FaceTime on Mac lets you make video calls from your computer. In this article, you can read what you need, how to set it up, and how to use FaceTime on Mac.
You probably already know that you can set up FaceTime on your iPhone and iPad, but Apple’s video calling app is also available on Mac. The advantage of FaceTime on Mac is that the screen is bigger and you don’t need to hold an iPhone or iPad every time. But to have FaceTimen on your Mac, you first need to set up the necessary things. In this tip, you can read all about using FaceTime on Mac.
You need it for FaceTime on Mac
To be able to FaceTimen from your MacBook or Mac desktop, you need the following:
- Mac with a camera and microphone. Each MacBook is equipped with a camera. If you’re using a Mac mini or Mac Pro, use an external screen with a camera and microphone or a separate webcam.
- Mac with OS X Lion v10.7 or later
- Apple ID and possibly a phone number
If you’re using an XDR Pro Display, you need a separate camera. The Logitech 4K Pro is a magnetic webcam that you can easily attach to the screen. This is available for $279,99.
FaceTime is also available on older Macs with, for example, OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard via the separate FaceTime app from the Mac App Store. It’s no longer available, but it can be made through the overview of purchases on your Mac
Set up FaceTime on Mac
To start with FaceTime on Mac, do this:
- Open the FaceTime app.
- Connect with your Apple ID.
- If your phone number is also linked to your Apple ID, it will be automatically added. In the menu bar, click FaceTime Preferences to adjust the settings.
You can choose which addresses you can reach on the Mac (email and mobile number) and from which account you start new calls (e-mail or mobile number). You can also set the ringtone you want and you can choose to call via your Mac via your normal phone number.
What’s also important to set up well is your contacts. FaceTime on Mac lets you search for contacts that are also in the People app on Mac. If all your contacts on your iPhone and/or iPad are stored in iCloud, the contacts are probably all on your Mac. If you use another account on your iPhone or iPad (such as Google or Microsoft), activate it on your Mac. This is as follows:
- Open the People app and click Preferences in the menu bar.
- Select the Accounts tab.
- Add an account or activate a previously added account.
- Now, wait until all contacts are in the People app.
Set the microphone and camera
In most cases, FaceTime immediately selects the right microphone and camera. But in some cases, for example, when using an external screen, it may be necessary to adjust certain parameters first. This is as follows:
- Open the FaceTime app.
- Click Video in the menu bar.
- Now select the microphone, the output device, and the camera. You can choose between internal microphone/speakers/camera, use system settings, or possibly externally connected devices such as speakers, microphones, and cameras.
If you choose Use System Settings, FaceTime takes the setting into system preferences. Check which devices are selected. You do this via System Preferences. At the exit, you choose the speaker and at the entrance, you set the microphone.
Use FaceTime on Mac
If you want to have a conversation, do this:
- Open FaceTime on your Mac.
- On the right, you see the camera image. The left side shows recent and missed calls. Click on the search bar at the top.
- Now enter the name of a contact in your address book. You can also manually enter an email address or phone number to call directly.
- Tap Entry on your keyboard.
- At the bottom, you can choose between an audio and video call. Click Video and FaceTime will immediately call the selected address.
You can also use Siri on Mac to FaceTime someone in your address book.
Answering a call
If someone calls you via FaceTime, a window will appear at the top right. Your camera is activated immediately and you see yourself in the photo, so you can sit in front of it before answering the call. You can start or refuse the call using the Accept or Refuse buttons. If you have a MacBook with Touch Bar, you can also answer it.
You can also click on the arrows next to the Accept and Refuse buttons for more options. For example, you can answer a FaceTime Audio call or send an automatic message that you’re not available.
Settings during calls
During the call, you can also set certain settings. Six buttons appear at the bottom of the screen. From left to right are the sidebar buttons (to add more people), turn off the microphone, end the call, turn off the camera, enlarge the full-screen call, and button to take a live photo during FaceTime.
In the conversation, you can also move the tile of yourself. To do this, click on it and drag it. Then release the tile where you want it. This is only possible in one of the four corners. By default, your image is displayed vertically by your caller. If you want to change that, click the round arrow in your own miniature to make the image horizontal.
Start a group conversation
Just like on the iPhone and iPad, you can also start a group conversation via FaceTime on Mac. You can do this easily by selecting multiple contacts in the search bar in the right column before clicking the Video button at the bottom. You can also add people to an existing FaceTime call by clicking the sidebar button and adding people via the more significant.
Learn more about starting FaceTime groups in our separate tip.