messenger cannot 'see' my webcam


Paul Robinson

I am using MSN Messenger 6.2 on Windows XP. I have a basic model Labtec
webcam that works perfectly in Yahoo.
In Messenger, when I use the Audio/Video Tuning Wizard it sees my webcam and
itentifies its brand no problem. I get a picture and everything is fine. i
save the settings. Then when I go to WebCam settings, or try to use the
webcam in a private message
ing session, Messenger cannot see the cam and tells me to go to the
Audio/Video Tuning Wizard ...and the loop is joined.
I notice there is at least one earlier message with the same problem but it
was unanswered. Does anyone have a solution to this problem?

Jonathan Kay [MVP]

Greetings Paul,

There are actually two different video functions within MSN Messenger 6.x. The first, the
"Webcam" function, which is tested by the "Web Camera Settings" dialog, basically supports
actual "Webcam"s only. It does not support DV/firewire cameras, digital cameras, or video
card inputs. The second, the "Video Conference" function is tested by the Audio/Video Tuning
Wizard, supports most devices including DV cameras and video card inputs and uses the same
functionality as Windows Messenger.

The Video Conference and Audio/Video Tuning Wizard will only be available on Windows XP (and
both you and your contact must be using Windows XP in order for it to work). Assuming both
of you are using Windows XP, try using the Video Conference feature instead, by clicking the
Actions menu within a conversation window and choosing 'Start Video Conference'.
Jonathan Kay
Microsoft MVP - Windows Messenger/MSN Messenger
Associate Expert
Messenger Resources -
All posts unless otherwise specified are (c) 2004 Jonathan Kay.
You *must* contact me for redistribution rights.

Paul Robinson

A further observation I have made :

If I disconnect the webcam from my PC, in 'Web Camera Settings' I get the
message 'MSN Messenger cannot detect a camera. Please make sure your camera
is plugged in and try again'

When compared to the message I receive when the cam is plugged in, it would
appear that MSN Messenger does know that there is a webcam but for some
reason it cannot recognise it. However, every other program I run on my PC
that utilises the webcam can recognise it. And that includes Windows
Messenger 4.7.2009 where the webcam broadcasts perfectly.

Does anyone have idea what is wrong here and how to correct it?


double check this....
open messenger...go to
personal tab....and at the bottom..make sure there is a
checkmark in 'share my webcam capablilities.."


Hi - did you ever get this figured out> I'm using 4.7 on
xp and the audio/video test works great. But when I
start a call, no pictures or sound...

Paul Robinson

Hi Jonathan,
Thanks for your considered reply. However, I still have a problem. My friend
with whom I wish to make contact does not use XP because it is an old IBM
laptop running Win98. So I guess we should both be using the webcam
function. now this is where I have a problem.
When I choose 'Web Camera Settings' , in the frame for 'Camera Selection'
the box is greyed out and above the box is a message ' Please use the
Audio/Video Tuning Wizard to change your camera selection'
Every other program on my PC that utilises a webcam can recognise my Labtec
cam, including the Audio/Video Tuning Wizard, just MSN Messenger cannot. Is
this a known bug with some webcams? Is there any way I can fix the problem?
I can find no help, nor even reference to the problem on Labtech's website
which makes me think the cause is my PC. What do you think?

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