Auto-answer FaceTime Calls – Mac Kung Fu, 2nd Edition

Tip 7Auto-answer FaceTime Calls

Here’s a neat tip that enables the FaceTime app to automatically answer incoming calls from contacts you specify. You can use it if you’re happy having calls from specified colleagues, friends, or family automatically answered, although be careful because there’ll be nothing stopping these incoming callers from instantly seeing what’s happening in front of your computer!

Enabling Auto-answer on FaceTime

Here are the steps required to enable automatic answering of calls on FaceTime:

  1. Start by opening FaceTime if it isn’t already open, and log in. Then look for the contact details of the individual(s) you’d like to enable auto-answering for. This will be listed in your Contacts or Favorites list and will probably be an email address. Write the details down, and then quit FaceTime.

  2. Open a Terminal window (open Finder, select the Applications list, and then in the list of applications double-click Terminal within the Utilities folder), and type the following line:

     
    defaults write com.apple.FaceTime AutoAcceptInvites -bool TRUE
  3. Then type the following line, and at the end type the FaceBook ID of the individual or device you want to auto-answer when they call. For example, if the contact FaceTime ID is keir@example.com, you’d type the following:

     
    defaults write com.apple.FaceTime AutoAcceptInvitesFrom -array-add
     
    keir@keirthomas.com

    If the FaceTime ID is a cell phone number, you need to type it after the command without any spaces. For example, if the FaceTime ID was the cell phone number +1 555 123 1234, you’d type the following:

     
    defaults write com.apple.FaceTime AutoAcceptInvitesFrom -array-add
     
    +15551231234

Restart FaceTime, and you should find calls from the FaceTime IDs you added are automatically answered!

You can repeat step 3 and add more FaceTime IDs to the list.

Removing Auto-answer Entries

To remove a FaceTime ID from the auto-answer list, you can use the following command, but unfortunately this removes all of the entries you might have added using the previous commands.

Quit FaceTime, open a Terminal window, and type the following two lines:

 
defaults delete com.apple.FaceTime AutoAcceptInvites
 
defaults delete com.apple.FaceTime AutoAcceptInvitesFrom

If you have Xcode installed and are competent using its Plist editor, you can manually remove individual auto-answer entries from the FaceTime preferences file, which is found in the ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.FaceTime.plist file.