How to Fix FaceTime Gestures Not Working on iPhone 11

FaceTime is one of the most popular video calling apps on iPhone. With iOS 17, Apple introduced some fun new FaceTime gestures that allow you to interact during calls by waving or giving a thumbs up. However, some users have reported issues with FaceTime gestures not working properly on their iPhone 11 devices.

If you are facing problems with FaceTime gestures, don’t worry. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through various troubleshooting steps to fix FaceTime gestures not working on your iPhone 11.

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Ensure You Have iOS 17 Installed

The key requirement for FaceTime gestures to work is having iOS 17 or later installed on your iPhone. FaceTime gestures were introduced in iOS 17, so they won’t work on earlier iOS versions.

To check your iOS version:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Tap on Software Update.

This will display the current iOS version installed on your device. If it’s lower than iOS 17, you need to update to the latest version.

Here’s how to update your iPhone to iOS 17:

  1. Connect your iPhone to WiFi as software updates require an internet connection.
  2. Open Settings > General > Software Update.
  3. Tap on Download and Install.
  4. Enter your passcode if prompted.
  5. Tap Agree on the Terms and Conditions.
  6. Tap Install to download and install iOS 17.

The process can take some time depending on the update size. Once the installation is complete, your iPhone will reboot and you’ll be running iOS 17.

Confirm Your iPhone 11 Model Supports Gestures

Not all iPhone 11 models support FaceTime gestures. The feature is only available on iPhone 12 and later models.

To check your iPhone model:

  1. Go to Settings > General > About.
  2. Look at the Model Name.

The iPhone 12 series and above models like iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12 mini all support FaceTime gestures.

If you have an older iPhone 11 model like iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro or iPhone 11 Pro Max, then gestures won’t work as these models don’t have the required TrueDepth camera system.

You’ll need to upgrade to at least an iPhone 12 device to use gestures during FaceTime calls.

Restart Your iPhone

A simple device restart can often resolve minor software glitches that may be preventing FaceTime gestures from working correctly.

Here are the steps to restart your iPhone 11:

  1. Press and hold the Side button on the right side of your iPhone.
  2. When the power off slider appears, drag it to turn off your device.
  3. After about 30 seconds, press and hold the Side button again until you see the Apple logo to turn your iPhone back on.

Allow a minute or two for the reboot process to fully complete. Then open FaceTime and check if gestures are working. A restart clears out any background processes and resets the FaceTime app, which may fix your issue.

Toggle FaceTime Off and On

Toggling FaceTime off and on essentially restarts the FaceTime processes and connections on your device. This can resolve any errors that may be interfering with gestures.

Follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on FaceTime.
  3. Turn the FaceTime switch off.
  4. Wait for 10-15 seconds.
  5. Turn FaceTime switch back on.

Now gestures should start working in the FaceTime app. If not, move on to the next solution.

Verify FaceTime Settings

It’s important to check that all the necessary FaceTime settings are enabled for gestures to work properly:

  1. Go to Settings > FaceTime.
  2. Make sure FaceTime is toggled on.
  3. Tap on your Apple ID banner at the top and sign in if required.
  4. Ensure that Share My Location is enabled under ALLOW ACCESS TO. This allows FaceTime to access your device’s motion sensors.
  5. Check that both FaceTime Over Cellular and FaceTime Over WiFi are enabled.
  6. Scroll down and turn on Memoji Stickers and Animoji if you want to use these features.

Once all settings are verified, exit Settings and reopen FaceTime to test if gestures are now working.

Check FaceTime Availability In Your Region

In some countries and regions, Apple may restrict certain FaceTime features due to local laws and regulations. It’s possible FaceTime hand gestures may not be available in your country.

You can check the availability on Apple’s website at. Search for your country in the list.

If FaceTime or FaceTime Live Photos is not available in your region, gestures will not work on your iPhone. You may need to use a VPN service to access full FaceTime capabilities if it’s restricted by your geographic location.

Force Quit and Reopen the FaceTime App

A corrupted cache or background process may be interfering with FaceTime, so force quitting the app often resolves such problems.

Follow these steps to force quit and reopen FaceTime on your iPhone 11:

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of your screen to bring up the App Switcher.
  2. Locate the FaceTime app card.
  3. Swipe up on the FaceTime card to force quit the app.
  4. Now tap on the FaceTime icon to relaunch the app.

Hopefully, after reopening FaceTime, the gestures will start working again without any issues.

Clean Your iPhone Front Camera

The FaceTime hand gestures rely on your iPhone’s front TrueDepth camera to detect motion and translate it into on-screen effects.

If the camera is blocked or dirty, it can interfere with the gesture recognition and cause them to not work properly.

Try cleaning the front camera and surrounding notch area with a microfiber cloth to remove any dust or debris blocking the sensors.

You can also use compressed air to blow away any particles collected around the front camera and microphone. Just be very gentle and don’t blow the air directly into any openings.

With the camera cleaned, open FaceTime again and test if gestures are working. Maintaining the front cameras is important for optimal performance of FaceTime gestures.

Contact Apple Support

If you’ve tried all the troubleshooting steps but the FaceTime gestures are still not working on your iPhone 11, then your best option is to contact Apple Support directly.

You can get in touch with them via phone, chat, email, or by booking an appointment at an Apple Store for in-person troubleshooting.

An Apple Support advisor can run diagnostics, check server connections, and analyze logs to determine why gestures may not be working. They can also facilitate any required repairs or replacements if there is a hardware issue.

Make sure to clearly describe the gesture problem and note any error messages you may be seeing. Also provide details on the troubleshooting steps you’ve already attempted.

This will allow the Apple Support team to quickly identify potential fixes and get your FaceTime gestures working again promptly.

Summary of Troubleshooting Tips

Here’s a quick summary of the key troubleshooting steps covered in this guide to fix non-working FaceTime gestures on your iPhone 11:

  • Update to the latest iOS 17.
  • Confirm your iPhone model supports gestures.
  • Restart your iPhone.
  • Toggle FaceTime off and on.
  • Verify FaceTime app settings.
  • Check availability in your country.
  • Force quit and relaunch FaceTime.
  • Clean front camera area.
  • Contact Apple Support if issue persists.

Following these solutions should successfully resolve any problems with FaceTime hand gestures not being recognized or not working at all on your iPhone.

With the fun new gestures in FaceTime, you can now express yourself more naturally and vividly during video calls with friends and family. A few quick troubleshooting tips can help get gestures working flawlessly so you can enjoy this great new feature on your iPhone.

Table of Troubleshooting Tips

Troubleshooting StepDetails
Update to iOS 17Gestures require iOS 17 or later
Confirm Model CompatibilityOnly works on iPhone 12 models & up
Restart iPhoneClears out minor bugs
Toggle FaceTime Off and OnResets FaceTime processes
Verify FaceTime SettingsEnable required settings
Check Availability in RegionMay be restricted in some countries
Force Quit FaceTimeRelaunches the app
Clean Front CameraRemoves dust/debris blocking camera
Contact Apple SupportFor advanced troubleshooting


FaceTime hand gestures add an engaging new way to interact and express yourself during video calls on iPhone. However, if the gestures are not working properly on your iPhone 11, these comprehensive troubleshooting tips should help identify and resolve the problem. By following the step-by-step solutions covered, you can get gestures working again smoothly.

The key is to ensure your device meets system requirements, double check app settings, clean cameras, and reset FaceTime processes. Reach out to Apple Support if problems persist for further professional troubleshooting assistance. With these handy tips, you’ll be waving hello and giving virtual thumbs up in FaceTime in no time!

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