How to fix an iPhone XS Max that has poor Wi-Fi reception, weak signal

Poor Wi-Fi reception often results in unstable internet connection. When your iPhone is getting poor Wi-Fi connection, it could be due to some problems with the distance between your device and Wi-Fi source or other factors that are attributed to software errors on the network equipment or iPhone system. Lined up below are  potential solutions to a similar issue on the iPhone XS Max. Read on to find what to do if your iPhone is getting poor Wi-Fi reception.

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 with poor WiFi reception

Before troubleshooting, move closer to your wireless router or modem and see if that makes a difference. If that doesn’t improve the signal strength, then you can proceed and eliminate software-related factors from the underlying causes. 

First solution: Turn the wireless router/modem off and on again.

Firmware crashes on the internet source are usually to blame when symptoms like poor Wi-Fi reception or weak signal transpire on your iPhone XS Max. And the quickest way to clear out such firmware crashes is to troubleshoot the router. This can be done by turning the wireless router/modem off and on again or also known as “power cycle”. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Press the Power button on your router to turn it off.
  2. Unplug the AC adapter from the power outlet while the wireless router/modem is off.
  3. After at least 30 seconds, plug the AC adapter back in to turn the modem back on.

Wait until the light indicators become stable especially for Wi-Fi signal. Then re-establish your iPhone’s network connection by turning the Wi-Fi feature on again and see if the signal strength that you are getting from the wireless router/modem has improved. If so, then continue to troubleshoot your iPhone to completely eliminate other factors that affect the network system on your device.

Second solution: Restart (soft reset) your iPhone XS Max.

Minor software errors on your phone caused by random bugs and glitches can also affect its wireless functions and may result in unstable signal reception. To clear this out, simply perform a soft reset or reboot your iPhone. Just follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds.
  2. When the Slide to Power Off command appears, release the buttons.
  3. Drag the power off slider to the right to completely turn off your phone.
  4. After at least 30 seconds, press and hold the Side/Power button again until the Apple logo appears.

A soft reset doesn’t affect any saved data but will simply remove cache and corrupted files stuck on your phone’s internal memory. Therefore, creating a backup is not needed as your important files will remain intact after the reset.

ALSO READ: How to fix an iPhone XS Max that keeps disconnecting from Wi-Fi network

Third solution: Enable Airplane Mode and then disable again.

This method is also known as the Airplane Mode trick. All wireless radios and relevant features like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth will be automatically disabled once the Airplane mode is enabled. This therefore gives the wireless functions a quick refresh. This method has long been known to resolve random wireless connectivity issues on many smartphones and tablets and is still been used among the simple solutions to similar issues in new devices. If you wish to give it a shot, then follow these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, go to Settings.
  2. Select the Airplane Mode menu.
  3. Toggle the switch to turn the Airplane Mode on.
  4. While this feature is on, restart (soft reset) your iPhone XS Max. 
  5. Then head back to Settings-> Airplane Mode-> and toggle the switch again to disable the Airplane Mode feature.

After doing this method, check the Wi-Fi connection on your iPhone XS Max to see if it becomes better.

ALSO READ: How to fix an iPhone XS Max that’s stuck on Apple logo

Fourth solution: Check and update carrier settings on your iPhone XS Max.

To optimize your phone’s network functions, it is also recommended to regularly check for carrier settings update and update when available. Doing so does not only provide new and enhanced network features but also a way to rectify network connection problems including weak or poor Wi-Fi signal. Here’s how to manually check for and install carrier settings update on your iPhone XS MAX:

  1. Go to Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Then tap About.

An option to update your carrier settings will appear if available. Follow the onscreen instructions to install the carrier settings update on your iPhone.

Right after installing the carrier settings update, check for available software update for your phone too. 

  • To do so, simply go to Settings-> General-> Software Update menu.

You will then be prompted with an update notification once a new software version is available. Simply follow the onscreen instructions to continue to download and install the new software version on your iPhone XS Max.

However, if updating the OS version through your phone settings menu is not possible as you are having issues with your phone’s Wi-Fi reception, you can do it manually on your computer through iTunes instead. The process also requires you a stable internet connection on the computer and the latest iTunes version installed.

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

Incorrect network configurations may also trigger your phone to have unstable Wi-Fi connection and up to no connection at all. If you recently updated or customized your phone’s network settings, restoring the default values and options may help fix the problem. And this can be done by resetting the network settings on your phone. Be advised that this method will delete your Wi-Fi network passwords, so make sure to take note of this information beforehand as you will be needing it when you set-up the Wi-Fi network again on your phone after the reset. If you’re all set, then proceed with these steps:

  1. Go to Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap Reset.
  4. Select Reset network settings from the given options.
  5. Enter your device passcode when asked to continue.
  6. Then tap Reset network settings again to confirm the reset.

Your iPhone will reboot automatically after the reset then loads the default network settings. Re-establish your phone’s Wi-Fi connection and check if you are already having excellent Wi-Fi reception.

ALSO READ: How to fix Facebook app that won’t open, cannot load on iPhone XS Max

Still getting poor Wi-Fi reception or weak signal on your iPhone XS Max?

You may opt to proceed to a full system reset to erase everything from your iPhone XS Max including complex errors that might have affected its wireless functions. Among the last options you’ve got are a factory reset, a recovery mode restore and DFU mode restore.

If none of these work, then perhaps the problem isn’t rectifiable on your end because the underlying cause is actually on the network base. Or it could also be due to some hardware damage present on the phone or the network equipment. In that case, service is needed.

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