Curated for the Inquisitive Mind


Where Do FaceTime Photos Go? How to Find Your FaceTime Photos

You may have noticed the camera shutter button during FaceTime calls, but have you wondered where these FaceTime photos are stored? Whether you want to take FaceTime photos, find their location, or have trouble getting the feature to work, we’ve got you covered.

Where Do FaceTime Live Photos Go?

It’s all well and good snapping a photo while you’re using FaceTime, but you need to know where those photos go to enjoy them after the call. The answer is pretty simple: FaceTime photos save directly to the Photos app on your device.

To view your FaceTime photos, open the Photos app and go to the Library tab at the bottom, then select the All Photos view to make sure your device doesn’t filter them out. Scroll to the date and time you took a photo to find it.

You can simplify matters by viewing only your Live Photos. To do this, go to the Albums tab and look for the Live Photos album. Your iPhone, iPad, or Mac creates this album automatically as soon as you add a Live Photo to your library.

Create a Smart Album for All Your FaceTime Live Photos

If you want to keep all your FaceTime Live Photos in the same place, create a Smart Album to automatically capture them all. You need to use a Mac to create a Smart Album in the Photos app. Unfortunately, you can’t create Smart Albums from the Photos app on an iPhone or iPad.

Click the plus (+) button that appears when you hover over My Albums in the sidebar and choose Smart Album from the popup. Name your Smart Album, then configure the following filter using the dropdown menus: Lens includes FaceTime.

Creating a smart album in Photos on Mac

You’ll need to type “FaceTime” into the third box manually since it isn’t an option in the dropdown menu.

Click OK to create your Smart Album. Photos should fill the album with all the Live Photos you’ve captured during FaceTime calls. Any new FaceTime photos you take should also appear in the album automatically.

If you sync Photos over iCloud, this Smart Album will become available from the Albums tab on your other devices as well.

How to Take Photos During FaceTime Calls

You can take a Live Photo during a FaceTime call using the shutter button. This appears when you tap the screen on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch or when you hover your mouse over the FaceTime window on a Mac. It looks like two white circles, one inside the other.

If you’re in a FaceTime group call on your iPhone, select the person’s tile you want to take a photo of, then tap the Fullscreen button to reveal the shutter button. However, if you’re on a Mac during a group call, double-click the person you want to photograph, then click the shutter button.

A Live Photo is better than taking a screenshot because it doesn’t capture the FaceTime user interface. It also saves a couple of seconds of video and audio from right before and after you take the photo. In the future, you can even turn your Live Photos into videos.

How to Take a FaceTime Photo Without Telling the Other Person

When you take a photo of someone using FaceTime, it sends a notification to their device to let them know that you took a picture. There’s no way to avoid sending this notification when you take a photo, but you can get around it by taking a screenshot instead.

To do so, press Volume Up along with the Side button on your iPhone or iPad (or press the Home button with the Side button if your device has a Home button). On a Mac, press Cmd + Shift + 5, then click on the FaceTime window.

Alternatively, hit Cmd + Shift + 3 to take a screenshot of your entire screen. Aside from these two options, there are other ways to take screenshots on your Mac.

How to Enable Live Photos in Your FaceTime Settings

Before you can take a Live Photo in FaceTime, both you and the person you’re taking a photo of need to enable Live Photos in your FaceTime Settings. So, if you don’t want other people to take photos of you during FaceTime calls, you should disable this option. Keep in mind that other people will still be able to take a screenshot, though.

On an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, go to Settings > FaceTime. Scroll down and turn on FaceTime Live Photos.

On a Mac, open FaceTime and go to FaceTime > Settings from the menu bar. In the Settings tab, turn on the option to Allow Live Photos to be captured during video calls.

Troubleshooting FaceTime Photo Problems

There are lots of problems that might stop you from being able to snap a Live Photo during your FaceTime calls. If you can’t find the shutter button, FaceTime isn’t saving your photos, or you have trouble finding FaceTime photos after you take them, try these troubleshooting tips to fix it.

1. Enable FaceTime Live Photos on Both Devices

To take a photo of someone during a FaceTime call, everyone on the call needs to turn on FaceTime Live Photos from their device settings. Go to Settings > FaceTime to do this. Make sure the person you’re taking a photo of checks their settings as well.

2. Open the Photos App on Your Device

When you take Live Photos in FaceTime, it automatically saves those pictures to the Photos app on your device. If you haven’t used Photos before, open it on your device to initialize the app before FaceTime can save photos.

Photos app on an iPhone Home Screen

3. Update to the Latest Operating System

In some older versions of iOS, Apple temporarily removed the ability to take Live Photos on FaceTime. This was presumably due to a FaceTime security bug. FaceTime photos are available now, but you need to update your device to the latest software to use them. The person you’re taking a photo of needs to update their device to the latest software as well.

On an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, go to Settings > General > Software Update. On a Mac, go to System Settings > General > Software Update.

Software update available in macOS

Install any updates that are available there by clicking Update Now.

4. Restart Your Device

No matter what FaceTime problem you’re encountering, you should always try to fix it by restarting your device. This is a remarkably effective troubleshooting step that only takes a moment to try out. Power off your iPhone, iPad, or Mac as you usually would, then wait 30 seconds before restarting it again.

5. Restart FaceTime on Your Device

Finally, try turning FaceTime off and on in your device settings. You may need to sign in to your Apple ID account again when you do this.

On an iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > FaceTime and toggle the FaceTime button at the top of the screen.

On a Mac, open the FaceTime app and go to FaceTime > Settings from the menu bar. In the Settings tab, uncheck the box for Enable this account, then check the box again to re-enable FaceTime.

Revisit Your FaceTime Photos on iPhone, iPad and Mac

All the FaceTime Live Photos you take during a call are permanently stored on your device. Whether you’re using an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, FaceTime Live Photos are automatically saved in the Photos app.

If you have iCloud Photos enabled, you’ll be able to view these photos on all your devices—even your Windows PC. In case you face any problems, for instance, FaceTime photos not saving, make sure you go through the troubleshooting steps above.


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