The problem stems from a change in the way Windows 10 handles decoding certain webcam video streams. Both USB and network-connected webcams an be affected, freezing the camera when you try to use it and making it impossible to access.
If your camera has been affected, you can follow these steps from Thurrott.com contributor Rafael Rivera to get it working again:
- Open regedit from the Start menu.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Media Foundation\Platform
- Right click the Platform folder and select New > DWORD. Name it “EnableFrameServerMode”
- Right-click the new value and select “Modify”
- Enter “0” in the “Value data” field.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows Media Foundation\Platform
- Repeat steps 3-5.
For now, this seems to be the only fix that allows you to stay on the Anniversary Update. If you haven’t updated yet and you’d like to avoid screwing up your webcam, you can try holding off on the updates. Though given Microsoft’s propensity for pushing updates, that may be tough to pull off.