How to Fix Registry Settings for a Webcam on Yahoo Messenger

Written by chris hoffman Google
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How to Fix Registry Settings for a Webcam on Yahoo Messenger
Yahoo! Messenger can perform video calls with webcams. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Yahoo! Messenger works with most webcams with no registry configuration required. However, Yahoo! Messenger may crash when it tries to use some webcams, particularly older models. In these cases, you can try a registry setting fix that sets Yahoo! Messenger to use the older Video for Windows, or VFW, system to access the webcam. Yahoo! Messenger doesn't have a graphical option for switching to Video for Windows, so you have to edit the registry if you need to use it.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Close Yahoo! Messenger if it's open by right-clicking its icon in the system tray and selecting "Exit."

  2. 2

    Click "Start," type "Regedit" into the search box at the bottom of the Start menu and press "Enter." If you don't see a search box, select "Run" instead and type "Regedit" into the Run dialogue window.

  3. 3

    Navigate to the "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Yahoo" folder in the left pane of the registry editor window.

  4. 4

    Click the "webcam" folder under the Yahoo folder. If it doesn't exist, right-click the "Yahoo" folder, point to "New," select "Key," type "webcam" and press "Enter," then click the "webcam" folder.

  5. 5

    Click the "Edit" menu, point to "New," select "DWORD Value," type "UseVFW" and press "Enter."

  6. 6

    Double-click the "UseVFW" value in the right pane.

  7. 7

    Type "1" into the value data box and click "OK."

  8. 8

    Click "File" and "Exit" to close the Registry Editor window.

  9. 9

    Re-open Yahoo! Messenger and try using your webcam again.

Tips and warnings

  • To disable VFW, navigate to the "UseVFW" value in the registry at "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Yahoo\Webcam," right-click the "UseVFW" value and select "Delete."
  • Be careful when editing your registry -- you risk damaging your Windows installation by deleting or changing certain keys and values.

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