How to fix the virtual camera function in Zoom

Update 5/22: In the comments, Ricardo Matosinhos notes that Zoom version 5.0.x on May 24 will restore virtual camera function: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201361963-New-updates-for-macOS

Update 5/12: As noted by Raymond Perfetti in the comments, Zoom is forcing an upgrade to 5.0 as of 5/31 so the original solution (re-install 4.6.x) will not work after that. https://zoom.us/docs/en-us/zoom-v5-admin.html?zcid=1231

Update 4/17 An advanced solution sourced from a Reddit thread by Scotty588 and provided by Patrick Wardle:

Install the latest Zoom, install XCode and run this in Terminal:

$ codesign --remove-signature /Applications/zoom.us.app/

Use that at your own risk, but it does work and may be preferable to running an old version of Zoom.

Update 4/13 from ManyCam: “Skype, Zoom and a bunch of other applications had to enable something called library validation. This can be seen here: Library Validation” Full explanation in their forums here.

If you don’t know what a ‘virtual camera’ is or why you need one you can probably skip this.

Picture-in-Picture using ManyCam and Zoom for class this week.

Briefly: Zoom, Skype, Hangouts, etc. all accept inputs from USB cameras. On the PC and Mac you can use apps like Open Broadcaster Software (OBS has a virtual camera function on PC only) or ManyCam to take your webcam input as well as your iPhone camera, internet-connected camera or media files to easily mix and switch between sources. These apps are min video studios and will output to a “virtual camera” source that your video conferencing tool can then broadcast. So, you can do picture-in-picture, green screen backgrounds, lower-third titles and so on. I use this for teaching so I can do screen sharing among other things.

Basic demo of ManyCam and video source switching with Zoom.

We use Zoom at school and while I am aware of the security concerns, it is non-negotiable. I have locked down my security settings as much as possible — EFF has a good primer.

Last week Zoom released an update. For Mac it was version 4.6.9. I immediately installed it, assuming it had addressed some of the noted security issues. It may have but it also disabled virtual cameras on both Mac and PC. That is a problem as I was relying on that feature and had purchased ManyCam specifically for that purpose.

It is not clear if Zoom intended to break virtual cameras, maybe the feature is vulnerable to attack. But there is still no official mention of it I can find. I filed tickets with Zoom and ManyCam to get answers. Zoom has not replied (they may be busy?) but ManyCam did.

These links and directions are from their support forums, but caveat emptor.

From Zoom, download a previous installer (Mac only — see the PC link at the bottom):

If that installer doesn’t immediately work, Marco Landry (Marco555 in the forum thread) suggests:

$ pkgutil -- expand Zoominstaller.pkg Zoom
$ cd Zoom/Scripts
$ ./7zr x zm.7z

Then just copy the Zoom app to your applications folder.

I am back up and running. And lesson learned. Never be first in line to install a feature update during a global pandemic.

Stay safe.

P.S.: Matthew Roland (comment below) provides this link for Windows:

4.6.7 (March 1 , 2020) https://zoom.us/client/4.6.18176.0301/ZoomInstaller.exe

Knight Chair in Digital Editing and Producing @mujschool. Formerly Director of Product @McClatchy Also: @BostonGlobe, @Poynter, @AOL, M.S. HFID @bentleyu

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