Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

Black screen in Photo Booth


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 13, 2006
Durham, UK
Hi, ever since I got my iMac I haven't been able to use the iSight. In Tiger, all I got was a green, occasionally black screen. But then sometimes when I opened it, it would work fine! I thought it might be software, since it has worked, but after an erase and install of Leopard, now all I get is a black screen.

It shows up under USB > USB High Speed Bus > Built-in iSight in System Profiler, so it can definitely detect the camera.

It's 2.5 hours to the nearest Apple Store so I don't want to take it to the Genius' there, and it's not that big a deal, but hopefully can get it fixed!

Anyone got any ideas?


macrumors member
Oct 13, 2005
I am having the same problem with my MacBook Pro's built-in camera after upgrading to Leopard. When I open Photo Booth, the green light does not turn on and the image is completely black. However, the camera works fine in iChat AV. Help!


macrumors member
Apr 1, 2007
San Diego
Photobooth has alot of problems. Usually when i launch Photobooth for the first time in a while, it crashes, and i have to launch it again. Sometimes after taking a picture the brightness of the image from the iSight is suddenly very dark and I have to relaunch the application to get the right brightness back.


macrumors newbie
Feb 19, 2008
Black Screen in Photo booth ... How do I fix it?

I have that same problem. A black screen comes up in when I start photo booth. I haven't checked if my ichat video chat works the same as it did yet. Does anyone know how to fix this?


macrumors member
Nov 13, 2005
Did you guys find a solution for this? My sister has the same problem (she has a Macbook with leopard).


macrumors newbie
Apr 5, 2005
in constant state of wonder
Problem solved!

After installing Leopard on iMac G5 (PP) I got the same problem: black screen in Photo Booth and in iChat. Followed the link given right above my post and from there read this:

How to Troubleshoot iSight

Step 4 (Resetting SMC) easily solved this problem!

Resetting the SMU can resolve some computer issues such as not starting up, not displaying video, sleep issues, fan noise issues, and so on. If your computer still exhibits these types of issues even after you've restarted the computer, try resetting the SMU. To reset the SMU on one of these iMacs:

Turn off the computer by choosing Shut Down from the Apple menu, or by holding the power button until the computer turns off.

Unplug all cables from the computer, including the power cord.

Wait 10 seconds.

Plug in the power cord while simultaneously pressing and holding the power button on the back of the computer.
Let go of the power button.

Press the power button once more to start up your iMac.

Hope that helps others.


macrumors newbie
Nov 12, 2007
Possible fix for this issue... YMMV

In trying to fix this very same issue on my girlfriend's 20" Intel iMac, I discovered something interesting:

In her case, she had recently purchased a non-powered Hi-Speed USB 2.0 hub that was in the shape and coloring of a ladybug insect. Cute, but I suspected something was amiss as I had plugged in a USB SanDisk flash drive to transfer a file (totally unrelated to this topic but bear with me here...) to her desktop.

Before I could do that, all of a sudden the flash drives' icon disappeared from the desktop and I got the early disconnection warning, yada yada yada...

I had previously tried all the usual steps in trying to fix this iSight problem, ie. deleting the ~/Library/Preferences/ file, reinstalling PhotoBooth from the OS X 10.6 app from the OS X Install DVD via Pacifist (which is a GREAT utility BTW!! Highly recommended! )

In checking the Apple System Profiler to see if the built-in iSight camera was in the USB chain, it was indeed there and so was this external USB 2.0 hub... but the early ejection of the flash drive led me to believe that the hub wasn't getting enough power from the iMac to run the flash drive and the other devices on the chain (which includes the iSight...) so... I ejected the only other device on the hub, an external Western Digital 320GB drive and then physically disconnected the USB 2.0 ladybug hub.

Guess what??

Yup... launched Photo Booth and voilá! A fully working Photo Booth with VIDEO!!

So, that being said, unplug any external USB devices and see if that fixes your particular installation. I suspect also that a POWERED USB 2.0 hub would have avoided this problem altogether.
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.