How to fix FaceTime Live photos not working or not saving

The Live Photo feature in FaceTime works phenomenally well for capturing special moments during video calls with others. In most cases, it’s incredibly convenient to use – just click the shutter icon to quickly take a live photo. But at some point you will come across cases where FaceTime Live Photos is not working or not saving pictures on your iPhone, iPad or Mac.

There are several reasons why you cannot take or save live photos using FaceTime. Privacy restrictions, outdated system software, and FaceTime errors are often the common suspects. So let’s take a look at the best ways to solve them.

Enable FaceTime Live Photos

FaceTime Live Photos is undoubtedly fun. However, not everyone likes to capture embarrassing moments in the live photo form. So there is a built-in setting to prevent this from happening. And to make things fair, FaceTime also prevents people who block live photos from taking live photos as well.

So when you try to take a Live Photo, you may find that the message “FaceTime Photos must be enabled on both devices to use this feature” flashes across the screen. In this case, both you and the person whose Live Photo you want to take should check their FaceTime settings and enable FaceTime Live Photos (if disabled) on their respective devices.

Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad, then find and tap FaceTime. On the following screen, scroll down and toggle the switch next to FaceTime Live Photos on.

If you’re 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 Photos To Be Captured During Video Calls.

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If only you turned off FaceTime Live Photos, you should be able to fix the problem quickly. But asking other people to turn on FaceTime Live Photos can be a chore, as they usually have the functionality turned off for some reason. Unfortunately, there is no other way to get around this limitation.

Update the iOS or iPadOS system software

Apple temporarily removed FaceTime Live Photos in iOS 12.1.1, likely in response to a security-relevant vulnerability in group calls . You finally brought back functionality after the problem has been resolved.

However, this means that both you and the person you are speaking to should have at least iOS 12.1.4 / iPadOS 13.0 or higher installed in order 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 higher installed on their Macs.

And in cases where you need to take live photos of someone else on a group video call, you’ll need to have both iOS 13.0, iPadOS 13.0, or macOS Catalina 10.15 or later installed.

To check your operating system version on iPhone and iPad, go to the Settings app, tap General, and then tap About. If you need to update your device, go back to the previous screen and then tap Software Update.

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On the Mac, open the Apple menu, and then click About This Mac to check the current version of macOS. If you need to update your Mac, go to the Apple menu> System Preferences, then tap Software Update.

Check the live photos album

FaceTime Live Photos are not accessible through FaceTime itself. Instead, the operating system saves them to your Photos app camera roll. If you can’t find them among the other photos on your iPhone, go to the Albums tab, then tap Live Photos.

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On the Mac, tap the Live Photos tab in the Photos app sidebar to filter your live photos, which should include those from FaceTime.

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Restart the device

In cases where you are taking live photos and they are not showing up in the Photos app, restart your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. This could fix temporary glitches when FaceTime Live Photos is not working properly.

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After restarting your device, start a FaceTime call and try to take a Live Photo again.

Enable iCloud Photos

If you’re having trouble with FaceTime not saving your photos in the Photos app even after restarting your device, try turning iCloud Photos off and on again. Forum chatter indicates this as a likely solution to getting 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 and then turn iCloud Photos back on.

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If you’re using FaceTime on a Mac, open the Photos app, then click Preferences on the menu bar.

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On the iCloud tab, uncheck the box next to iCloud Photos. After a moment, check the box again.

Turn FaceTime on / off

Disabling FaceTime and then 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 toggle the switch next to FaceTime off. Wait a moment, and then enable FaceTime again.

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On the Mac, click FaceTime in the menu bar (with FaceTime open), then click Preferences. On the Settings tab, clear the check box next to Enable this account. Wait a moment and check the box again.

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You can also ask the person whose Live Photos you want to take to disable and enable FaceTime on their device.

Live in action

Problems with Live Photos in FaceTime can be a little annoying as some of the fixes apply to all attendees. Just take the time to patiently go through them and hopefully you can start taking FaceTime Live Photos soon.

Next Up:

Did you finally manage to take Live Photos in FaceTime? Click the link below to learn how to edit them.

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