How to Fix FaceTime “Waiting for Activation” Error on iPhone

Earlier, we covered fixing the “Waiting for Activation…” issue in iMessage after our triumphant (we’re not going to be humble about it!) success with it. And then came the FaceTime thing. On one of our iPhones, we’re still trying to activate FaceTime but where it has gotten activated, these are some of things we had to try.

Getting rid of FaceTime’s activation errors or “Waiting for activation…” problem isn’t all that fun. While it sure is going to go away sooner or later, you will have to try a dozen different things to set them right. We’re just trying to put out pointers here as to what you can try to get rid of the problem.

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FaceTime LogoRestrictions
The first thing you’ll need to check – if FaceTime isn’t working – is to find out if FaceTime’s blocked in restrictions.
Go to Settings -> General -> Restrictions and then Disable Restrictions. If that’s not possible due to certain other reasons, make sure FaceTime is turned ON in the list of ‘Allowed Apps’

FaceTime Restrictions Settings on iPhone

Hard Reboot
Try a hard reboot. Hold the power and home button for a long time till the screen goes blank, and then power on in the usual way. This will restart the iPhone. This has the capability of fixing Wifi issues, network jams or sometimes, carrier network problems.

Sign-out Apple ID / Sign-in
Within FaceTime, sign out of your Apple ID and sign in again. In many cases, this is known to fix the FaceTime activation issue. But we’ve had no luck with this. In fact, in one of our attempts, this created another problem: we couldn’t sign in to our Apple ID again.

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Reset Wi-fi settings
You might need to reset Wi-Fi settings if in case there’s an issue with your network. Now, how do you find out if there’s an issue with your Wi-Fi? Normally, you don’t. You just try.

Go to Settings -> General -> Reset -> Reset Network Settings. The iPhone should reboot and then bam! If you’re lucky, FaceTime will send the activation message and after a while, it should get activated with your number and Apple ID listed underneath.

Reset Network Settings on iPhone

Phone Number details
Oh, make sure you’ve got the right number listed in your ‘My Number:’ feature under Contacts. To set this, you’ll have to navigate to Settings -> Phone -> My Number and enter the number you use on the iPhone.

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Date & Time, Country Settings
Furthermore, make sure your Date & Time settings are in proper order. If the Date & Time is set to automatic, make sure the time zone is rightly selected and the time displayed is correct. If not, set manually.

Within iMessage and FaceTime, you have the option of changing the location of your Apple ID account profile. Tap on the “Apple ID:” field and then tap on ‘Change Location’. Set this to the correct location.

SIM card
Well, this is not unorthodox even if it sounds so, but remove that SIM card and place it again. If it doesn’t work, change that thing and check with other SIM cards (if you’ve got an unlocked iPhone). In many cases, the carrier has been the culprit, blocking the activation/confirmation message from being sent or processed.

Ah, that old story again. If nothing works, restore. Make sure you take all the backups necessary and then restore from iCloud or iTunes as you see fit.

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Jignesh Padhiyar
Jignesh Padhiyar is the founder of who has a keen eye for news, rumors and all the unusual stuff that happens around iPhone and iPad.


  1. I tried everything recommended by apple and apple users in numerous fora.

    In the end, only a factory reset of the iPad (ios 8.1.3) worked, although I note that other users have done the factory reset and their problems were not resolved.

    Considering I bought the iPad specifically for the Facetime feature and ease of use
    (to communicate with my computer illiterate mother-in-law in India), it’s a major blow to have to go through 5+ hours of troubleshooting then have to resort to a factory reset

    For the benefit of anyone suffering the same or similar tribulations, and in anticipation of the arrival of the iCar, I have taken the trouble to transpose the typical apple troubleshooting steps into iCar format, although you can probably use this approach for any apple product:

    Assuming that the problem you are facing is that your iCar will not start, perform the following steps, in no particular order:

    1. Check your iKeys to make sure you are using the right one, as there are 8 keys on an iRing and we are not sure which one works best. If in doubt, try them all.

    2. Turn the key clockwise and hold for about 3 seconds.

    3. Try turning it anti-clockwise.

    4. Remove the iDipstick* and wipe it on a clean cloth, then put it back in. Check again in
    24 hours and repeat as often as necessary. Note* Since the iCar does not use oil, the
    iDipstick is a purely cosmetic feature, without which the iCar will not function at all.

    5. Jack up the iCar using the iJack*, remove all wheels and try starting the car. *Note:
    Use only the latest version of iJack. Older versions will sometimes lower the car
    instead of raising it.

    6. Re-install the rear wheels on the front and vice versa.

    7. Swap the wheels from left to right.

    8. Remove the engine & re-install it backwards with the dipstick unplugged but not fully

    9. Re-flash the engine management system with the previous known working IOS
    version (since it is impossible to actually remove the IOS updates recently applied).

    10. Check the luggage compartment and ensure that it has been correctly packed.

    11. Make sure there is something in the glove compartment. Anything will do – try a pair
    of gloves if you have some.

    12. In the EMS, enter a DNS server IP address of, or maybe – we’re not
    really sure which one is best, because mostly this step doesn’t actually work.

    12. Reset the car to factory settings. Note that you must do a backup of your installed
    applications and data. You most likely will not be able to restore from this backup,
    but do it anyway. For your convenience, you may back up to iCloud or iTunes. The
    advantage of backing up to iCloud is that it enables apple, or any security agency
    or approved hacker group to download your trip information and re-upload it with
    whatever modifications they deem appropriate.

    13. If none of the above works, return the car to the iGenuis workshop, where an
    iGenius will do everything that you have done, with the same result, and will offer
    you a full replacement iCar at a reduced cost of 90% of what you paid in the first
    place, even though it is still under warranty.

    I hope this helps! I know it helped me.

  2. I have to SEND an SMS to activate??? I have an pre-paid sim card and I’m not interested on putting credit on it just so Apple can unauthorizedly send an SMS. If I don’d spend money, I will never be able to FaceTime again??

    Until a couple of weeks ago I used to use FaceTime without any problem, why the heck this problem appeared from nowhere!


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