Video chatting with faraway loved ones can make the distance between you seem smaller, and doing it with your friends can be great fun even if you just saw them a few hours ago. That's assuming everything works correctly, though, which is not always guaranteed. If you're using your webcam with an instant messaging program such as QQ, there are several different steps to the setup and troubleshooting process.

Check the Hardware

The first few things to check are really basic, but because of that they can sometimes be forgotten. Make sure your webcam is connected to your computer correctly, with the cable firmly and fully inserted into the corresponding port. If your webcam has a manual switch and doesn't automatically activate whenever you launch a program that uses it, ensure it's switched on.

Check the Software

Make sure you've installed the webcam drivers -- the most recent version of them is usually available for download on the manufacturer's website. Open the webcam's settings and adjust them to your liking. Most configuration software shows you a live video feed from the webcam as a preview, so you can see the effects of the various settings and ensure everything looks right. Adjust the webcam's position, if necessary.

Set Up the Webcam in QQ

Launch QQ and open the settings. Click "Contacts and Chat," select "Audio / Video" and then click "Video Settings." If QQ doesn't automatically detect your webcam, select it using the drop-down menu. You will see a live video feed preview from your webcam. Select whether QQ should prioritize image quality or transmission speed when video chatting and then click "OK."

Start a Video Chat

To start a one-on-one video chat, select a contact, click the webcam icon and select "Start Video Chat." Once your contact accepts your video chat invitation, the chat will begin. If you want to start a group video chat instead, click the webcam icon and select "Group Video Chat Invite." Select the contacts you want to video chat with from your contact list, click "Add" to add them to the list and then click "OK" to send the video chat invitations. As soon as one contact accepts the invitation, the chat will begin.