How To Fix FaceTime ‘Waiting For Activation’

Posted: October 10, 2010 in Apple, Facetime, HowTo, iDevice, iOS4, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Network, Security
Tags: , , ,

One of the major new features in the iPhone 4 was FaceTime. FaceTime, for those not in the know, is Apple’s video calling service between iPhone 4 devices.

On launch weekend, millions of Canadians picked up an iPhone 4 and when attempting to FaceTime, the call wouldn’t connect. Jumping into the settings menu for FaceTime revealed that FaceTime was “waiting for activation”. Activation, in this case, seemed to take hours. So, how do we fix this?

To fix the FaceTime activation message, follow the steps below:

1.) Turn on WiFi by going to Settings > WiFi and connect to your local WiFi network.

2.) Go to Settings > General > About and wait here (about a minute) until you receive a carrier update prompt. After the update, the carrier field should say “xxxx 7.2″, where “xxxx” is your carrier name. If the carrier says “xxx 8.0″ or later, continue to step 3.

3.) Now go to Settings > Phone. Turn off FaceTime and turn off “Show My Caller ID”. Then, turn iPhone 4 off (slide to power off method).

4.) Turn iPhone 4 back on. Go to Settings > Phone. Turn “Show My Caller ID” back on and turn FaceTime back on. Make a call to another iPhone 4.

5.) If you are running iOS 4.1 or later, go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings.

About firewalls
Frequently used by corporations and educational institutions for increased security, firewalls work by blocking certain Internet traffic from entering or leaving a network.

Internet traffic moves through a firewall based on service-identification numbers that are referred to as ports. Certain ports must be open for FaceTime to work. Network administrators typically open a minimal set of network ports, allowing the traffic for approved applications to enter and leave the network while blocking other network traffic.

Ports to open
If the Wi-Fi network router that you are connected to uses a firewall or security software to restrict Internet access, contact the network administrator and reference this technical article. To use FaceTime on a restricted Wi-Fi network, port forwarding must be enabled for ports 443 (TCP), 3478–3497 (UDP), 16384–16386 (UDP), and 16393–16402 (UDP).

Depending on the NAT configuration for the router and network, additional ports may be used to send and receive video. Some router-specific features or configurations may interfere with FaceTime. This includes port mapping on either end, SIP dropping, or dynamic opening of media ports.

The Wi-Fi network administrator can refer to their router, firewall, or security software documentation for information on configuring port forwarding.

If you encounter issues using a Wi-Fi network, use standard Wi-Fi network troubleshooting to resolve interference and other issues.

Give the above steps a try and comment below on your success (or failures!).

  1. Nouman says:

    Thanks for the share

  2. sinuwun says:

    usepul information. thanks for this nice info, it’s so useful for me.
    This info are really simple and easy to try. I believe all to be happy with this. Thank you for sharing with us the information

  3. As a Newbie, I am always searching online for articles that can help me. Thank you

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  8. Ignacio says:

    Hi I have a serious fix here, I was so desperate and this worked amazingly well.
    Im used to using voice commands, so, after having my Facetime stripped from me from a 4.01 to a 4.02 update,
    I did this:
    1. Got into voice mode by pressing the home button for a few seconds
    2. Issued voice command to call my sister which has an Iphone 4 (same as me).
    3. Iphone did the call and then the Facetime button appeared again on all contacts!

    Possibilities of not working: (You must have Facetime enabled, and it must say “waiting for activation” I believe. If it says “facetime could not be activated or something, then disable facetime and enable again (back to “waiting for activation”). This worked in Costa Rica.

  9. This worked wonderfully on my iphone 4 been searching far and wide for this help.

  10. Elaine says:

    a very nice day

  11. Harris says:

    Hi i have iphone 4 with 4.3.3 firmware jailbreaked with
    On the begin i didn’t have the option at settings->phone-> facetime on/off
    I googled it and i found that i have to add a repo, islam and then i will find the middlewhat or the facetime hacktivation so that the above mentioned option for facetime will appeared.
    Everything went fine, now m choosing to enable it and i m receiving o popup message saying “your carrier may charge for SMS messages used to activate facetime” i m choosing yes and then says waiting for activation, and as you understand i m still waiting $%@#%%
    Can someone help me how to make facetime work properly.

    Thank you

  12. Mike says:

    Had the same issue with my wife’s phone….”Waiting for activation” and I did, for a little bit.

    Googled a few minutes, did a hard reset (Home and Power buttons pressed for as long as it takes) and suddenly, I was FaceTiming…if you know what I mean!!!

    Great detailed article…before going through every step, maybe just try a hard reset and see if that will do it for you…if you know what I mean!!!

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