Why Does FaceTime Say "Not Available?"

By Lynn Burbeck

FaceTime allows users to speak face to face through their Apple devices.
i Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

FaceTime is a feature on Apple smartphones, tablets and computers that allows individuals to video chat with each other through a cellular or Internet connection. If you're unable to make a FaceTime call on your device, there may be a connection or settings issue that is preventing the call from going through. Knowing how FaceTime works and how to troubleshoot this application will help you resolve issues as quickly and easily as possible.

Not Connected

The first thing to check when you receive a message telling you that FaceTime isn't available is whether you have an adequate cellular or Internet connection. If using a computer, check to make sure your computer is online. If you're on an iPhone and iPad, check the status bar at the top on the home screen. If your cellular connection is low, or you aren't in range of a strong Wi-Fi connection, that's likely the reason you aren't able to make a FaceTime call.

Not Enabled

If you're using an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, open the Settings application on your device and tap "FaceTime" to check its current settings. The toggle button at the top of the screen should be set to "On," signifying that FaceTime is enabled on your device. If it's enabled and you see a message below the toggle button saying "Waiting for Activation," that could be another cause why FaceTime is unavailable. To resolve the issue, turn FaceTime off and on again so the feature can reload. If you continue to have trouble, turn your device off and on again.

Camera Settings

Either the camera function on your Apple device or the webcam on your Mac computer must be functioning properly for FaceTime to work. Make sure FaceTime is able to access your computer's webcam, which could be being blocked by a firewall. On your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, go into the Settings menu and check your restrictions settings to ensure that neither FaceTime or the Camera app are being blocked. To access the restrictions settings, go to "Settings," "General" and "Restrictions."

Incorrect Contact Information

If FaceTime is saying that a user is unavailable, when you know that he is not, it could be that you're using the incorrect email address or phone number. For a FaceTime user on the iPhone, you'll want to use the phone number associated with her phone. For a user on another Apple device or computer, you'll want to use the email address associated with his FaceTime account. If you aren't sure what email address your contact uses, you'll need to confirm with him prior to initiating a call.