No camera after OS upgrade Big Sur


Well-known Member
We have started to use my sons 2015 (?) Intel MacBook Pro for video meetings etc as he rarely uses it now and it’s better than my iPad.

2 weeks ago I upgraded the OS to Big Sur. after that on every app, Teams, Zoom, Photobooth I get the dreaded ‘no camera detected. There are no lights (as some have said may get a flashing green light?).

Have spent a few hours trying numerous suggested fixes. Tried sudo killall VDCAssistant and applecameraassistant, reboot, reboot in safe mode, reset SMC. Checked all privileges. Created a new user. And when I checked in system hardware the camera is not even detected there. Nothing! Nada! Zilch!

Had an online chat with Apple this morning, who basically said he didn’t know as I’d done all that he’d suggest and maybe it’s a hardware issue? I find that strange as it worked before I upgraded?

There are only 2 other things I could try? Downgrade the software to previous version? Or reset the whole thing and do a fresh install (which I’d rather not do).

I’m not an expert on MacBooks and am now lost!

Anyone have any words of advice for me before I reset it? Thanks


Well-known Member
Rebuild from scratch does sounds like your best bet.

MacOS12 Monterey has just released this week and should work on a 2015 MacBook I believe. You could see if that’s available and try to upgrade to that first in case it fixes it.


Well-known Member
Is it easish to do? Never done one on a Mac.

I’m off next week and might attempt it then.


Well-known Member
It’s reasonably straight forward.

Manually backup
Time Machine backup good idea too
Create a USB install key - search online for the Apple terminal guide. It’s easy. 16GB or larger USB needed.
Boot to USB and go into Disk Utility first.
View all volumes and then select the root of your internal SSD. Erase it.
Close Disk Utility and carry on with the installer.


Active Member
Before you rebuild from scratch, you could try booting off Ubuntu from a live USB. You should be able to test the camera that way. Go to the ubuntu website for more details.


Well-known Member
Short update. Took MacBook back to factory settings. Not without help in an Apple support call (the guy was brilliant by the way, I cannot fault their support at all) due to a hdd issue.

Unfortunately it didn’t get the camera working…..

He did add the camera issue to the incident report for me to go back to him if I wanted. But at this point I’d lost the will to live!

So tried my cheap Microsoft 3000 webcam on it and it worked first time. So bought a 2nd one and will continue with that.

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