It could be audio, settings, or something else. These tips will help you
The FaceTime target disappears if you end up with a blank or black screen. While audio communication is effective, there’s nothing like seeing someone’s face. Let’s see why your FaceTime calls are just a black screen instead of friends and family.
Elizabeth Fernandez/Getty Images
Elizabeth Fernandez/Getty Images
Causes of Black Screen on FaceTime
There are several reasons for a black screen on FaceTime. Something as simple as a software tweak to a hardware failure could be the problem. Here are some potential causes of a black screen on FaceTime:
- The camera is turned off or disabled.
- The camera does not work.
- The camera is in use by another application.
- Something is blocking the camera lens.
- Bad or no Internet connection.
How to fix FaceTime black screen issues
Most FaceTime black screen fixes are things you can do at home. With a little time and patience, you should be able to get FaceTime up and running again. Let’s look at some potential solutions below.
Is this an audio-only call? Make sure you haven’t accidentally chosen an audio-only call. This is perhaps the most innocent reason why you may sometimes see a black screen while using FaceTime. When you make an audio-only call, you see a face time button in the center of the screen when speaking. Select this button to switch to a video call.
Is the camera lens obstructed? Check that you or your correspondent are not blocking the camera lens. This can sometimes happen when a misplaced thumb or finger hits the device’s camera, leaving it with a black screen.
What camera do you use? Check which camera is selected. You may have activated the front camera instead of the selfie camera.
Have you turned off the device recently? If not, restart your iPhone or restart your iPad. Yeah, that’s another simple option, but it works in some cases, because restarting closes all open apps. This may be what is needed to get FaceTime working properly again.
Is the camera busy? Check that your device’s camera is not being used by another app. Sometimes black screens are caused by another app open on the device and using the device’s camera. Since it’s already taking up your camera, close the app before you can get the video portion of your FaceTime call working properly again.
Do you have a good internet connection? Check your internet connection to see if your connection is strong. One possible reason why your FaceTime video isn’t working is that your Internet connection has a problem or isn’t particularly good. If you are using a Wi-Fi network, make sure you are as close to the Wi-Fi router as possible.
Is FaceTime blocked on the receiver side? Check that you or the caller do not have FaceTime restrictions. Access restrictions (eg parental controls) don’t give you a black screen in the middle of a call. Instead, the restrictions prevent you from making a successful video call if your recipient has removed access to FaceTime on their device. So tell your receiver to go to Settingsthen check restrictions (on iOS 11 or earlier systems, via General) either screen time (under iOS 12 or later).
Is your device up to date? If not, update your MacBook or download and install the latest iOS update. Updates can fix underlying software issues that may be causing a FaceTime black screen. So if there’s a new version of iOS or macOS, it’s a good idea to update your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
Did the above fixes not work? If you’re still having trouble, factory reset your iPhone, factory reset your Mac, or factory reset your iPad. This is a drastic option and should only be done if none of the above options resolve your FaceTime black screen issues. As previous Lifewire guides for iPhone, iPad, and Mac explain, factory resets should generally only be done after backing up your device.
Do you need more help? Make an appointment at the Apple Store or go to an authorized repair shop. This is the last option available for FaceTime black screen issues and should only be taken if none of the above methods worked.