Getting Started with FaceTime on Mac
Whether you’ve recently purchased a Mac computer or have been using one for a long time, Apple offers a Voice over Internet Protocol application “FaceTime” free as part of your built-in software. iMessage and FaceTime allow you to text and make calls for free to other Apple devices (iPad, iPhone, Mac, some iPod Touch), providing you and they have set the service up.
If you want to start using FaceTime on Mac, getting it ready to go is simple. All you need is an Apple account and a Mac.
Setting up FaceTime on Mac
- Open Facetime. It should be on the icon doc at the bottom of any screen. If not, you can easily find it by opening Finder and searching “FaceTime”. It should be in the Applications folder.
- Sign into your FaceTime account on the video screen that comes up. You can use your existing Apple ID, the same one that you use to sign into iTunes, to check your Mac’s status in the Apple store, or to buy apps.
- Click “FaceTime” on the top menu and choose “Preferences”
- Click “Enable this Account”
- Customize your account however you like. You can choose to allow phone calls from your phone if you have an iPhone, so you can accept normal calls right on your Mac.
- You can also choose to add an email address to your FaceTime. Click “Add Email” from Preferences. You will get a confirmation email.
- Make sure you check the “Start New Calls from” box to ensure it’s on your phone number or email of choice – this is what people will see when you call them.
Setting up Audio and Video
Nearly all Mac computers except for the Mini have a built-in camera and microphone system. You can accept calls using this audio-visual setup with no additional setup. Unlike with Skype, you cannot go into FaceTime to change your camera setup.
However, if you plug a headset into your computer (or use Bluetooth), it will automatically work with FaceTime.
How to Place a Call Using Facetime on Mac
- Click the FaceTime icon to open the app
- Sign in if necessary
- Click “Audio” or “video” on the bar at the top of the screen
- Type in a name from your contact list. This person will need to have an iOS account and have set Facetime up.
- Click the name. You will have the option of calling via FaceTime to their email address or using your phone (and phone minutes) and calling their regular phone (in which case they don’t need Facetime and iOS).
- Your call will go through. Keep in mind that if you are calling a regular phone number it is using your calling plan.
How to Change FaceTime Ringtone on your Mac
FaceTime allows you to use any ringtones on your iTunes account as well as all of the built-in ringtones in your iMac, Macbook, or Mac Mini. To change it:
- Open FaceTime
- Go to Preferences
- Scroll down – Choose your ringtone
You won’t have to save any of your changes. Just close the preferences box and your Mac will automatically save them.
How to Turn FaceTime Off on Your Mac
If you don’t want FaceTime on your Mac, you can easily turn it off and on at any time.
- Open the app
- Click “FaceTime” from the top menu bar
- Click “Turn FaceTime Off”
That’s it. Hopefully you now have a better idea of how to use FaceTime on your Mac.
Have any questions? Let us know in the comments and one of our editors will get back to you.