PSA: FaceTime option not working anymore on your iPhone 4 (iPhour)?

Seeing as how it’s Friday, we thought we’d end the week with a little Public Service Announcement for all you new iPhone 4 (iPhour) users out there scratching your head as to why the FaceTime video call option suddenly disappeared from your new Apple smartphone. We’ve been getting a good number of readers asking us why their iPhone 4 just seemingly decided to no longer work with the FaceTime video chat feature that Steve Jobs so enthusiastically announced at WWDC 2010. The problem? You probably restored your previous iPhone’s backup to your iPhour.

You see, Apple makes it easy to transfer all your data from one iPhone to another. If, for example, you upgraded your iPhone 3GS to an iPhone 4, all you had to do was backup your 3GS through iTunes and restore your iPhone 4 with that backup. After doing so, your new iPhour (iPhone + 4 = “iPhour”) will essentially be a clone of your outgoing 3GS – all your music, apps, emails, calendar events, passwords and even text messages will be synced. That also means that all your settings will be carried over to iPhour – including FaceTime settings. And, therein lies the problem.

Your iPhone, iPhone 3G, or iPhone 3GS doesn’t have a front-facing camera, and so doesn’t have the FaceTime video chat option. When you synchronize your iPhour with your old iPhone data, iTunes will automatically toggle the FaceTime setting to “off” as the default setting. The solution:

  • Navigate your iPhone 4 to Settings > Phone and re-enable FaceTime

It’s that simple.

This concludes are weekly public service announcement. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

  • Lori

    Thank you! I figured out my old settings overrode the new phone when my apps were no longer in folders after restoring, but couldn’t figure out the FaceTime (kind of why I bought the phone)! Thanks, so easy. Just have to know where to look.

    • Yasirmalik7

      for middle east user just install middlewhat application from cydia and ur face time will 100 % work and dont worry for ios version its working on all ios of iphone 4 and enjoy ur facetime :-).

  • Jen

    Thanks…started to panic for a second there 🙂

  • Henry

    Hmm mine isn’t there. Great I have an unfixable APN file now, just effing great. >_>

  • Mike

    I don't have an "enable Facetime" option in Settings–>Phone – nothing there.

  • Raven

    I turned on Facetime as the article states and still the button isn't present on any of my contacts (even those with iPhone 4s). It says "Waiting for Authorization" under the Facetime on/off switch in Settings>Phone. Strange.

  • Anna

    The same problem with my hubby’s iPhone 4. It was initially mine, the 16gb, when I had it I have the enable/disable FaceTime option in the settings. But then he got a 32gb iPhone 4, he gave it to me, I transfer all my data there, works fine. He synchronised his old 3GS iPhone to the 16gb, but then he haven’t got the FaceTime option in the setting. How can that be?

  • Lesley

    My FaceTime is turned on, but my video won’t show the screen of me. And when I flip the camera around, it shows to the person I’m talking to but not for me! Very frustrating!

  • _

    Thank you, thank you!

  • NOTaHappyFace

    My face time is turned on and is still not working :o( yes, this occured after syncing it to my itunes account. I have turned my phone off and on several times and facetime does not work! Is resetting my phone my only option?????? If so… thats B***S****!!!!!!!!!! Whats the point of itunes/i4 if it ruins the best features? Apple needs to get the crap fixed!

  • Patrick

    Mine disappeared after doing an iPhour to iPhour restore.

  • ZacharyZ

    For all those who turned on the facetime, Enabled on, and then saw it saying "Waiting for Authorization"… I had the same thing happen. Nothing seemed to be changing, but I used the one fix everything trick: TURN THE PHONE OFF, and then TURN THE PHONE ON. In other words, restarting will always recalibrate new settings.
    After restarting, then facetime worked.
    For everyone else, try making sure you've updated firmware.
    And for everyone who hasn't upgraded firmware because of jailbreak dreams, just know that the 4.0.1 is already jailbreakable, and is just waiting for release, so you're good! lol

  • Andie

    Thanks!! Also…in General/Usage settings…u can turn on the battery percentage…I went from 3G to iphour.

  • Guest

    Phew, thanks, posters! Just turning the phone off and back on restored my Facetime. Pretty annoying error, but oh well, at least everything seems fine now and now I'll know what's up if it happens again.

  • Tech Support

    Make sure that you have updated your carrier setting.

    Exemple TElus : If you go under Setting, General , About , look at CARRIER : if you see 7.0 ! YOU NEED TO UPDATE WITH ITUNE TO 7.2 that should fixe your problem!

  • Jose


    I can’t see my number under pone settings and when I turn on FaceTime it keep telling me that it is waiting for activation!

    Any thought! Thank you.

  • cat

    thank you this has been a great help xx

  • janet24

    Thanks for your help. this fix worked. I had updated my Iphone 4 by transferring old data from 3gs. Thanks again.

  • wacko

    there isn’t any facetime option!! tried reseting my phone but also there isnt any difference. what shld i do?

    • Klm3471

      To access facetime on the iphone 4, you go to phone, contacts then there SHOULD be a button that says facetime where it says text message and share contacts. Unfortunatly, i have the same issue as many other users; right when i switch my settings to enable facetime, it switches itself back.

  • abdo

    Hi, i have purchase the iphone4 with the face time feature, the itunes requer to update the phone and after the update to 4.1 the face time desapear.

    Please help..

  • rosanah

    I had a 3Gs before when I syn my Iphone 4G in my laptop, I do not have the Facetime option in my Iphne , how can I enable when there is no facetime option in settings?

    • Make sure you have FaceTime enabled in settings. A sync with data from a 3GS will disable the feature by default, because the 3GS has no front facing camera.

