Occasionally, owners of Macs with Apple’s built-in iSight webcams may experience an issue that causes only a solid black picture to be displayed. No need to worry, it’s most likely not permanent.
A few days ago I received a call from a friend of mine who was running into a puzzling issue with his new MacBook that was preventing him from using the iSight camera in Photobooth and iChat. While it worked earlier in the day, it was now just showing a blank, all black screen. A few expletives later, I suggested the most basic troubleshooting measure — restarting the system. This simple tip usually resolves a good chunk of weird bugs like this, but not in this case.
The next thing we tried, however, did bring back full functionality of the camera. It’s a very simple fix that will only take a minute or two:
1.) Shut down the system completely, remove the battery, and disconnect the power adapter.
2.) Press and hold the power button on the laptop for a few seconds. This drains all the power lingering in your Mac.
3.) Re-insert the battery and power adapter (if you were using it before), and turn your Mac back on as your normally would.
This quick three-step process should get your iSight camera working again. If not, you may have a more serious problem that needs to be addressed by an Apple certified technician.