Microsoft deploys a temporary fix for faulty Surface Pro cameras. What to know

A critical troubleshooter is coming to re-enable the cameras on outdated Surface devices, but it comes at a cost.
Written by Kerry Wan, Senior Reviews Editor
Microsoft Surface Pro Camera
June Wan/ZDNET

Just last week, in the midst of Microsoft's Build event for developers and all things AI, multiple Surface Pro X users reported that their cameras were no longer working, displaying a "0xA00F4271<MediaCaptureFailedEvent> (0x80004005)" error code when taking video calls on Microsoft Teams and Zoom.

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At the time, several Surface Pro X users discovered that manually changing the date and time of your system to either May 22 or any time before then was the quick fix for the camera issue. While this was merely a temporary solution to the problem, it suggested that the root of the malfunctioning was an expired Windows security certificate.

By the end of last week, Microsoft's support channel issued the following statement: "Microsoft is deploying a critical troubleshooter to mitigate this issue on most affected Windows devices. This workaround might disable some features of the camera or lower the image quality but should allow the camera to function until the issue is resolved by the device manufacturer with an updated camera driver."

Basically, an official solution is here, but it'll cost you lost features and resolution.

As for the outdated driver problem, the "device manufacturer" that Microsoft is referring to is Qualcomm, which produces the camera drivers on the Surface Pro X. So, until Qualcomm releases a patch for the faulty components, users will have to update their computers with Microsoft's troubleshooter and settle with a nerfed camera system, or manually change the date of their devices, which we only recommend as a last resort.

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That's because by changing the date of your PC, software and services that run on a scheduled basis can quite literally lose track of time. Furthermore, systems that rely on encryption and authentication to communicate with each other must be operating on the same date and time.

The safest play here is to update your computer with Microsoft's soft patch and wait for Qualcomm to do its part, too. Otherwise, it may be time for a new, dedicated webcam

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