Fix FaceTime “The server encountered an error processing registration” Error

I’ve been using FaceTime on my MacBook Pro running Snow Leopard for a long time, so when I upgraded to Lion recently, I didn’t except any problems. However, when I tried to use FaceTime, I got the following error message:

The server encountered an error processing registration. Please try again later.

facetime error

Grrr, that was annoying! I was using the same Apple ID I’ve been using forever. The same Apple ID I use for iTunes and Messages and everything else. So what in the world was the problem? Well, after some in-depth research, I managed to get it working again. In this article, I’ll mention all the different methods you can try to fix it and hopefully one will work for you.

Method 1 – Delete Certificate

Apparently, there is a certificate in KeyChain that can cause a problem with logging in and therefore throw this strange registration issue. First, open KeyChain Access and try to find a certificate issued by Apple iPhone Device CA and signed by an unknown authority. Note that the NAME of the certificate is not “Apple iPhone Device CA“. The name could be some long random characters like below:

apple iphone certificate

Go ahead and delete this certificate if you have it. Then try to open FaceTime again and login. It should work. If you don’t have this certificate in the first place, then keep reading.

Method 2- Hosts File

In OS X Lion, your host file should look something like this:

### Host Database## localhost is used to configure the loopback interface# when the system is booting. Do not change this entry.## localhost255.255.255.255 broadcasthost::1 localhostfe80::1%lo0 localhost

You can view your hosts file by going to Terminal and then typing the following command:

sudo nano /private/etc/hosts

If it doesn’t look like that, you need to make a copy of it and then edit the main one so that it looks exactly like the text above. After you are finished, clear the DNS cache by typing this command in Terminal:

dscacheutil -flushcache

Try restarting and then opening and logging into FaceTime again. If there were any extra entries in your HOSTS file, it could have been causing the problem. Also, even if your HOSTS file is OK, then try flushing the DNS anyway using the command above.

Method 3 – Set Date Time Automatically

Another trick that worked for some was going to System Preferences, then Date & Time and making sure the box “Set Date and Time Automatically” was checked.

date and time

Method 4 – Delete Network Preferences

A newer solution is to delete everything under /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration and then restart the computer. Note that this will delete any static DNS or IP address settings you may have setup or any VPNs, etc. Basically, any custom network configurations will be erased. But if you really haven’t done anything special with your network settings, it should not cause any problems.

Those are all the current solutions that I have read. Other than that, some people have simply waited a few days and then they were able to login without a problem! Enjoy!

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Comments [2]

  1. metatech says:

    Method 5 : Delete the expired SSL certicate used by Apple Push Services :
    rm /Library/Preferences/

  2. Bart Burkhardt says:

    Thanks, in my case it was the hosts file

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