The Windows 10 anniversary update has stopped millions of webcams from working

midian182

Posts: 6,290   +53
Staff member

The long-awaited Windows 10 anniversary update arrived early this month, bringing a number of new features to Microsoft’s latest operating system. But some users found it introduced a few less welcome changes, such as breaking their USB-connected webcams.

There had been a small number of reports stating that Windows 10 devices were freezing after being updated, but Microsoft has issued a workaround while it investigates the problem. With the webcam issue, however, the Redmond company hasn’t issued a temporary fix. Anyone experiencing problems may have to wait until Microsoft releases a patch, probably sometime in September.

Microsoft’s anniversary update allows multiple Windows 10 applications to use a webcam at the same time. Previously, if you were Skyping with one, for example, you couldn’t use the camera with other services.

In order to prevent performance drops as multiple apps simultaneously decode media streams, the anniversary update stopped USB webcams from using MJPEG or H264 encoded streams, allowing only YUY2 encoding.

If a Windows 10 device's webcam attempts to use MJPEG or H264 following the update, it will freeze. A number of cameras have reportedly been affected by the issue, including the popular Logitech C920.

In the support thread, users are blasting Microsoft for not advertising the change. A Microsoft camera engineer, Mike M, admitted that the company had done a “poor job” of letting people know about the changes.

"So yes, MJPEG and H.264 being decoded / filtered out is the result of a set of features we needed to implement, and this behavior was planned, designed, tested, and flighted out to our partners and Windows Insiders around the end of January of this year," wrote Mike M.

"We worked with partners to make sure their applications continued to function throughout this change, but we have done a poor job communicating this change out to you guys. We dropped the ball on that front, so I'd like to offer my apologies to you all," he added.

The fact that the number of days people have to roll-back the anniversary update was cut from 30 to just 10 has added to the problems, leaving people without working webcams unable to switch back to the earlier version of the OS.

Rafael Rivera has reported a workaround for the problem. Providing you don’t mind altering your registry, try making this change: HKLM\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows Media Foundation\Platform, add DWORD “EnableFrameServerMode” and set to 0, you will then need to restart Skype.

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wiyosaya

Posts: 5,569   +3,750
One other thing they broke, again, is hosted Wi-Fi networks. They need to be reinitialized for them to work. They also broke this as part of the upgrade from 8.1 to 10.
 

trparky

Posts: 851   +864
And what makes the situation even more stupid, thousands of people in the Insider Program were reporting this issue on the Feedback app yet Microsoft did **** about it.

It's like what the hell's the point of the Insider Program if Microsoft doesn't listen to what their Insider Program users are telling them? A lot of people on Betanews and Thurrott.com think of the Insider Program as nothing but a farce.

Microsoft will do what Microsoft wants to do regardless of what we tell them. The arrogance of this company seems to know no bounds.
 
R

Raoul Duke

I have a 720p plasma TV hooked up by HDMI, not recognized anymore, Kobo e-book software doesn't recognize the reader anymore. That's all it broke for me.
 
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Sum Guy

Posts: 63   +16
Win 10 has been a a lot of problems for me. A lot of my software is not supported by win 10, but strangely the software will work with Win 8 and Win 7.

I think MS wants to lock everything down like Apple. It's not the direction I want to see MS go, but they seem to be going that way. Also they don't seem to listen to feedback at all.
 
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SeaMatrix

Posts: 6   +3
Win 10 has been a a lot of problems for me. A lot of my software is not supported by win 10, but strangely the software will work with Win 8 and Win 7.

I think MS wants to lock everything down like Apple. It's not the direction I want to see MS go, but they seem to be going that way. Also they don't seem to listen to feedback at all.
I've used Microsoft for years. BUT IF Microsoft wants to go in the direction that Apple has been on, then I will just finally switch to Apple.
 
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Athlonite

Posts: 191   +61
So it's more important to support to the two people who want to use multiple apps with single webcam than supporting all webcams. Why couldn't there be a option to choose your encoder and if you chose yuy2 you could use multiple applications with one cam?
exactly what I was thinking in twenty years of PC use I don't remember seeing anyone use multiple webcam streams ever and to make it worse I don't know the reason for not allowing H.264/X.264 as probably all GPU's made in the last 10 years are quite capable of en/de coding multiple streams even if it's the same source I once had 12 different TV episodes playing all at once on screen just for SnG's sounded terrible but looked impressive as hell
 

Technosense

Posts: 43   +25
Funny, I waited until this release figuring most of the bugs would finally be ironed out. Updated my laptop to 10 and found it much better than my last venture outside W7. But is it really worth it?

Even using Shutup 10 to close down spyware streams doesn't put my mind at ease when I see the effort put into snooping while ignoring things like this.

W11, Privacy version, now only 3x as much as W11 (all up in your business version) has probably been introduced....wonder where that guy works now?
 

lazer

Posts: 366   +107
Sounds like Micr$lop in action, better at marketing than at providing decent software.

I am still with win7 and NO upgrades on one machine and Ubuntu on the other. I will stay like this since my philosophy is: "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" and win7 and Ubuntu work great!
 
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Athlonite

Posts: 191   +61
Sounds like Micr$lop in action, better at marketing than at providing decent software.

I am still with win7 and NO upgrades on one machine and Ubuntu on the other. I will stay like this since my philosophy is: "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" and win7 and Ubuntu work great!
Until you find yourself without security updates and get hacked or worse encrypted lock out

I don't have any older program (32 bit or 64 bit) that refuses to work like it should in Windows 10
 
It serves well anybody stupid enough to leave a solid desktop oriented OS such as windows 7 for a hybrid mobile-device-compatible windows 10, especially since w10 completely failed on mobile platform and no devices with it will ever have any chance to sell (RIP Nokia). But I guess all the w10 zombies can keep talking to Cordana while the rest of their machine no longer works! Personally I still haven't started talking to my PC, still typing...
 
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