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If you are experiencing Wi-Fi problems on your iPhone, you are not alone. In fact, many iPhone users are complaining that their iPhone won’t connect to wifi, even when it appears connected. This means that many iPhone owners are experiencing the same Wi-Fi problem as you are, and it’s unfortunate. This can be very frustrating, especially if you have things to do with your iPhone at that particular moment. More frustrating is the fact that there are times when your iPhone won’t connect to Wi-Fi even though your Wi-Fi network appears to be working fine.
The main reason isn’t exact, but in most cases, connection problems can occur after an iOS update, or other reasons such as outdated OS, enabled Airplane mode, changes to settings, mistakenly touching a button, wrong network settings, DNS or cache problems. iPhone antenna issues or a software bug can also be one of the reasons.
Well, the good news is there are many ways to fix an iPhone that won’t connect to Wi-Fi, so before you take your device to the Apple store as the solution or replace your router, try any of these working tips below to reconnect your iPhone to Wi-Fi.
How to solve iPhone Wi-Fi problems
First, make sure that your wireless router is on, and you are closer to it. Sometimes your iPhone won’t connect to Wi-Fi if you are too far from the wireless access point. If, after moving within range to the router doesn’t help, try one of the methods listed below.
1. Turn your WiFi on
The first thing to do is confirm that what you’re trying to fix is actually turned on. All you need to do is to turn on Wi-Fi on your iPhone. You should see the Wi-Fi icon on top of your screen, if not, then do the following:
- Swipe up from the bottom of the screen (swipe down from the top-right if you are using the iPhone X, XS, and XR).
- Tap on the Wi-Fi icon to activate it.
- Wait a few seconds for it to connect.
2. Wi-Fi network password protected
Whenever your iPhone doesn’t connect to Wi-Fi, check to see if the Wi-Fi you are trying to connect to is not password protected. Not all Wi-Fi allows access to everyone. Some network owners use passwords to prevent unauthorized users from connecting to them. A password-protected Wi-Fi usually has lock icons next to them. Go to Settings, then Wi-Fi, to check if there is a lock icon next to the Wi-Fi network. If this is the case, it’s best to ask for the password from the network owner or connect to a network that’s not password protected.
3. Turn off Airplane Mode
Another possible reason why your iPhone won’t connect to Wi-Fi could be the Airplane mode. Airplane mode blocks all network connectivity on a device. Check the Airplane Mode icon located near the Wi-Fi icon; you may have accidentally left it on possibly after a recent trip. This could be the reason why you are not connected, tap to disable it, and you are back connected.
4. Turn off Bluetooth
Bluetooth can sometimes interfere with Wi-Fi connections and could be the reason. Turn off your Bluetooth to see if this will solve the issue. Swipe to the bottom, and tap on the Bluetooth icon or go to Settings > General, and turn it off.
5. Force restart iPhone
This method has proven to be one of the most effective. You’d be surprised how often restarting your iPhone solves most of its problems. This is not a foolproof solution, of course, and is not a guarantee to solve software or hardware problems. But it’s fast, simple and can be effective.
How to restart iPhone SE, 5, or older
Press and hold down the button at the top of your phone until you see the option to slide power off, then slide to power off, wait for some seconds for your iPhone to turn off. Next, turn it back on. To do so, press and hold the same button at the top of your phone until you see the Apple logo appears.
How to restart iPhone 8, 7, or 6
Press and hold the button at the right side of your phone until the option to slide power off appears, then slide to power off, wait for some seconds for your iPhone to turn off. Next, turn it back on. Press and hold the same button on the right side of your phone until you see the Apple logo appears.
How to restart iPhone X or 11
Press and hold either of the volume buttons on both side and the right side button until you see the option to slide power off, then slide to power off, wait for some seconds for your iPhone to turn off. Then turn the iPhone back on, press and hold the right side button until you see the Apple logo appears.
6. Forget Wi-Fi network
If you have the Wi-Fi password but still not able to connect to the internet, then try this next simple method that has proven beneficial for many users. Sometimes, Wi-Fi networks can become corrupted, to be sure that this isn’t the reason why your iPhone won’t connect to Wi-Fi, forget/delete all saved Wi-Fi networks from your iPhone. Here’s How:
- Go to Setting.
