Quick Tip: Lync Video or Webcam Issues

Here’s a quick tip for Lync video issues that’s helped me a few times and I thought I’d share.

Sometimes you’ll get a crash related to video, for example when you try to share video or change your video settings, Lync just up and dies.  The most common culprit for these is simply the video driver.  Even the most recent driver isn’t necessarily going to resolve your issue, though I recommend starting by updating it.  I’d also suggest going with a generic driver to see if the problem resolves itself.

In fact, when Lync crashes in general, it’s usually driver related.  Start trying to eliminate the variables by checking your sound/video/Bluetooth drivers.

I’ve also see issues where there’s not necessarily a crash or a freezing, but a hanging or gray or blank screen.  In this case I’ve had a client attempt to share a webcam, the video preview worked, but as soon as they tried to start the video, nothing was shown.  The light on the webcam was on, but there was nothing.  This was particularly on a Dell All-In-One dual screen device, there were two drivers, an Intel and an AMD Radeon.  I’ve also seen it on a Dell Vostro and another HP.

The trick here was to disable hardware acceleration in Office.  The easiest way to do this was through Microsoft Word.  Head to File -> Options -> Advanced, scroll down to the display section and click to enable “Disable Hardware Acceleration”.  A picture is below for easy reference, and a direct link to a registry key if you find this to be an issue and need to push it out via group policy.

DisableHardwareAcceleration

Key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Graphics
DWORD: DisableHardwareAcceleration = 1