Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Google voice and video issue with Chrome 9 beta

A few users on the Chrome beta track (current version 9.0.597.19) have contacted me recently about Google video chat not working properly in this Chrome version. When using the Chrome dev (10.0) or beta builds (9.0) on Windows, the video window stays all black and does not display the live video.

This issue was caused by some of the enhancements to plugin sandboxing that were added for Chrome 9, and is being tracked in the Chrome bug tracker at We're working with the Chrome team to get this issue resolved as soon as possible, but in the meantime you can work around this issue in several ways.

  1. Enable Gmail's "Video chat enhancements" lab. In addition to resolving this issue, this lab also provides a higher-resolution video chat experience. Active the lab by going to Gmail Settings -> Labs -> Video chat enhancements -> Enable -> Save Changes.
  2. Disable Chrome's built-in Flash player. Go to about:plugins -> Details -> disable gcsf32.dll -> enable npswf32.dll
  3. Switch off the Chrome beta track (will take you back to Chrome 8.0)
  4. Or use an alternate browser (temporarily!) for your video chatting
A bit embarrassing, but these things can happen with beta software. I'll update this post when the problem has been resolved.

Update (1/22/2011): This issue has been fixed in the latest builds of Chrome 9 and Chrome 10.

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