Windows 10 Anniversary update has broken millions of webcams, but there’s a fix

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The Windows 10 Anniversary update is the latest and largest update since Microsoft launched its new operating system last year.

However, since the tech giant began rolling out the update on August 9th, users have been complaining about a multitude of different problems after installing the new versions.

One of the most recent problems is that many users are discovering that their webcams are no longer working after installing the update, an issue which has already been dubbed #webcamgate on Twitter.

As part of enhancements in Windows 10 security, Microsoft has limited the type of encoding webcams are able to use but this has resulted in many webcams crashing and no longer working at all.

The issues stem from Windows 10 Anniversary update now only allowing YUY2 encoding on webcams, meaning that MJPEG and H264 encoded streams no longer work.

If a webcam does try to use either MJPEG or H264, it will crash.

The problem was first discovered by Brad Sams from tech site Thurrot, who reports that an official patch to fix the issue will be released in September.

Microsoft has since issued a statement acknowledging that some users have encountered problems after installing the new update:

“Windows 10 continues to have the highest customer satisfaction of any version of Windows.

“We have seen a small number of reports of unexpected behaviors following the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

“Engineering and customer support are investigating these on a case by case basis and offering trouble-shooting tips as necessary.”

How to fix Windows 10 Anniversary Update webcam issue

If you are one of the many millions of users who have reportedly been unable to use their webcam after installing the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, there is a fix.

However, it involves tweaking some settings within the system registry and should perhaps only be attempted by people with technical knowledge of Windows 10.

If that isn’t you, it is probably best to wait until Microsoft fixes the issue.

If you do want to try and fix the webcam issue in Windows 10, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open regedit from the Start menu.
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Media Foundation\Platform
  3. Right click the Platform folder and select New > DWORD. Name it “EnableFrameServerMode”
  4. Right-click the new value and select “Modify”
  5. Enter “0″ in the “Value data” field.
  6. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows Media Foundation\Platform
  7. Repeat steps 3-5.
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