      • rosanah

        Hi Will,

        The button FACETIME is not showing in settings that is my problem. The version is 4.1

  • Jojoes

    My iPhone 4 was delivered with iOS4.1 and activated as a new phone. Only thing that happened is updating the carrier setting. Now i do not ave the option to enable facetime!!!!

    • Kasuva Moses

      I have the same problem like what Jojoes have. I will appraciate to have the answer to this as well.

      I just received my iPhone 4 with the IOS 4.1, but there is no facetime button on it and neither there is a provision to activate it. could it be, factime is not working with version 4.1?

  • Faisal Nasir

    Bought an iphone 4 synched with 3GS. My Facetime is turned on but waiting for activation and everytime i restart it says that sms is going to cost me and i accept but nothing happens. My facetime still says waiting for activation. How to resolve this? Please help.

  • Ebz

    Regarding the issue in FaceTime in FW 4.1… apple has taken the option off the device for all iphones in Middle East … So any iPhone which is been brought from Middle East will not has faceTime on it.

    Anyone can sort this out ???


    • Jeny Michaels

      crazy ppl at Apple or maybe the UAE based telcos… blocking stuff for no reason.

    • Aftersteering

      Move to a democracy.

  • Khailinbl

    my facetime worked before but after i turning off it doesnt work anymore. i tried to restore, reset and restart my iphone4 but it still saying’waiting for activation’. how to fix it?

    • arif

      how do you fix your problem..i have the same problem also..can’t facetime

    • Chenshaozi

       I have the same problem, who can fix it? thanks a lot!

  • ismail

    I have a similar problem. When i turn on facetime and then go back ot the settings, it turns off facetime by itself

    • Suchashopper

      did you figure it out? Apple gave us a new phone but it’s still doing the same thing as yours.

  • Kasuva Moses

    I bought a new iPhone 4 with version 4.1 and there is no facetime button and neither a provision to activate it. Does it mean version 4.1 does not support facetime?

  • guest

    every time i go into phone and enable facetime it says waiting for activation and then turns the facetime off again
    please help

    • Jgyd2907

      its exactly the same thing to my iphone, did u get any solution? thanks

  • does it require Wifi conncection everytime you use facetime

  • Disgruntled

    Iphone 4’s purchased in the Middle East have facetime disabled. The only way you can enable is via a jail break which will void the warranty. My advice is don’t buy an iPhone4 in the middle east. Buy elsewhere. Check that facetime will be available prior to purchasing. The advertising in Dubai is very misleading with Posters demonstrating facetime, yet the functionality is not there.

    • Slaimananbar

      ur absolutely right, i got my iphone 2 days ago and facetime isnt working.. this is what the apple store told me.. its disabled..

    • Jazzi_jenny

      Totally misleading… and nothing new in it 🙂 Wish they’d be a bit more open.. but then you know, they want to sell their products… and not disclosing a fact, is not called TELLING A LIE 🙂

  • Jenny

    thank you so much <3

  • Jenny

    thank you so much <3

  • Jenny

    thank you so much <3

  • notlovinit

    My phone keeps toggling itself back to off………then what

    • sllouttit

      Mine keeps doing the same…

  • Sean N

    this was very helpful!
    thank you a million!!

  • Help?

    Why is it my girlfriends phone cannot receive any facetime call from mine while if she calls me i can receive the call. Yes her facetime option is on…. does it have to do with the phone or does it have to do with the internet connection? yes wifi is working too. Reseted all settings still doesnt work, reseted network setting still nothing.. Anyone can answer?

    • Loco

      She is cheating you she doesnt show her facetime because she is with another and you answer yours cuz you are stupid she is trying to control you.

    • Loco

      She is cheating you she doesnt show her facetime because she is with another and you answer yours cuz you are stupid she is trying to control you.

    • Loco

      She is cheating you she doesnt show her facetime because she is with another and you answer yours cuz you are stupid she is trying to control you.

    • Loco

      She is cheating you she doesnt show her facetime because she is with another and you answer yours cuz you are stupid she is trying to control you.

  • Dhhdhdh

    thanks bro

  • Rflis

    Facetime worked great between my daughter and I before she left for Paris… now there why is facetime no longer working?

  • Harsharaju02

    there is no facetime option only in my iphone4 icheked in Settings > Phone

  • anonymous

    Thank you. I feared it would be a complicated fix but that was super easy. Much appreciated. 

  • Harsharaju02

    no alternative for getting facetime? and why i dont have that while others had that option

  • Dina

    Still does not work for my iPhone 4.

  • Harsharaju02

    if we sync new app the before app will go

  • Harsharaju02

    if we sync new app the before app will go or not?????

  • Anonymous

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    Apple iPhone 4 is the fourth-generation of iphone and comes with a new slimmer design and front-facing camera capable of video calling. apple also updated the display with a high-resolution screen that measures 960 x 640 pixels. It also features a 5 megapixel camera with an LED flash and HD video recording. The front facing camera uses an application called facetime to make video calls over wifi.


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    • Elethym

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    • Elethym

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    • Elethym

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  • Nyrxman

    uh….not that simple.  I have a brand new 4s and I had a Facetime icon on my screen and used it several times.  At some point (it may have been during a synch…which I do often), the icon disappeared but all the features of Facetime work from the contacts page.

    Your explanation doesn’t explain why the icon disappeared. And while my Facetime features work, it would be nice to be able to simply tap an icon to start the process going, but I can no longer do that and I feel as though I’ve been somehow cheated in my purchase. 

  • Liam

    terrible explanation still does not work

  • Tmgsales

    Try just turning phone off and then on.  I find that this works for lots of things on the iphone. It just worked for my daughter.

  • B.V.

    every time i try to face time it calls, and also there is no face-time button on their contact it just really gets on my nerves. how do i make face-time again? will it ever work again ( face-time i mean )?

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