Updating your device is supposed to make it better — right? It's pretty frustrating when operating system updates introduce new problems rather than fixing the ones that already exist, like we might have just seen when Google Assistant started speaking the wrong language with Android Auto. Now it's time for Chromebook users to share in the misery, as it looks like a Chrome OS update may have rendered some Chromebook cameras useless for the moment.
Reports from a number of users have surfaced across the likes of Reddit and in formal bug reports saying that their cameras stopped working after a Chrome OS update, as spotted by About Chromebooks. Most of the affected devices are based around ARM processors, and users claim that it doesn't matter what application accesses the camera, either, just that upon updating to Chrome OS 100 (and possibly even 99), the camera simply does not work. The indicator light turns on and the Chromebook makes a shutter sound, but no pictures come out.
About Chromebooks notes at least four laptops having the problem — Acer Chromebook 14, HP Chromebook x2 11, Lenovo Duet 5 Chromebook 5, and the Lenovo 10e — and observes that out of that list, the Acer is the only machine with a different architecture (an Intel Celeron chip, compared to the Qualcomm or MediaTek ARM chipsets in the rest). Even powerwashing (basically a factory reset) doesn't seem to fix it.
The good news is that Google knows about the problem and is reportedly on the case, posting a note to Reddit that says to look for a fix in the coming days.
UPDATE: 2022/04/08 15:25 EST BY AROL WRIGHT
A fix is here
As confirmed by the company in a Chrome OS support forum (via Chrome Unboxed), a fix for this is currently rolling out. If your Chromebook was updated and your camera broke as a result, this OTA update should restore functionality.
Make sure you follow these steps to check for the update and install it on your laptop. If it doesn't show up immediately, it should land within the next few days.