How to Fix a Black Screen on FaceTime

Try these tips to resolve audio, settings, and other issues

The whole point of FaceTime goes away if all you end up with is a blank or black screen. While audio communication is effective, there's nothing like seeing someone's face. Here's why your FaceTime calls are only a black screen and how to resolve the issue.

Causes of a Black Screen on FaceTime

There are several reasons for a black screen on FaceTime. The issue could be something as simple as a software setting to a hardware failure. Here are some potential causes for a black screen on FaceTime:

  • The camera is off or disabled.
  • The camera isn't working.
  • The camera is in use by another app.
  • Something is obstructing the camera lens.
  • A poor or no internet connection.

How to Fix FaceTime Black Screen Issues

Most fixes for a black screen on FaceTime are things you can do at home. With a bit of time and patience, you should be able to get FaceTime back up and running. Let's review a few potential fixes below.

  1. Is this an audio-only call? Check that you haven't accidentally chosen an audio-only call. When you make an audio-only call, you see a FaceTime button in the middle of the screen when speaking. Select this button to switch to a video call.

  2. Is the camera lens blocked? Check that you or your caller aren't blocking the camera lens. It can sometimes happen when a misplaced thumb or finger puts the device's camera out of action, leaving you with a black screen.

  3. Which camera are you using? Check to see which camera is selected. You might have the front camera enabled instead of the selfie camera.

  4. Have you turned off the device lately? If not, restart your iPhone or restart your iPad. Yes, this is another simple option, but it sometimes works, given that restarts close all open apps. It might be what's needed to get FaceTime working correctly again.

  5. Is the camera busy? Check that another app isn't using your device's camera. If one is, close the app to get the FaceTime video working again.

  6. Check your internet connection. One possible reason your FaceTime video isn't working is that your internet connection is experiencing a problem or isn't particularly strong. If you use a Wi-Fi network, ensure you're as close to the Wi-Fi router as possible.

  7. Check that you or your caller doesn't have a restriction on FaceTime. You and the other caller should go to Settings and check Restrictions (in iOS 11 or earlier systems, via General) or Screen Time (in iOS 12 or later).

  8. See if you need to update your MacBook or download and install the latest iOS update. Updates can resolve underlying software issues that may cause a FaceTime black screen.

  9. If you still experience issues, factory reset your iPhone, Mac, or iPad. Doing this is drastic, so only do it after backing up your device.

  10. Make an Apple Store appointment or go to an authorized repair shop.

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