How to FaceTime on Your iPhone, iPod, or iPad

Video conference with your contacts on any iOS device

Grandparents using video chat, facetime, skype service to talk to a mother and son

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Use FaceTime to make audio and video calls on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. You'll see the person you're talking to, not just hear them, which can be fun and feel like you're connecting to the person you're talking to — especially if it's someone you haven't seen in a long time or don't get to see often.

Instructions in this article apply to iPhone 4 and newer, 4th generation iPod touch and later, iPad 2 and later, and Macs running Mac OS X 10.6 or higher with the FaceTime app installed.

How to Set Up FaceTime

You can only make FaceTime calls to other FaceTime-compatible devices, including the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac. You can't use FaceTime on Android or Windows devices. If the FaceTime icon has a question mark on it when you place a call or if it doesn't light up, it may be because the person you're calling can't accept a FaceTime call.

To set up FaceTime to make calls:

  1. Ensure that FaceTime is turned on for your iPhone. It may have been enabled when you first set up your device. To check, open Settings, tap FaceTime, then turn on the FaceTime toggle switch.

    FaceTime on iPhone and iPod Touch screenshot
  2. On the FaceTime screen, enter a phone number, email address, or both. To use an email address, tap Use your Apple ID for FaceTime.

    Phone numbers are only present on the iPhone and can only be the number connected to the iPhone.

  3. Connect to either a Wi-Fi or cellular network. As long as you have a network connection, you can make a call.

    Connect the iPhone to a Wi-Fi network before using FaceTime, if one is available. Video chats require a lot of data, and Wi-Fi doesn't use your monthly data limit.

How to Make a FaceTime Call

There are several ways to make a FaceTime call.

Call them as you normally would, then tap the FaceTime button when it lights up after the call begins.

This button will only be available when calling FaceTime-enabled devices.

Browse through your iPhone's contacts, the FaceTime app built into iOS, or your Messages app. In any of those locations, find the person you want to call and tap their name. Then, tap the FaceTime button (it looks like a small camera).

FaceTime on iOS screenshot

On iOS 7 or higher, you can make a FaceTime Audio call. You'll see a Phone icon in the FaceTime section of a contact's page or as an option in the FaceTime app. Tap the Phone icon to start an audio-only call.

This option uses FaceTime technology for voice calls and saves your monthly cellphone minutes because it sends the conversation through the Apple servers instead of the phone company servers.

FaceTime on iOS devices screenshot

Your FaceTime call will begin as a regular call, except that the camera turns on and you'll see yourself. The person you're calling has the option to accept or deny your call by tapping an on-screen button (you'll have this same option if someone FaceTimes you).

If they accept it, FaceTime sends video from your camera to them and vice versa. Both a shot of you and the person you're talking to are on the screen at the same time.

To end a FaceTime call. tap the red End button found at the bottom of the screen.