How to Use FaceTime on the iPad

One of the many benefits of owning an iPad is the ability to place phone calls through the device, and one of the most popular ways of doing so is through FaceTime. Not only can you use FaceTime to do video conferencing, but you can also place voice calls, so you don't have to worry about combing your hair before talking on your iPad. 

How to use FaceTime on the iPad

Family Facetiming on an Ipad
Artur Debat / Getty Images

The great thing about FaceTime is that you don't need to do anything special to set it up. The FaceTime app is already installed on your iPad, and because it works through your Apple ID, you are ready to place and receive phone calls at any time.

However, because FaceTime works through Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, you can only call friends and family that have one of these devices. But the great part is that they don't need to own an actual iPhone to receive calls. You can place a call to their iPad or Mac using the email address stored in their contact information.


How to Place a FaceTime Call

Image of a white dog
Puppy makes a call. Daniel Nations

Using FaceTime is so easy even a puppy could do it. 

  • The first thing you'll need to do is launch the FaceTime app. When FaceTime launches, the front-facing camera will turn on and most of the screen will show what the camera is capturing. On the left is a menu that includes your most recent calls, but if this is the first time using FaceTime, it will be empty.
  • To place a call, simply tap the top of the menu where it reads "Enter name, email, or number" and begin typing in the name of the person you want to call. They will need to be in your contacts list for you to call them by name, but if they aren't in contacts, you can type in their phone number. As you type, the iPad will list out matching contacts below the input box. You may only need to type the first few letters of a name to find the contact. 
  • To the right of the contacts in the list are two buttons: a video camera and a phone handset. If FaceTime is unavailable for the contact, the camera button will be grayed out. To start a video conference, simply tap the camera button beside the contact's name. Tapping the phone button will place a voice call. 

    There are a few things to know: First, you will need to be connected to the Internet to make FaceTime calls. This could be through a Wi-Fi connection or through a 4G LTE connection. Second, the person you are calling must have an Apple device such as an iPhone, iPad or Mac. 

    A Few FaceTime Tips:

    Facetime screens on ipad and iphone

    Apple Inc.


    • You can place FaceTime calls using a person's email address so long as (1) it is the same email address as they used to sign up for their Apple ID and (2) they have enabled receiving calls to their email address.
    • Tapping the plus (+) sign at the top of the menu will bring up your contacts list. This is another way of searching for the person you want to call.  
    • You can make an Audio-only call by switching the tab at the top from Video to Audio.
    • You can delete names from your call history by tapping the Edit button at the top-left corner of the screen, selecting the contacts you want to delete and then tapping the delete button at the bottom of the list. Don't worry, this only deletes them from the recently called list, not your contacts.

    How to Use FaceTime With the Same Apple ID

    Setting tab on Apple device.

    Apple Inc.

    Do you want to place calls between two iOS devices using the same Apple ID? By default, all devices connected to the same Apple ID utilize the primary email address associated with that Apple ID. This means they will all ring when a FaceTime call is placed to that email address. It also means you can't place a call between two devices, just as you can't use one home phone to place a call to your house and answer it with another phone on the same phone line. But luckily, Apple has provided a rather easy workaround for using FaceTime on different devices connected to the same Apple ID.

    • First, you will need to go into the iPad's Settings
    • On the left-side menu, scroll down and select "FaceTime."
    • In the middle of the FaceTime settings is a section headlined with "You Can Be Reached By Facetime At." Simply check the phone number or email address you want to use when using the device. 
    • By default, the email address used when signing up for your Apple ID will be listed as a choice. You can also add another email address by tapping "Add An Email..."
    • If you and your spouse use the same Apple ID and you want your FaceTime calls to go to your iPad and their FaceTime calls to go to their iPad, simply make sure there is a unique email address on each of the two iPads and that only one of those two email addresses are checked on the individual devices. This creates a separate address for FaceTime calls to be routed to a specific address.  

    You can also turn off FaceTime calls to your phone number from being routed to your iPad.  However, if you have FaceTime turned on, you will need to have one option checked in the "You Can Be Reached..." section. So if the phone number is checked and grayed out, it is because it is the only option checked.  

    Don't have another email address? Both Google and Yahoo offer free email addresses, or you can check out the list of free email services. Even if you don't have any other need for a second address, you can use it just for FaceTime.