The Windows 10 Anniversary Update arrived a little more than two weeks ago, and it has been a major headache for a lot of users. Though the update brought a bunch of features, it also unexpectedly broke millions of webcams, and now consumers are left waiting for a fix. That fix is in the pipeline and, if we’re lucky, it’ll be released next month. Until then, consumers are forced to contend with less-than-functional webcams, bringing their Skype sessions to a screeching halt.
It seems the problem revolves around how Windows 10 handles USB webcams following the Anniversary Update: they can’t use H.264 or MJPEG encoded streams thanks to the update, leaving them with only YUY2 encoding. Microsoft made the move to avoid decreases in performance, but the unfortunate fallout has been a massive loss of functionality across the webcam world.
While that’s not such a huge deal for consumers using the webcams on a personal basis — they’ll just have to use their phones until a fix is released — it is a major problem for companies that rely on webcams for video calls, as well as anyone who records themselves for YouTube video, podcasts, and similar.
Microsoft is working to release a fix for the problem, and if all goes as planned, we’ll be getting access to it next week. In the meantime, engineer Rafael Rivera has posted the following workout solution on Twitter:
HKLM\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows Media Foundation\Platform, add DWORD "EnableFrameServerMode" and set to 0. #webcamgate
— Rafael Rivera (@WithinRafael) August 19, 2016