How to fix Facetime black screen on Mac

A Mac or MacBook both have a built-in webcam. The webcam will work with any app that can use it e.g, Microsoft Teams or Zoom but it is known as the Facetime camera and is meant to work with the app of the same name.

Facetime, much like iMessage, works really well as a service but it does need to use the camera. Facetime calls generally do connect easily and immediately though you can expect a delay if you’re calling someone connected to a weak network.

Fix Facetime black screen

If you’re trying to Facetime someone can consistently get a black screen, restart your Mac at least once before you move on to the following fixes. 

Terminal fix

Make sure the Facetime app is not open on your system before you try this fix. No other app that can use the webcam should be open.

  1. Open Terminal from Spotlight or from Mission Control.
  2. Run the following command.
sudo killall VDCAssistant
  1. Enter the password when prompted and tap Enter.
  2. Run this command next.
sudo killall AppleCameraAssistant
  1. Enter the password again, and tap Enter.
  2. Open Facetime.

SMC Reset

Hardware problems can sometimes be resolved with an SMC reset. The reset is easy to perform but the method will differ based on the type of Mac you have. 

Desktop Mac/iMac/Mac Mini

  1. Shut down the Mac.
  2. Remove the power cord.
  3. Wait fifteen seconds
  4. Connect the cord again.
  5. Wait another fifteen seconds
  6. Power the Mac on.

MacBook Pro/Air

  1. Shut down the Mac.
  2. Make sure the MacBook is connected to a power source.
  3. Tap and hold the Shift+Control+Option+Power button for fifteen seconds.
  4. Release the buttons and wait another fifteen seconds.
  5. Turn the MacBook on.

MacBook 2018 or later models

  1. Shut down the MacBook.
  2. The MacBook should be connected to a power source.
  3. Hold down the Left Control, Left Option, and Right Shift key for ten seconds.
  4. Without releasing these keys, press the Power button.
  5. Hold down all four keys for ten seconds. 
  6. Release the keys and wait fifteen seconds.
  7. Power the MacBook on.

Conclusion

If the above two methods do not fix Facetime, it is possible that you have a hardware problem. Have your Mac checked either by Apple or by a third-party authorized to do repairs. The problem may be small i.e., a disconnected wire. If you do not want to have the computer checked out, you can always try installing macOS fresh. It can resolve all software related issues but it is a tedious task that will require taking a back up of all your files.

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How to toggle the Touch Bar On/Off on macOS

Apple’s MacBooks still have the Touch Bar that was added some years ago. To this day, this small hardware strip has found little utility. It’s helpful to have at times and the dynamically changing soft buttons make navigation easier but the hardware is glitchy and users often have trouble with it that requires restarting the Touch Bar to fix.

If you have a MacBook with a touch bar, but do not use it or it’s broken, you can disable it fairly easily. To make it easier to enable and disable the Touch Bar, you can install an app called Hide My Bar.

Toggle Touch Bar On/Off

The Touch Bar turns on when you boot your MacBook and there’s no way to turn it off out-of-the-box. 

  1. Download and install Hide My Bar.
  2. Run Hide My Bar.
  3. Enable Accessibility access for the app.
  4. Once running, you can toggle the Touch Bar by tapping the Command key twice.
  5. You can also enable/disable the Touch Bar by checking/unchecking it from Hide My Bar’s menu bar icon.

Hide My Bar

Hide My Bar isn’t free. The app costs $3.99 but it has a trial version that allows you to test the app out for ten days. If you like what it does and how it works, you can buy a license for the app.

The Touch Bar does have one niche use; if your Mac doesn’t have an Escape key, you can add one to the Touch Bar. Hide My Bar knows this and has an option to allow just the Escape key to remain On, on the Touch Bar while all other controls are removed. You can enable this from the app’s preferences.

Hide My Bar doesn’t physically turn the Touch Bar off. You will continue to see the backlight however, the soft buttons on it will no longer show.

You can change the keyboard shortcut that’s used to toggle the Touch Bar. Go to the app’s preferences and select the Hot Keys tab to change the keyboard shortcut.

Conclusion

The Touch Bar is now a standard hardware component on MacBooks. Newer MacBook Air models carry it as well. This component isn’t exactly locked or restricted which means developers can create apps for it to make it more useful. It just seems there hasn’t been much progress on that end. Apple doesn’t seem likely to call it a bad idea any time soon so it may remain a part of the hardware of a MacBook for a while. 

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How to play Among Us on Mac

Among Us is available on Windows, iOS, and Android. You can play Among Us on Linux with Steam Play which leaves macOS users to figure out how they can play the game on their desktop.

Among Us isn’t officially available on macOS which probably comes down to the developers not having the time or interest to port the game. It doesn’t exactly need a good gaming rig since FPS on Among Us doesn’t matter and the game isn’t resource-hungry in any way. In theory, it should run just fine on a Mac if it were officially supported.

Among Us on Mac

Generally speaking, there are two popular ways to play Among Us on Mac;

  • Bluestacks Android Emulator.
  • Bootcamp

While Bluestacks appears to work for some people, it can also fail to install and cause problems on a Mac. It also gives users the mobile version, and mobile controls, of the game on the desktop giving you a poor gaming experience.

Bootcamp works but installing an entirely new OS on your Mac alongside macOS just to play a game is excessive, not to mention complicated. 

A much simpler method is to use WINE but setting it up can get complicated. To keep things simple, while still using WINE, we recommend using PlayOnMac.

Note: You will have to buy Among Us. This article is not a tutorial on how to pirate the game and we strongly discourage piracy.

