FaceTime’s Live Photo feature works remarkably well for capturing special moments during video calls with other people. For the most part, it’s incredibly convenient to use – just tap this shutter icon to quickly take a live photo. But ultimately, you will come across instances with FaceTime Live Photos not working or not recording images on your iPhone, iPad or Mac.
There are various reasons why FaceTime does not allow you to capture or record live photos. Privacy restrictions, outdated system software, and FaceTime issues are often the usual suspects. So let’s see the best ways to solve them.
Enable FaceTime Live Photos
FaceTime Live Photos is definitely fun to take. However, not everyone likes to capture embarrassing moments in the Live Photo form. So there is a built-in parameter to prevent this. And to make things fairer, FaceTime also prevents people who prevent Live Photos from also taking live photos.
So every time you try to take a live photo, you may notice that a message “FaceTime Photos must be activated on both devices to use this function” flashes on the screen. If this happens, you and the person whose photo you want to take live must verify the FaceTime settings and enable FaceTime Live Photos (if disabled) on your respective devices.
Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad, then find and tap FaceTime. On the next screen, scroll down and activate the switch next to FaceTime Live Photos.
When using FaceTime on a Mac, click FaceTime in the menu bar (with FaceTime open), then click Preferences. On the Settings tab, check the box next to “Allow live photo capture during video calls”.
If it was only you with FaceTime Live Photos disabled, you should be able to resolve the problem quickly. But asking others to activate FaceTime Live Photos can be a difficult exercise as they usually have the feature disabled for a reason. Unfortunately, there is no other way to get around this restriction.
Update iOS or iPadOS system software
Apple briefly removed FaceTime Live Photos in iOS 12.1.1, which was likely in response to a security vulnerability in group calls. They finally restored functionality after correcting the problem.
But that means that you and the person you’re talking to must have at least iOS 12.1.4 / iPadOS 13.0 or higher installed to use FaceTime Live Photos. The same goes for the Mac. Both people should have macOS 10.13.6 High Sierra /10.14.4 Mojave or later installed on their Mac.
And in cases where you need to take live photos of another person during a group video call, you must both have iOS 13.0, iPadOS 13.0 or macOS Catalina 10.15 or higher installed.
To check the version of your operating system on iPhone and iPad, go to the Settings app, tap General, and then tap About. If you need to update your device, return to the previous screen, and then tap Software update.
On the Mac, open the Apple menu, then click About This Mac to check the current version of macOS. If you need to update your Mac, go to Apple menu> System Preferences, then tap Software Update.
Note: On Macs running macOS High Sierra and earlier, go to the Mac App Store, then tap Updates to get the latest compatible updates for your Mac.
Check live photo album
FaceTime Live Photos is not accessible through FaceTime itself. Instead, the operating system saves them to your Camera application Camera Roll. If you can’t locate them among the other photos on your iPhone, go to the Albums tab and then tap Live Photos.
On the Mac, tap the Live Photos tab in the sidebar of the Photos app to filter your live photos, which should include those from FaceTime.
Note: Give it a few seconds for your live photos to appear in the Photos app after a FaceTime call ends.
Restart the device
If you take live photos and they don’t appear in the Photos app, restart your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. This could resolve any temporary issues with FaceTime Live Photos not working properly.
Note: To deactivate an iPhone or iPad with Face ID, press the Volume up button, then the Volume down button. Follow immediately by pressing and holding the side button.
After restarting your device, initiate a FaceTime call and try to take a live photo.
Activate iCloud photos
If you’re having trouble with FaceTime that doesn’t back up your photos in the Photos app even after a device restart, try disabling iCloud Photos and then turning it back on. The forum chat indicates that as a likely fix for FaceTime Live Photos to work properly again.
Go to the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad, tap Photos, then turn off iCloud Photos. Wait a few minutes, then re-enable iCloud Photos.
If you’re using FaceTime on a Mac, open the Photos app, then click Preferences on the menu bar.
On the iCloud tab, uncheck the box next to iCloud Photos. After a while, recheck the box.
Disabling and re-enabling FaceTime on your device can also help resolve persistent issues with FaceTime Live Photos. Go to the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad, tap Facetime, then turn off the switch next to FaceTime. Wait a moment, then re-enable FaceTime.
On the Mac, click FaceTime in the menu bar (with FaceTime open), then click Preferences. On the Settings tab, uncheck the box next to Activate this account. Wait a moment and recheck the box.
You can also ask the person whose live photos you want to take to turn FaceTime off and on on their device.
Living in action
Problems with Live Photos in FaceTime can be somewhat annoying to resolve since some of the fixes apply to everyone when calling. Just be sure to take the time to browse them patiently and hopefully you can start taking FaceTime Live Photos soon.
Have you finally managed to take live photos in FaceTime? Click on the link below to find out how to change them.
Last updated on June 8, 2020
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