How to Use a Filter on a Facetime Call

Filters can spice up any FaceTime call, giving you and your friends cause to laugh, or simply giving you all something a bit more interesting than usual to look at.

If you want to learn how to use a filter on a FaceTime call, then look no further! Simply follow our step-by-step instructions below. For any additional information, or if you have further questions, please see our FAQ section at the end of this article.

How to use a filter on a FaceTime call

  1. On your iOS device, open the FaceTime app
  2. Call a friend to test using filters on a FaceTime call, or wait until someone calls you
  3. Once the call has started, tap on your own video ‘tile’ (i.e. the rectangle containing the image captured by your own front-facing camera)
  4. You will see a few options: Effects, Mute, Flip, and End. Select ‘Effects’ by tapping on it
  5. Next, tap the RGB (red, green, blue) triangular color icon, which should be the first on the far left above ‘Effects’ – this is the ‘Filters’ icon
  6. You will now be presented with a range of filters arranged horizontally below your video image. You are currently on ‘Original’ which is default.
  7. To use a filter on the FaceTime call, scroll left-to-right through the filters and tap on one to apply it (or use it).
  8. Finally, just tap back on your tile, or swipe the options away to return to participating in the call with your chosen filter applied!

And that’s all there is to know about using filters on a FaceTime call. Enjoy! If you have any other questions or would like some more info on the subject, check out our FAQs below.


What are filters on FaceTime calls?

FaceTime is an integrated video call application on iOS devices, exclusive to the Apple brand. Quite simply, FaceTime allows iPhone users to call each other over an internet (cellular data or WiFi connection) and see each other face to face, using the front-facing cameras of their devices.

It works similarly to Zoom, WhatsApp video call, and the like. What’s so great about FaceTime in particular, though, is that its users have a range of Effects options not available on other apps. One such option is the ability to apply ‘filters’ to your own video tile whilst you’re on a call with someone.

These filters change the way you appear both to yourself and the other person (or people) on the call. You’ll still be recognisably you, but will have slightly altered your appearance, or the color palette of your personal video ‘tile’.

Why would I want to use a filter on a FaceTime call?

There’s no concrete reason why you should or shouldn’t use filters on a FaceTime call, and indeed many users will never see a need to. However, you might fancy giving it a go just for the sheer hell of it. It’s fun, after all, and at the end of the day might just spice up an otherwise boring or overly-long call!

Alternatively, since the filters range from ‘cool’ to ‘warm’ as well as the whackier filters available, you might choose to apply a filter in order to give the person (or people) you’re calling the impression that you’re somewhere actually colder or hotter than you are, or just to make your own appearance more in keeping with how you’d like to present yourself.

Whatever your reason for wanting to use filters on a FaceTime call, we’re here to help show you how. Simply follow our step-by-step tutorial above, and you’ll be playing with filters on FaceTime in no time.

What kind of filters can you get on a FaceTime call?

There are heaps of cool filters on FaceTime calls to choose from. Many seem to be quite similar, whilst others are so different you’ll be surprised. Mostly, the filters tend to overlay the real time captured image of your face/video with a version of that video in a different style, such as: ‘Comic Book’, ‘Comic Mono’, ‘Watercolor’, ‘Ink’, ‘Vivid Warm’, ‘Dramatic’, ‘Dramatic Warm’ and so much more.

The FaceTime filters might make you look like you and your surroundings are actually part of a comic book panel, a watercolor painting like those by famous dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh, on the set of a Hollywood blockbuster movie, or just somewhere sunny, when in actual fact the day is cold and gray.

How do you turn a filter off on a FaceTime call?

If you decide you don’t want to be viewed through a filter anymore, or it suddenly becomes inappropriate to be seen with one, then you can always turn the filters on FaceTime off at any moment. To do so, simply follow our steps as shown above, but instead of selecting a filter from the horizontal scroll options, scroll back to the far-left and select ‘Original’ to turn them off.

Are filters applied to one FaceTime call also applied to subsequent calls?

No. Filters you use in one FaceTime call are not set as default, and so the next time you call someone or receive a call over FaceTime, you will see that your personal video is presented in the ‘Original’ or normal style. 

Can you apply filters to other people’s videos on FaceTime?

No. You can only apply FaceTime filters to your own video. If other people want to also use a FaceTime filter, then they’ll have to do it themselves from their own devices.