Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In Messages Preferences, under Audio/Video it reports my MacBook Air (running OS X Lion) does not support video chat, even though the green FaceTime camera lights up and Skype supports this fine on the same computer

screenshot of issue

How can I fix this?

I have added more Information, using messages "Connection Doctor Capabilities" it say no camera, and my build in FaceTime HD is grayed out (but the green light goes on) and the audio is working! It also says my connection is slow (that is true), but is that the reason the camera does not go on ? I am in Spain, Costa del Sol, and thats all the WiFi I can get from my location. Sorry for my English but thats the best I can do. enter image description here

share|improve this question
Why was this question closed? Although it isn't in perfect English, isn't it immediately obvious what the question is (esp. with the screenshot): Messages reports that my mac does not support video chat, even though there are no problems with the builtin FaceTime camera – Josh Hunt Mar 11 '13 at 23:05
I think the edit is substantial enough to revive this. I'll also make a stab at answering it as I have a hunch as to the problem. However, I am a but mystified how you have gotten messages running on Lion since messages requires Mountain Lion and the beta of Messages that ran on Lion has expired. Am I missing something or could you explicitly confirm the version of Messages and the version of OS X you are running? – bmike Mar 11 '13 at 23:59
OSX 10.8.2 Messages Version 7.0.1 (3315) – user44516 Mar 12 '13 at 11:15
up vote 2 down vote accepted

It's possible you have another program that has made a lock against the camera which is preventing Messages from seeing the message. For example, if I start Skype and the camera LED is green, I get the same error from time to time.

If you check to be sure Skype and any other programs don't launch at boot, you might reboot your Mac and try messages first. Also, after the reboot, check for any system updates in case there's an oddball issue with drivers that could be corrected. It's been a long, long time since I've seen cameras not work, but making sure your version of Lion is patched to the latest version can't hurt.

share|improve this answer
your Skype suggestion is a good one. So I killed it and restarted without it, unfortunately did not solve the problem but let me check if you are on the right track. I have some more information (a screent shot) of the "Connection Doctor Capabilities" from messages. It says no camera ? I can not post the screen shot here, but let my try with edit the original post :) – user44516 Mar 12 '13 at 15:47
That's a great edit. When you mention that english is not native, it helps us all recalibrate our expectations. I've been blessed with fast networks, but it appears you have a such a slow connection to whatever servers Apple tests that the software is preventing video and not some other bug. It might be by design to force you on a network that can carry the minimal acceptable video stream on iMessage/iChat. – bmike Mar 12 '13 at 16:05

I suggest you rephrase your question a bit, so it is more clear.

From what I understand you want to video chat with someone through Messages? Messages isn't meant for video chatting: that is what FaceTime is there for. When you press the video chat icon in Messages, all it is really supposed to do is open FaceTime and start a new video-chat there.

I suggest you try opening FaceTime directly, and start your video chat from there.

UPDATE: Though does support video chat, especially for third party and legacy protocols + Bonjour. When answering before I didn't consider any of these protocols, as this would be one of the main factors to point out in the question, but it nonetheless wasn't. Given the lack of "I am using Google Talk / Jabber / Bonjour / etc.", and the little information given, I guessed on the default protocol: iMessage, which doesn't support video chat. Apple has relayed that to the FaceTime protocol.

I suggest once more that you make edits to your question. The more specific you can get about your problem, the better we can help you solve it.

share|improve this answer
Well, the message should be "No FaceTime installed/Detected, not This computer does not support Video chat. – user44516 Mar 11 '13 at 10:44
If it is as you say that Messages is not for Video chat, why is there a Audio/Video setting in the Messages? – user44516 Mar 11 '13 at 11:04
Why are you closing a perfectly legit question? – user44516 Mar 11 '13 at 22:12
This computer does not support video chats!! The video chat does not work with Messages (see above screen capture). the camera is detected and working (green led comes on when i open Audio/Video Preferences), but Messages thinks the machine does not support video chats. any ideas? – user44516 Mar 11 '13 at 22:14
@kevin9794 Since when did Messages not support video chat? Better tell Apple! – Josh Hunt Mar 11 '13 at 23:03

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.