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Skype: Remove the Cat (Webcam Avatar)

By Carsten | February 3, 2010

It took us a while to figure out where this was hidden, so I thought I’d post it here…

A member of my family has for a long time been battling with a “Webcam Avatar”, a stupid white cat that replaced his video feed in Skype. Apart from not knowing how it had entered his computer in the first place, whatever he did to reset his webcam settings, it would keep reappearing once Skype was restarted.

It turns out that the “Webcam Avatar” is not Skype-specific, but rather something that gets pre-installed along with all the other crap Dell puts on a laptop (or perhaps as part of a system upgrade).

To remove it, you need to go the path of Control Panel-> Add/Remove programs -> Remove Live Cam Avatar. It might appear in more than one place

Topics: Uncategorized |

32 Responses to “Skype: Remove the Cat (Webcam Avatar)”

  1. r Says:
    March 15th, 2010 at 1:11 am

    Dude… thanks so much… was really annoying me and another person !

  2. sachinl Says:
    April 11th, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    Thanks man!!! I had the same problem with the Dell laptop that I got for my parents. They are just warming up to the idea of using the computers video chat etc. It was very annoying to them and me..

    Thanks again!!!

  3. Rahim Says:
    June 14th, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    thanks for the help but heres the deal..i did uninstall the live cam avatar and rechecked it in the was gone but the avatars have not…still pretty much there

  4. Reebu Says:
    August 25th, 2010 at 12:36 am

    Same problem as Rahim. Please help! The stupid cat is getting on my nerves.

  5. Roger S.J. Sattler Says:
    December 31st, 2010 at 1:27 am

    Wow! Thank you! At least I see I am not alone, but I can’t get rid of the very nasty and ugly avatars to get my camera back. Does anyone know who is responsible for this? Surely, Dell must be going nuts with calls and complaints by now. I have eliminated the program several times only to have the cat keep returning.

    It first appeared the other day when I opened Skype for a call after having no problems the day before. I couldn’t figure out how it happened, then thought it might be some kind of malware attack. I tried to change avatars to the ET face, but the woman I was talking to started screaming, literally, that it’s red eyes were glaring and scaring her…she asked me to quit and I ended the call.

    What’s up with this? Anybody had any more luck. All of the avatars are really hideous and their emoticons worse.

  6. dean Says:
    July 19th, 2011 at 5:26 am

    I finally figured out how to not have to have an avatar at all….there is a blank area in the avatar images (bottom right area for me) and by clicking that area your webcam doesn’t use an avatar.

  7. Happy Says:
    August 7th, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Thanks a million!!! That cat was really irritating… Thank u! thank u! thank u!!!

  8. Heimrich Says:
    September 8th, 2011 at 2:53 am

    Funny, I ended up here trying to get a program that allowed me to create my own avatars.

    Here is a solution suggestion: First, download and run “process explorer” from the CNET downloads website. Its free and safe. Run it and keep it open while you do the next:

    Open the webcam controler window from the computer’s control panel and disable it. This should force the “avatar software” to throw an error message. Use Process Explorer (with the target tool) to find the file that throws this message and you would have cought your Webcam thief. Write down it’s name. Then, on the “run” window on the start menu type “MSConfig” and ENTER. Go to the Startup tab and then find and disable you webcam thief from running at startup.

    Restart your computer.

    I hope this helps.

  9. Fernanda Says:
    September 10th, 2011 at 5:41 am

    thank you so much, I too had this cat for over a year here, and only now got rid of it!
    thanks for taking the time to help others, it was very kind of you!

  10. Will Grant Says:
    October 10th, 2011 at 6:04 am

    It’s from dell webcam central all you do is just click the picture that looks like a wheel with a lightning bolt through it and it will go away.

  11. Tessa Says:
    November 24th, 2011 at 7:38 pm


  12. shomir Says:
    November 28th, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    thank u :)

  13. prem Says:
    February 4th, 2012 at 6:26 am

    thanks mate

  14. Anil Patel Says:
    February 11th, 2012 at 4:53 am

    Thanks.. This is really helpful.

  15. Susan Says:
    February 15th, 2012 at 9:08 am

    many thanks, cute cat be he don’t belong in my chat

  16. Nick Watson Says:
    April 1st, 2012 at 2:37 am

    Thanks that stupid cat face was driving me up the wall!

  17. Wendy Snyder Says:
    May 19th, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Uninstall Dell Webcam Central. It works!!! (Dumb cat!)

  18. lester Says:
    September 12th, 2012 at 5:51 am

    Unable to get rid of the cat by this method, my Dell Inspiron 2012 with Windows 7 tells me I have 3 options, Uninstall, Modify or Repair, but in fact the only option that comes up is uninstall, and I need the webcam for my work. Anyone know another path?

  19. SaraMarie Says:
    September 20th, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    THANK YOU! I had a Skype job interview and I don’t think it would have been good for them to see a cat! It worked when I uninstalled Dell Webcam Central.

  20. Dan Says:
    January 29th, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Person on other end changed settings and it brought there pic. feed up

  21. Mistakes from the Job Search: The Kitty Interview | ChemBark Says:
    May 6th, 2013 at 12:11 am

    [...] I resumed the effort of determining what had happened. A friend on Facebook pointed me to this blog post. It turns out that Skype is not to blame; it is some sort of default setting in the webcam software [...]

  22. Amith Blog » Web cam avatar in Dell Computers Says:
    June 8th, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    [...] Link 08 Jun 2013 AUTHOR admin [...]

  23. Tony Ortiz Says:
    January 23rd, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    True story. I had to get SKYPE working for a interview process for CEO at our company. We fire up our Skype and the dude wanting to make a good impression for CEO during this first round (there were many) connects and up comes this fricken TALKING KITTEN! So fricken funny. Felt so bad for the guy. I was able to find and disable this thing on my own before I found this article, but had to share. Did he get the job? Needless to say…

  24. Therese Says:
    February 4th, 2014 at 1:33 am

    Thanks soooo much to you, wonderful people, and also to my son in law who direct me to your site…I simply went to the control panel,went to ” programs and features” found two Avatars and click ,uninstal, on each of them. They are gone …Thank you!

  25. kathy Says:
    February 8th, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Thank you so much - awesome ! and uninstalled! thanks again

  26. Dee Says:
    March 11th, 2014 at 5:04 am

    I tried this but was unable to find the “Remove LiveCam Avatar” part. Any suggestions? What happens if I remove DellCam Central? Will I lose the webcam for Skype?

  27. ibink Says:
    March 13th, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    I think you just saved my relationship with my mother.
    Thank you.

  28. Hans NL Says:
    May 31st, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    Just uninstall the programme “Dell Webcam Central”. The cam in Skype will keep working but the Dell avatars will disappear.

  29. Harry Says:
    October 30th, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Hi guys, many thanks for tips of removing the Dell annoying avatars! However, afterwards my skype video turns to black. Does anyone how to get it back to normal?

  30. Bhagwan Singh Says:
    April 30th, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    Cat is visible instead of my face to whom i am talking on SKYPE

  31. Beth Mayo Says:
    December 4th, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    THank you, thank you.

  32. Laura Says:
    June 27th, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Thank you for this. I recently tried Skype with my friend and suddenly he was a talking dog! Hysterical…but so annoying! We couldn’t get rid of the stupid thing until now. And, yes, he has a Dell.