What to do when FaceTime is not working on Mac
While FaceTime for Mac is generally reliable, you might still run into problems sometimes. If your FaceTime app is not connecting no matter how many times you attempt to launch the app, fear not — there are fixes available.
The tips I gathered in this article should help you resolve common issues such as FaceTime audio or camera not working, log-in or activation problems, poor connection, or inability to receive calls.
Tip #1. Check your internet connection
The most common reason FaceTime is unavailable is internet connectivity issues. If you attempt to launch the app and it isn’t connecting, you should check your network connection first.
To instantly check your Wi-Fi connection, simply look at the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar. If it shows no bars, then your Wi-Fi might be turned off. You can fix this by clicking on the icon and selecting Turn Wi-Fi On.
If you don’t have the Wi-Fi icon in your menu bar, you can go to System Preferences > Network and check your internet connection there. If you are connected, but the internet isn’t working, you might need to restart the router. Here is how:
- Turn off your router and unplug it from the mains. Wait 30 seconds and plug it back in.
- Switch the router back on and wait for your Mac to reconnect. You’d be surprised at just how many internet connectivity issues are fixed with a simple off-and-on.
Tip #2. Check Apple’s servers
If the issue is with Apple’s FaceTime server, it’s both good and bad news.
The good news is that the problem isn’t with the app at your end. The bad news is that there isn’t anything you can do but wait until Apple fixes this issue.
To check the FaceTime server status, go to Apple’s System Status page and look for FaceTime in the list. If the circle next to it is green, the server is working fine. If not, it’s down then, and Apple is currently working on restoring connectivity.
If the FaceTime status is green, but the app still isn’t working, this issue only affects your area. So it’s worth getting a second server-status reading from a website like Down Detector or Outage.Report. These tools show maps to identify if your area is affected easily.
Tip #3. Check that FaceTime is switched on
Sometimes the most significant problems can be resolved in the simplest ways. Is FaceTime switched on? It’s worth a look.
Launch the app and go to FaceTime > Turn FaceTime On. Wait for the activation to confirm that it’s switched on.
Tip #4. Reset the app
If your FaceTime app is stuck in perpetual “Waiting for Activation,” use the tried-and-trusted method of switching it off and back on again.
You can reset FaceTime by launching the app and going to FaceTime > Preferences. Move the slider to the off position and then switch it back on. This little prod might be all the app needs to kick it back into life.
Tip #5. Check for software updates
The best way to keep your system flawlessly running is to ensure all software is up-to-date.
Open up the App Store and click on Update in the toolbar to check for updates. Click on the Update button next to any available updates to install them.
Tip #6. Check the Date & Time
Make sure your Mac is operating in the correct timezone.
- Go to System Preferences > Date & Time.
- In the Date & Time tab, click the lock and enter your user password to make changes. Then check the box next to Set date and time automatically.
- In the Time Zone tab, select Set time zone automatically using your current location.
Tip #7. Check your emails
Before using the FaceTime app, you need to verify your email. When you sign up, Apple sends out an email with the link to verify your email address.
Go to FaceTime > Preferences and see if the status says “verifying…” If it does, head over to your inbox and hunt down Apple’s verification email. Don’t forget to check your spam folder too!
Tip #8. Check your Apple ID
Are you signed in to FaceTime using the same Apple ID as your other Apple devices?
Go to FaceTime > Preferences to check. If your Mac doesn’t match your other devices, click on Sign Out and sign back in using an Apple ID that matches the one used on your iPhone or iPad.
Tip #9. Check if FaceTime works at your location
FaceTime is unavailable in Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. So if you are visiting or living in those countries, that might explain why FaceTime is not functional.
Tip #10. Change DNS Settings
If you're still struggling to get FaceTime working, try changing the DNS settings from Mac to Google settings.
- Go to System Preferences > Network > Wi-Fi > Advanced and click on the DNS tab.
- Click on the + button to add Google’s open DNS and type in 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206.
- Hit OK and then Apply to confirm the settings.
Tip #11. Flush the DNS cache
My last tip for you! You can fix many network and connectivity problems by flushing the DNS cache. How you do this depends on what version of macOS is currently running. We’ve written a guide that shows you how to flush the DNS cache manually for different Mac operating systems; read here.
However, a much simpler option that will work regardless of what version of the macOS you have installed is to use CleanMyMac X's Maintenance feature.
CleanMyMac X is a great utility toolbox designed to clean, optimize, and maintain your Mac. Basically, it eliminates everything you don’t need to help keep your system running at the highest performance level. All you need to do is:
- Download CleanMyMac X.
- Launch the app and click on the Maintenance tab.
- Select Flush DNS cache.
- Click Run and wait for the app to do its thing.
As I said, FaceTime is usually very reliable. It’s a built-in Mac app, so you’ll rarely encounter problems with it. However, if FaceTime starts malfunctioning, use these troubleshooting tips to fix it ASAP. And remember to use CleanMyMac X to flush the DNS cache.