MICROSOFT’S latest Windows 10 update is causing webcams to freeze and stop working, the US company has confirmed.
Microsoft is facing a torrent of backlash from consumers and businesses complaining that the Windows 10 Anniversary Update has broken some third-party USB cameras. The update, released on August 2nd, reportedly dropped support for two major video compression formats — specifically the H.264 and MJPEG codecs. According to Microsoft-focused blog Thurrott.com, this was supposedly a decision the company made to prevent performance issues now that certain Windows apps have more direct webcam access post-update.
Both network-connected and hard-wired USB webcams have been affected by the issue.
For many users, webcams now freeze as soon as they try to load. That leaves video chat apps, including Microsoft’s own Skype, impossible to use.
For the more technical-minded users out there, Thurrott.com contributor Rafael Rivera devised a workaround that appears to be resolving the webcam freezing issues so long as you’re okay with making changes to the Windows Registry:
HKLMSOFTWAREWOW6432NodeMicrosoftWindows Media FoundationPlatform, add DWORD "EnableFrameServerMode" and set to 0. #webcamgate
— Rafael Rivera (@WithinRafael) August 19, 2016
According to him, you can also get the webcam working again via the Windows 10 Registry – but this is not for the faint of heart.
- Open regedit from the Start menu.
- Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows Media FoundationPlatform
- Right click the Platform folder and select New > DWORD. Name it “EnableFrameServerMode”
- Right-click the new value and select “Modify”
- Enter “0″ in the “Value data” field.
- Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREWOW6432NodeMicrosoftWindows Media FoundationPlatform
- Repeat steps 3-5
Microsoft expects to release a fix through Windows Update in September, but unlike the freezing bug, there is no official workaround, so for the meantime users will need to settle for Microsoft’s apology and its explanation of what went wrong.