Apple’s FaceTime sometimes lacks the most important “face” part of the experience. If you’re trying to chat with someone and all you see is a black screen, there are a few things you can check to fix it.
The tips below are for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. If the fix applies only to one of these operating systems, we will let you know.
Check Apple’s server status
Apple maintains a useful page where you can check if you’re having issues with Apple services. We recommend that you check that page quickly to make sure you are not suffering from problems beyond your control.
Even if you don’t see the issue on the official page, it’s still worth doing a quick search for mentions of issues with the FaceTime service on social media in case Apple hasn’t reported it yet.
If you think you’re not the only one experiencing the problem, give it some time and see if Apple can fix it.
Update your operating system
Whether you’re using iOS, iPadOS, or macOS, FaceTime is an integral part of your system. Although there are generally no compatibility issues, we recommend that all participants keep their operating systems updated to the latest versions (iOS 15 and macOS 12 Monterey at the time of writing).
Did someone forget the camera lens privacy blocker?
It has become common (and practical) to place a special webcam privacy screen over the webcam lens to prevent hackers from spying on you. Before you go into settings or try any sort of technical fix, you or the caller can leave their device on her MacBook or his iOS device and physically view the FaceTime video. Make sure it’s not blocking.
Reset your internet or try another connection
In some cases, a black screen in FaceTime can be caused by your internet connection. Video traffic may be blocked for some reason, or the connection quality may be so bad that sending video is not possible.
Internet connection issues are unlikely to be behind FaceTime black screen issues, but they are one of the easiest to confirm. Turn off your router or other Internet gateway device, wait a few minutes, and then turn it back on. Alternatively, you can try using another unrelated connection, such as a cell phone hotspot instead of Wi-Fi. If you test with a different internet connection and the black screen issue persists, it’s probably not a connectivity issue.
If you’re using a firewall, you’ll need to make sure certain network ports are open for FaceTime to work.
- 80 (TCP)
- 443 (TCP)
- 3478-3497 (UDP)
- 5223 (TCP)
- 16384-16387 (UDP)
- 16393-16402 (UDP)
If you don’t know how to open a blocked port in your firewall, consult your firewall’s help documentation, ask your school or work system administrator, or see our guide on finding open ports and port forwarding .
Close other apps that may be using your camera
Only one app can use the webcam at a time. In some cases, the app may not request camera back after completion. So, just to be safe, it’s worth closing other apps that use your webcam, like Skype or Microsoft Teams.
reboot the device
If closing the app that may have hijacked the camera doesn’t fix the problem, we recommend restarting the entire device. Whether you’re using a Mac, iPad, or iPhone, restarting everything can get rid of minor bugs that prevent your camera from working or FaceTime from working properly.
It seems like a strange solution, but on an iPhone or iPad you can rotate the device between landscape and portrait to make the black screen go away. If the screen orientation doesn’t change when you physically rotate the phone, swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen and toggle Orientation Lock in Control Center as shown here.
With any luck, rotating between the two orientations will restore the video.
disconnect and reconnect
A poor connection between the parties could be the reason behind the black video feed. The simplest answer is to hang up and call again. Various issues can occur between your device and the other device, such as Internet data route issues and Apple server issues.
Are you on an audio-only call by mistake?
FaceTime allows you to make audio-only calls instead of video calls and save bandwidth. It can also be used when you don’t want someone to see your face. If you’re currently busy with an audio-only call, you’ll see a button in the middle of a blank video screen that lets you initiate a FaceTime call.
Are you choosing the right webcam?
If you have multiple webcams connected to your Mac, you may have the wrong webcam currently selected. This usually doesn’t show a black screen, but if that camera has a privacy blocker or isn’t working properly, it may show nothing.
With FaceTime, video options from menu bar Check if your camera is listed there.
If multiple cameras are displayed, select the internal camera. Alternatively, you can simply remove the external camera. FaceTime should use your Mac’s internal camera by default, if you have one.
Some types of software may install “virtual” webcams, so even if you don’t have another webcam connected to your computer, one of these virtual webcams may be selected instead. I have.
Switch between front and rear camera
One trick that seems to work for many iPad or iPhone users is switching between the front and rear cameras. I’m thinking that forcing the camera to reinitialize might work for this, but whatever the secret, this is an easy fix to try and many people face a black FaceTime screen. It seems to work well when
force quit the app
If nothing else works, it might be worth doing a hard reset of the FaceTime app itself.
- On iOS or iPadOS devices, Swipe up from the bottom of the screen until you see app carousel. after that scroll left and right until you see face time.
- S.Clear the app from the top of the screenafter that Open once again.
- press instructions + space barSearch for Open Activity Monitor.
- look for face time processes in the list and click it to highlight.
- Select Now stop button.
- Is it OK?Select when asked forced termination.
Reopen FaceTime and see if things are back to normal.
Sign out of your Apple ID
This is another trick that doesn’t have a clear explanation as to why it works, but it’s obvious that it works for some people, and it’s quick and easy to try.
- open Settings app.
- select your name.
- scroll down sign out, Select it to complete the process.
After signing out, sign back into your account and try FaceTime to see if the bug is resolved.
- choose apple button It’s on the top left of the screen.
- select System Preferences.
- select Apple ID.
- select overview.
- select sign out.
As with iOS, sign in again and try FaceTime again.
use another app
Unfortunately, there are now fewer and fewer options. So let’s try something other than FaceTime. You can also talk to your Android friends if you have them.
The Apple Store has many great choices, including WhatsApp, Zoom, and Telegram with iOS apps. Not only is this a quick fix if you need to call someone now and troubleshoot later, but it’s also a diagnostic step if another app shows a black screen instead of a video. Especially issues outside of FaceTime.
Last resort: factory reset
After exhausting all other working fixes, the last resort is to factory reset the device. It has been found to work similarly to the nasty wrong network password bug that sometimes occurs in .
Please note that there is no guarantee that a factory reset will fix the problem. For example, if the problem was with an update or Apple’s servers, a factory reset is irrelevant. For exact steps, you can use the iOS or macOS factory reset guides.
A factory reset takes time and can even cause you to lose personal data if something goes wrong. Remember to contact Apple Support first and back up your data.