6 FaceTime Calling Issues and Their Fixes

Is FaceTime not working as expected? FaceTime is an incredibly simple application that allows users of iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad to make real-time video and audio calls with other users who also use FaceTime. As we said, it is an incredibly simple app. But, at times it can actually frustrate its users. Of various types of technical issues, users are mostly haunted by calling issues. Sometimes calls fail. Calling someone or receiving a call from someone simply won’t work! Sometimes there can be connection errors. Sometimes FaceTime app won’t show up at all.

Related: iPhone Wi-Fi issues

If you are facing some problems with FaceTime, these 6 FaceTime calling issues and their fixes might help you. So, take your time to read through this article and see if you can find a solution to your problem(s).

Note: Before you do anything, check to see if Apple’s FaceTime servers are down. This is easy, here is how:

  1. Open a browser and visit Apple’s system status site.
  2. Look for FaceTime.

Note 2: Also make sure that your device is running the latest version of the iOS, iPadOS, and macOS software. Here is how you can update your device:

Problem 1: Calls Fail or Receiving and Making Calls Not Possible

Important: The first thing you need to know about FaceTime is that it is not available in all regions. So, crosscheck and find out whether your region is supported or not. This support document shows countries where FaceTime is not available. If FaceTime is available, there are now three options for you:

Option 1: Follow the following steps:

  • Ensure that FaceTime is enabled on your device. To do this, go to Settings. From there go to FaceTime. See if the toggle bar shows green. Green means enabled, white means not enabled. Toggle as required to enable FaceTime.
  • Once you have done that, find out whether your device’s camera as well as FaceTime are enabled in the Restrictions settings. For this, go to Settings. From there, go to General. From there, tap on Restrictions and there ensure that both camera and FaceTime are enabled.
  • Finally, ensure that your internet connection is active and working properly. You need a cellular or Wi-Fi connection. You may want to check your Wi-Fi or cellular connection. If your connection is not strong enough, you may want to see the “Poor Connection” error. You may also want to check the following articles:

Now check and see whether FaceTime is working or not. If now, follow Option 2 described below.

Option 2: Restart your device.

This is a simple step. All you have to do is simply restart your device. Here is how:

  • iPhone X, 11 or later and iPhone with Face ID: Press and hold the power button (side or top) and volume up (or down) buttons together until you see the power off slider. Wait 1 minute. Then press and hold the power button until you see the Apple logo.
  • Other iPhone and iPad models: Press and hold the Wake or Sleep button on your device. You will see a slider appear on the screen. Slide to restart your device. Once the device restarts, check whether FaceTime is working or not. Generally, it should work. If it isn’t, try Option 3 described below.

Option 3: Set DNS to Google’s Public DNS

  • Go to Settings. From there, go to Wi-Fi.
  • Tap on the blue arrow you see next t ‘Wi-Fi’.
  • You will see a number of settings there like IP Address, Subnet Mask, etc. You will see the field which reads ‘DNS’. Tap the DNS field and set the DNS as 8.8.8.8 (this is the public DNS of Google).

Once you have set the DNS, save settings and exit. Try using FaceTime. It should work now. You should be able to make or receive calls. If the problem is still not fixed, take help from the Apple service center.

Option 4: Check the Date and Time

Make sure that the Date and Time settings are set correctly. You may want to turn on the Set Automatically option. Here is how:

  • On your iPad or iPhone: Settings > General > Date & Time.
  • On your Mac: Click System Preferences, then choose Date & Time.

Option 5: Reset network settings

You may want to reset network settings. Please note that doing so will erase your network settings such as your saved Wi-Fi passwords etc. Here is how:

Problem 2: FaceTime Options Not Available in Settings

It may happen that you are not able to make calls or receive calls because FaceTime because FaceTime options are not available in the Settings menu. You may notice that the option for toggling FaceTime ON and OFF is greyed out. You cannot do anything.

Here is a quick fix that usually works:

  • Go to Settings.
  • From Settings, go to Screen Time.
  • Go to Content & Privacy Restrictions > Allowed Apps. Make sure that FaceTime and Camera are allowed.

