Laptop Crashing with Video Conferencing?


Updated 4-3-2020
Summary: 
 An Apple update has triggered crashing during video conferencing for some people. If you are experiencing this, see below for details and work-arounds.  Otherwise, ignore.

Details and Workarounds: On March 20, 2020 Apple released a security update for macOS. In this release there is a bug that causes specific models of MacBook Air and iMac devices to become slow or even freeze up when using the webcam for video conferencing. This is currently impacting between 350 and 400 Westside laptops. There is no fix at this time, only a few workarounds. This is impacting computers world-wide, and all video conferencing tools. We have a ticket open with Apple.

Unfortunately, there is no fix for this bug until Apple releases a patch. In the mean time you may have luck trying one of these workarounds.

  • As this is a macOS bug, if you have an iPad device, you can use that for Google Meet.
  • On macOS, we’ve seen better luck with using Firefox or Safari for video chats instead of Chrome.
  • If you insist on using Chrome, you can try turning off hardware acceleration. This may help with some devices but you may still experience slowdowns, crashes or poor video quality.
    1. Open Chrome.
    2. Click the three dots in the top-right corner and click on Settings.
    3. In the “Search settings” box at the top of the window type “hardware”.
    4. The “Use hardware acceleration when available” toggle switch will appear.  Click on it once to turn it off.