How to Fix the Camera Error in Windows 11?

There have been quite a few instances where the users face a camera error and see a lock icon on the window of their camera app.

This issue is typically caused due to the following factors:

  • Insufficient permissions – Your camera application does not have sufficient permissions to launch and work on your device. These permission settings can be changed in Windows Settings.
  • Generic corruption error – In some cases, a temporary bug or glitch can also infect the camera application on your PC, preventing it from launching properly. If this scenario is applicable, the easiest and the most efficient way to fix the problem is by running the built-in Camera Troubleshooter that it developed by Microsoft.
  • Outdated or corrupt driver – The drivers associated with each hardware component should be working properly for the application to run the way it is supposed to. If any of the relevant drivers are either outdated or faulty, you are likely to encounter issues like the one at hand. To move forward in this situation, you must reinstall the relevant driver.
  • Overly protective antivirus – The antivirus software on your computer might also detect the activity as suspicious, blocking the camera as a result. In this situation, you can try disabling or uninstalling the security program.

Now that we know about the potential causes, let’s have a look at the methods that worked for other users in resolving the camera error. 

Use a Keyboard Shortcut

If you cannot launch the camera the conventional way, try using a keyboard shortcut to open it and see if that fixes the issue. Typically, any one of the F keys is associated with a webcam. We cannot mention which key it exactly is since it can vary on different devices.

Hold the Fn button (function button) + the associated F Key together and check if you can launch the camera like this. If the error persists, move to the next method below.

Run the Built-in Camera Troubleshooter

Every Windows operating system is equipped with a set of troubleshooters that are specifically developed by Microsoft to fix issues like the one at hand. To fix the camera issue, you can also try running the built-in Camera troubleshooter in Windows. 

The troubleshooter will run a scan within the system and identify any camera-related issues that might be the culprit. It will then suggest fixes based on the results.

Follow these steps to run the troubleshooter:

  1. Open Windows Settings by pressing Win + I together.
  2. Choose System from the left pane and click on Troubleshoot on the right side of the window.

    camera error
    Click on Troubleshoot under System
  3. Click on Other troubleshooters.

    Go to Other Troubleshooters
  4. In the following window, locate Camera and click on the Run button associated with it.

    camera error
    Click the Run Button
  5. Wait for the troubleshooter to complete its process. If it identifies issues and recommends fixes, click on Apply this fix

After the fix is applied, check if you still face the camera error while attempting to use the application.

Modify Privacy Settings

Apps on your operating system need a specific set of permissions to run. If they are denied those permissions, they either fail to perform a few tasks or do not launch at all.

In the case of error at hand, there is a chance that the camera app does not have sufficient permissions, which is why you see a lock icon when you attempt to launch it. If this scenario is applicable, you should be able to fix the problem by modifying the privacy settings and giving the said app adequate permissions to run. 

Here is how you can do that:

  1. Press Win + I keys together to open Windows Settings.
  2. Inside the Settings window, select Privacy & Security from the left pane.
  3. Click on Camera under App permissions on the right-hand side of the window.

    Click on Camera
  4. If the camera access is off, turn the toggle associated with Camera access on.

    camera error
    Turn Toggle On
  5. Then, check if your desired apps and allowed to access the camera in the same window.
  6. Next, turn the toggle on for Let Desktop apps access your camera.

    Turn Toggle On
  7. Close Windows Settings and check if camera app works fine now.

Disable Antivirus

If the camera already has sufficient permissions to work, then it might be your overly-protective antivirus that is preventing the camera from launching and displaying the camera error. In case you are using an antivirus on your Windows PC, you can try disabling or uninstalling it and then perform the desired action.

If the camera works without the antivirus, then we recommend you switch to another, better antivirus program.

Reinstall the Webcam

Another fix that worked for other affected users was reinstalling the webcam from the Device Manager. This is an effective solution if the error you are facing is occurring due to a corruption error or a bug in the app. 

Here is how you can reinstall the camera to fix the issue:

  1. Type Device Manager in the search area of the taskbar and click Open.
  2. Inside the Device Manager window, click on View menu from the top and choose Show hidden devices in the context menu.

    Show hidden devices
  3. Now, expand Imaging Devices or Other Devices and right-click on your camera.
  4. Choose Uninstall device from the context menu 

    camera error
    Uninstall Device
  5. In the following dialog, click on Delete the driver software for this device.
  6. Hit Uninstall again to proceed.

    Uninstall Camera
  7. Once done, restart your PC. The system will automatically install a new driver upon reboot. Check if this fixed the camera error.

Enable Camera from Lenovo Vantage (If Applicable)

Several Lenovo users were able to resolve the camera error after enabling Camera from the Lenovo Vantage app. 

If you are a Lenovo user as well, we encourage you to head over to the Vantage app and enable the camera application from there. It should work like a charm!


Zainab Falak

Zainab Falak is a highly educated professional with a background in actuarial science and a strong passion for technology. Her expertise lies in the field of data analytics and she is a proficient programmer in languages such as Python and R. At Appuals, Zainab shares her extensive knowledge of Windows 8, 10, and 11, covering a broad range of topics related to these operating systems. Zainab's ability to effectively communicate technical concepts in a clear and concise manner has earned her recognition and respect in the tech community. She is committed to staying up-to-date with the latest developments in the field and providing readers with insightful and informative content.