FaceTime Not Working? Fix FaceTime Issues 10 Ways (iOS 16)

If FaceTime keeps failing on iPhone, iPad, or Mac, learn how to fix FaceTime issues with this troubleshooting guide.

Is FaceTime not working for you? If you're wondering why your FaceTime keeps failing, we have the fix for your FaceTime problems. Whether FaceTime won't connect, keeps hanging up, is unavailable, or is otherwise not working the way it's supposed to, here's how to fix the issue. 

Related: FaceTime Guide for iPhone & iPad: Making Group Calls, Using Audio or Video & More

10 Best Ways to Fix FaceTime Not Working

The FaceTime app is one of Apple’s most beloved services, allowing users to make free video or audio calls to friends, family, and anyone else using an iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple Watch, or Mac using Wi-Fi. Whether FaceTime is not working on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch, we've got the fix. For more how-to FaceTime tutorials, check out our free Tip of the Day.

1. Restart Your iPhone, iPad, or Mac If FaceTime Keeps Failing

The first thing you should do when FaceTime is not working on your iPhone, iPad, iPod, or Mac is restart your device. Here's how to restart each FaceTime-compatible device:

Return to Top

2. Check Your Wi-Fi or Cellular Connection

You may have a poor connection on FaceTime because of your Wi-Fi or cellular connection. Check that the device you are using has a Wi-Fi or cellular connection; you can check this in the Control Center or at the top of your iPhone screen.

If you are using FaceTime over cellular, make sure that Use Cellular Data is on for FaceTime. To do this on an iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app.

    Open Settings on iPhone
  2. Tap Cellular to check if cellular data is enabled for FaceTime.

    Tap Cellular to see if FaceTime is enabled
  3. Scroll down to the list of apps and make sure that FaceTime is toggled on. The toggle will be green if cellular data is enabled for FaceTime.

    Scroll down to the list of apps and make sure that FaceTime is toggled on.

If FaceTime is still unavailable, keep troubleshooting using the steps below!

Return to Top

3. Check Your FaceTime Settings

One easy way to fix FaceTime issues is to make sure that FaceTime is enabled in your Settings. To check FaceTime Settings on an iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app.

    Open Settings on iPhone
  2. Tap FaceTime to check whether FaceTime is enabled.

    Tap FaceTime in your iPhone settings
  3. Make sure that FaceTime is toggled on. The toggle will be green when FaceTime is enabled.

    Make sure FaceTime is toggled on in your iPhone settings
  4. While you’re in the FaceTime settings, make sure that you have the correct Apple ID and phone number listed.

    Make sure that you have the correct Apple ID and phone number listed.

If you're interested, we also have a resource to help you learn more about how to set up FaceTime.

Return to Top

4. Sign Out of FaceTime & Sign Back In

Sometimes, signing out of FaceTime and then signing back in again can help fix glitches. Here's how to sign out of FaceTime on an iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app.

    Open Settings on iPhone
  2. Tap FaceTime.

    Tap FaceTime in your iPhone settings
  3. Tap your Apple ID.

    Tap your Apple ID to sign out of FaceTime
  4. Select Sign Out.

    Tap to sign out of FaceTime on your iPhone
  5. Once you are signed out, tap Use your Apple ID for FaceTime.

    Tap Use Your Apple ID for FaceTime to sign in
  6. Sign in using your Apple ID details. 

    Sign into FaceTime using your Apple ID

If your FaceTime is not working on a Mac, you should open the FaceTime app and go to FaceTime, then tap on Preferences to sign out.

Return to Top

5. Check for Apple Software Updates

Yes, it can be a pain to have to stop what you're doing and wait for an Apple software update to install on your device, but it's absolutely worth it. Software updates introduce new features, of course, but they also bring bug fixes and app updates to solve existing and common problems. If FaceTime is not working, is hanging up, won't connect, or is having other issues, it may be due to a bug in the app that affects your device; an update may be all you need to fix it.

Do an Apple software update on your iPhone or iPad to ensure they're working properly.

To do a macOS update:

  1. Click System Preferences.

    Update Mac if FaceTime not working
     
  2. Click Software Update.

    Update Mac if FaceTime not working
     
  3. Your Mac will check for available updates.
  4. If a macOS update is available, click Update Now.

    Update Mac if FaceTime not working

Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the update, then try your FaceTime call again!

Return to Top

6. Confirm Whether FaceTime Works in Your Country

Is FaceTime free internationally? Yes, however, it isn’t available worldwide. If long-distance FaceTime calls are not working on an iPhone, you can check on Apple’s website to see if FaceTime is available in your country. If it isn’t, you may still be able to use FaceTime with a VPN.

Return to Top

7. Check If Your Device Is Compatible with Group FaceTime

You can use FaceTime on a computer, as long as it’s a Mac, and of course, you can use it on other Apple devices. However, not every Apple device is compatible with group FaceTime

Can you group FaceTime? Compatible devices include:

  • Those running iOS 12.1.4. or later
  • An iPhone 6S or newer models
  • Any Mac running macOS Mojave 10.14.3 or newer
  • An iPod touch (7th generation)
  • An iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4, iPad (5th generation), or newer models

Some devices that are not listed, including Apple Watches, may still work with one-on-one FaceTime.

Pro Tip: Make sure that all devices on the FaceTime call are using the same version of iOS. If you are attempting a group FaceTime with many people, have everyone join one at a time to identify if one person is causing the technical problems. 

Return to Top

8. Check If Your Date & Time Are Set to Automatic

An unusual fix to a common FaceTime pause or glitch can be found in your Date & Time settings. Whether you are using an iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple Watch, or Mac, make sure that you have Date & Time Set Automatically enabled.

On an iPhone, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

    Open Settings on iPhone
  2. Tap General.

    Tap General to update your iPhone
  3. Select Date & Time.

    Tap Date & Time to see your time settings
  4. Make sure that Set Automatically is toggled on.

    Make sure that Set Automatically is toggled on.

Hopefully, this will help with FaceTime loading and other issues.

Return to Top

9. Fix the FaceTime Waiting for Activation Error

Sometimes FaceTime isn't working because of known bugs or errors, and this is one of those instances. When you log in to FaceTime, you may get the FaceTime Waiting for Activation error. 

If FaceTime freezes at Waiting for Activation, turning FaceTime on and off should fix it. If you are using an iPhone, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.

    Open Settings on iPhone
  2. Tap FaceTime.

    Tap FaceTime in your iPhone settings
  3. Toggle FaceTime off and then back on again.

    Make sure FaceTime is toggled on in your iPhone settings

Now you know what to do if you encounter the FaceTime Waiting for Activation error.

Return to Top

10. FaceTime Not Connecting? Is FaceTime Down?

What do you do if FaceTime won't connect? Are you trying to FaceTime but find that, after about five minutes, one of you in the conversation gets the “FaceTime Not Connecting” error message, and it stays until you retry the call? Here’s what to do about a poor connection on FaceTime:

  1. Is FaceTime down today? 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 on your network and make sure that it’s reaching 5 Mbps or greater. Low data speeds often cause problems with FaceTime.
  3. As described in previous steps, 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.

Return to Top

With just a few steps, your FaceTime chats should be working smoothly again! Sometimes the simplest fixes make the biggest difference. Now that FaceTime is working, why not try out new ways to enjoy FaceTiming with your friends and family using SharePlay or upgrade your FaceTime experience with Wide Spectrum Audio?

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.

Topics

Author Details

Cullen Thomas's picture

Author Details

Cullen Thomas

Cullen Thomas is a senior instructor 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 ten 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 curricula 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.