This article describes basic troubleshooting tips for fixing FaceTime for Mac if it is not working properly. Via FaceTime, you place video calls or receive calls from other iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod), macOS, or OSX (Mac) users via WiFI or cellular networks.
- 1 Does FaceTime get stuck at connecting? Can‘t call a legacy iOS device using Facetime?
- 2 FaceTime Not Available Worldwide
- 3 Check Your Apple ID
- 4 Is Apple FaceTime Down?
- 5 How Do I Troubleshoot and Fix FaceTime for Mac?
- 6 Using a Firewall With Your Mac?
- 7 Why does my FaceTime not connect on my Mac? Or show Poor Connection errors?
- 8 Is the Camera or microphone not working in FaceTime?
- 9 Group FaceTime Not Working on Mac?
- An error occurred during Activation for FaceTime or iMessage on Your Mac? How To Fix
- How To Set Up and Use FaceTime on a Mac
- Complete Guide to Disabling and Deregistering FaceTime and iMessage
- FaceTime Not Working; How To Troubleshoot FaceTime to Fix Your Problems
- Why is My FaceTime Not Working in iOS 12? How To Fix It
Does FaceTime get stuck at connecting? Can‘t call a legacy iOS device using Facetime?
Folks updating to iOS 13.4 or macOS Catalina 10.15.4 discovered that their devices could no longer connect to older iOS devices running iOS 9.3.6 and earlier or Mac’s running OS X El Capitan or earlier. Some of our readers tell us this issue is also present when trying to call folks using iOS 10 versions as well. And others found this problem when using a Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15.4 to older iOS versions and OS X versions.
With this issue, Facetime gets stuck at ‘connecting‘ for both inbound and outbound calls.
To fix these issues, update to iOS and iPadOS 13.4.1 or above. For Macs running macOS Catalina, update your macOS to the latest macOS version (Apple released a supplemental update for macOS Catalina 10.15.4.)
Apple says the issue is now fixed in these versions and higher.
FaceTime Not Available Worldwide
If you are living in certain countries (such as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia), FaceTime may not be available to you due to local laws and regulations.
And if you buy a device there but move to a different country, you may not be able to download FaceTime.
The tips we describe here will help you address the most common problems, such as:
- FaceTime for Mac activation problems
- No sound issues
- No camera problems
- Not receiving calls
- Poor connections
- Problems logging in to FaceTime
Before we start, please note that FaceTime is available for the following devices:
- Macs running Mac OS X Snow Leopard v10.6.6 or later,
- iPod touch (4th generation) or later,
- iPhone 4 or later
- iPad 2 or later (including iPad mini).
FaceTime is not available for other devices. For instance, if you own an iPad 1st generation there will be no FaceTime app.
Check Your Apple ID
- Take a look and see if you’re signed in with the same Apple ID as your other Apple devices
- Go to FaceTime > Preferences to verify
- If your Apple ID doesn’t match your other devices, tap Sign Out
- Sign back in using the same Apple ID as on your iPhone or iPad
Is Apple FaceTime Down?
It’s always good practice to check Apple’s System Status for issues and errors before troubleshooting. If a problem is on the FaceTime Server side, all you can do is wait for Apple to repair it.
How Do I Troubleshoot and Fix FaceTime for Mac?
- Reset FaceTime by turning it off and on. Go to FaceTime > Preferences
- Untick Enable this account
- Close FaceTime
- Reopen FaceTime and tick back that same box
- If it’s still not working, go back to Preferences. Choose Settings and sign out of your Apple ID. Wait a few moments and then sign back in with your Apple ID
- Check your Date & Time
- Choose Apple menu > System Preferences > click Date & Time
- Select “Set date and time automatically”
- Click Time Zone and make sure that the settings are correct
- Go to FaceTime > Preferences and if you see that it says “verifying…”, you need to verify your email to be able to use FaceTime. Apple sends verification emails when you sign up. Check your email to verify
- If it’s stuck on verifying or if you see the message “Error Occurred During Activation,” this detailed article check out on how to fix this issue for Macs
- If none of the above solutions fix your problem, change your Mac’s DNS settings to Google’s open DNS.
- Click System Preferences > Network > Select Network (Wi-Fi) > Advanced > the DNS tab > click the + button to add Google DNS, enter 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52
- Click OK then Apply
Using a Firewall With Your Mac?
Check that you enable the following ports for FaceTime when using a firewall
Firewall Ports FaceTime
- 80 (TCP)
- 443 (TCP)
- 3478 through 3497 (UDP)
- 5223 (TCP)
- 16384 through 16387 (UDP)
- 16393 through 16402 (UDP)
Why does my FaceTime not connect on my Mac? Or show Poor Connection errors?
- Double-check if you have a firewall or not. If so, make sure the ports listed above are enabled
- Connect via Ethernet instead of WiFi, if available
- Restart or reset your router
- Restart your Mac
- Check Apple’s System Status and see if there is a reported issue with FaceTime
- Update your software
- Open FaceTime > Preferences. And turn FaceTime off by unticking the box to enable this account. Wait 30 seconds or so and turn FaceTime back on by ticking that box again
- If it’s still not working, go back to Preferences. Choose Settings and sign out of your Apple ID. Wait a few moments and then sign back in with your Apple ID.
Is the Camera or microphone not working in FaceTime?
- Quit or force quit FaceTme, then open FaceTime again
- Restart your Mac via Apple menu > Restart
- Check and see if your camera works in another application.
- If it doesn’t, there’s a larger problem with your camera–contact Apple Support for assistance
- If you have multiple cameras or microphones, check the Video menu in the FaceTime menu bar to make sure that you have the correct camera and microphone selected
- Go to Applications > Utilities > Terminal and type the following : sudo killall VDCAssistant hit enter, type your admin password, and hit enter again. Close Terminal and Restart. This fixes problems with FaceTime and your built-in camera
- Open Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor
- Enter VDC in the search box
- Find and select VDC Assistant process
- Tap the X in the upper right corner of the window to Quit the VDC Assistant
- Try Safe Mode
- Restart your MacBook in Safe Mode by holding down the Shift Key when you restart.
- Release the Shift key when you see the login window
- Safe Mode runs through a series of diagnostics checks. Once it finishes all these checks, restart normally and see if the problem is fixed
Group FaceTime Not Working on Mac?
With macOS Mojave, Mac users get an upgraded FaceTime feature–the ability to make group audio or video calls with up to 32 total participants!
It’s a feature folks have waited a long time for and with macOS Mojave+ and iOS 12.1+ and watchOS 5.1+, it’s finally here!
Making a Group FaceTime Call From a Mac
- Open FaceTime
- Tap on the “+” button in the upper right
- In the “To” field, type a name, email address, or phone number and tap to add it
- Continue to type the names, emails, or phone numbers of everyone you want on the call
- Only folks with iOS devices using iOS 12.1+, Macs using macOS Mojave+, or Apple Watches with watchOS 5.1+ (for audio-only calls) can participate on group FaceTime Calls
- When ready, tap on the camera icon to make a video call or the telephone icon to make an audio call
Group Calling Not Working with FaceTime?
- Verify that everyone’s using iOS 12.1+. macOS Mojave+, or watchOS 5.1+ for audio-only
- FaceTime does not work with Android phones or other computer operating systems
- You cannot share an Apple ID with a caller–even if that caller has a different email or phone number
- Try using a different WiFi network or better yet, an Ethernet connection
- Sign out of your Apple ID on FaceTime, restart your Mac, and sign back into FaceTime
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.