This will usually resolve the issue and you should now be able to see FaceTime options in the Settings section. If this option isn’t working, you may have to restore your device as a new device. This will delete your device data. So, back up your data. Now connect your device to your computer, go to iTunes, click on ‘Restore’ and then, select the option which says, ‘set up as new phone’. This will wipe everything from your device and reset the entire device as a new one. Now, FaceTime should work. Once the reset is done, you can then restore data from the back up you created.

Problem 3: Phone Calls or Contacts App Not Showing FaceTime Button

What really happens here is that when you go to Settings, you will notice that FaceTime options are available. However, when you go to your contact screen or your phone calls app, you will not see the FaceTime option. This means that you cannot initiate a call using FaceTime.

In order to fix this, try the following options:

Option 1: Toggle FaceTime ON and OFF

Usually, this works. All you have to do is to toggle FaceTime ON and OFF in the settings. Go to Settings and check if FaceTime is ON or not. If ON, toggle it OFF and then wait for 60 seconds and toggle it back ON. If it is already OFF, toggle it ON, then toggle it OFF and then again turn it ON. This should then show the FaceTime button in Contacts App or Phone Calls.
If this method is not working, follow Option 2.

Option 2: Turn on Restrictions and then disable Restrictions

For the precise steps, see Problem 2 above and follow the steps one by one.

Option 3: Reset all settings

This should be your last resort. Resetting all settings will delete data like passwords that you saved, your messages and several other information. This is not always suggested but using this step often resolves the problem. It is suggested that you take back up of your data before you reset your phone. In case you want to reset your phone, take the following steps:

  • Go to Settings
  • Go to General
  • Go to Reset
  • Tap on ‘Reset All Settings’.

Once you do that, the phone will be reset and restart. Once the phone restarts, the problem should be solved.

Problem 4: FaceTime Calling Issues Because of Wi-Fi Firewall

Believe it or not, there may be firewall restrictions in your Wi-Fi that will prevent you from making or receiving calls using FaceTime. It is not necessary that all Wi-Fi’s will have this issue but some may have.

For FaceTime to work properly, the following ports need to be open:

  • UDP: 16393 through 16402
  • UDP: 16384 through 16387
  • UDP: 3478 through 3497
  • TCP: 5223
  • TCP: 443
  • TCP: 80

In case you don’t know how to enable these ports, you may have to contact your ISP or network administrator and ask them to enable these ports. If you are also using Skype, Port 80 should be open by default because Skype never works without that port being enabled. In case other ports need to be enabled, you may have to go ahead and ask your network administrator.

Problem 5: Unable to Make Calls Because of Poor Network Connection

Okay, this is one of the dumbest problems out there but it can be annoying unless you know what is actually causing the problem. Since FaceTime can work over Wi-Fi and also through mobile internet, the chances may be there that a poor network connection is preventing you from making or receiving calls using FaceTime.

If you are on mobile internet or some data plan from your carrier, there isn’t much you can do to fix this problem.

However, if you are using Wi-Fi, you can take the following steps:

  • Turn off Wi-Fi and restart your router.
  • Toggle FaceTime OFF and then ON using your device settings. This may help. If that is not helping, try resetting your Wi-Fi complete. For this, use the reset button on your router. Press and hold it for 10 seconds and then release it. It is manual reset and now the router will reboot and reset all settings.
    Now you should be able to make or receive calls.

Still not working?

Well, restart the FaceTime app. You have to force restart the app. Follow the steps below to restart your FaceTime app:

  • Tap the home button once. This will take you to the main screen.
  • Double-tap home button or swipe up. This will open up the multitasking tray.
  • Press and hold the icon of the FaceTime app. You will see a red badge and the FaceTime icon will start dancing or jiggling.
  • Tap the red badge and the app will be closed. Don’t worry, you are not actually uninstalling the app. All you are doing is killing the process.
  • Tap outside the multitasking tray to close it.
  • Repeat the first two steps here.
  • On the multitasking tray, tap the FaceTime app icon and it will restart.

Now check the app. You should be able to make or receive calls.

