Jun 24 2013

Skype Video Problems?

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 8:47 pm

If you have recently had major problems with your webcam and Skype, I may have a solution for you…

Recently I noticed that Skype videocalls rarely connected (the audio was fine (though I have a separate microphone in use for that)). After testing (basically using the Video Settings page in Skype), I discovered that the FIRST time I used the webcam in Skype, everything was fine. However, when either navigating away from that settings area, or ending a video call, the little LED on the webcam stayed on, indicating it was still in use. If I was just flicking between areas in the settings dialog, the Skype application was OK, but if I was in a call, the program would become unresponsive, and not even attempting to end the process in Windows’ Task Manager worked!

Until Skype (or Microsoft I suppose) fix the problem, a work around is possible. I noticed that if I unplugged the webcam, Skype would successfully close down (note that the icon in the system tray would vanish, but check the Processes tab in Task Manager, and you’ll see it still lurking). If a USB disconnect/reconnect stopped Skype from hanging, it gave me an area to concentrate on. In short, if your motherboard (be it desktop or laptop) has USB3 AND USB2 sockets, try using a different one. I can’t say for certain that you should (though it worked for me) use a USB2 socket, rather than a USB3 one, it may just be using a USB socket that connects to a different manufacturer’s chipset on the motherboard, but if you’re getting annoyed at Skype with videocalling recently, it is worth a shot.