Webcam is intermittently crystal clear and grainy


May 11, 2013
I truly don't know where to post this so if this is the wrong place, don't hesitate to redirect me to a better one.

I got a new laptop for Christmas; it's a Dell 5559 running Windows 10. The built-in webcam was demonstrating some odd behaviour today. I was doing a Webex session with a friend so that we could evaluate Webex as a videoconferencing tool. My friend told me that the picture from my webcam was very grainy/pixellated most of the time but every once in a while, it was crystal clear for several seconds before reverting to a poor picture.

Frankly, the intermittent nature of the issue has me suspecting that a connection isn't quite solid and a little solder is in order (if I had any way to figure out where to put the solder!) but I thought I should explore other options first. I don't see anything in Control Panel for adjusting settings for the webcam. I can launch the Windows Camera app but there aren't many adjustments there and I none of the ones I've tried have made any difference to the clarity of the picture.

Where should I look for settings?

I'm guessing that the camera gets controlled from some kind of Dell app rather than the Windows apps but this is my first Dell and I'm not clear on how to find the app that controls the webcam.

Can someone get me started?

For a new laptop I wouldn't suggest doing some soldering jobs in it because that would surely void the warranty of it. Here are some troubleshooting steps that may help.
- Start by uninstalling/reinstalling the Webcam driver.
- Go to Device Manager first and uninstall the Webcam driver.
- Once done, reboot your laptop and it should reinstall the driver automatically upon reboot.
- After the reboot do test it again and see if the same problem will persist or not.
- If all these will not work I would also suggest testing the laptop connected via hardwired connection and see if there will be any difference.
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