FaceTime Keeps Failing? Here's How to Fix It

When FaceTime keeps failing or doesn’t work as expected, it can be an especially frustrating experience that demands urgent fixing. After all, FaceTime is one of Apple’s most beloved marvels of modern technology, allowing users to make free video or audio calls to friends, loved ones, colleagues or anyone else using an iPhone, iPad or Mac. Here’s how to troubleshoot and fix it when FaceTime is not working.

Related: How to Group FaceTime on an iPhone

What to Do When FaceTime Is Not Working

These steps may seem obvious, however they work more often than not.

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  1. Restart your iPhone to see if that clears up any glitches that may be preventing FaceTime from working properly.
  2. Check that FaceTime is enabled. Open Settings. Tap on FaceTime, then make sure that FaceTime is set to the on position. While you’re in the FaceTime settings, make sure that you have the correct Apple ID and phone number listed.

  3. Update all the devices trying to connect to FaceTime to the same version of iOS. Open Settings, tap on General, then Software Updates, and check that your iOS is up-to-date.
  4. Check that your iPhone has a Wi-Fi or cellular connection. If you're using FaceTime over cellular, make sure that Use Cellular Data is on for FaceTime. To do this, open Settings and tap Cellular, scroll down a little and make sure FaceTime is turned on.

Troubleshooting FaceTime Bugs

Sometimes FaceTime isn't working because of known bugs or errors. Here's how to troubleshoot these FaceTime issues.

What to Do If FaceTime Freezes While Waiting for Activation

When you log in to FaceTime, it will momentarily say Waiting for Activation. If FaceTime freezes at this stage, turning FaceTime on and off should fix it.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap on FaceTime.
  3. Set the FaceTime button to off and then on again.

What to Do If You're Getting the Poor Connection FaceTime Error

Are you trying to FaceTime but find that, after about fine minutes, one of you in the conversation gets the “poor connection” error message, and it stays until you call again? Here’s what to do.

  1. Go to Apple’s System Status page and check that the FaceTime servers are up and running. If they are not, your only option is to wait until they are.
  2. Run an internet speed test (easily found online) on your network and make sure that it’s reaching 5mbps or greater. Low data speeds often cause problems with FaceTime.
  3. As described above, make sure that all devices on the FaceTime call are using the same version of iOS. Anecdotal evidence suggests this may correct your poor connection in FaceTime.

Top image credit: MrDragunovShutterstock.com

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Author Details

Cullen Thomas's picture

Author Details

Cullen Thomas

Cullen Thomas is a Writer and Producer at iPhone Life, creating tips and guides to help users unlock the full potential of their iOS and iPhone. In addition to writing countless tip-of-the-day articles and many detailed guides, Cullen has spent nine years as an instructor in media and communications at Maharishi University, lecturing on technical and artistic subjects ranging from camera and audio hardware to story-plotting to how to manage a film crew. Cullen answers questions daily about iPhones and iOS as part of the Ask an Editor insider service, and designs curriculum for iPhone Life’s online classes. As a frequent contributor to iPhone Life magazine and occasional guest on the iPhone Life podcast, Cullen likes to talk about security and privacy news, tech, gadgets, and apps, even if nobody asked.

Cullen holds a master’s degree in Cinematic Arts from the David Lynch School of Cinematic Arts. Cullen also holds two Bachelor’s degrees from Maharishi University, one in literature with an emphasis in writing and the other in Communications and Media. Cullen’s short fiction has been featured in anthologies from Amphibian Press and TANSTAAFL, and Cullen co-owns a game design company, Thoughtspike games, which builds thought-provoking puzzle games. Cullen is a sci-fi author, a coffee connoisseur, and an iPhone expert.