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FaceTime not working? Here's how to troubleshoot Apple's video-calling app

  • If FaceTime is not working on your device, there may be many reasons why, some of which are out of your control.
  • Before troubleshooting, you should check for certain factors, such as whether or not there’s a FaceTime outage.
  • Otherwise, there are several ways you can troubleshoot to get the app back up and running.

If you find yourself frustrated by FaceTime issues, don’t worry, there are a lot of things you can do to try and fix it. You just have to know where to start.

Here’s a breakdown of why your FaceTime app might be having issues, and troubleshooting tips to try.

What to check for when FaceTime isn’t working

There could be a few reasons that your FaceTime isn’t working (some of which are beyond your control). So before you start troubleshooting, make sure that:

  • FaceTime and FaceTime audio calling are available in your country, region, or by your carrier.
  • Your device wasn’t purchased in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, or the United Arab Emirates, including Dubai.

Note: With iOS 11.3 or later, FaceTime is available on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch in Saudi Arabia. With iOS 12.4 or later, FaceTime is available on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch in Pakistan. (You may have to update your device to get FaceTime in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.)

  • You aren’t trying to use call forwarding with FaceTime.
  • You aren’t trying to switch from a FaceTime call to a phone call (or a FaceTime audio call). The only way to do that is to end your current call and then make a new call.
  • There isn’t a FaceTime outage.
  • You aren’t exceeding the group FaceTime limit of 32 participants.

If those aren’t the problem, you can start troubleshooting.

How to troubleshoot when FaceTime isn’t working

Check your Wi-Fi connection

You need an internet connection (either via Wi-Fi or a cellular-data connection) to use FaceTime — if you’re not seeing a Wi-Fi signal where it usually appears, you may need to go into your settings and turn Wi-Fi off and then back on again. It’s also a good idea to run an internet speed test to ensure you have a stable connection.

Make sure your cellular data is on

If you’re trying to connect via cellular data, make sure that’s switched on in your settings. Go into your Settings app and tap Cellular. Make sure that Cellular Data is enabled at the top of the page. Then scroll down to the Cellular Data section, and make sure FaceTime is enabled for cellular use in the list of apps.

Enable Cellular Data at the top of the page and scroll to enable FaceTime for cellular data use.

Check that FaceTime is turned on

Go into your iPhone or iPad’s Settings app, tap FaceTime, and make sure that the toggle next to FaceTime is enabled. If you see a “Waiting for activation” notification, toggle FaceTime off and then on again.

Make sure that FaceTime is toggled on.

If you aren’t seeing FaceTime at all, go from the Settings app to Screen Time, and then Content & Privacy Restrictions, followed by Allowed Apps. Then make sure both the camera and FaceTime are allowed by that device.

Make sure you’re signed in

To use FaceTime, you need to be signed in with your Apple ID or phone number. You can check this by going to your Settings on an iPhone or iPad and making sure that below the FaceTime toggle, your phone number or Apple ID is listed.

On a Mac, open FaceTime, tap FaceTime on the top menu bar, select Preferences from the dropdown, and make sure that your phone number (or Apple ID) is listed correctly in the Settings tab. If your information isn’t listed, sign into your device using an Apple ID or phone number from those pages.

Make sure that your Apple ID or phone number is listed.

Restart your device

Sometimes a quick restart can fix issues like apps not working. Try restarting your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

Update your device’s software

If you haven’t updated your device’s operating system in a while, that could be the issue. Try updating your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

If you’re still having issues, it could be that the person you’re trying to call is experiencing issues, like a weak Wi-Fi connection. Double-check this by trying to FaceTime someone else. Or if your network is behind a firewall, you might have to ask your administrator to enable the necessary ports to let FaceTime work.