Fixing Issues with Microsoft LifeCam Studio on Windows 10

A recent Windows 10 update seemed to cause my Microsoft LifeCam Studio to start behaving badly. Actually it wasn’t so much the webcam itself, which seemed to work fine, but when the video on the webcam was active the entire machine would start behaving extremely sluggishly, even though the CPU and RAM stats were both nominal.

To cite a specific symptomatic situation, if while on a Skype call I’d try to interact with another application such as Chrome or Slack, I’d click on the app and after a few second it would get focus. In the case of Slack, as I type the letters wouldn’t appear for several seconds, and then would appear all at once, usually with a few dropped characters. With the video on the webcam disabled, none of this happened.
I dug around a bit and although some of the solutions I found were related to the general webcam issues related to the Windows 10 anniversary update (aka #webcamgate), my webcam wasn’t freezing or refusing to work at all as some people were experiencing, but I figured it was close enough to experiment with some of the solutions that worked for people.
The one that did the trick for me I found as a note here, specifically this series of tweets.
Here’s the step-by-step fix that resolved my issues:
  1. Open regedit (you knew this was coming)
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows Media FoundationPlatform
  3. Add a new DWORD with the name EnableFrameServerMode and a value of 0
  4. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREWOW6432NodeMicrosoftWindows Media FoundationPlatform
  5. Add a new DWORD with the name EnableFrameServerMode and a value of 0
  6. Restart any applications that use your webcam, or reboot
With those registry keys in place my Surface Pro 4 is back to normal.

Fixing DPI Scaling Issues in Skype for Business on Windows 10

My setup for my day job these days is a Surface Pro 4 and either an LG 34UC87M-B or a Dell P2715Q monitor, depending on where I’m working. This is a fantastic setup, but some applications have trouble dealing with the high pixel density and don’t scale appropriately.

One case in point is Skype for Business. For some reason it scales correctly as I move between the Surface screen and the external monitor when I use the Dell, but on the LG monitor Skype is either massive on the external monitor, or tiny on the Surface screen.
After a big of digging around I came across a solution that worked for me, which is to change a setting in Skype’s manifest file (who knew there was one?). On my machine the file is here:
C:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOffice16LYNC.EXE.MANIFEST
And the setting in question is this:
Which I changed to this:
Note that you’ll probably have to edit the file as administrator in order to be able to save it.
Once I made that change, saved the file, and restarted Skype, it now scales correctly for both the Surface screen and the external LG monitor.