How to fix the Can’t connect to camera error on Android

Although they are not DSLR cameras, smartphone cameras are definitely getting better and better with every generation and are completely indispensable when it comes to the daily usage of millions of users around the world. Camera errors and issues are quite rare but, when they occur, they need to be dealt with as soon as possible. Some users get the “Can’t connect to Camera” error which renders the camera unusable. If you are among them, check the steps we listed below.

Table of contents:

  1. Restart your phone and check the lens
  2. Clear the local data from the Camera app
  3. Uninstall updates from Camera
  4. Boot into Safe Mode
  5. Wipe cache partition
  6. Update the firmware and check permissions
  7. Report the issue and try a third-party camera
  8. Reset your device to factory settings

What do you do when your Android camera won’t work?

If your Android camera won’t work, make sure to restart the phone and clean the lens. After that, you can clear the app data or uninstall camera updates. In addition, you can try using the camera from the Safe Mode or wiping the cache partition.

Finally, either switch to a third-party camera or go for the factory reset and hope for the best.

1. Restart your phone and check the lens

Whenever something unexpected happens on your Android, go for a restart. Restarting your phone will restart all system and third-party processes and address some minor issues. So, give it a go and try opening the camera app again.

In addition, check if the lens is dirty or damaged. If not, continue with the next step.

2. Clear the local data from the Camera app

The next thing you should try is clearing the local data from the Camera app. Once you clear cache and data, you’ll reset the app in a way and, hopefully, address the issue at hand.

Here’s how to clear cache and data from the Camera app:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Select All apps.
  4. Locate Camera on the list of all available apps.
  5. Open Camera from the list.
  6. Tap Storage.
  7. Tap Clear Data and confirm once prompted.
  8. Restart your device and open the camera to see whether the error keeps on appearing or not.

Now, if you still can’t access or can’t connect to the Camera app on your Android, check the next step.

3. Uninstall updates from Camera

The next thing you can try is uninstalling the Camera app updates. This is by far the best way to tackle issues with system apps. Of course, because they can’t be uninstalled completely.

Here’s how to uninstall updates from Camera:

  1. Navigate again to Settings > Apps > All Apps > Camera.
  2. Once there, tap on the 3-dot icon and select Uninstall updates from the contextual menu.
  3. Restart your device and check for improvements.

If your phone is still stuck with the Can’t connect to camera error, continue with the next step.

4. Boot into Safe Mode

Another viable troubleshooting step is to boot into Safe Mode and check whether the camera works or not. If there’s a third-party interference, you’ll easily identify it since Safe Mode loads only system apps. You can learn more about the procedure in this dedicated article, here.

Here’s how to boot into Safe mode on Android:

  1. Press and hold the Power button until the Power menu appears.
  2. Tap and hold on to the Power off icon until the pop-up appears. It should inform you about safe mode and offer options to enter the Safe mode or cancel the action.
  3. Tap OK to boot into the Safe mode.
  4. Once the device boots into Safe mode on Android, you’ll see the Safe mode strip at the bottom of your screen.

If your phone still can’t connect to the Camera, check the next step.

5. Wipe cache partition

The next thing you should try is wiping the cache partition. This can be done from the Recovery menu which is an advanced troubleshooting menu used to fix issues if the system won’t boot. Along with some more drastic options, you have the option to wipe cache partition which will wipe all cache from the system, not the apps.

Here’s how to wipe cache partition on your Android:

  1. Power off your device.
  2. Press and hold the Power button + Volume Up until the MI welcome screen appears. Let go of the Power button and keep holding the Volume Up button.
  3. Once you get into the Recovery mode, use the Volume buttons to get to the Wipe Cache Partition option. Press the Power button to confirm the selection.
  4. Reboot the phone back to the system.

6. Update the firmware and check permissions

Make sure that your software is up to date. Navigate to Settings > System > System update and check for available updates. Install them and, hopefully, the camera problem will be gone.

In addition, if the problem appears when trying to access the camera from third-party apps like Instagram or Snapchat, make sure to check app permissions. You can do so for any app by following these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Select All apps (or any other option that allows you to see the list of all installed apps).
  4. Select Instagram from the list of all apps. Or any other app that can’t access the camera.
  5. Tap Permissions.can't connect to camera
  6. Ensure that Instagram has access to the camera.

7. Report the issue and try a third-party camera

Reporting the problem to your OEM is a good idea so they can fix it in their next patch. And, while you wait for the fix, you can try using a third-party camera. We wrote about Google Camera ports, here, and if your phone has a port available, make sure to give it a try. You’ll be amazed by the improvements that Gcam brings.

If your phone doesn’t have any Gcam ports or the available ports don’t work as intended, you can use any Camera app from Play Store. Open Camera first comes to mind, but there are a few other apps that should be a solid replacement for the system camera that doesn’t work.

8. Reset your device to factory settings

Finally, if nothing worked for you and the Can’t connect to camera error keeps reappering, the only remaining option we can recommend is resetting the device to factory settings. This is definitely a lengthy procedure, as all your data and apps will be deleted in the process. On the other hand, it’s probably the only reliable way to deal with major system issues.

Here’s how to reset your device to factory settings:

  1. Back up everything before moving to reset
  2. Open Settings.
  3. Choose System.
  4. Select Reset options.
  5. Tap Erase all (factory reset).
  6. Tap Erase all.can't connect to camera
  7. Your device will restart and you’ll get to the initial setup screen.
  8. From there, sign in to Google and/or to OEMs account and restore everything that’s backed up.

That should do it. Thank you for reading and don’t forget to leave your feedback in the comments section below. We look forward to hearing from you.

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