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iOS: Troubleshooting Wi-Fi networks and connections

Symptoms

Learn how to troubleshoot Wi-Fi1 issues you may encounter while using your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

Resolution

Occasionally while using your iOS device, you may notice unexpected Wi-Fi behavior:

  • Difficulty locating or connecting to a network
  • Unexpected Wi-Fi signal strength or disconnects
  • Inability to access the Internet
  • Not automatically connecting to Wi-Fi when expected

Follow these steps to troubleshoot the above issues:

  1. Be sure you're in range of your Wi-Fi router (access point).
  2. Tap Settings > Wi-Fi and turn Wi-Fi off and on. If your Wi-Fi setting is dimmed, follow these steps.
  3. Confirm that your Wi-Fi router and cable or DSL modem are connected to power, turned on, and connected to the Internet. If not, refer to your network administrator or Internet service provider (ISP) for assistance.
  4. Restart your iOS device.
  5. Tap Settings > Wi-Fi and locate the Wi-Fi network to which you're connected.
  6. Tap and Forget this Network.
  7. Try to connect to your desired Wi-Fi network.
    Note: You may need to enter your Wi-Fi password again if your network requires one.
  8. Turn your Wi-Fi router off and on2. If your ISP also provides cable or phone service, check with them before attempting this step to avoid interruption of service.
  9. Update your device to the latest version of software.
  10. Update your Wi-Fi router to the latest firmware2. For AirPort Base Stations, install updates using the AirPort Utility.

If the issue is still unresolved

Follow the steps below for the issue you're experiencing.

Collapse All | Expand All

Unable to locate a Wi-Fi network

  1. Verify that the network is available by tapping Settings > Wi-Fi and choosing from the available networks. Note: It may take a few seconds for the Wi-Fi network name to appear.
  2. Move closer to your wireless router (access point) and attempt to locate the Wi-Fi network.
  3. If you do not see the network you would like to join, you may be attempting to connect to a hidden network. Learn how to join a hidden network.
  4. Supported Wi-Fi configurations vary by iOS device model. Find out which standards your device supports3.
  5. Reset network settings by tapping Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. Note: This will reset all network settings including:
    • previously connected Wi-Fi networks and passwords
    • recently used Bluetooth accessories
    • VPN and APN settings

Unable to connect to a Wi-Fi network

  1. Verify that you're attempting to connect to your desired Wi-Fi network.
  2. Make sure you're entering your Wi-Fi password correctly. Passwords may be case sensitive and may contain numbers or special characters.
  3. Reset network settings by tapping Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. Note: This will reset all network settings including:
    • previously connected Wi-Fi networks and passwords
    • recently used Bluetooth accessories
    • VPN and APN settings

Wi-Fi disconnects or signal strength is less than expected

  1. Move closer to the Wi-Fi router (access point).
  2. Check for sources of potential interference.
  3. Remove any case, stand, or other accessories from your iOS device and see if signal strength improves.
  4. Reset network settings by tapping Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. Note: This will reset all network settings including
    • previously connected Wi-Fi networks and passwords
    • recently used Bluetooth accessories
    • VPN and APN settings

Unable to access the Internet while connected to Wi-Fi

  1. If you're using a public or commercial network, you may need to log in or subscribe.
  2. Check to see if you have a self-assigned IP address:
    1. Tap Settings > Wi-Fi and locate the Wi-Fi network to which you're connected and tap .
    2. If your IP address is 169.254.xxx.xxx, you may not be able to access the Internet.
  3. If you do not have a self-assigned IP address, see if other Wi-Fi devices on your network have Internet access.
    • If they do not, consult with your network administrator or ISP for further assistance.
    • If they do, reset network settings on your device by tapping Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. Note: This will reset all network settings including:
      • previously connected Wi-Fi networks and passwords
      • recently used Bluetooth accessories
      • VPN and APN settings

Unable to automatically connect to Wi-Fi

  • Avoid giving your Wi-Fi network a common name.
    • Some wireless routers are preconfigured with a common SSID (network name) such as "wireless" or "default."
    • If your desired Wi-Fi network has a common SSID, try changing the SSID to something unique2.
  • If your desired Wi-Fi network has a unique SSID, reset network settings by tapping Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. Note: This will reset all network settings including:
    • previously connected Wi-Fi networks and passwords
    • recently used Bluetooth accessories
    • VPN and APN settings

Additional Information

Notes

  1. iOS devices sold in China may use the term Wireless LAN (WLAN) instead of Wi-Fi. Not all China iPhone models support WLAN.
  2. If needed, please consult with your network administrator (which may be your Internet Service Provider) for assistance with this step.
  3. iPhone 5, iPad devices, and iPod touch (5th generation) are the only iOS devices that can connect to 5 GHz networks.
Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Oct 10, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Oct 10, 2013
  • Article: TS1398
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