iPhone Won’t Connect to WiFi? Here’s How to Fix It
WiFi not working on your iPhone? You can resolve most WiFi woes in a few steps, whether your iPhone keeps disconnecting from the network, doesn’t get Internet or can’t establish a connection. Here’s what to do if your iPhone won’t connect to WiFi.
Jump to: Restart your iPhone | Toggle WiFi off and on | Check Airplane Mode | Update iOS | Turn off Location Services | Disconnect VPN | Disable WiFi Assist | Forget WiFi networks | Renew lease | Reset network settings | Factory reset | Get it repaired
Determine whether the WiFi problem is your iPhone or your router
It’s easier to troubleshoot WiFi problems if you know what’s causing them. Make sure your router is compatible with Apple products, then:
- See if other devices can connect to your network (such as your iPad or laptop)
- See if your iPhone can connect to other networks (such as a friend’s or a local coffee shop’s)
If your iPhone can’t connect to other WiFi networks and other devices can connect to your network, the problem likely lies with your iPhone.
If your iPhone can connect to other WiFi networks, but no devices can connect to your network, the problem might be your router. Try these steps:
- Power cycle your router: Leave it off for 30 seconds before you power it back on
- Reset your router: Most routers have a reset button you can reach with a paper clip or pencil. You can reset your router and set it up again to see if that solves the problem
- Update your router’s firmware: Consult your manufacturer’s documentation for steps
Here are links to popular router manufacturer support pages:
TIP: If your iPhone connects to WiFi, but there is no Internet, contact your Internet service provider to see if there are any service outages.
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Rule out wireless interference
Other wireless signals can interfere with WiFi communications between your iPhone and your router. You can rule out wireless interference by:
- Using your iPhone away from microwaves, wireless cameras and other devices that produce wireless signals
- Switching to a different WiFi band. For example, you can switch your router from 2.4 GHz to 5 GHz
- Switching to a different WiFi channel on your router
- Avoiding physical obstructions between your iPhone and router, including concrete walls and metal objects
Learn more about how to minimize wireless interference on Apple’s support page.
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How to fix iPhone WiFi issues
If you’ve ruled out your router and wireless interference as culprits, try the following to fix iPhone WiFi issues.
1. Restart your iPhone
Simply restarting your iPhone might fix the problem, especially if a software or connectivity hangup prevents a WiFi connection. You might want to restart your router first, then your iPhone.
2. Toggle WiFi off and on
Browse to SETTINGS > WIFI and toggle WiFi off, then back on. Ensure your iPhone is attempting to connect to the correct network and that WiFi isn’t grayed out (if it is, follow the rest of the steps in this guide).
While you’re in there, it’s also a good idea to turn on Auto-Join if it’s not already enabled.
3. Check Airplane Mode
Airplane Mode disables the WiFi on your iPhone by default, so if you’ve recently traveled or accidentally enabled Airplane Mode, you’ll want to turn it off.
- Browse to SETTINGS
- Toggle Airplane Mode off
- If Airplane Mode is already off, toggle it on and back off. Doing so can sometimes fix WiFi issues
You can also access Airplane Mode from your iPhone’s Control Center by swiping down from the top of the screen (iPhone X and newer models) or up from the bottom of the screen (older models).
4. Update iOS
An outdated operating system can cause WiFi issues, so make sure you’re running the latest iOS version. If not, an update might resolve your problem.
- Browse to SETTINGS > GENERAL
- Select Software Update
- Select the latest iOS version and confirm to install
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5. Turn off Location Services
Your iPhone relies on nearby WiFi networks for accurate Location Services. Sometimes, that can interfere with your ability to connect to your own WiFi network. Toggling Location Services off and back on might help.
- Browse to SETTINGS > PRIVACY > LOCATION SERVICES
- Toggle Location Services off
- See if you can connect to WiFi
- Toggle Location Services on
6. Disconnect VPN
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) can help protect your data when you connect to a public WiFi network, but they can also cause WiFi connection issues. If you use a VPN, disconnect it to see if it fixes the problem.
- Browse to SETTINGS > VPN
- Toggle the Status to “Not Connected”
If that fixes the problem, you might need to reconfigure your VPN. Learn more on Apple’s iPhone VPN settings page.
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7. Disable WiFi Assist
WiFi Assist is an iPhone feature that automatically uses cellular data for Internet access when you have a poor WiFi connection. It’s enabled by default, but disabling it can sometimes fix WiFi issues.
- Browse to SETTINGS > CELLULAR (or SETTINGS > MOBILE DATA)
- Toggle off WiFi Assist
8. Forget WiFi networks
When you connect to a network, your iPhone stores its name, password and other data so you can quickly reconnect later. However, if there’s a network change, it could prevent your iPhone from connecting with its stored data. The solution is to forget your WiFi network, then re-add it to your iPhone.
- Browse to SETTINGS > WIFI
- Tap the Information icon
- Select Forget This Network and confirm
- Reconnect to the network
9. Renew lease
Your network assigns each device a unique IP address, including your iPhone. The IP address is temporarily “leased” from the network and automatically renewed after a set interval. Sometimes, something can go wrong with the renewal that causes your network to invalidate your iPhone’s IP address. You can manually renew the lease to fix this problem.
- Browse to SETTINGS > WIFI
- Tap the Information icon
- Select Renew Lease
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10. Reset network settings
A network settings issue can prevent a WiFi connection. It can also cause Internet problems even if your iPhone says it’s connected to WiFi. You can reset network settings to erase all connectivity data for WiFi, cellular, Bluetooth and VPNs. Of course, that means you’ll need to set up each connection again, but it might fix your WiFi problem.
- Browse to SETTINGS > GENERAL > RESET (or Transfer or Reset iPhone)
- Select Reset Network Settings
- Reconnect to your WiFi network
11. Factory reset
If none of the above solutions resolves your WiFi issue, you can try resetting your iPhone to factory settings. Doing so could remove any bugs that are preventing a connection. After you reset your iPhone, you can restore it from a backup – but keep in mind that could reintroduce the same problem, so it’s a good idea to see if you’re able to connect to WiFi first.
Create a backup
Normally you need to connect to WiFi to back up your iPhone, but since you can’t, you can take a computer backup via iTunes or, if you have iOS 15, you can back it up using mobile data.
- Browse to SETTINGS > ICLOUD > ICLOUD BACKUP
- Toggle on Back Up Over Mobile Data
- Tap Back Up Now
- Browse to SETTINGS > GENERAL > RESET IPHONE
- Select Erase All Content and Settings
- Confirm your selection
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12. Get it repaired
If none of these solutions work, you might have a faulty WiFi antenna or another hardware issue that needs to be repaired. Repair options include:
- Warranty repair: You can get your iPhone repaired for free if it’s under warranty and you didn’t cause the damage
- AppleCare+: Apple charges $99 for repairs not covered by warranty
- Phone insurance: If you have phone insurance through Verizon, AT&T or SquareTrade, you can expect to pay a repair deductible ranging from $125 to $250, depending on your iPhone model
- Professional repair: Apple charges $399 to $599 to repair uninsured, out-of-warranty iPhones (iPhone X and newer models). Independent repair shops tend to be cheaper
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Repairs might prove cost-prohibitive, especially if you’ve been thinking about upgrading to a new iPhone. If your iPhone isn’t worth repairing, you can still sell it in broken condition to help offset the cost of a new iPhone. See what your iPhone is worth on Flipsy.
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