window and underneath the “Settings” heading. If the button is instead labeled “Disconnect,” click it twice to turn the webcam off and then back on.

Connecting the Webcam

Return to your video chatting program and check to see if the webcam is now being recognized properly. If Skype, or whichever program you are using, still can’t find your webcam, return to the Start menu and type the phrase “Device Manager” into the search box beneath the “All Programs” button.

Searching for the Device Manager

Click the “Device Manager” icon located directly beneath the “Control Panel” heading at the top of the search results.

Opening the Device Manager

Locate the entry named “Imaging Devices” in the list of hardware connected to your laptop. Click the entry to open up the menu and then right-click the “Toshiba Webcam” option and select “Uninstall.”

Uninstalling the Webcam

Click “OK” when a warning message appears on the screen asking if you really want to uninstall the device.

Confirming the Uninstall

After the webcam finishes uninstalling, click the square button labeled “Scan For Hardware Changes” in the row of icons at the top of the window, which forces Windows 7 to automatically reinstall the webcam’s driver software. Restart your laptop and then return to your video program to start up a new video chat session with your webcam.

Reinstalling the Webcam

~ Ty Arthur