How to make Yahoo Messenger recognize a new webcam

If you get a new webcam, you need to tell Yahoo Messenger to use the new one by changing the settings within Yahoo Messenger.

Note: Be sure to follow your webcam manufacturer's installation instructions for this new webcam. This involves inserting the webcam installation CD, being guided through a few steps for installation, and rebooting your computer. (Also, be aware that plugging in the camera's USB cord at the incorrect time during the webcam software installation could cause a problem.)

How to choose another webcam:

  1. Click the Messenger menu and select My Webcam. The My Webcam window opens.

    My Webcam window
  2. On the My Webcam window, click the File menu and select Preferences.

    Webcam Preferences

    The Yahoo Messenger Preferences window opens.

  3. For Yahoo Messenger 9 and older, select Webcam from Category options. For Yahoo Messenger 10 and newer, select Webcam Broadcast.
  4. Click Camera Source and the Camera Source window opens.

    Selecting camera source
  5. Select the webcam you want to use from the Camera Source pull-down menu, and then click OK.

    Camera Source menu

You can change your webcam at any time, but you can only set Yahoo Messenger to use a single webcam at a time. (Don't forget, when you change to a new webcam you'll need to perform a proper installation according to the manufacturer's instructions.)


  • If you only see Microsoft WDM in your webcam source, this may mean that your webcam is not activated.  In this case we recommend reinstalling the webcam drivers, please see our Troubleshooting image issues for webcam and video calling article.
  • To improve your experience, you may want to try video calling, a new webcam technology available with Yahoo Messenger 10. Video calling is a new alternative to using your webcam. It will probably give you better results than using the traditional webcam technology.
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