Problem 6: FaceTime Not Working After Porting Number

You ported your number to a different carrier and not FaceTime not working? Do you keep getting this message: “Username (which will be your name) not available for FaceTime”? This usually happens when the new carrier tries to get information from holdover data from backups on your iPhone.

There is a solution to this problem but a bit lengthy. Follow these steps:

Note: The steps below will erase your device:

  • Take a backup of your iPhone data in your iTunes account. You can also backup using iCloud.
  • Once the backup is complete, connect your phone to your computer and from the iTunes interface, click on the ‘Restore’ option.
  • Once you click on ‘Restore’, you will get a new option of ‘Set Up as New Phone’. Click on that option.

Though there are only three steps, the time taken to complete these steps can take a long time. Once your phone is set up as a new phone, all data on your phone will be erased and now the new carrier should be able to get your username for FaceTime.

Once the FaceTime is up and running, go back to iTunes and resync all data and information from the backup you created.

Well, this concludes our article. Did you find a solution to your problem? Drop us a message and let us know. In case you have any other problem to share, feel free to do so.

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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55 thoughts on “6 FaceTime Calling Issues and Their Fixes”

  1. My granddaughter can FaceTime me and when I try her name is not highlighted so I can’t press FaceTime or audio.I’ve tried everything this is the only one that does this.She can FaceTime me no problem.Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
    Thankyou
    Brian

    Reply
  2. When my son facetimes us from the Army every 15 minutes our facetime drops and we have to reconnect. He only has this problem when he calls me on my iPad. He has no problems when facetiming with anyone else. Our wifi is very strong and we have no problems like this with any other connections. Any ideas at all as to why this happens and how we could fix it?

    Reply
  3. Is there a way to prove I didn’t hang up on someone? I have searched the system log in Console on my iMac Big Sur latest which was using my cell phone to make the call and after 10 minutes app. it failed at the worst possible time in the middle of a heated exchange and now my caller doesn’t believe I didn’t hang up on them.

    I can’t find anything beyond a “Jan 10 10:35:57 XXXXXcom.apple.xpc.launchd[1] (com.apple.FaceTime.FaceTimeNotificationCenterService[16551]): Service did not exit 5 seconds after SIGTERM. Sending SIGKILL.”

    Which I don’t think is what I need to prove to my friend who is now refusing to talk to me that I didn’t hang up.

    Is there anything else I should be searching in? My notifications for FaceTime don’t show the error throne and I didn’t have the presence of mind to do a screen grab when the error was still up.

    Reply
  4. Ever since the American Election (and I am sure that isn’t the cause) FaceTime has been a nightmare. I Facetime with 3 people on my Ipad and two are on iPads and once is on an android. The weekly call to my cousin in Alberta allows us to talk for 5 – 8 min. then poor connection, wait till we reconnect you pops up and then we are disconnected. The same problem is happening with my grandson; we last no longer than 5 minutes and we are disconnected. My daughter in law and I can talk normally for as long as we wish with no problems. This is really frustrating, especially now with covid, and I am wondering what is wrong.

    Reply
  5. For the last few days when I’m using FaceTime after a few minutes the screen disappears, and I get a thing green line appearing at the top of the screen telling me “touch to resume” – as if I have gone to another app while calling, but when I touch to resume, it doesn’t work and the call then disappears. I have tried rebooting several times, have had the latest update – but still having the problem. Any ideas on how this might be resolved. Thanks in advance for advice.

    Reply
  6. My cellphone (6s) minimizes Facetime after 6 minutes 24 seconds. It goes to the home screen and ‘tap to return to facetime’ appears up top. But it won’t go back to facetime and the call drops. It never did this for the longest time but now it does it every time. I’ve tried uninstalling facetime and reinstalling it. none of the fixes I’ve seen online work.

    Reply
  7. Hi folks. I have a problem I can’t find the answer to. My daughter can both call me and FaceTime me. I can also call her, so clearly my phone number is not blocked. However, even though neither of us have changed any of our settings, she no longer is receiving my FaceTimes to her.

    Any ideas?

    Reply

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