How to Turn On FaceTime Live Photos

How to use the Live Photos feature on FaceTime

What to Know

  • To enable FaceTime Live Photos: Go to Settings > FaceTime > tap the toggle next to FaceTime Live Photos until it is On (green equals on).
  • FaceTime Live Photos is enabled by default, but both parties should turn it on to take pictures.
  • To capture a Live Photo during a FaceTime call, tap the shutter button on your screen.

This article provides instructions for enabling and using FaceTime Live Photos on an iPhone running iOS 15 or newer.

How Do I Turn On FaceTime Live Photos?

By default, the FaceTime Live Photos feature is automatically enabled on your iPhone or Mac. If you now need to enable FaceTime Live Photos again, you can use these instructions:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Scroll down and select FaceTime.

  3. Then scroll down again, and make sure FaceTime Live Photos is toggled On (it will be green when On, gray when Off).

    Screenshots showing how to enabled FaceTime Live Photos on iOS 15.

How to Take a Photo During a FaceTime Call

Once you've enabled FaceTime Live Photos, you should be able to take a picture during a FaceTime call. However, there are a couple of caveats. The first one is the other people you're speaking to on the FaceTime call may also need to have FaceTime Live Photos enabled on their device. The second caveat of FaceTime Live Photos is you cannot (thankfully) use this feature without the other person knowing you're taking their picture. The app will notify them once the image is captured.

This feature is not available in all countries.

However, knowing those two things, you can easily take a photo during a FaceTime call by clicking the white shutter button.

If you're on a group call, you will first need to select the tile for the person whose picture you want to capture and then expand it, so their image fills the whole screen. Then you can tap the shutter button for the picture.

When you tap the shutter button, the camera will grab a snippet of video from before and after the picture is completed, just like Live Photos does when you're using your camera app. The image goes to your Photo Gallery, where you can view and edit it like other Live Photos.

Why Can't I Turn on FaceTime Live Photos?

If you can't enable FaceTime Live Photos, it could be because you're running an older version of the iOS operating system, or there could be a glitch in the system. First, make sure your iPhone is completely up-to-date to the latest operating system available. Once it's updated, you'll also need to make sure all your apps are updated.

If everything is updated, you could have a glitch in your system that prevents FaceTime Live Photos from being available. To get it going again, try:

  • Restarting your iPhone: Restarting a device can fix many issues you might encounter. Try a restart and see if the problem is resolved.
  • Restart your FaceTime app: If restarting your phone doesn't work, you might try disabling and then re-enabling your FaceTime app. To disable it, go to Settings > FaceTime > and slide the FaceTime toggle to the Off position. Close completely out of FaceTime and then follow the same steps to re-enable it.

If none of those strategies make FaceTime Live Photos available again, then you should consider making an Apple Genius Bar Appointment for additional support.

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