FaceTime Not Working On iPhone? Here’s Why & The Fix!

FaceTime is a great way to connect with your friends and family. But what happens when FaceTime doesn’t work the way it should? In this article, I’ll explain why FaceTime is not working on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod and how to fix FaceTime when it’s giving you trouble.

To find your solution, just look for your situation below, and you will be able to figure out how to get your FaceTime working again. Make sure to read the basics first, before you move on.

FaceTime: The Basics

FaceTime is Apple’s video chat app, and it only works between Apple devices. If you have an Android phone, PC, or any other device that isn’t an Apple product, you won’t be able to use FaceTime.

If you’re trying to communicate with someone who doesn’t have an Apple device (such as an iPhone or a Mac laptop), then you will not be able to communicate with that person via FaceTime.

FaceTime is easy to use when it’s working properly. Before we go on, let’s go over how to use it, just to make sure you’re doing things right.

How Do I Use FaceTime On My iPhone?

  1. First, go to your Contacts app and click on it.
  2. Once you are inside the app, click or tap on the name of the person you want to call. This will take you into that person’s entry in Contacts. You should see a FaceTime option under that person’s name.
  3. Click or tap on FaceTime.
  4. If you want an audio-only call, click or tap on the Audio Call button. If you want to use video, click or tap on the Video Call button.

Does FaceTime Work On iPhone, iPad, iPod, or Mac?

The answer is “yes” to all four, with some reasonable limits. It will work on a Mac with OS X installed or any of the following devices (or later models): iPhone 4, a fourth generation iPod Touch, and iPad 2. If you have an older device, then you won’t be able to make or receive FaceTime calls.

How To Fix Problems With FaceTime on iPhone, iPad, and iPod

Make Sure You’re Signed In With Your Apple ID

In order to use FaceTime, you have to be signed into your Apple ID, and so does the person you want to contact. Let’s begin by making sure that you are signed in with your Apple ID.

Go to Settings -> FaceTime and make sure the switch at the top of the screen next to FaceTime is turned on. If the switch is not on, tap it to turn on FaceTime. Under that, you should see Apple ID with your ID listed, and your phone and email beneath it.

turn on facetime iphone settings

If you are signed in, great! If not, then sign in and try the call again. If the call works, then you are good to go. If it still does not work, try a device reset, which can fix problems with connections to software offerings such as FaceTime.

Question: Does FaceTime Not Work With Anyone Or Just One Person?

Here’s a helpful rule of thumb: If FaceTime is not working with anyone, it’s probably a problem with your iPhone. If it doesn’t work with just one person, it’s probably a problem on the other person’s iPhone, iPad, or iPod.

Why Doesn’t FaceTime Work With Only One Person?

The other person may not have FaceTime turned on, or there may be a software problem with their iPhone, or with the network they are trying to connect to. If you’re not sure, try making a FaceTime call with someone else. If the call goes through, you know your iPhone is OK — it’s the other person who needs to be reading this article.

3. Are You Trying To Contact A Person Without Service?

Even if both you and the person you’re trying to contact have a FaceTime account, that may not be all of the story. Apple does not have FaceTime service in all areas. This website can help you figure out which countries and carriers do and do not support FaceTime. Unfortunately, If you’re trying to use FaceTime in an unsupported area, there’s nothing you can do to make it work.

4. Is A Firewall Or Security Software Getting In The Way?

If you have a firewall or other form of internet protection in place, then it may be blocking ports that prevent FaceTime from working. You can view a list of the ports that need to be open for FaceTime to work on Apple’s website. The way to disable security software varies widely, so you’ll need to visit the software manufacturer’s website for help with the specifics.

Troubleshooting FaceTime Device by Device

If you are still having issues with FaceTime after attempting the fixes above, find your device below and we’ll get you going with some more fixes you can try. Let’s get started!

iPhone

When you use FaceTime on your iPhone, it requires you to be signed in with an Apple ID on other devices, and you also have to have a cellular data plan. Most wireless providers require a data plan when you buy any smartphone, so you probably have one.

If you don’t want to use your cellular data plan, you’re not in a coverage area for your data plan, or if you’re having trouble with your service, then you will need to connect to Wi-Fi. One way to check is to look near the top of your screen. You will either see the Wi-Fi icon or words like 3G/4G or LTE. If you have low signal strength, FaceTime may not be able to connect.

Check out our other article if you’re having trouble connecting your iPhone to Wi-Fi.

If you can’t connect to the internet with your iPhone when you’re not on Wi-Fi and you are paying for a data plan, you’ll need contact your cell phone service provider to make sure there isn’t a service outage or a problem with your bill.

One other quick fix that sometimes works with iPhones when FaceTime is not working is to turn your iPhone all of the way off and then back on. The way to turn off your iPhone depends on which model you have:

  • iPhone 8 and older: Press and hold down your iPhone’s power button until “slide to power off” appears. Swipe the power icon left to right to shut down your iPhone. Press and hold the power button again to turn it back on.
  • iPhone X and newer: Press and hold your iPhone’s side button and either volume button until “slide to power off” appears. Then, swipe the power icon left to right across the screen. Press and hold down the side button to turn your iPhone on again.

iPod

If FaceTime is not working on your iPod, make sure you’re signed in with your Apple ID. You’ll also need to be sure that you’re in range of a Wi-Fi network, and ideally in a strong signal area. If you’re not connected to Wi-Fi, then you won’t be able to make a FaceTime call.

Mac

Macs need to be connected to the internet using Wi-Fi or a mobile hotspot to make FaceTime calls. If you’re sure that your Mac is connected to the internet, here’s what to try:

Fix Apple ID Issues On Mac

First open Spotlight by clicking the magnifying glass icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Type FaceTime and double-click to open it when it appears in the list. Click to open the FaceTime menu in the upper left-hand corner of the screen and then click Preferences… 

This window will show you if you are signed in with your Apple ID. If you are not signed in, sign in with your Apple ID and try the call again. If you are already signed in and you see Waiting for Activation, try signing out and back in again — a lot of the time, that’s all it takes to solve this problem.

Make Sure Your Date & Time Is Set Correctly

Next, let’s check the date and time on your Mac. If they’re not set up correctly, FaceTime calls will not go through. Click on the Apple menu on the upper left hand corner of the screen, and then click System Preferences. Click on Date & Time and then click on Date & Time in the upper-middle of the menu that appears. Make sure that Set Automatically is enabled.

If it’s not, you’ll need click the lock in the lower left-hand corner of the screen and log in with your computer password to make changes to this setting. After you log in, click the check box next to “Set date and time automatically: to turn it on. Then choose the closest city to your location from the list provided and close the window.

I’ve Done Everything And FaceTime Still Doesn’t Work! What Do I Do?

If FaceTime still won’t work, check out Payette Forward’s guide to the best places to get support for your iPhone locally and online for more ways to get help.

FaceTime Problems Solved: Wrapping It Up

There you have it! Hopefully, FaceTime is now working on your iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Mac, and you’re chatting happily with your family and friends. Next time FaceTime is not working, you’ll know how to fix the problem. Feel free to ask us any other questions down below in the comments section!

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About Author

Katie Gatto's work focuses primarily on writing about technology. She has previously written for sites such as Developer Shed, MSNBC and others. She also teaches computer science and information technology courses on the college level.

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