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Desktop: Troubleshooting participant camera / microphone issues - Chrome extension
Desktop: Troubleshooting participant camera / microphone issues - Chrome extension

Troubleshooting errors and issues connecting camera or microphone when participating in a session

Russ Troester avatar
Written by Russ Troester
Updated over a week ago

🚀 If you are having issues with your microphone and/or camera, but were not required to install a Chrome extension for your session (you are using the extension-free beta), please see this help article for troubleshooting steps.

Allow microphone/camera access

You might see a permissions popup window in your Chrome browser the first time Participate asks you to enable your microphone or camera. Click the Allow button to proceed:

Why am I asked to use my microphone or camera?

Your microphone is always required because thinking out loud is an important part of a research session. Your camera may be optional or required, depending on the researcher’s needs. If you’re not comfortable with this step, please contact the person asking you to participate.

I didn’t get a permissions popup

If you don't get a permissions dialog in the Chrome extension, it can be because the extension was blocked from accessing the microphone and/or camera sometime earlier. Follow the steps below to troubleshoot.

Try updating microphone/camera access in Chrome Settings

This should fix most problems for Apple (Mac) and Windows (PC) users

  1. Type chrome://settings in your browser bar

  2. Search for microphone or camera

  3. Click Site Settings

  4. Under Permissions, select Microphone or Camera

  5. Under Not allowed to use... click Participate by Lookback

  6. Under Permissions, select the dropdown menu next to Microphone or Camera and change it to Allow

  7. Mac users: quit the browser. Windows users: exit the browser

  8. Re-follow the link originally shared with you

If updating microphone or camera access in Chrome Settings doesn’t work, continue with the troubleshooting steps below.

Fix operating systems problems with your microphone or camera (Apple/Mac)

If the problem is with your microphone, make sure you aren’t muted. Adjusting the volume can sometimes resolve issues with the microphone. If that doesn’t help, try the steps below.

Check System Preferences to make sure Chrome has permission to use your microphone or camera

  1. Mouse to the upper left-hand corner of your screen and click the Apple icon to open System Preferences

  2. Click the Security & Privacy icon

  3. Scroll down to Microphone or Camera in the left-hand panel

  4. Find Google and tick the selection box to add a blue check mark next to it

  5. Follow the instructions to Quit & Reopen

  6. Re-follow the link already shared with you

You will need to go through some of the steps you completed earlier, but this time you should be able to successfully select your microphone or camera and start your session.

Fix operating systems problems with your microphone or camera (Windows/PC)

Because of the differences between Windows (PC) operating systems, we recommend following the troubleshooting steps for your operating system at Microsoft’s website: Windows camera, microphone, and privacy.

Once you’ve completed any steps recommended, re-follow the link already shared with you.


If you're still having trouble, start a conversation with us using the blue chat bubble in the lower right hand corner of your screen.

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