I was eagerly watching when a friend first showcased the new FaceTime hand gesture reactions during a video call. As they gave virtual thumbs up and conjured celebratory on-screen fireworks just by holding their fingers in certain positions, I knew I had to try it out myself. The heart and like gestures also looked particularly fun.

After installing iOS 17 on my iPhone 11, I opened up FaceTime expecting to be able to mimic my friend’s nifty hand tricks. But frustratingly, despite closely following the gesture guidance, waving thumbs up and down while carefully framing my face, iOS 17’s FaceTime Hand Gesture was not working no matter what I tried.

Initially disheartened that the feature didn’t seem to work properly on my device, I troubleshooted potential issues and discovered solutions to finally get FaceTime Reactions functioning. Let’s discuss what I learned for overcoming those hand gesture difficulties…

Also Learn: How to Use Bringing Device Together Feature on iOS 17

What Are FaceTime Reactions

iOS 17 introduces eight reactions: Heart, Like, Dislike, Balloons, Rain, Confetti, Lasers, and Fireworks. Each reaction corresponds to a unique hand gesture, adding an element of fun to your FaceTime calls.

  • Heart: Make a heart shape with both hands.
  • Like: Thumbs up with one hand.
  • Dislike: Thumbs down with one hand.
  • Fireworks: Two thumbs up.
  • Rain: Two thumbs down.
  • Balloons: Peace/V sign with one hand.
  • Confetti: Peace/V sign with both hands.
  • Lasers: Rock on sign (🤘) with both hands.

9 Methods To Fix iOS 17 FaceTime Hand Gestures Not Working Issue

To troubleshoot and resolve issues with FaceTime hand gestures not working, follow these steps:

1. Software Compatibility

Ensure your iPhone is updated to iOS 17, as these gestures are exclusive to this version. Older iOS versions do not support FaceTime reactions.

2. Device Compatibility

Check that your iPhone model supports FaceTime reactions. These gestures work on iPhone 12 and newer models. Older iPhones, like the iPhone 11, do not support these features.

3. Camera Configuration

Use the front-facing camera during FaceTime calls, as gestures only work with this camera. Position your hands and face properly in the frame, ensuring good lighting for optimal recognition.

4. Correct Gestures

Use the correct gestures: thumbs up, thumbs down, peace sign, etc. Incorrect gestures will not trigger reactions.

5. Control Center Settings

Try toggling FaceTime reactions off and back on in Control Center. Navigate to Control Center > Video Effects > Reactions.

6. App Relaunch

If issues persist, force quit and relaunch the FaceTime app. Additionally, consider restarting your iPhone to refresh system processes.

7. Touch Accommodations

Check FaceTime settings to disable Touch Accommodations, as these may interfere with gesture recognition.

8. Reinstallation

As a last resort, uninstall and reinstall FaceTime to eliminate potential bugs or glitches that might be affecting gesture recognition.

9. System Updates

Always ensure you are using the latest iOS version, as updates may include fixes for known issues.


Achieving a smooth experience with FaceTime reactions in iOS 17 requires attention to device compatibility, camera framing, correct gestures, and app settings. Once you have followed the above methods, you will know why FaceTime Hand Gesture not working on iOS 17 update. If you have more tips that worked for you, share with us in the comment box.