Fix FaceTime Reaction Effects not working on iOS 17 on Any iPhone

🗓️ October 2, 2023 By ✍️ Jaysukh patel

FaceTime on iPhone has received lots of new add-ons with iOS 17 update. The feature that comes into the limelight is the 3D augmented reality reaction effect. This is designed to increase the fun during the FaceTiming with your loved ones. But what if the feature won’t work on your iPhone running the latest OS version? Fuss not, try these troubleshooting tips to fix FaceTime reaction effects not working on iPhone and iPad. 

iOS 17 Facetime hand gestures Not working issues

Here are 17 ways to fix the issue, but before proceeding, just look at the possible reasons why this feature is malfunctioning on your iPhone. 

Why are iOS 17 FaceTime Gestures not working?

  • Your iPhone isn’t compatible with feature. From iPhone 12 and later models are compatible with the FaceTime reaction effect.
  • You have disabled the front camera, or your face or hands are in a frame. This feature hugely depends on facial recognition and front camera to detect your gestures. 
  • You are using an incorrect gesture or not holding them. The feature is quite sensitive, so it may not work if you aren’t performing correctly. 
  • You might have turned off video calls in the Control Center.
  • A glitch or bug in the FaceTime app or iOS 17 may prevent it from working usually.  

Solution#1. Force-quit FaceTime 

The first solution to fix FaceTime reaction effects not working on iOS 17 is to force the FaceTime app and open it once again. This is because technical errors within FaceTime might not allow you to use FaceTime reactions. Thus, the best way to fix it is to force close the app. 

To do so, swipe up from the bottom and hold in the center of screen. You’ll see all background running apps. Swipe left to search FaceTime app card and then swipe it up.  

Solution#2. Clean front camera

The next solution is to clean the front camera to ensure there is no dirt, debris, or dust that is preventing the shooter from working normally. You can use the cotton cloth to clean the front camera firmly.

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Solution#3. Detach screen protector 

Even though most screen guard companies claim to have perfect cutouts and dimensions. Unfortunately, not all of them can walk the time. If you have a screen guard lacking precise cutouts and dimensions, it might interrupt your iPhone’s selfie camera. In this scenario, it’s worth detaching the screen guard from your iPhone. Remember, after removing the screen guard, you won’t be able to use it.

Solution#4. Update your iPhone

FaceTime reaction gesture is only available on iOS 17. But if you are running an iPhone on an older iOS version, you won’t be able to use FaceTime gestures on your iPhone. Thus, make sure your device is updated to the latest iOS version. To update your flagship, go to Settings > General > Software Update > now let your iPhone load new update > if available, tap on Download and Install. 

Solution#5. Choose a reaction in Video Effect

Now, ensure that you selected and enabled Reaction in video effects. This option is in the Control Center while you’re attending the FaceTime call; many users often ignore it. So, ensure this feature is enabled on your iPhone running the latest iOS version. For this, swipe down from the top right corner of iPhone screen to access the control center. 

After this, hit on the Video Effects > Reactions. Note that the Video Effects in control center will only appear while attaining the FaceTime call. So make sure to turn on the feature during the FaceTime call. And once you’ve opted the Reactions, you can use the gestures in FaceTime calls. 

Solution#6. Ensure you have a compatible iPhone

Not all iPhone running the latest iOS version are compatible with FaceTime reactions. That’s because FaceTime reactions are 3D effect that needs high processing power to work while FaceTime calls, and that’s the reason not all iPhone running iOS version is compatible with this feature. Here below is the list of iPhones that support FaceTime. If your flagship isn’t mentioned in the below list, that’s why you can’t use FaceTime reactions. 

  • iPhone 15, 15 Plus, 15 Pro, 15 Pro Max
  • iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro, 14 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13, 13 mini, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (3rd generation)
  • iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th generation and later)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd generation and later)
  • iPad (10th generation)
  • iPad Air (4th generation and later)
  • iPad mini (6th generation)

Solution#7. Ensure you’re using the correct gestures

It’s feasible that the gestures you are performing may not precisely match the official gestures needed to activate FaceTime call reactions. If you can’t use FaceTime reaction, we suggest cross-verifying your gesture in the table below. If you are performing it incorrectly, it’s fair to say why the iPhone FaceTime reaction is not working. 

  • Hearts
  • Thumbs-up
  • Thumbs-down
  • Balloons
  • Rain
  • Confetti
  • Laser burst 
  • Fireworks

Solution#8. Try using reactions manually

You can enable the reactions manually during a FaceTime call. This comes in handy when you don’t want your gestures to be visible to all recipients. It helps to fix the reactions and test them on your flagship. If FaceTime reaction gets enabled manually, it’s fair to say that the issue lies with FaceTime calls. 

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However, if reactions fail to appear when triggered manually, it indicates a significant issue with your front camera, which manipulates AR reactions and features during FaceTime calls.

To use FaceTime reaction manually, press and hold on your front camera preview and select a reaction. If the reaction appears using this method, then you can move forward to the next solution. But if the issue continues, we suggest taking your iPhone to the nearest Apple service station and requesting repair.

Solution#9. Use a front camera instead of a back camera

Another thing you need to keep in mind while using FaceTime calls is that you need to use the Front Camera. It’s one of the most apparent requirements, as your rear camera cannot trigger and detect the reaction. So, while the primary camera offers better video resolution and quality, unfortunately, it’s incompatible with FaceTime Gesture. So, whenever you are trying to trigger the FaceTime reaction, always use the front camera.

