SharePlay in FaceTime is a standout feature of macOS Monterey, with which you can view TV shows, movies, and music in your FaceTime calls. With simultaneous playback and shared controls, you can enjoy real-time communication with everyone involved in the call—everyone watching and enjoying the same moments at the same time.
You can even effortlessly share your screen during a video call with SharePlay. As much as we love this feature, it is not without flaws, and you may encounter unexpected issues every now and then.
How To Fix SharePlay Problems In FaceTime On Mac
Most often, the problem is with a specific app, but macOS can also malfunction and cause some features like SharePlay to crash.
So, here we are going to discuss some valuable troubleshooting tips that can come in handy when SharePlay is not working on your Mac.
If you haven’t tried SharePlay before and can’t access the feature, you should first check your Mac OS version. Sure, your Mac might be running macOS Monterey, but SharePlay wasn’t released until the macOS 12.1 update that Apple introduced in December 2021.
So, make sure that the latest updates are installed on your Mac by going to System Preferences -> Update On macOS. If an update is available, tap Update Now to install it on your device. Once your Mac restarts, start a FaceTime call with your desired contact and see if they can access SharePlay.
Check if SharePlay is enabled on Mac
If you are still reading the troubleshooting steps, it means that you are unable to use SharePlay even though you have the latest macOS installed.
So, in practice, the next thing you need to do is to check if SharePlay is enabled on your Mac. The feature is turned on by default, but if you’ve ever accidentally modified your FaceTime settings before, this setting is worth checking out.
To do this, launch FaceTime and go to
FaceTime -> Preferences from the menu bar. Under the Preferences panel, select the SharePlay tab and make sure the feature is checked. If you see a set of SharePlay-compatible apps below, be sure to check the boxes next to them as well.
Check if the app you are using supports SharePlay
SharePlay is a relatively new feature, therefore, its support is very limited at the moment. So, you need to check if the app you want to use SharePlay with is compatible in the first place.
And if you’re struggling to find an app compatible with SharePlay, know that Apple’s services — Apple Music, Apple TV+, and Apple Fitness+ — are fully supported.
However, you cannot say the same for third-party apps. For example, Disney+ supports SharePlay, while Netflix has not yet included it, which is surprising considering it is the most popular streaming platform in the world.
Update the app that supports SharePlay
If you are sure that the app you are trying to use already supports SharePlay, you need to make sure that it is updated. You may be running a version of the app that appeared before the developer added SharePlay support.
To do this, launch the App Store on your Mac and click Updates in the left pane. Check if there is a newer version of the app you want to use SharePlay with. And if you find anything, click Update to install it on your Mac.
Check if the SharePlay-compatible app requires a subscription
At this point, you are confident you have everything you need to use SharePlay on your Mac. Well, the problem is that some apps limit the functionality of SharePlay beyond a paid subscription.
For example, while Spotify offers ad-supported streaming for free, you’ll need a premium subscription to start a SharePlay session during a FaceTime call.
Apps like Disney+ and ESPN+ are other good examples, requiring you to first pay for the service before you can take advantage of SharePlay on your Mac.
However, the main problem here is that having one subscription is not enough to share content with your friends.
All participants in a FaceTime call must have a subscription to the same services. And if what they’re showing is a movie or a game, they have to own the content as well.
This is correct; You cannot use SharePlay as a workaround for broadcasting premium content to your friends who don’t pay for the service.
Terminate the application
Although they are fully compatible in all respects, the apps can sometimes crash, and you may have trouble starting a SharePlay session with a service you use regularly. In such cases, it is always worth closing the app and restarting it to fix weird glitches.
To force an app to close on your Mac, right-click or key-click the
Controlapp icon while holding a key
Optionand choose Force Quit from the context menu. Now, reopen the app and try to start a new SharePlay session in a FaceTime call. You can also delete and reinstall the app to see if that solves the problem.
Restart your Mac
As much as we love macOS for its stability, the operating system isn’t perfect. Some strange behavior can sometimes temporarily disable the SharePlay functionality on your Mac, and the quick way to fix it would be simply by restarting your Mac.
To do this, click on the Apple menu in the upper left corner of the desktop and choose Restart from the drop-down menu. Start a FaceTime call as soon as you restart your system and restart a SharePlay session with your desired contact.
Ask the participants to do the same
You’ve now done almost everything you can do to make SharePlay work on your Mac. However, if you’re still having trouble using SharePlay on Mac, it’s time to turn to the call participants. Everyone on the call should also follow the above troubleshooting steps to ensure that the compatibility is ok and they are not experiencing issues on their device.
SharePlay is great despite its problems
For the most part, Apple’s SharePlay functionality works exactly as intended. Often people are not sure which app compatibility and subscription requirements they need for the feature to work.
Now that you have a basic understanding of everything you need to do to start a SharePlay session and the settings you need to check again when you run into problems, you should have no problem using SharePlay on your Mac.
Besides SharePlay, macOS Monterey has some other annoying issues that may be clogging your uses, but we hope Apple will address them in future software updates. And while we focus on macOS here, the troubleshooting steps are somewhat similar on iOS and iPadOS devices as well