How to fix an Apple iPhone XS Max that cannot connect to WiFi

With the advanced WiFi functions built into the new smartphones, faster internet connection experience is even made more feasible. As long as wireless network signal is available, all you need to do is to enable the WiFi feature on your phone and connect to your preferred wireless network within range. But regardless of how advanced the WiFi functions entrenched in new smartphones, random problems are inevitable. And the Apple iPhone XS Max is no exception. 

If your iPhone XS Max cannot connect to WiFi, I’ve mapped out a few handy tweaks you can use to eliminate software-related factors on the phone and network equipment that caused no WiFi connection errors. Feel free to refer to this walkthrough whenever you need more help in dealing with the same issue on the same iOS device.

Before we move on to our troubleshooting, if you happen to find this post while looking for a solution to a different problem, then visit our iPhone XS Max Help Guides page for we have already addressed some of the most common issues with this device. We may have already published articles that could help you fix your problem. Find issues that are similar to yours and feel free to use our solutions.

Troubleshooting iPhone XS Max that can’t connect to WiFi

Before troubleshooting, make sure that your iPhone is close to the main source of the Internet connection, which is the modem or wireless router. The farther your device is from the modem/router, the weaker the signal it could get. This then results in unstable or intermittent WiFi internet connection or no WiFi internet connection at all. Having said that, proximity matters and therefore must be cleared out first. If moving your device closer to the network equipment does not do any good, proceed to these steps to eliminate software-related culprits.

First solution: Toggle WiFi off and on again to fix iPhone XS Max that won’t connect to WiFi.

If your iPhone was able to connect to WiFi before and suddenly it failed, it could be just a random glitch. Minor glitches affecting your WiFi network can easily be cleared out by restarting the feature itself. So before doing more complex troubleshooting, try this simple trick to clear our random WiFi glitches on your iPhone XS Max:

  1. Go to Settings from Home.
  2. Select WiFi menu.
  3. Toggle the WiFi switch to turn the feature off for a few seconds.
  4. Then tap the switch again to turn the WiFi feature back on.

After turning WiFi off and on, soft reset your iPhone to clear its network cache and to refresh its internal memory. This doesn’t affect the internal data on your iPhone storage so you don’t have to create backups.

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume Up/Down buttons simultaneously for a few seconds.
  2. Release the buttons when the Slide to Power off command appears.
  3. Then drag the power of slider to the right to turn off your iPhone.
  4. After at least 30 seconds, press and hold the Side/Power button again until the Apple logo appears.

Whenever your iPhone is finished with the start-up process, re-enable WiFi and try to connect to the WiFi network again. If you still cannot connect to WiFi, proceed to the next step.

ALSO READ: How to fix apps that won’t update on Apple iPhone XS Max

Second solution: Toggle Airplane Mode on and off again.

Another simple and very effective means of fixing WiFi connectivity issues in smartphones including the iPhone XS Max is the Airplane Mode trick. With this trick, you can give a simultaneous restart on the phone’s wireless radios and relevant features. Any associated features are likewise cleared out of minor glitches, hence random WiFi symptoms transpiring on your phone are remedied. If you wish to give it a try, simply follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select the Airplane Mode menu.
  3. Toggle the Airplane Mode switch to turn the feature on.
  4. While the Airplane Mode is enabled, restart (soft reset) your iPhone.
  5. After your iPhone reboots, head back to Settings-> Airplane Mode and tap the switch again to turn off the feature.

Then connect to the available wireless network and see if your iPhone XS Max can now connect to WiFi.

ALSO READ: What to do if iCloud backup is not working on your Apple iPhone XS Max

Third solution: Forget/Delete WiFi network and then set it up again.

Corrupted WiFi network can also be the main culprit. Fixing a corrupt network is usually made possible by removing it from your phone’s wireless directory and then adding it back. This gives a clean fresh start to the network and hence promising a seamless Internet connection afterwards. Here’s how to forget a WiFi network on your iPhone XS Max:

  1. Go to Settings from Home.
  2. Select WiFi.
  3. Tap the information “i” icon next to the name of the network you wish to delete.
  4. Then tap Forget This Network option then select Forget to confirm. 
  5. If you have multiple WiFi networks saved on your phone, delete them all using the same steps to avoid any of them from conflicting with the current wireless network being used.