Solution#10. Ensure you’re framed perfectly

A FaceTime reaction is a new feature; it seems that feature fails to recognize the relevant gestures, in case you aren’t framed perfectly. If your hand is out of frame when making gestures or some objects are interrupting, it’s fair to say why your iPhone isn’t recognizing gestures. 

Remember, this can also occur when you’re exposed to sunlight or background, causing your hands and gestures to be wrongly recognized. So, if there are any of the above cases, you must try managing light sources or change location, whichever is possible. This will help you to use FaceTime reaction without any problem.

Solution#11. Disable and enable Reactions

Sometimes, you can bring the misfiring reaction back into working by turning it off and back on. Here’s how you can do so. 

  1. Access the FaceTime App on your iPhone.
  2. Start the video call and then swipe down from the top corner of the screen to access Control Center
  3. After this, tap on Video Effect and tap on Reaction Button to disable, then wait for a while and re-tap on it to enable. 

Solution#12. Disable and enable FaceTime

After performing above mentioned, if the issue continues on your iPhone, it’s high time to perform drastic steps. In this scenario, turn off FaceTime, restart flagship, and re-enable it. Doing so will give a fresh start to FaceTime. To do so, follow the steps below.

  1. Head to the Settings App on your iPhone.
  2. Swipe down and select FaceTime.
  3. Turn off the toggle next to the FaceTime.
  4. After this, restart your iPhone. Go to Settings > General > Shutdown > Slide to switch off. Please wait a while, press and hold the Side Key to turn it back on. 
  5. Next, navigate to Settings App > FaceTime > enable toggle next to FaceTime.

Once you enable FaceTime, pick the relevant address under which you can be reached by FaceTime At and Caller ID. After this, wait a while to let your address register, and FaceTime is activated. You can try using gestures once again. Hopefully, it will help you to fix but if not, move forward to following solutions.

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Solution#13. Check if FaceTime isn’t facing any technical issue

If FaceTime faces any Technical glitch, it will behave weirdly. To cross-verify this, open the browser on your iPhone and navigate to the Apple System Status Page to check if FaceTime is working well. If Apple’s video calling app faces outrage, wait until Apple fixes it.   

Solution#14. Force restart your iPhone

Right now, we recommend force restarting your iPhone. Force restart is slightly different from the normal restart as it helps to clear the cache and reset services in the background that are persistent. Moreover, this can help you resolve FaceTime calls when using gestures if it’s due to bugs related to background services, files, and more. Here’s how you can do so.

  1. Press and instantly release the Volume High Button. 
  2. Press and instantly release the Volume Up Button.
  3. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake Button until the Apple Logo appears. 

Solution#15. Delete and install FaceTime

Still, issue continuous? Fuss not; deleting and reinstalling the FaceTime app might work for you. 

  1. Long press the FaceTime app icon.
  2. From the prompted menu, select Remove App.
  3. Further, confirm it by tapping on the Delete App
  4. Afterward, head to the Apple App Store, search for the FaceTime App, and install it. 

That’s It!

Solution#16. Reset all settings

Performing this troubleshooting tip will resolve most issues that are caused by unwanted iPhone settings, which could be a feasible reason why reaction isn’t working on your iPhone running the latest iOS. To reset all settings, follow the steps below.

  1. Open the Settings App.
  2. Swipe down and select General.
  3. Tap on Transfer or Reset iPhone.
  4. Hit on Reset > Reset All Settings.
  5. Jot down your iPhone’s lock screen passcode. 
  6. At last, tap on Reset All Settings.

Worry not; this process won’t affect your personal data. Once all settings are reset to default, go to Settings App > FaceTime and configure everything as per your preference. Hopefully, gestures and reactions should now work normally on iPhone.

Solution#17. Contact the Apple Support Team 

If FaceTime reaction isn’t working on your iPhone even after trying all mentioned solutions, we suggest Contacting Apple Support. Apple support technicians will help you to find the reason behind the issue, and accordingly, they’ll propose a solution. For this, we have created a separate article, learn how to contact the Apple Support Team.

Final Verdict!

However, in most cases, all solutions will fix your issue, but if not, it’s likely to say it’s a hardware problem. Take your flagship to the nearest Apple Service Station and ask to diagnose and fix the issue.

What are gesture reactions in FaceTime on the iPhone?

Gesture reactions in FaceTime is released with iOS 17, which allows users to make simple hand gestures while FaceTime calls on an iPhone. You can use gesture reactions in FaceTime right away on your iPhone. 

Can I use gesture reactions in FaceTime on my iPhone?

If you are using an iPhone flagship compatible with the iOS 17 version and have already updated your device, you can use this feature without any problem.

Do I need to enable gesture reactions in FaceTime on my iPhone in iOS 17?

The gesture reaction feature is available as soon as you update your flagship to iOS 17 & later versions. There is no such setting to turn this feature on or off. 

Jaysukh Patel
Jaysukh Patel

Jaysukh Patel is the founder of howtoisolve. Also self Professional Developer, Techno lover mainly for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and iOS, Jaysukh is one of responsible person in his family. Contact On: [OR]

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