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How to Make a FaceTime Call on Your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac

Have a FaceTime chat with Windows and Android users if you host on an Apple device


spinner image Users with Apple devices can FaceTime family and friends using a video chat function
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It’s no surprise that Apple’s FaceTime app has attracted multiple generations of users. What better way to see and chat with your grandchildren, celebrate a loved one’s birthday with a group or witness the natural beauty of the northern lights in real time?

As its name implies, FaceTime is a video call you initiate from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Mac to another Apple device. It lets you see, hear and speak to the person on the other end. You can add people to the call and conduct a group call with up to 32 people.

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Initially exclusive only to Apple devices, FaceTime’s reach broadened with Apple’s release of iOs 15 in 2021 — it launched iOS 16.1 in October 2022 — enabling Windows PC and Android phone and tablet users to join a FaceTime. While the call must be initiated from an Apple device, this opened up a bigger field for video chatting. All you need is Wi-Fi or a cellular signal.

Keep in mind, depending on your plan, you could incur data charges to place or accept a FaceTime call outside the home.

How to initiate a FaceTime call

If you’re new to making a FaceTime call, make sure you’re signed into the app with your Apple ID; you’ll need to do this just once. This confirms your identity with your email address and password.

Video: How to video call on FaceTime

On an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch

1. Go to Settings | FaceTime and confirm that FaceTime is selected green for “on.”

2. Open the FaceTime app on your device, a green square with a white video camera and click New FaceTime.

3. You can tap a previous conversation’s contact, key in a name and your Contacts list will appear or add a new contact’s name and phone number. Tap Facetime and your call will connect.

You can add more people by tapping the plus-sign button and selecting them from Contacts or typing in their name and number. Repeat the steps to add up to 31 people besides yourself.

On an iPhone, FaceTime automatically registers your phone number. This means someone can FaceTime you through your phone number, just like a regular call.

4. To register your email address on your iPhone or on your iPad or iPod touch where you might not have a phone number, simply go to Settings FaceTimeUse your Apple ID for FaceTime and sign in with your Apple ID.

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Some things to note:

• If you want to start a FaceTime video call on your iPhone while chatting on a regular call, tap the FaceTime icon in the phone app to switch immediately to FaceTime.

• If you make a video call that’s unanswered or declined, click Message to send the person an iMessage. Beginning in fall 2023, with the iOS 17 for iPhone, you’ll be able to leave someone a video voicemail message over FaceTime.

On a Mac

Using a Mac laptop or desktop is just as easy. Be sure to sign in with your Apple ID and enable FaceTime. Again, you’ll only do this once. Your Mac needs a camera and microphone for a FaceTime call.

1. Open the FaceTime app. At the top of the screen, click New FaceTime to place a call to another Apple user or Create Link to call someone on Windows or Android (how-to instructions below).

2. Enter the email address or phone number you want to reach. You may need to press the return key.

3. If the recipient is in your contacts, enter their name. Click the video camera button or phone icon for an audio-only call.

Some things to note:

• You can choose whether to make a FaceTime audio call or a regular phone call through your Mac if you have your iPhone nearby and you’re connected to the same Wi-Fi network. If it doesn't work, on your iPhone, go to Settings | Phone | Calls on Other Devices | Allow Calls on Other Devices.

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• If you make a video call that's not answered or declined, at the bottom of the screen, you can select one of these options: Call BackCancel or Leave a Message.

• To add other people to your FaceTime chat, you'll need macOS Mojave 10.14.3 or later. During a FaceTime call, tap the plus sign and enter the name or number of someone you want to add. Repeat the steps to add up to 32 people in total.

• With an upgrade to the new Mac OS Ventura, you can use Handoff to switch seamlessly midcall from one Apple device to another, like from your iPhone to your MacBook. And when you hand off a call, if you've got a connected Bluetooth headset (like AirPods), it will also transition to the new device simultaneously.

On Windows or Android

1. Open the FaceTime app on your Apple device and tap Create Link in the top left.

2. Tap Add Name, type a name for the chat, then tap OK. Select the recipient to receive the link or send it from Messages, Mail or any other supported app in the Share menu, like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, etc.

The recipient will receive a web link for the FaceTime call along with the suggested text “Join my FaceTime.” You can change or add to this text, such as a date or brief personal message.

3. Recipients only need to click the link, which launches their default web browser to join the call. They can join you one-on-one or in a Group FaceTime call.

Remember, you can’t initiate a FaceTime call with a Windows or Android device, but stay tuned. New options are just around the corner, such as bringing FaceTime to Apple TV with upcoming updates to TVOS.

Video: How to Do a Group Skype Call

This is an update to a story originally published on April 23, 2019. It reflects upgraded technology and new offerings.

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