Friday, February 7, 2014

Fix "no camera" problem on Google Hangouts (OSX Mavericks)

Super frustrating. The intermittent, "no camera found" problem on Google Hangouts that started happening after I upgraded to OSX Mavericks makes me want to scream!

As an independent contractor, I rely on the awesome (and still free) Hangouts to communicate and coordinate with colleagues and clients. It really does make a difference to be able to see the other participants in a call and keep it from turning into this:

It took a while for me to track down. But if you're having problems with the camera disappearing from Hangouts after installing Mavericks, give this solution a try.

The best theory I've found is that the AppleCameraAssistant process that locks the camera hardware for exclusive use with apps isn't properly releasing the hardware. (Or perhaps other software isn't telling it to release the camera correctly.)

So we'll reset it by killing the process. Don't worry, we're not doing anything permanent, and the process relaunches itself.

First, open up your shell and look for the process:
ps -alx | grep "AppleCameraAssistant"
You should find a process from /Library/CoreMediaIO/... (The other one is the grep process. :)

Now, kill the misbehaving process:
sudo kill 78350 (use the process ID you found, not mine)
Go ahead and try Hangouts again.

With any luck, you should have access to your camera now.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

FYI... sudo killall VDCAssistant appears to work, too.