The FaceTime video messaging application has become popular as a way to make real time video calls with iOS. Compared to other similar apps, FaceTime is premium in the areas of video quality, clarity, and sharpness of the images. FaceTime is also a treat for Apple users as a built-in feature of Mac, iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch.

Although FaceTime is well designed, occasionally the user can experience problems. This tutorial will provide potential solutions for when FaceTime is not working on Mac.

Check Your Requirements

For your FaceTime to work on your Mac, you and the user you are connecting with must both meet the requirements for FaceTime to properly function.

To make and receive video and audio calls on FaceTime from your Mac, it must meet the following requirements:

  • Apple ID for FaceTime Sign in
  • Working Phone Number
  • Stable Internet Connection
  • Built-in microphone
  • Built in camera for video calls

The user who receives FaceTime calls from you must meet the following requirements:

  • iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, iPhone 7, iPad 2 or later, or iPod Touch with iOS 4.1 or later.
  • A Mac with FaceTime installed; Mac OS X 10.9.2 or later
  • Built-in microphone
  • Built in camera for video calls
  • Apple ID and password for log in

Note: If you receive the notification ‘FaceTime Unavailable’, it means the person you are trying to call is not taking FaceTime calls at that moment. It could also mean that the person is on another FaceTime call at the moment. It does not necessarily mean that your FaceTime app is not working.

Verify Your Country

FaceTime does not work in all countries. If you are traveling internationally, check to see if the country you are visiting has access to FaceTime and also allows access to FaceTime. Currently, FaceTime is not used in Egypt, Tunisia, Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, or Jordan. If you are in a country that does not allow FaceTime use, turn your FaceTime app off until you leave that area :

FaceTime can be turned to OFF using the dropdown menu. Or, turn it to OFF with Command + K shortcut keys.

Turn FaceTime ON

Launch FaceTime and Click FaceTine > Turn FaceTime ON. Your FaceTime app should no longer say ‘Waiting for Activation’. If the notification does not turn off, it may be stuck on that screen. If so, you can reset FaceTime on your Mac.

Reset FaceTime

If your screen is hung up it may just be time to reset the app. Reset FaceTime by opening the app and going to FaceTime > Preferences. Move the slider to set the switch to OFF, and then switch it back to ON.

Check Apple Servers

System Status

Sometimes the Apple Server is down, which would stop FaceTime from running. Check the Apple System Status page. Verify that the System Status availability is green:

If the server is not available, you will have to wait for the status to change. If the Server is running, it could also be that your connection to the Apple Servers is bad due to an Internet problem. Verify that the Apple Server is up and running. Then check the Internet connection on your Mac before your trouble shoot the app.

Click on the Wi-Fi icon and confirm that the Wi-Fi is ON. If not, turn the Wi Fi to ON. Or, go to System Preferences > Network and check the Internet connection. You may restart your Mac to see if the Internet will reconnect.

Check Your Date & Time Settings

Verify that your Date & Time settings are correct. Go to Apple > System Preferences > Date & Time. Make sure “set date and time automatically’ is selected. Select the Time Zone tab and choose to ‘Set time zone automatically using your current location’. You can restart your Mac before you try FaceTime again (optional).

Change Your DNS Settings

Try changing your Mac DNS settings to Google’s. Go to System Preferences > Network > Select Network (WiFi) > Advanced. Click on the DNS tab. Click (‘+’) to add Google’s DNS and type and Press OK and then press ‘Apply’ to confirm your settings.

Flush Your Cache

You may be experiencing networking or connectivity problems which prevent you from using FaceTime. To fix the problem, flush out your cache. In Finder, go to Applications > Utilities > Terminal. Enter the following:

sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder; sleep 2; echo macOS DNS Cache Reset | say

Press ‘Return’. Enter your password and press ‘Return’ again. The notification ‘macOS DNS cache reset’ should appear. Exit Terminal.For macOS Sierra, use the following syntax:

sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder;say DNS cache has been flushed.

Listen for an audio confirmation. To flush the cache on Yosemite and El Capitan, use the following syntax:

sudo dscache;sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder;say cache flushed

Update Your Software

The most current version of OSX is Mojave 10.14. Make sure you are using the latest version of your iOS software. Go to Settings > General > Software Update. Click ‘Update’. Wait for downloads and installations. Your Mac should restart after the updates.

Check Your List of Blocked Numbers

Check to see if you have blocked the numbers of the user you are trying to connect with. Go to Settings > FaceTime > Blocked. Tap Edit and then the ‘Remove’ icon to remove the block. Or, select the caller and choose ‘Unblock this caller’ (see red arrow):

Check Your Emails

Your email must be verified before you can use FaceTime. You should have received the email verification email when you signed up to use your FaceTime. Go to FaceTime > Preferences to see if the email verification status is still pending. If it is, go to your inbox and find the original Apple email for verification. You may also find it in your spam. Once you find it, verify your email and confirm the status in FaceTime.

Use Apple Support

If you are still having trouble with FaceTime after trying these solutions, Apple Support offers email, phone, and training support for FaceTime users.