Files for Among Us on Mac

To play Among Us on Mac, you must have the files for the game. You must buy the game to get these files. Buy Among US here, and download the game

If you have access to a Windows 10 system, you can buy the game on Steam, download Among Us on it, and copy the game files from the Steam folder.

When copying files, make sure you copy the entire folder and not just the Among Us EXE file. 

Install PlayOnMac

  1. Download PlayOnMac from its official website.
  2. Run the DMG file.
  3. Move the app to the Applications folder.
  4. Allow the files to be copied.
  5. Run PlayOnMac.

Play Among Us on Mac

Now that you have the files for Among Us, and you’ve Installed PlayOnMac, it’s time to install and play Among Us on your Mac.

  1. Run PlayOnMac.
  2. Click Install a Program in the column on the left.
  3. Click Install non-listed program.
  4. Select ‘Install a program to a new virtual drive’.
  5. Give the virtual drive a name. The name should not have a space in it.

  1. Select 64-bits Windows installation.
  2. You will see a prompt asking to install a Wine component. Allow it to install.
  3. Click the Browse button and select the Among Us EXE file.
  4. Allow the game to install and it will run.

Conclusion

InnerSloth hasn’t shown any interest in bringing the game to macOS. If you have a newer Mac i.e., a Mac with an M1 chip, you can install the iOS version of Among Us but again, you will get mobile controls and not desktop ones. You may run into a few prompts during the installation of the game, they’re nothing to worry about. Some steps take a few minutes to complete e.g., creating the virtual drive so be patient. 

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How to rename a disk on macos

A disk on macOS generally doesn’t have partitions the way a disk does when Windows 10 is installed. You can create volumes from a disk and that is somewhat similar to having a partition.

The disk is where the OS is installed to and when you access it in Finder, it shows up with whatever name has been set for it. You can change the name of a macOS disk any time you want.

Rename disk on macOS

You can rename any disk connected to a Mac. The utility needed to rename it is already present on the system. 

Access Disk Utility

  1. Tap the Command+Spacebar keyboard shortcut to open Spotlight.
  2. In Spotlight, enter Disk Utility.
  3. Select the app with the matching name.
  4. Connect the disk if it isn’t already connected (not needed for an internal disk).

Rename disk in macOS

Now that you have Disk Utility open, you can rename a disk by following these steps.

  1. Right-click the disk in the column on the left.
  2. Select Rename from the context menu.
  3. The disk name will become editable in the pane on the right.
  4. Enter a new name, and tap Enter to save it.
  5. The disk will be renamed.

Renaming a disk does not erase data on it, nor does it break file paths.

Limitations

Disk Utility can be used to rename both internal and external disks that are connected to a Mac however, the tool that we’re using is a macOS tool which means it is subject to the restrictions imposed by the OS.

If the disk you’re trying to rename isn’t formatted on the correct file system i.e., APFS or ExFat, you won’t be able to rename it. If you have, for example, a disk that is formatted on the NTFS system, you will first have to change its file system which will in turn result in data loss.

If you need to rename an NTFS disk and do not want to backup the data in it, you should use a Windows 10 system to get the job done.

Conclusion

Renaming a disk allows you to identify it more easily. You may not always remember the storage space available on a disk, or you may not always recognize it in Finder if it has a generic name. A real, non-factory set, non-generic name will make it easier to manage disks. For external drives, the disk name will stick even if it’s inserted into a different Mac.

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How to repair a disk in macOS

macOS can crash like any other desktop operating system. The disk that macOS is installed on can likewise run into problems or macOS’ own files may be corrupted if you try and modify the system and it doesn’t go as planned.

If you’re having trouble accessing a disk on macOS, your system is in a kernel panic loop, or you’re unable to boot to the desktop because of a problem with the disk, it’s a good idea to repair it. The tools for repairing a disk are built into macOS so you generally do not need to install or download a third-party tool for the job.

Repair a disk in macOS

Disk errors can manifest in many ways and you may, or may not, have access to a functioning macOS desktop. Regardless, you can use the exact same tool to repair a disk. The only trick is knowing how to access it.

The tool we’re going to use is the Disk Utility.

Access Disk Utility from macOS desktop

To access the Disk Utility from the macOS desktop, follow these steps.

  1. Tap the Command + Spacebar keyboard shortcut to open Spotlight.
  2. Enter Disk Utility.
  3. Select and open the app of the same name.

Access Disk Utility from boot menu

If you cannot get to the macOS desktop, you will have to access the Disk Utility from the boot menu. 

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Turn the Mac On and tap and hold the Command+R keyboard shortcut.
  3. The Mac will boot into recovery.
  4. Select Disk Utility from the menu.

Repair disk in macOS

Now that you have the Disk Utility open, you can start repairing a disk. 

  1. In Disk Utility, open the View dropdown.
  2. Select Show all devices.
  3. From the column on the left, select a disk.
  4. Select its volume.
  5. Click the Repair or First Aid button at the top.

  1. Confirm you want to repair the volume.
  2. Once the volume has been prepared, repeat this for the container the volume is in.
  3. Once the container has been repaired, select the disk and then click the Repair or First Aid button.

Conclusion

The repair or first aid option will fix a disk fairly quickly though the time needed will also depend on the size of your disk (larger disks will take longer), and the type of disk it is (SSD or HDD). Of course, the Disk Utility app cannot fix everything. The repair may complete but the disk may still have errors on it. You may be able to repair problems with the OS files but again, there are no guarantees.

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