Among the many devices available on the market today, a USB endoscope camera is one that could be pretty fun, and will also allow you to inspect places that you wouldn’t be able to with a conventional camera due to the inability to access them.

Yes, there are a lot of ways to use one, but with so many options out there on the market, we’ve seen users reporting a USB endoscope camera not working. It’s sometimes a hardware issue, and sometimes a software one, but the end result is the same – a frustrated user with a camera they can’t use, even though they paid for it.

Therefore, let’s take a look at some of the most popular reasons why you might end up with a USB camera that’s not working, and we’ll talk about how to solve them.

Looking for something small, similar to a endoscope camera? Check our list of best mini cameras here.

The most common issue is the app

A USB endoscope camera is usually made to work with a smartphone, but you can also use it on a computer. However, both the computer and the smartphone aren’t made to be used with one out-of-the-box, which means you’ll need to install some kind of software so the camera can communicate with the computer or smartphone.

When it comes to a computer, most cameras will come with a CD that contains the software you should install. If that’s not the case, you could search online for your specific model, and the software for it. If that doesn’t work either, your last option is to use your computer’s device manager and have that find the software.

However, when it comes to using a USB endoscope camera with a smartphone, things are a bit more complicated. There are a lot of apps available on the Play Store and the App Store, and not all of them are compatible with all endoscope cameras you might buy. So, what do you do?

Well, if your endoscope camera doesn’t come with a suggested app you can use, you can always resort to some that have the most widespread compatibility. Without putting them in any particular order, five of the best options are USB Camera, Scopecam, CameraFi, Easycap & UVC Player and Easycam. When you’ve got an hour of free time, you should give all of them a go, and find the one that works best with your specific endoscope camera. We’ve found that out of the five, Scopecam and Easycam work best, but your mileage may vary, so make sure you try out all of them for the best results.

The cable could be to blame

If there’s one hardware piece that’s not your phone, and not your endoscope camera, but still breaks a lot more often than it should, it’s the cable that connects the two. When using it with a smartphone, you also need an OTG (on-the-go) adapter, which is another thing that could be malfunctioning and you should check.

Sourcing an OTG adapter is easy enough, and you should definitely see if that’s working well. If that’s okay, you should check the cable next. At this point, you might be in trouble if the cable can’t be removed from the camera. If that’s the case, you’ll need a new USB endoscope camera. If it can be removed, however, try using it with an alternate cable. Chances are it’s going to be a micro USB cable, and you’re more than likely to have a few of them lying around the house. Just try out a couple of them, if it was the cable that was causing issues, you’ll be able to solve it with a new one pretty easily.

You could be using unsupported software

While you don’t get Android or iOS updates very often, at least not major ones, when you do get them, a lot of things tend to change. And while both Google and Apple will tell you about the major things that you should know about, few users read the fine print which also contains a lot of useful information.

One of those things that change very often, especially with Android, are the permissions. And coincidentally, a USB endoscope camera will often require a few special permissions in order to be able to use it. You might think that you gave it permissions in order for it to work as it’s supposed to, but an update can easily mess up those permissions.

To check that, open your notifications with the device connected. Click on it, and see what it’s currently using. Your best bet would be to enable it full access, as that’s what is going to guarantee most compatibility.

The camera might be malfunctioning

We know you don’t want to hear it, but this could be the case. Everything from the most budget-oriented models, to the highest end ones out there is prone to breaking, especially since you’re transferring data via a cable that’s being bent all the time.

Therefore, there is a chance that your camera is malfunctioning, and that’s why you’re having problems. If this is the case, unfortunately your only choice is to buy a new USB endoscope camera.

Wrapping things up

All things considered, there are a couple of reasons why your USB endoscope camera isn’t working, and if you’re having problems, it could be any one of them. Above, however, we did our best to show you all possible options, and give you a good idea on how to deal with any of them.

One thing that must be said is that all of the above things are valid for everything from a budget endoscope camera to a high end one, so if you haven’t bought one yet, you should take a look at some budget options. Not only will they save you money, but they’ll save you a bit of headache as well, if and when you need to replace it.