Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have an iPhone and a MacBook. My wife the same. Is it possible (and how) to specify which devices should be called?

For example, when one of us travels, we want to be contacted on the phone, from the computer, and when the other travels, the reverse.

I suppose we can turn it on and off on the various devices, just wondering if there was another way. (What happens when you forget?).


share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

When you Facetime, the caller chooses either your phone number or the email address associated with your Apple ID. If it chooses the email address, it will ring both your computer, and your iPhone (as well as any other devices you have logged in with that Apple ID such as an iPad), and you may answer on either device. If the caller chooses your phone number, then just your phone will ring. In this case, the caller could use this to choose which device to ring you on.

As I'm sure you are already are aware, the device must be connected to wifi in order for it to ring (I believe there are cellular company outside the US that allow Facetime over the air as well), otherwise it will just ring and ring on the caller side without ever ringing you.

share|improve this answer
Let me know if my answer wasn't relavent. I'm not positive I followed your question completely. – bassplayer7 May 29 '12 at 19:39
Great answer. I think you've described the way it should work :) What I'm finding is that, if we try to connect just using our email address, it seems to go to random devices. If my iPod Touch is on, that seems to be a preferred device. If I turn it off, I get a ring on my iPhone. I was hoping that I could direct FaceTime to go to only a specified device.. Right now, I'm traveling and my wife is home. When she tries to contact me, it rings on my computer at home, not on my laptop with me.. I also apologize if my question is not clear - jet lag .. David – David DelMonte May 30 '12 at 15:22
That is very interesting indeed. Are you by any chance using the same Apple ID? In other words, is the calling device signed into the same Apple ID as the receiving device? – bassplayer7 May 30 '12 at 16:17
Hi again. We each connect using our email addresses. Could it be that somehow, those are attached to the same Apple ID? How would I check that? Thanks for helping!! – David DelMonte Jun 1 '12 at 4:37
Several ways to check. Go to and login there and click the Email addresses tab to see which emails are associated with your account. But, as long as the emails used for Facetime (you can find that in preferences) calling are different, it should should work. – bassplayer7 Jun 1 '12 at 12:30

Our devices were seeming to receive calls at random too... but here is what I have figured out so far.

1) Each device you want to receive incoming calls has to be 'signed in' (e.g. if your location, IP address, etc, has changed because you're travelling you may need to go to the Facetime/preferences, and sign in again. (that should get the laptop receiving)

2) Each device can (in the settings) turn facetime on or off (on the iPhone it's just Settings, scroll down to FaceTime, select it, and set the slider to on or off, on the computer it is on the main menu bar under FaceTime and you select 'Turn FaceTime On' and 'Turn Facetime Off'.

If you turn Facetime off on your home computer before you leave your wife won't have to listen to it ringing in the next room, and as long as once you've got your new IP from the hotel wi-fi, and you 'sign in' each time you are somewhere new (on bar on the right side of facetime) that should do the trick. (or at least that's how we got the Apple devices we have sorted out.)

Hope this helps! :)

share|improve this answer

On the previous iOS6, when I accessed contacts from FaceTime, some of those contacts had a FaceTime icon on the email address and another icon on the iPhone number. This way, by touching that email, it would ring on the related iPad, and by touching on the phone number, it would ring on the related iPhone. Now, with the new iOS7, no matter how FaceTime is set on the iPhone or iPad, on the contacts, there is just ONE choice for FaceTime, which, when touched, rings on both related iPhone and iPad. I don't know of any solution, and I assume is one of many iOS7 bugs or oversights. Apple should open the door for customers feedback through direct emails.

share|improve this answer

I think information on this page can solve this problem. Basically, you can add additional emails to use for FaceTime, and thus distinguish different devices with the same Apple ID emails.

share|improve this answer
Welcome to Ask Different! While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. – grgarside Sep 7 '14 at 14:58
Thanks for responding. I don't think the link answers my question though. It seems to just show how to add FT accounts to each device.. – David DelMonte Sep 7 '14 at 15:00

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.