Avast Academy Performance Performance Tips How to Fix Your iPhone’s Wi-Fi Connection

How to Fix Your iPhone’s Wi-Fi Connection

When your phone won’t connect to Wi-Fi, the disruption can be exasperating. If you can’t connect to a Wi-Fi network on your iPhone or iPad, keep reading. We’ve got expert troubleshooting tips on how to diagnose and fix your Wi-Fi connection on an iOS device. Then, get powerful security and privacy software like Avast One to keep your device protected on wireless networks.

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Written by Elle Poole Sidell
Published on March 2, 2022

Getting the most out of your iPhone or other iOS device means being able to connect to Wi-Fi easily. While your device can usually hop onto trusted Wi-Fi networks automatically, sometimes your connection breaks.

Troubleshooting connection problems can seem daunting at first, but our guide will walk you through how to diagnose and fix problems with connecting to a wireless network on your iPhone or iPad.

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    Why won't my iPhone or iPad connect to Wi-Fi?

    The most common reasons why your iPad or iPhone won’t connect to Wi-Fi include a poor connection signal, an incorrect Wi-Fi password, your Wi-Fi or mobile data settings, restricted network settings, or even a bulky phone case. A weak Wi-Fi connection can also mean you need to increase your internet speed.

    Here are some of the most common reasons you might be unable to connect to Wi-Fi:

    • You’re too far away from your router

      The network signal strength can be weak if you’re not close to the router or modem. Your iPhone or iPad may not connect to the Wi-Fi at all if you’re in a different room or too far from the wireless access point.

    • You’re using the wrong Wi-Fi password

      Make sure you enter the correct password when joining a network — your iPad or iPhone won't connect to Wi-Fi if a password character is incorrect.

    • Your Wi-Fi network settings are turned off

      If your Wi-Fi is off, make sure the Wi-Fi setting is turned on before connecting to a Wi-Fi network. You can also turn on the Auto Join setting to ensure your iOS device connects to trusted networks automatically.

    • You have a limited data plan or you’re not using mobile data

      If your Wi-Fi isn’t connecting, you may have exhausted your data limit. Or, your mobile data may not be switched on. Go to Settings and verify that your mobile data is turned on.

    • Your network or parental control settings are preventing connection

      Fix any parental control settings on iOS devices to ensure they’re not limiting Wi-Fi connection.

    • Your iPhone or iPad case is causing signal issues

      While uncommon, some large iPhone or iPad cases can block or weaken a Wi-Fi network signal. If you’re having trouble connecting to Wi-Fi, try removing your case.

    • You have a damaged network component

      Sometimes, your iOS device won’t connect to Wi-Fi because there’s something wrong with the router. Check your connection on other devices to rule out hardware component issues.

    Below we’ll discuss how to solve your Wi-Fi connection issues on iPhone or iPad. Many of these tips can help you fix a poor Wi-Fi connection on Android, too.

    How to fix an iPhone or iPad that's not connecting to Wi-Fi

    If your iPhone or iPad can’t connect to Wi-Fi, there are several ways to fix it — from simply restarting your iOS device or router to resetting your iPhone completely.

    Here are the best ways to fix Wi-Fi connection problems with an iPhone or iPad:

    Restart your iPhone/iPad

    The quickest and easiest fix for a Wi-Fi connection issue is usually to restart your iPhone or iPad. Restarting your iOS device reboots apps and helps clean up your iPhone and fix issues that might be disrupting your internet connection like corrupt network data.

    Here’s how to restart your iPhone:

    1. Press and hold the On/Off button on the right side of your iPhone.

    2. Press and hold either of the volume buttons on the left side until the power-off slider appears.

    3. Drag the slider from left to right to power off your device.

    4. Turn your iPhone back on by holding the On/Off button until the Apple logo appears.

    These steps apply to phones with Face ID (iPhone X, 11, 12, or 13). Check out this Apple Support page for more detailed instructions about rebooting other iPhone models.

