There are many reasons why FaceTime icon would disappear in iOS 7, especially after an upgrade. It’s a remote issue not faced by many people. But it kind of kills the very reason for iOS 7 upgrade. FaceTime became a separate app of its own accord in iOS 7 and if the icon disappears, it’s really awkward.
We’ll try to fix it though. The most-probable cause is usually restrictions and the least-probable cause is something going wrong with the upgrade. Not to forget the country-specific limitations that are often – even though rare – very hard to figure out.
Make Sure FaceTime is Enabled
First thing to check: Is FaceTime enabled? To do this:
- Go to Settings
- Scroll down and tap on FaceTime
- Make sure it’s enabled.
When you enable FaceTime, make sure your phone number and the iCloud email account (that you have associated with the iPhone) are displayed. Usually, your phone number is auto-detected but it helps to have it entered in the Settings → Phone → My Number field.
Also, right after this check, sign out of your Account from within FaceTime setting and then re-login. On rare occasions, this has fixed the problem.
Check the Restrictions
Once you’re done with step #1, make sure FaceTime hasn’t been restricted. This is rare but sometimes, FaceTime has been restricted in the past (or accidentally) and that will hide the icon from showing up on the springboard. Here’s what to do:
- Go to Settings → General → Restrictions
- Make sure the toggle for FaceTime is ON. (ON = Allow/Don’t Restrict)
Even better: If you aren’t using Restrictions, disable it completely.
Some countries restrict FaceTime. Depending on where you bought the iPhone, your iOS may or may not have FaceTime capability. This is rare but if you find yourself in that tight spot, there’s no reprieve unless you get an iPhone from some other country.
In that case, you’ve got FaceTime alternatives.
Access from Spotlight Search
One way of testing if FaceTime is actually just hidden from the springboard or completely disabled is to look for it in Spotlight Search. Swipe down from the middle of the homescreen to open the Spotlight and type “Facetime”.
If FaceTime shows up, you can be sure that it’s just some tiny bug that’s preventing it from appearing on the homescreen. We’ll fix that.
Reset All Settings
If you are on a jailbroken iPhone, don’t follow this step. It’s risky. If not, here’s what you do:
- Go to Settings → General → Reset
- Tap on Reset All Settings.
This will not clear any data. It just resets all the stuff: icon arrangements, wallpapers, Wi-fi passwords (are cleared), preferences in sound, brightness etc. Every setting is refreshed and hopefully, the bug that’s preventing FaceTime from showing up on the homescreen is cleared too.
Restore / Update
The last resort is to restore your iPhone through iTunes. Make sure you have a backup ready. Restoring clears out all the kinks that’s causing FaceTime issues. Also, when you restore, you get to the latest version of iOS 7 (7.1 as of this writing). After restoring, you will have to add your iCloud/Apple account to the iPhone. Then, head over to Settings → FaceTime and enable it (if it isn’t already enabled). Only after this, restore from the backup. Don’t do it the other way round (that is, don’t restore from backup and then enable/test FaceTime).