9 Ways to Fix FaceTime Reaction Effects Not Working in macOS 14 Sonoma 

While FaceTime has always been fun-loving to use, it had never felt so lively before thanks largely to the addition of AR-driven reaction effects. Using physical gestures like thumbs up and heart, you can trigger a variety of eye-catching effects to spice up the video calling experience. But what if this all-new feature is malfunctioning on your Mac and you are unable to trigger gesture effects in the FaceTime app? Fret not, you are not alone to have found this feature misfiring, which is why I have lined up the 9 most effective ways to fix FaceTime reaction effects not working in macOS 14 Sonoma on Mac. Keep reading to…

Fix FaceTime Reaction Effects Not Working on Mac

So, what’s ailing the FaceTime gesture effects? Before thinking about any bug or software glitch, I would recommend you have a clear understanding of how the AR-powered effects work. Should the effects continue to malfunction, we will resort to some efficient tips to troubleshoot the problem and make the reaction effects come alive again.

1. Make Sure You are Always in the Frame While Showing Physical Gestures

While showing physical gestures, ensure that you always are in the center of the frame. Besides, make sure to pause for a few seconds while showing gestures. 

2. Have a Clear Understanding of the FaceTime Reaction Gestures

If you are not aware of the physical gestures that trigger the FaceTime reaction effects, be sure to master each gesture and learn what each one is designed to invoke.

  • Thumbs up: Make use of it to show thumbs up emoji
  • Two thumbs up: Use this gesture to display fireworks
  • Single thumbs down: It allows you to show a thumbs-down emoji
  • Two thumbs down: Make use of this hand gesture to trigger a dark cloud
  • Peace sign with one hand: Use this hand gesture to fill the entire screen with balloons
  • Peace sign with two hands: Brings up the stunning confetti into action
  • “Rock on” sign with two hands: Brings up laser
  • Heart: Shows the heart emoji

3. Force Quit the FaceTime App and Relaunch It

Force quitting has been a pretty handy way to fix an ill-functioning app. Just right-click on the FaceTime app icon and hit Quit in the menu. After that, open the FaceTime app -> start a call, and show different gestures to check if the effects have returned to normal.

4. Turn OFF/ON Reactions 

Another simple but equally effective solution that you should try to bring the reaction effects back on track is to disable/enable “Reactions”.

  • To get it done, open the FaceTime app on your Mac -> click on the FaceTime menu at the top -> hit the small Reactions icon to turn it off. 
  • Now, restart your Mac (Apple menu at the top left -> Restart). 
  • Next, open the FaceTime app -> start a video call -> click on the FaceTime menu -> click on the Reactions icon to enable it. 
  • Next up, check if the reaction gestures have started to work as usual or not. 
Trigger FaceTime effects from the Mac menu bar

5. Enable Center Stage

“Center Stage” makes the best use of machine learning to smartly adjust the camera in order to keep you in the center of the frame. Since the FaceTime reaction effects require you to be in the frame, keeping the Center Stage enabled will help.

  • To get going, open the FaceTime app and call one of your friends -> hit the FaceTime menu and select Center Stage.
Enable Center Stage

6. Trigger FaceTime Reaction Effects from the Menu

It’s worth pointing out that you can also activate the FaceTime reaction effects using the hidden Reactions menu. Use this hidden feature to figure out if the gesture effects work.

  • Launch the FaceTime app and kickstart a video call -> hit the FaceTime menu at the top -> click on the tiny down arrow next to Reactions.
  • Now, you should see all the gesture effects that you can invoke. Simply, click on a specific effect to activate it.

7. Sign Out Out Of FaceTime and Sign Back In

Should the reaction effects remain dysfunctional, try turning the video calling app off/on. Yeah, at times, all you need to do to bring the FaceTime app back on track is just log out and log back in.

  • To get going, fire up the FaceTime app on your Mac -> click on the FaceTime menu at the top-left corner of the screen -> Choose Settings
  • Next, ensure that the General tab is selected. After that, hit the Sign Out button.
  • After waiting for some time, sign back in.

8. Check FaceTime Status 

If FaceTime’s server is down or faced with a technical issue, the app may throw weird errors. Thus, it would be better to check the app’s status and make sure it’s functioning properly. 

9. Update Your Mac 

Still can’t invoke the gesture effects in the FaceTime app? No worries! Now, you can safely put the entire blame on a software bug as it could be hindering the AR effects from functioning.

  • On your Mac, open the System Settings app -> General -> System Settings -> Now, go through the usual way to download and install the latest version of macOS.
Update software on Mac

Wrapping up..!

So, that wraps up this detailed guide about troubleshooting the reaction gestures in the stock video calling app for Mac. I’m sure your FaceTime video calling has come back in full swing and so have the eye-catching gesture effects. But before kickstarting a long conversation, feel free to share your feedback and the tips that have restored your effects.

Read more: 9 Ways to Fix ‘Can’t Sign Out Of Apple ID’ in macOS 14 Sonoma on Mac

Posted by
Rajesh Mishra

Co-founder/Editor-in-Chief: Rajesh Mishra (Your beloved “R.K” 360 Reader Voice) is a Shakespearean poet at heart who turned a tech nerd while having a secret rendezvous with iPhone 4. When that rendezvous turned obsession, he let go of his hard-core political journalism in favour of the lifelong love-affair with technology. In a career spanning one and a half decades, Mr. Mishra has crafted over 8K articles and around 2K YouTube videos. He is probably the only journalist alive with this unique achievement. When he is not at his desk, you may find him either engrossed in a Deathmatch or chasing Wordsworth!

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