How to Fix FaceTime Gestures Not Working on iPhone 11

FaceTime gestures are a fun and interactive way to add spice to your video calls. Whether you’re sending a quick thumbs-up or blowing a playful kiss, they can make your conversations feel more lively and engaging. But what happens when those gestures suddenly stop working on your iPhone 11? Don’t despair, fellow FaceTime enthusiast! This guide will walk you through the most common reasons why your iPhone 11 might be playing coy with its gestures and How to Fix FaceTime Gestures Not Working on iPhone 11 .

Before We Dive In

First things first, let’s address the elephant in the room. FaceTime gestures are only available on iPhones 12 and later. If you’re sporting an iPhone 11, the hardware simply isn’t there to support them. No amount of troubleshooting will magically unlock this feature. However, there are still plenty of ways to add fun and flair to your FaceTime calls, so don’t lose hope!

How to Fix FaceTime Gestures Not Working on iPhone 11

How to Fix FaceTime Gestures Not Working on iPhone 11

1. Update Your Software:

Sometimes, the simplest solution is the best. Outdated software can cause all sorts of glitches, including problems with FaceTime gestures. Make sure you have the latest version of iOS installed. Head to Settings > General > Software Update and check for any available updates. Download and install them if you find any.

2. Restart Your iPhone:

A good old-fashioned restart can work wonders. Sometimes, temporary glitches can get stuck in the system, and a quick restart can clear them out. Press and hold the power button and volume down button until you see the Apple logo. Once your iPhone reboots, launch FaceTime and try the gestures again.

3. Check Your Camera Settings:

FaceTime gestures rely on the TrueDepth camera to detect your facial movements. Make sure your front camera is clean and unobstructed. Additionally, verify that FaceTime is allowed to access your camera. Go to Settings > Privacy > Camera and make sure the toggle for FaceTime is turned on.

4. Master the Gestures:

It’s possible you might be using the gestures incorrectly. Here’s a quick refresher:

  • Thumbs up/Thumbs down: Swipe up or down with two fingers close together.
  • Heart/Fist: Close your fingers into a fist and then quickly open them for a heart, or keep them closed for a fist.
  • Fireworks/Noisemaker: Swipe left or right quickly with two fingers spread apart.
  • Spotlight: Double-tap anywhere on the screen.

5. Force Quit and Reopen FaceTime:

Sometimes, apps can get stuck in a temporary loop. Force quitting FaceTime and reopening it can clear any minor glitches. Here’s how:

  • Swipe up from the bottom of the screen and pause in the middle to open the App Switcher.
  • Find the FaceTime app card and swipe it up to close it.
  • Relaunch FaceTime from the Home screen.

6. Enable Reactions in Control Center:

In iOS 17 and later, FaceTime gestures are categorized as “Reactions” and need to be enabled separately. During a FaceTime call, open Control Center and tap on “Video Effects.” Then, tap on “Reactions” to enable them. If it’s already active, try turning it off and then on again.

7. Disable and Re-enable FaceTime:

This might seem drastic, but it can sometimes work. Go to Settings > FaceTime and turn off the toggle next to FaceTime. Restart your iPhone and then go back to Settings > FaceTime and turn it back on.

8. Update Carrier Settings:

In some cases, outdated carrier settings can interfere with FaceTime functionality. Go to Settings > General > About and tap on “Carrier Settings.” If any updates are available, install them.

9. Contact Apple Support:

If you’ve tried all of the above and your FaceTime gestures are still not working, it’s time to call in the reinforcements. Contact Apple Support through their website or phone number. They can help diagnose the issue and provide further assistance.

Bonus Tips for iPhone 11 Users

  • Embrace the Stickers and Effects: While you might not have gestures, iPhone 11 users can still have fun with FaceTime stickers and effects. Tap on the “Effects” icon during a call to explore a variety of options.
  • Use the Animoji and Memoji: These fun animated characters can add a touch of personality to your FaceTime calls. Tap on the “monkey” icon during a call to access them.


Even without FaceTime gestures, your iPhone 11 is still packed with features to make your video calls engaging and enjoyable. Be creative, and don’t hesitate to seek help if the issue persists. With a little patience and persistence, you’ll be back to expressing yourself through the magic of FaceTime in no time!

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