    Here’s how to restart your iPad:

    1. Press and hold the Top button on your iPad and then press and hold either of the volume buttons until the power-off slider appears.

    2. Drag the slider from left to right to power off your device.

    3. Turn your iPad back on by holding the Top button again until the Apple logo appears.

    These steps apply to phones with no Home button. To restart an iPad with a Home button, check out this Apple Support page.

    Check to see if your Wi-Fi is turned on

    When troubleshooting Wi-Fi connection issues on your iPhone or iPad, check that your Wi-Fi is switched on:

    1. Go to Settings > Wi-Fi on your device.

    2. Make sure the toggle next to Wi-Fi is turned On.

    3. If the Wi-Fi toggle is turned on, turn it off and then turn it back on again.

      iPhone Wi-Fi switch toggled On and Off to show Wi-Fi connection.

    Check for network connection issues

    If your phone detects a problem when you try to connect to a network, the issue will often show up under the Wi-Fi network's name with the alert No Internet Connection. For detailed information about the issue, tap the Wi-Fi network name.

    Check your router

    Are you having problems with a specific Wi-Fi network or all networks? If you’re having trouble connecting to Wi-Fi at home, your router might be the reason.

    To check your router’s connection, connect to the Wi-Fi network using a different device. If that other device can't get online, the reason your iPhone or iPad can't connect is likely due to your network connection (your router). Check that all your cables are plugged in and connected, and then restart your router by turning it off for several seconds and turning it back on.

    If you still can’t get online, you may need to reset your router.

    Check your iPhone settings

    Problems with general Wi-Fi connection or joining a new Wi-Fi network are commonly caused by an issue with your device settings. Here are some common settings to check when trying to connect to Wi-Fi.

    Turn off Airplane Mode

    Airplane Mode automatically disables all your network connections — including your Wi-Fi — which prevents you from connecting to any Wi-Fi network. If you recently traveled, went to a movie, or otherwise needed to quiet your phone, Airplane mode might still be turned on.

    Here’s how to check Airplane Mode settings on your iPhone or iPad:

    1. Go to Settings > Airplane Mode.

    2. Next to the Airplane Mode setting, toggle the switch to Off.

      iPhone Settings with Airplane Mode turned off and Wi-Fi reconnected.

    Even if Airplane Mode is already disabled, turning it on and switching it back off again may fix your Wi-Fi connection issue. Sometimes, it can even help speed up your iOS internet connection.

    Forget your Wi-Fi network

    Another way to fix connectivity issues is forgetting the Wi-Fi network you're trying to connect to. When you join a network for the first time, your iPhone or iPad remembers information about it, including specific connection information. If something changes — such as password protection — that could keep you from getting online.

    Here’s how to forget a Wi-Fi network on your iPhone or iPad:

    1. Go to Settings > Wi-Fi.

    2. Tap the information icon next to the network you want to forget.

    3. Select Forget This Network and tap Forget to confirm.

      Forget This Network in Wi-Fi Settings on iPhone.
    4. Go back to Settings > Wi-Fi and select the Wi-Fi network to reconnect to it.

    Limit parental controls

    Settings for content, privacy, and screen time can also affect internet browsing. These settings are often used as parental controls on an iPhone to help restrict specific apps and features on a child's device.

    If you previously tested these controls or inherited an old device with these settings turned on, they might be blocking apps or websites.

    Here’s how to check Content & Privacy Restrictions on your iPhone or iPad:

    1. Go to Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions.

      iPhone Screen Time settings showing where to select Content & Privacy Restrictions.
    2. Check if the On/Off toggle switched on. If you’d like to turn off all restrictions, toggle the switch to Off.

      Content & Privacy Restrictions toggle switch in the On position.

    Reset your iPhone’s default settings

    To fix your Wi-Fi connection issues, you may have to reset your iPhone or iPad back to its default factory settings.

    Reset Location Services on iOS

    While useful, Wi-Fi networking location settings might also be the reason your iPad or iPhone isn’t connecting to Wi-Fi. Turning Location Services off can help resolve connection issues.

