Slack is a great networking tool, one favored by companies that hire remote workers. This virtual office platform allows you to stay in touch with your colleagues, submit projects, and keep track of everything so you don’t fall behind schedule.
One of the features available in Slack is making video calls, which allows you to hold meetings and conferences when necessary. However, a camera that’s not working may disrupt your entire daily schedule. What to do? Here are some suggestions.
How to Troubleshoot Your Webcam on Slack
Since December 2016, you’ve been able to hold video conferences within the Slack app. All you need is a functional webcam. To make a video call in Slack, simply select the person you want to contact and then click on Call. When a new tab opens, click on the camera icon to turn it into a video call.
If this doesn’t work, for whatever reason, you can try some of these fixes.
1. Restart Your Laptop or Computer.
Almost every app in the world is prone to temporary bugs every once in a while. Your webcam may not be able to establish a connection with Slack due to a similar issue. In this case, restarting your laptop or desktop computer may help solve the problem. When your OS boots again, try to make a video call and see if the cam is now working.
2. Use Your Browser Rather Than the App.
There is a Slack app available for Windows as well.
If you’re using it and the cam isn’t working, sign into Slack via your web browser instead. If it’s the other way round, try installing the app instead of using Slack in a browser.
Sometimes restarting the app may help if you’re trying to share the screen, and the video won’t display. Alternatively, you could try reinstalling it. If there’s an issue related to the app itself, for instance, if the installation was corrupted, a safe bet may be to uninstall the app and install it again.
3. Make a Test Call.
Use your diagnostic tool while making a test call within Slack. This may help identify the problem. If you’re unable to connect your camera, you can either try some other fixes or contact Slack support for assistance.
4. Check Your Internet Connection.
Your Wi-Fi connection needs to be stable enough for a video call to be made, just like with any other app where you need to use a webcam.
If the video isn’t displaying, if the image is freezing or disconnecting every two minutes, your signal may not be strong enough to maintain a call.
If this isn’t the problem, maybe the other side has issues with a poor internet connection. However, if that’s the case, you should still be able to see your own cam image, even if theirs won’t load.
There are different network requirements based on the number of call participants. The more people taking part in the call, the more reliable connection you need. For instance, if there are only two participants in a video call, you need a 600 kbps download speed and 600 kbps upload speed. If there are four of you participating in the call, you need the same upload speed, but up to 4 Mbps of download speed.
Before making an important video call, therefore, run a speed test to make sure everything is fine your end.
5. Enable Your External Cam.
If you’re using a desktop computer, you likely have an external camera. Sometimes, connecting an external webcam may cause issues. Here’s how you can make it work:
- Plug in the cam before you make a call – if you do it in the middle of the call, it may not connect and display the video.
- Select the Settings icon within your Slack video call to check if you’ve selected the right camera. If you still don’t see the video on the screen, try selecting your camera manually.
- Go to the computer’s System Preferences.
- Select Security & Privacy.
- Find the Privacy tab and then click the Screen Recording option in the list on the left.
- Find Slack and check the box beside it.
It’s Not About Your Cam
If your cam isn’t working, it may be due to a large number of participants in the call. This may also affect your computer’s performance – you’ll notice how slowly it’s working now – because you’re doing other things while participating in a video call.
If none of these fixes work, another idea is to opt out of the video call altogether. The issue isn’t with your camera – but the high Central Processing Unit usage. Your computer is simply overwhelmed with tasks.
Do you often make video calls on Slack? Have you experienced any hiccups when interacting with multiple participants? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!