- Select Wi-Fi, be sure Wi-Fi is On so you can see all the available WiFi networks.
- Tap the blue checkmark (i) beside the name of the network you want to forget.
- Tap Forget This Network on the next screen.
- Turn Wi-Fi Off and restart your iPhone.
- Once your iPhone comes back on, go back to Settings > Wi-Fi.
- Toggle WiFi switch back On.
- Select the network again.
- Enter the password, and tap Join or connect.
Note: Using this method allows you to connect to your Wi-Fi network as if it’s the first time, so be sure to enter the correct password.
7. Turn off location services for Wi-Fi networking
Disabling or enabling location services could also fix issues related to “iPhone wifi not working” or “iPhone won’t connect to wifi”. If it is already enabled, turn it off, if the setting is disabled, try switching it on and see if you are able to connect to Wi-Fi.
Follow these steps to enable or disable:
- Go to Settings.
- Tap Privacy.
- Tap Location Services.
- Scroll to the bottom and tap System Services.
- Turn off Wi-Fi Networking. If it’s already enabled, turn it On.
8. Update to the latest iOS version
Apple releases Operating System updates regularly, which is good because your iPhone is updated with the latest features and security fixes. But a pending iOS update could cause some compatibility issues. If you’re still having trouble connecting to Wi-Fi, check to see if an iOS update is available for your iPhone. If there is any update, install it.
To check for updates on iOS:
- Tap Settings.
- Tap General.
- Tap Software Update.
- If you see a pending update then tap Download and install.
Note: Don’t forget to plug your iPhone into a power outlet so it stays charged. Remember, OS updates could take some time.
9. Turn off Wi-Fi Assist
If your iPhone is running iOS 9 or later, then you should be familiar with Wi-Fi Assist. It’s an iOS feature that allows you to always have stable internet. If your Wi-Fi connection is slow or poor, Wi-Fi Assist will automatically switch connection to mobile data. While the feature is useful, toggling off Wi-Fi Assist solved iPhone Wi-Fi issues for many, which is why you should probably give it a try and see if it will solve your Wi-Fi connection problem.
Here’s how to turn it off:
- Open Settings.
- Go to Mobile Data.
- Scroll down and toggle off Wi-Fi Assist.
10. Disable VPN
Using a VPN can sometimes disrupt the Wi-Fi connectivity of an iPhone, try to disable your VPN to see if it will make any difference. Disabling VPN often fix iPhone won’t connect to wifi problem.
11. Verify incorrect Wi-Fi password
If your iPhone won’t connect to wifi network saying incorrect password, it’s possible someone with access to the Wi-Fi network may have recently change the password, if this is the case, You will need to forget the Wi-Fi network and then enter the new password.
12. Reset iPhone network settings
If you’ve tried all the methods above and still yet your iPhone won’t connect to Wi-Fi, try this next fix to reset your network settings. Your phone’s Network Settings has all kinds of information, such as connection data, preferences for cellular and Wi-Fi networks. Resetting your network settings will delete all your current network configurations, including saved Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections, APNs, and other server settings; sometimes, it’s your only option. Any Wi-Fi settings corrupted or any error attributed to invalid or incorrect network configurations will also be deleted. To reset your settings, follow these steps:
- Tap Settings.
- Tap General.
- Scroll to the bottom and tap on Reset.
- Select Reset Network Settings.
- If prompted, enter your iPhone’s passcode.
- Confirm your action, tap Reset Network Settings.
This should reset your network settings. Restart your iPhone, then go back to Wi-Fi settings and connect to the Wi-Fi network again. To learn more, read: How to Reset Network Settings on iPhone.
13. Update carrier settings
Your carrier usually rolls out carrier settings updates to address network-related problems – they could be mandatory or optional. Required updates are automatically installed on your phone, while optional updates require manual installation. To check for updates, use cellular data to connect to the internet if possible and then go to Settings > General > About, then navigate to the Carrier section. If there are updates available, you should see them here. Read and review the updates, then follow the instructions to update carrier settings on your iPhone. Next is to restart your iPhone to apply changes fully.
