A Windows 10 Anniversary Update released earlier this month has resulted in millions of webcams no longer working, as a result of the new software.
Also known as Windows Update 1607, it has affected USB webcams which use H.264 or MJPEG encoded streams, making them unusable.
Those using the webcams for streaming or broadcasting footage, or for holding Skype video calls, will find themselves unable to do so, but people with a webcam which uses YUY2 encoding shouldn’t experience any issues.
The issue appears to be that Microsoft tried to make it possible for more than one application to access a webcam at any given time. Previously, if you were using Skype, for example, then other programmes would be unable to use the camera.
Although Microsoft has yet to officially comment on the problem, it said it is working on a fix for the issue, but did not provide a date for when the patch will arrive.
On a Microsoft forum, a user known as Mike M, from the Windows Camera Team, said: “So yes, MJPEG and H.264 being decoded/filtered out is the result of a set of features we needed to implement, and this behaviour was planned, designed, tested, and flighted out to our partners and Windows Insiders around the end of January of this year.”
“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.”