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My Camera and Microphone aren't working
My Camera and Microphone aren't working
Andy avatar
Written by Andy
Updated over a week ago

Hover over the camera or microphone carrot icon at the bottom of your meeting window to access more options. From this menu you can select the microphone or camera that you'd like to use for your Vowel meeting.

In some cases, Vowel won't detect a camera or microphone OR the devices could be blocked. When this happens, there are a few things you can do to get everything working again.

Accidentally block permissions?

When Vowel first asks permission to access your camera and microphone, you may have chosen "Block" instead of "Allow" by mistake.

Check the lock icon in the top left corner of your browser's address bar and make sure camera and microphone are toggled to on.

You may also see a camera icon in the browser's address bar to undo the block, then press "Try Again." The icon will either be in the top right or top right or top left:

Make sure your browser is up to date

Sometimes an older browser won't recognize your camera. Make sure that you are on the most up to date version. There are links below that walk you through updating your browser if you don't know how to:

  • Safari – This browser is updated automatically when your update macOS.

  • Microsoft Edge - This browser is updated automatically when you update Windows

Clear Your Cache and Cookies

It's possible that this is caused by a stale mic/cam permissions cookie, or possibly because of another application that's taking priority access over Vowel.

In this case we recommend clearing your cache and cookies for your entire browser and then restarting your computer. Sometimes a reset of your system environment will resolve these types of issues, so this is a "catch-all" solution before further investigation is required! Instructions for clearing your cache and cookies for our supported browsers are linked below:

Confirm the Mic/Cam settings for your operating system


In MacOS, Apple some system-level privacy controls for your mic and camera. These are great for privacy, but it is possible that your browser was mistakenly blocked from accessing your devices. To access these settings, do the following:

  1. Click on the Apple in the top left > select System Preferences.

  2. Click on the Security & Privacy section.

  3. Click on Camera in the list of options, and tick the box next to your browser to allow access.

  4. Repeat Step 3 for your Microphone

  5. After doing this, restart your browser for the updates to take effect


In Windows 10, you're able to set a default Microphone, but there are also system-level Camera permissions on what applications can access your camera. For either of these settings, the first thing to do is open up your system settings by clicking on the Start menu and selecting the Settings gear.

Default Mic

You can adjust the microphone settings by typing "Mic" into the search bar and going to the Sound settings. Scroll down to Input and use the dropdown to select the proper input device

Camera Permissions

Camera permissions can be accessed by typing "Cam" into the search bar. These settings are under your general Privacy settings, but search is the easiest way to access them. From here, be sure that your browser has permission to access your camera.

Still not working? A couple more things to check...

Check that you aren't muted or your camera isn't turned off.

Others can't hear you or see you? Make sure you're not on mute and that your camera is on!

  • Note: We only display 12 videos on for meetings above 12 people

Check the volume on your system

Make sure that the volume on your computer, tablet or phone are turned all the way up.

Check network indicator

Check that your connection is strong and not causing issues with your microphone or camera.

  • Note: We turn off video to save bandwidth if someone is experiencing network issues

Adjusting your Firewall

Some browsers are not able to connect through strict networks/firewalls. Also there may be bugs in the browser causing problems with connection. If you are experiencing this, try switching to another browser. We recommend all participants use Chrome for the best experience.

Browser Extensions

Interfering browser extensions: It is not uncommon for some third party extension to cause problems with some websites. To test this, try using your browser through an Incognito tab or Private browsing window. If all works normally then you know that an extension is causing an issue. Unfortunately there is no way to identify which one easily. A process of elimination will need to be done on each extension to fine the one causing the problem.

Here are ones we know of that have caused users issues in the past.

  • DarkReader

  • Tampermonkey

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