14. Reset router or modem
We’ve seen many reports of users saying, “iPhone wifi not working at home, but it connects everywhere else.” If you are having the same issue, and your Wi-Fi problem persists after performing all of the solutions mentioned above, chances are your routers or modem is at fault. Sometimes routers and modems do have technical crashes that can happen anytime. To be sure this isn’t the reason, restart your router and modem. Here’s how to:
- Turn off your wireless router or modem.
- Unplug the cord of the router from power.
- Wait for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Plug it back in and turn on.
- Wait until you see the Wi-Fi signal indicator is stable.
You will be connected automatically, especially if you’ve previously set your iPhone to auto-connect to the same Wi-Fi network. Otherwise, connect to the Wi-Fi again and see if it works. Go to Settings > Wi-Fi and toggle the WiFi switch to connect to the Wi-Fi network. If restarting your router or modem doesn’t work, then move to the next fix.
15. Change DNS settings
By default, your Wi-Fi network will automatically configure your DNS settings. However, you can fix internet connection problems by manually changing your DNS settings. You can use either Open DNS (220.127.116.11 or 18.104.22.168) or Google DNS (22.214.171.124 or 126.96.36.199). Here is how to change your iPhone DNS settings:
- Navigate to Settings.
- Tap Wi-Fi.
- Tap the info icon (i) right next to your Wi-Fi network.
- Tap Configure DNS and choose Manual or you will see DNS, just tap the Numbers.
- Delete the entry under DNS servers, tap Add Server and enter the new DNS address. For Google DNS i.e., first, enter 188.8.131.52. Then, enter 184.108.40.206. Alternatively, use Open DNS values. Remember to separate each DNS values by a comma. Hopefully, this will solve your “wifi not working on iPhone” problem.
16. Update router firmware
If your iPhone Wi-Fi connection problem still persists, you may need to update your router firmware. Your router’s firmware is basically the operating system that controls how your specific make and model behaves and operates. Updating the router’s firmware often fixes security bugs and solve internet connection problems. Every router is different, but the process for updating router’s firmware is somewhat similar. The first thing is to check your router manufacturer’s website for instructions specific to your make and model, locate the download section, and update or install.
17. Renew lease
If you’re still having trouble with the Wi-Fi connection on your iPhone, one solution that could work is renewing your lease with the network. When you connect to a Wi-Fi network, you are assigned an IP address that identifies your device. By renewing your lease, your iPhone will be given a new IP address to connect to the Wi-Fi network.
How to renew Wi-Fi lease on iPhone
- Go to Settings.
- Tap Wi-Fi.
- Tap the info icon (i) right next to your Wi-Fi network.
- Tap Renew Lease.
18. Restore iPhone to factory settings
If still yet your iPhone won’t connect to Wi-Fi after exhausting all the solutions listed above, your next option would be a full system reset. It is a drastic measure that will restore your iPhone to its factory settings. Everything you have stored on your iPhone, including apps, files, saved contacts, customized settings, and any personal information will be deleted.
Before you factory reset your iPhone, remember to back up your files on your computer’s storage via iTunes!
To back up your files, you will need a Mac or Windows computer with the latest version of iTunes installed.
- Install the latest version of iTunes software, proceed to step 2 if you already installed it.
- Launch or open iTunes.
- Connect your iPhone to your computer using a cable.
- Select your iPhone.
- In the Summary section, click the option Restore iPhone.
- If prompted to confirm that you really want to do this. Click Restore to confirm your action.
With this done, iTunes will erase your iPhone and download the latest iOS software version. Your iPhone will restart once everything is completed. You’ll now have a fresh iPhone. You can then either proceed with the initial setup process as a new iPhone or restore from your backup. To learn more, read: How to Factory Reset an iPhone.
Note: Restoring from backup may return the bug that prevented your iPhone from connecting to Wi-Fi, so setting it up as a new iPhone may be the best option.
19. Contact Apple support
If your iPhone Wi-Fi is still not working at this point, it may be a hardware problem. iPhone hardware problems can best be diagnosed and repaired by Apple or an authorized service provider. Contact Apple support online or take your iPhone to the nearest Apple store to fix the issue.
About King Osaghae
King Osaghae is a technology researcher and writer who’s been writing about tech-related topics and trends since 2018. He covers everything tech from computers to cameras to online business software. He is the managing editor at TechZerg, meaning that he oversees all the articles TechZerg produces.