Detailed Instructions To Fix While Your Mac Camera Not Working


Now any laptop is equipped with a default web-camera. This is convenient: most messengers from Skype and Viber to Google’s Hangouts have video calling features.

Using a Mac is even more pleasant thanks to the high-quality and reliable iSight camera integrated into all Apple laptops whether it is MacBook Air and the new MacBook Retina 12 to the most powerful MacBook Pro.

But, as we know, “eternal” devices do not exist, and a camera that failed at the most inopportune moment, although it will not leave you without a laptop, can significantly affect the overall impression or influence your plans.

Today we will understand what may affect the operation of your camera and with the problem mac camera not working and how you can get out of this situation.

First, we note that in a MacBook, the camera may refuse to work for various reasons unrelated to each other:

  1. The camera module itself fails.
  2. Camera loop may be faulty.
  3. Problems with the motherboard may cause a broken camera.

Consider each of the possible cases in more detail.

A bit about the problem mac camera not working

The camera module can fail both in a “natural” way and with a certain amount of interference. Among the most common causes

  1. Factory defect or wear (often for this reason the camera can fail after the end of the official warranty).
  2. Mechanical impact (of course, the matrix is ​​often broken, but the camera module may also suffer from a serious blow)
  3. Contact with moisture (as a rule, there are problems with the image, but the camera may not turn on during severe oxidation)

So, if the camera does not work in your MacBook, first look at the top of the cover: even minor dents can tell you the reason for what happened. Most often, in such cases (mechanical effects) the camera is not repairable.

Replacing the iSight module

Replacing the iSight module

It is a time-consuming process, since this, like for any repair of components located at the top of the notebook, will require the disassembly of the cover.

Therefore, from a financial point of view, it is more profitable to perform camera repair work “jointly,” for example, with a screen replacement, but waiting for a “convenient” case or using an external USB camera is even more unpleasant.

When worn out

Long service life or due to manufacturing faults, the cameras fail no less. Of course, neither presuppositions nor apparent reasons will most likely be found. Moreover, it is almost impossible to predict the appearance of such a problem.

Once again, it is worth noting that, as with mechanical damage, it will be tough to restore the camera without replacing the module.

Mac’s camera may be damaged by moisture: mac camera not working

mac camera not working

Usually, there are still stains on the image from the camera, or the picture periodically disappears. Some advantages include the fact that the flooded chamber is somewhat easier to repair than a broken one or wholly failed due to a factory defect.

Sometimes even its “cleaning” helps, but we do not recommend using aggressive solutions since particularly effective means of removing oxides can also damage the module, not only its plastic components but also the camera’s optics.

However, you can run into problems with Skype or FaceTime, and you can come with a working camera:

The iSight (i.e., webcam) MacBook cable can also cause problems with the MacBook camera.

Mac camera not working first check cables for your MacBook Cameras

MacBook Air 1369, 1466, mid-2010 – late 2012 ISight camera flex cable comes complete with Wi-Fi antenna and left loop 818-2781
MacBook Air 1370/1465, mid-2010 – late 2012 Flat cable 821-1342-A, loop 818-1839
MacBook Pro Unibody Retina 1425 Wi-Fi antenna with left loop and flat cable of camera 818-2781 SA
MacBook Pro Unibody Retina 1502 Wi-Fi antenna with left loop and camera loop
MacBook Pro Unibody Retina 1398 2012-early 2013 Wi-Fi antenna for MacBook Pro 15 “Retina A1398 (2012-early2013) with left loop and camera cable
1398, end of 2013 ISight camera flex cable comes complete with Wi-Fi antenna, matrix mounting system and left the loop
MacBook Pro Unibody 2009-2012 (classic) 1278 The camera is connected by a separate cable that does not pass through the loop and is re-aligned with the Wi-Fi antenna.
MacBook Pro Unibody mid-2010-2012 (classic) 1286 The replacement process is similar to the entire lineup Unibody 2009-2011
MacBook Pro Unibody (classic) 1297 Flex camera for MacBook Pro 17 “A1297 (Late2010-Mid2011) changes separately, and you will need to remove the glass
MacBook Pro (2008), not Unibody, 1278 The replacement process is similar to the entire lineup Unibody 2009-2011
MacBook Pro (2008), not Unibody, 1286 The replacement process is identical to the whole of lineup Unibody 2009-2011
MacBook Pro A1342, Late 2009 – mid-2010 The camera cable is assembled with the matrix cable

As you can see, if the camera does not work on the MacBook Air, it may be necessary to replace the components that are completely unrelated to it at first glance: Wi-Fi antennas and parts of the mounting system.

Why the image disappear from the Mac

The image from the built-in MacBook camera may disappear or “slow down” for more serious reasons: from a technical point of view, the iSight webcam on any Mac, like many other components, is a USB device.

Therefore, if you observe “nonstandard” camera behavior, an incorrectly working motherboard, namely a laptop chipset, can cause this.

In earlier versions, the microcircuit of the so-called south bridge was responsible for these functions, but in recent versions, it is increasingly being made part of a single chipset or embedded in the processor at all.

Determining on your own the failure of the motherboard can be quite tricky, but indirect signs can still help you:

If, during a call, the system reports that your camera is not connected to your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, first of all, try to eliminate software problems:

restart your Mac, try to work on a Mac for a while, for example, with Face Time enabled, or simply load OS X with any resource-intensive application (the disk check and copying a large volume of files will do, sometimes even video card tests help, especially in MacBook Air ).

How to turn on the camera on MacBook Air or MacBook Pro at least for a while?

mac camera not working

If you are in a similar situation and doubt what exactly the cause of the malfunction is, check the operability of the camera module itself, probably from a safe mode. To activate it when loading the OS, you must hold down the left Shift.

If you did everything correctly, the inscription “Safe Mode” (or Safe Mode, depending on the system language) would be displayed in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. A similar inscription can be seen on the desktop but at the bottom of the screen.

In safe mode, OS X uses hardware resources somewhat differently, and the camera can start up even with a faulty chipset. But this is optional. It is also worth remembering that a faulty loop and the camera module itself can also temporarily “return” to working condition.

Diagnosis the reason behind the problem mac camera not working

For reliable diagnostics, it is better to contact the service center, where exactly there are obviously functional components (cable and iSight module), and moreover, only an experienced engineer will be able to perform diagnostics of the motherboard.

When a diagnosis is confirmed, a faulty chipset is changed to a new one; a first soldering station is used for this. Also during repair, you can eliminate other faults, including individual damaged tracks on the motherboard.

They are usually damaged by oxidation when in contact with moisture. In this case, the repair should be taken especially carefully, because, from the “flooded” motherboard, you can expect a variety of problems.

Nevertheless, even after such an unpleasant incident, you shouldn’t send your favorite laptop to rest – if you asked for help in time, and the board was cleaned and repaired qualitatively – the Mac may well last for a long time.

One of the most popular questions is “how to disable the MacBook camera indicator.” This can be useful in various situations: from “looking after” your Mac and controlling its use to organizing a security system in an apartment or house.

Final thought on mac camera not working

Left at a point with a good view, the laptop can quite play the role of a surveillance camera, provide you the scope of using specialized software. And you can even set up an alert system for mail or mobile phone when movement occurs in a patrolled room.

But it is not necessary to set yourself such a high goal. Perhaps you are just tired of this bright green light.

One way or another – to solve the problem is quite tricky. You can start the camera separately from the indicator, but this will require special software. Second and last point – according to officially published facts, this has so far been done only on Mac computers released before 2008.

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