How to Use FaceTime on the iPad

Make video and voice calls for free on your Apple tablet

Two people using FaceTime on an iPad
Artur Debat / Getty Images

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. 

These instructions apply to iPads running iOS 10 and later.

How to use FaceTime on the iPad

You don't need to do anything special to set up FaceTime. The 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.

Because FaceTime works through Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, however, you can only call friends and family that have one of these devices.

If FaceTime isn't already on your iPad, you can download it from the App Store for free.

 

How to Place a FaceTime Call

The FaceTime app is easy to use and just takes a couple of taps to get you in touch with your friends and family. Here's how to use it.

Your iPad be connected to the internet to make FaceTime calls, either through a Wi-Fi or cellular connection. The person you are calling must also have an Apple device such as an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. 

  1. Tap the FaceTime app icon to launch it.

    An iPad with the FaceTime icon highlighted
  2. To place a call, tap the plus sign (+) at the top of the menu 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.

    You can also start typing someone's name into the text field. 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.

    FaceTime on an iPad with the plus sign highlighted
  3. Once you have all of the contacts added (you can start calls with multiple people), press the Audio or Video button to start the call.

    FaceTime on an iPad with the Audio and Video call buttons highlighted
  4. FaceTime will initiate the call, and the person or people on the other side will receive alerts that you're contacting them.

How to Use FaceTime With the Same Apple ID

You may want to place calls between two iOS devices using the same Apple ID, like if you're a parent calling a child who doesn't have their own account.

By default, all devices connected to the same Apple ID utilize the primary email address associated with that ID. They will all ring when a FaceTime call comes to that email address. You also 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.

Apple has provided a workaround for using FaceTime on different devices connected to the same Apple ID.

  1. First, you will need to go into the iPad's Settings

    The iPad Settings app
  2. On the left-side menu, scroll down and select FaceTime.

    Settings app on an iPad with the FaceTime heading highlighted
  3. In the middle of the FaceTime settings is a section called You Can Be Reached By Facetime At. Check the phone number or email address you want to use when using the device.

    FaceTime settings on an iPad with the
  4. 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, make sure each device has its FaceTime tied to a unique email or phone number and that you only select one of them on the individual devices.

    For example, one person can use the email address, and the other can use the phone number.

  5. 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's because it is the only option checked.