It is also recommended to turn off Auto-Join option to prevent your phone from automatically joining an open WiFi network within range. Just follow these steps to manually turn off Auto-Join feature on your iPhone XS Max:

  1. From Home, tap Settings.
  2. Select WiFi.
  3. Tap the information “i” icon next to the network name.
  4. Scroll to and then tap Auto-Join switch to disable the feature.

Restart (soft reset) your iPhone after making all the necessary changes and then try to connect to the WiFi network again.

Fourth solution: Reset network settings on your iPhone XS Max.

Network settings errors or invalid network customizations can also cause problems to your phone’s WiFi internet connection. And the transpiring symptoms are usually comprised of slow internet connection, intermittent or WiFi drops, and no Internet connection at all. To clear this out, performing a network reset can be handy. Doing so will also delete your current network settings including customized options that caused conflicts to WiFi functions. If you wish to proceed, simply follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap Reset.
  4. Select Reset Network Settings from the options.
  5. Enter your device passcode when prompted to continue.
  6. Tap Reset Network Settings again to confirm the reset.

Your phone will reboot automatically after the reset. You will then be disconnected from your WiFi network, thus you need to enable WiFi, set up your WiFi network and then try to connect.

Fifth solution: Restore your phone to its factory default settings (master reset).

If your iPhone XS Max still cannot connect to WiFi after exhausting all the given solutions above, you are more likely dealing with major system errors inflicted by stubborn bugs  and complex network system errors. To rule this out, try to perform a master reset to erase everything from your iOS device and then restore its factory default settings. This reset could result in permanent data loss, thus creating backups beforehand is necessary. You can back up your iPhone data to iCloud or iTunes depending on where and how you wish to carry out a factory reset. If you’re all set, follow these steps a master/factory reset through  your iPhone XS Max settings menu:

  1. Go to Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap Reset.
  4. Select Erase all content and settings from the given options, to master reset your phone.
  5. Enter your device passcode when prompted to continue.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm the master/factory reset.

Your phone will reboot automatically after the factory reset. Once it finished booting up, follow the initial setup guide to set-up your iPhone as new again. Afterwards, re-enable your WiFi and reconnect to the available wireless network to see if the problem has been rectified by the process.

ALSO READ: How to fix Caller ID that is not working properly on your Apple iPhone XS Max

Alternatively, you can use iTunes to manually erase your iPhone and restore its factory defaults on a computer. To get this done, you need to secure a Windows or Mac computer that has the latest version of iTunes software in it and is connected to the Internet. Once you have the equipment ready, connect your iPhone to the computer via USB cable or Lightning cable. Launch the iTunes app on your computer and wait for it to sync with your iOS device. Once your iPhone appears in iTunes, you can start erasing it using the given commands buttons and controls. iTunes will then download the latest software version available for your iPhone XS Max.

Still cannot connect to WiFi on your iPhone XS Max?

If you can access your wireless modem or router right now, you can try performing the so-called power cycle on the network equipment. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Press the power button to turn off the wireless router/modem.
  2. While the device is turned off, unplug its AC adapter from the power source.
  3. Keep it unplugged for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. That should be enough breather for your network equipment.
  4. After the elapsed time, press the power button to turn the device back on.
  5. Wait for it to re-establish WiFi signal and once the signal indicator has become steady, go to your iPhone and retry connecting to your WiFi network.

A power cycle on the wireless router/modem effectively eliminates random internet connectivity issues that are inflicted by random firmware crashes. This is usually the very first recommended solution recommended by Internet service providers whenever an Internet problem is encountered.

More often than not, WiFi internet problems that are attributed to software errors are remedied by performing the above procedures. If it is not what you end up, the underlying cause is more likely not on your end but rather with your Internet service provider. There might be some temporary outages or technical difficulties that are affecting wireless Internet services in your place. Should that be the case, there’s not much can be done on your end but to wait until the Internet connection resumes.

If you suspect that the wireless router or modem is at fault, you can contact your Internet service provider (if the device came from them). They can reset the network equipment remotely, if needed. You can say that the problem is attributed to a faulty router or modem if all devices that are connected to that same WiFi network are experiencing the same problem or unable to connect to WiFi.

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