Troubleshooting FaceTime on Mac
If you’re using FaceTime on your Mac and it stops working, there are only a few things that can go wrong. Apple has very stable software, and providing you’re using the latest version for your operating system and haven’t downloaded it yourself (only use the version built into your Mac computer, unless you’re running OSX on a non-Apple computer), you should be able to troubleshoot and solve any issues fairly quickly.
This troubleshooting guide for FaceTime on your Mac will walk you through the most common FaceTime issues and how to solve them.
FaceTime is Not Working
- The server is Down – Check Apple’s System Status page here.
- Your computer is frozen or you have too many apps open. Consider closing applications or checking to see if other tabs and apps work. Restart your computer
- Your computer needs to update. Check for updates in the App store.
- Your Internet connection is down. Check your WIFI and Internet and ensure that your WiFi or Ethernet is connected. Double check your network and if necessary, check your system configuration to make sure you’re not blocking FaceTime. Go to System Preferences > Network to do so.
- FaceTime is switched off. You will likely see this though so it’s probably not your issue. Open Facetime and choose “Turn FaceTime On”.
- You’re logged in with the wrong Apple ID. How does that happen? If you share your device, even with different user accounts, the user IDs sometimes mess up. Just log out and log back in with the correct email address.
- Your email/phone number are wrong. Check them by opening Facetime, going to Preferences from the top “FaceTime” menu, and checking your contact details. Similarly, if you can’t reach the person you’re trying to call, their ID may be wrong.
- Random glitch. Restart your device and try again.
- Check to make sure the date and time on your computer are correct. Go to “System Preferences” > Date and Time > Choose your Timezone
FaceTime Camera is Not Working on Mac
- Restart FaceTime. This is a simple glitch that sometimes happens when you leave FaceTime open while using other applications with camera
- Make sure no other applications (like Skype or Facebook Messenger) are using your camera
- Check if your Camera works in another application. Open Skype or PhotoBooth or Facebook Messenger and open the camera. If it doesn’t work, you likely have a hardware problem. Call your local Apple Store.
- Have multiple cameras? Open FaceTime and select “Video” from the top menu bar. Choose the correct camera you want to use.
FaceTime Calling Quality is Very Poor
Sometimes calling quality drops when you or the other party are on slow WiFi or slow mobile Internet. The only way to correct it is to improve the Internet connection, such as by connecting to Ethernet.
FaceTime Call Failed
If you get a “Call Failed” message, there are several options that can apply, the most likely of which is that the other party is not using FaceTime.
- Double check your contact details. They may have activated FaceTime with a different email, phone number, or simply turned it off. You’ll have to use an email address for anyone who does not own an iPhone
- Check that they have FaceTime active
- Check that your cameras are working
FaceTime is stuck “Waiting for Activation”
If you’re trying to turn FaceTime on for the first time, you may get stuck “Waiting for Activation”. You can easily reset this.
- Open FaceTime > Turn FaceTime Off >Turn FaceTime back on
I Can’t Contact Someone with FaceTime
- If you’re using FaceTime from an Apple ID without a phone number attached, you won’t be able to initiate contact. Have them contact you first and you’ll be able to make free FaceTime calls. This applies to any Apple ID without an iPhone attached.
- They may have blocked you, even accidentally
- Check your Internet connection
- Make sure you’re logged in with the right email address
I Can’t Sign In To FaceTime
- Double check your Apple ID and password and try to sign in somewhere else. If not, you can reset your password.
- Check FaceTime’s server status at the link provided above
- Check to see if you have a system update available
- Check that the date and time on your computer are correct
I Don’t Have FaceTime Installed
Apple does not install FaceTime by default in Apple devices sold in many countries such as the United Arab Emirates. Check your country of purchase for further details. If you are using your Mac in another country with an Apple ID from that country, you may be able to update it or download FaceTime from the app store.
Hopefully this troubleshooting guide is enough to help you through any errors you’re having with FaceTime. If you’re still having problems, don’t be afraid to call Apple support for help. That’s what they are there for.