"Camera being used" error or no image in preview window

Last Update: October 1st, 2021
Article ID: 624633

Some specific device classes, such as USB cameras, are handled differently by operating system privacy/security settings. If you aren't seeing an image output from the microscope, or you see a message that your "Camera is being used by another application", you may need to change these privacy/security settings.


Instructions for Windows

  1. Press the or click on the Windows key to open the Start Menu, and type "Settings" into the search bar.

  2. Then, click the gear-shaped icon to open up the Settings menu.

    Windows Settings


  3. In the settings, click Privacy.

    Windows Camera Privacy Settings


  4. Click Camera, on the left hand side menu.

    Windows Camera Privacy Settings


  5. Now, we can see that the ability for the system to Allow access to the camera on this device is off. We also see that the ability for the system to Allow apps access to your camera is off as well. Please note, one or both of these options may be off for you.

    Windows Camera Privacy Settings


  6. Click Change, to turn on the ability for the system for the system to Allow apps access to your camera. Then, click to Allow apps to access your camera, click the little button to toggle it from off to on.

    Windows Camera Privacy Settings


  7. Now, we should see that the Camera access for this device is on, and the ability for Windows to Allow apps to access your camera is on as well.

    Windows Camera Privacy Settings


  8. We can double check this by scrolling down on this page to make sure the Digital Viewer software is listed.

    Windows Camera Privacy Settings


  9. Restart the computer after confirming the privacy settings are on. Once the computer reboots, please open the Digital Viewer program only. We want to make sure to leave other programs closed so we have a clean environment to test the microscope.

    Click on the gear-shaped icon in the in the top left corner of the Digital Viewer window to enter the Settings. Then, click on the drop-down menu for Device, and pick the USB Microscope. Then click Apply to make the change.

    Windows Camera Privacy Settings


  10. Now, you should see the USB Microscope is set as the default device. Feel free to change the resolution or other settings, and start examining things!

    Windows Camera Privacy Settings


Click Here, to see an official article from Microsoft if you'd like to get further details about privacy and security settings.



Instructions for macOS

  1. Click on the Apple Menu icon in the top left of your screen, and then click on System Preferences.

    MacOS Camera Privacy Settings


  2. Click on Security & Privacy to open more options.

    MacOS Camera Privacy Settings


  3. Click on Privacy, and then on Camera. You should see a listing for the Digital Viewer, and may see other other camera programs and capable apps listed as well.

    MacOS Camera Privacy Settings


  4. Check the box next to the Digital Viewer listing. Depending on your settings, you may need to click the lock at the bottom of the screen and put your password in to authenticate changes. Restart the computer once the Digital Viewer is checked.

    MacOS Camera Privacy Settings


  5. Restart the computer after confirming the privacy settings are on. Once the computer reboots, please open the Digital Viewer program only. We want to make sure to leave other programs closed so we have a clean environment to test the microscope.

    Click on the gear shaped icon in the top left corner of the Digital Viewer window to enter the Settings. Then, click on the drop-down menu for Device, and pick the USB Microscope. Then click Apply to make the change.

    MacOS Camera Privacy Settings


  6. Now, you should see the USB Microscope is set as the default device. Feel free to change the resolution or other settings, and start examining things!

    MacOS Camera Privacy Settings


Click Here, to see an official article from Apple if you'd like to get further details about privacy settings for your Mac.



We hope this was helpful! Feel free to reach out to us directly at support@plugable.com if you have any questions or concerns, and we'll be here to help you.


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