Witnessing your Skype have a Black screen can be concerning when you are just about to join a virtual meeting, or participants are waiting for you to share your screen.

Your video may not be showing on Skype if you have not connected your external webcam properly, or other programs are running in the background of your device that has control over your camera.

A blank or Black image is a temporary issue and can be resolved by checking that your settings have been configured correctly or changing the display via the Skype application.

With this guide, you will have access to all the possible reasons why Skype is showing a Black screen, as well as seven easy solutions you can use to fix this problem.

Why is my Skype Black?

Skype black screen

Photo by Malte Helmhold on Unsplash

A Black screen on Skype will occur if the settings on your device are not enabled for Skype to have access to your webcam or internal camera. Skype needs to be configured correctly for the app to display an image, whether you are on a conference call or attempting to screen share. 

A blank or Black screen when using Skype can be caused by;

Reason 1. External camera issue

If you are making use of an external webcam to display your image, if this is not connected properly, or the cable is damaged you will incur a black screen.

The settings on your device also need to be set correctly to receive its display through the webcam and not the internal camera.

Reason 2. Faulty device driver

If the display drivers on your PC are outdated or faulty, it will interfere with Skype producing an image, causing a black or white display on the application.

Reason 3. Software issue

If your Skype is a black screen when opening, this can be a result of corrupted software files on your device from the downloaded application.

Faulty files will also interfere when the screen when you try and screen share.

Reason 4. Incorrect display settings

Your webcam display settings may be set too low, which is causing your screen to appear black.

This includes all the settings related to how your image is displayed, eg; contrast, brightness and saturation.

(Did you know; There is an actual Skype phone? It’s called ‘Skypephon’ and was released in October 2007. Over a Wifi connection, it can make Skype calls.)

Reason 5. Other programs running

You may be seeing a black screen on Skype because you have a different program running simultaneously that has taken your video stream on your device.

If this application was enabled before you launched Skype, it will have control over the video function, and Skype will be unable to access the feature.

Reason 6. Internet connection

If your screen is going blank during a video conference call, this can be a result of a poor internet connection.

Skype need to continuously be connected to a stable network that provides an adequate amount of bandwidth, otherwise, issues like a blank screen or freezing images will occur.

How to fix black screen on Skype

Skype black screen

How to fix Skype black screen

To ensure you do not witness a black screen while using Skype, the correct settings on your device need to be enabled. This includes checking that you have selected the correct video device if you are using an external webcam, and allowing permissions for the app to access your camera.  

We can expand on these settings to make sure your device and Skype app are operating simultaneously;

Fix 1. Enable camera access

If Skype does not have permission to access your camera, it will not be able to display an image.

Privacy setting on Windows:

Step 1. Access your ‘Settings’

Step 2. Click on ‘Privacy and Security’ from the left menu

Step 3. Under ‘App Permission’ select ‘Camera’

Step 4. Find Skype and make sure it has been enabled

Tip, if Skype is on your desktop, toggle on ‘Let desktop apps access your camera’.

Skype black screen

Enabling Skype camera access

How do I enable camera permissions on Mac?

Step 1. Click on the Apple logo

Step 2. Select ‘System Preferences’

Step 3. Choose ‘Security and Privacy’ followed by ‘Privacy’

Step 4. Find Skype and make sure the camera option has been enabled

Skype will now have granted access to use your camera.

Fix 2. Confirm external webcam

If you are using an external webcam instead of the integrated camera on your device, you need to check that it has been connected properly, and the cable is not faulty or damaged.

On Skype, you may need to manually change over the setting from your default camera, to your connected webcam if the app has not automatically swapped it over in the video settings.

Step 1. Access ‘Settings’ in Skype

Step 2. Click ‘Audio and Video’

Step 3. There should be a drop-down menu opposite ‘Camera’

Here, you can change your camera to an external webcam.

Skype settings

Skype video settings

If Skype has all the necessary permissions enabled on your device, and your video settings have been selected correctly, there are alternative solutions to help eradicate the black screen on Skype;

Fix 3. Update camera driver

The camera driver on your desktop may be due an update. This can be completed either downloading ‘DriverEasy‘ onto your PC. This program will update all your drivers for you.

Alternatively, you can update your camera driver manually;

Step 1. Open ‘Device Manager’

Step 2. Find ‘Cameras’ and right-click on the drop-down

Step 3. Select ‘Update Drivers’

Confirm you want to proceed and allow your PC to complete the installation.

Fix 4. Update Skype app

If your Skype app is not updated to its latest version on your device, compatibility issues can occur.

Downloading a newer version also aids in getting rid of any corrupted software that may currently be in your Skype files.

Step 1. Open Skype

Step 2. Select ‘Settings’ followed by ‘Help and Feedback’

Skype will check if an update is available for you. If there is one, confirm you want it to be installed.

Fix 5. Check display settings

You could have unintentionally set your display settings too low on Skype.

Make sure your brightness, contrast etc. have been set on a standard level.

Step 1. Open ‘Settings’ 

Step 2. Click on ‘Audio and Video’ followed by ‘Webcam Settings’

Step 3. Change your display settings so that they are not too low

Tip, pressing the ‘Default’ button will restore the display settings to the original setup before any amendments were made.

Skype settings

Skype Display Settings

Fix 6. Close other running apps

Make sure you do not have other programs running in the background of your device, specifically if they require access to your camera.

Close down apps, or additional active web browsers to prevent any interference with Skype being able to connect to your video camera.

Restart your device before launching Skype again to ensure a fresh connection when logging in.

Fix 7. Check internet connection

With Skype relying solely on a strong internet connection to be able to work, your network must provide a good internet speed for Skype to be able to download the necessary data to process requests to its server.

Check your internet speed. If it should be better than what you are currently receiving, refresh your connection by disconnecting your Wifi router for a few minutes.


If Skype’s server is down, it will also interfere with your screen displaying a Black or blank image, as well as cause issues with your audio when conducting a conference call.

With this guide, we hope you were able to fix your Skype from presenting a Black screen, and that you now understand what to do to help prevent this problem from repeating itself in the future.

If you are still witnessing issues with your screen while on Skype, you may need to contact Skype directly to help diagnose the error.

As a matter of urgency, you can utilise Skype’s virtual agent for immediate answers, otherwise, you can submit a request through to their support team, where one of their agents will get back to you.