    Here’s how to turn off Wi-Fi networking Location Services on your iOS device:

    1. Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services.

    2. Scroll to System Services.

      System Services option in the Location Services settings on iPhone.
    3. Toggle off the switch next to Networking & Wireless.

      Toggle switch to turn Networking & Wireless location services off or on.
    4. Tap Turn Off to confirm.

      Alert to confirm turning off location for Networking & Wireless on iOS.

    Your iPhone or iPad uses Location Services to let apps and websites know where you are, which helps if you need directions or want local information. Learn more about how Google uses your data.

    Reset Network Settings on iOS

    Here’s how to reset network settings on your iPhone or iPad:

    1. Go to Settings > General on your device.

    2. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and tap Transfer or Reset iPhone/iPad.

    3. Tap Reset.

    4. Tap Reset Network Settings, enter your passcode (if needed), and tap Reset Network Settings again to confirm.

      Reset options on iPhone with Reset Network Settings highlighted.
    5. Once your device finishes resetting and restarts, go to Settings > Wi-Fi to rejoin the Wi-Fi network.

    Note that resetting your device’s network settings clears all configured Wi-Fi networks, passwords, cellular settings, and VPN and APN settings. But it helps eliminate corrupted Wi-Fi settings or network configurations and can get your broken W-Fi working again.

    Reset your iOS device to factory settings

    As a last resort to fix your Wi-Fi, you may need to perform a factory reset. This involves deleting everything from your iOS device, including contacts, photos, personal information, and customized settings, and returning your iPhone or iPad to its original factory settings.

    Before proceeding, back up your data. Since you don’t have access to Wi-Fi, you’ll need to use iTunes to back up your files on your computer.

    Here’s how to reset your iPhone or iPad back to its factory settings:

    1. Go to Settings > General.

    2. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and tap Transfer or Reset iPhone/iPad.

    3. Tap Erase All Content and Settings, then tap Continue.

      iPhone screen with Erase All Content and Settings option highlighted.
    4. Enter your passcode if prompted, enter your Apple ID password, then tap Turn Off to disable Find My and Activation Lock.

    5. Tap Erase iPhone/iPad.

    Once your device is reset, you can set it up as a new device or restore it using your backup. Restoring is generally more convenient, because you get back all your settings, apps, contacts, and so on. But, it may also restore the same issue that stopped you from connecting to Wi-Fi to begin with.

    Check for iOS updates

    While iOS updates may not resolve Wi-Fi connection issues completely, Apple provides regular updates for problems that might stop your iOS device from connecting to Wi-Fi. Plus, system updates include critical security patches that help prevent malware and increase your device’s cybersecurity protection.

    And if you have antivirus software, you’ll avoid cybersecurity threats in the first place, which is far easier than removing ransomware or getting rid of iPhone malware.

    To turn on automatic updates in iOS, go to Settings > General > Software Updates. Then tap Automatic Updates to adjust your settings.

    Screen showing how to turn automatic iOS updates off or on.

    Contact Apple for further support

    If none of the solutions above have helped fix your Wi-Fi on your iOS device, you may have hardware failure. In that case, contact Apple Support to help diagnose and resolve the problem.

    Protect your Wi-Fi with Avast

    Whether you’re connecting to a public Wi-Fi network or browsing at home, a comprehensive security and privacy app will ensure your connection stays private and your data protected. Avast One features a built-in VPN to encrypt your entire internet connection and make sure you browse securely.

    Avast One protects your wireless connection, whether you’re on your home network or using public Wi-Fi at a cafe. It’ll block hackers, make sure the websites you visit are safe, and troubleshoot performance issues with your device. Don’t let security problems disrupt your Wi-Fi connection — get Avast One today.

    Encrypt your Wi-Fi and supercharge your Android with Avast One

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    Encrypt your Wi-Fi and supercharge your iPhone with Avast One

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    Performance Tips
    Elle Poole Sidell