If a premium device like your iPhone won’t connect to WiFi, it could be a problem with the firmware or a sign of a hardware issue. You should take time troubleshooting your device so that you can continue using it like before. While unable to connect to WiFi is a very annoying problem, it’s actually not that difficult to fix.
When dealing with wireless connectivity issues, both the phone and wireless router/modem in use must be scrutinized. This could denote a software problem if not, hardware damage on either the phone or the network equipment. Other factors that you need to look into are network outages and account-related issues. To give you some inputs on how and where to start solving this WiFi problem on your iPhone, I’ve mapped out the widely used procedures and possible solutions below. Read on to learn what to do if your iPhone won’t connect to WiFi.
Before anything else, if you are looking for a solution to a different problem, then drop in on our Apple iPhone Help Guides page for we have already solved some of the most common problems with this device. Try to find issues that are similar with yours and feel free to use our workarounds and solutions.
Troubleshooting iPhone that won’t connect to WiFi
The following procedures will help eliminate software-related factors that might have prevented your iPhone from connecting to WiFi. Be sure to test your device after performing each method to determine whether or not the WiFi problem is fixed. Proceed to the next applicable solution if needed.
First solution: Turn WiFi off and on to fix iPhone WiFi issue.
The phone’s WiFi system may be acting up due to some random errors. Should this be just a minor error, turning WiFi off and on may be good enough to fix it. So here’s what you should do first:
- Go to the Home screen and then tap on Settings.
- Select WiFi.
- Then toggle the WiFi switch to turn it OFF.
- After a few seconds, tap the WiFi switch to turn it back ON again.
Allow your iPhone to retry connecting to WiFi and see if it’s already able to do so this time. If it still won’t connect to WiFi, move on to the next tweak.
Second solution: Forget WiFi network then add it back to fix iPhone that won’t connect to WiFi.
The network that you’re trying to connect to might have been corrupted and is therefore not working. If this is the case, you will need to delete the corrupted WiFi network and then set it up again as new. Here’s how:
- From your Home screen, tap on Settings.
- Tap WiFi. If it’s turned off, toggle the switch to turn WiFi on so that you’ll see the list of available WiFi networks.
- Tap the information icon (i) next to the name of the WiFi network (SSID) that you want to forget.
- Then tap Forget This Device to confirm.
The selected WiFi network will be deleted from your phone’s WiFi list. To prevent other networks from causing conflict, use the same steps to forget/delete all other saved WiFi networks on your phone.
After deleting the networks, reboot/soft reset your iPhone to clear out its network cache and to refresh the system. Then head back to Settings-> WiFi menu to set up and reconnect to your WiFi network. Be sure to enter the correct WiFi password this time. If your iPhone won’t connect to WiFi after doing this tweak, then try the next solution.
Third solution: Reboot your iPhone.
Software-related issues in general are usually remedied by performing a device restart or soft reset. Random symptoms associated to these errors are therefore obliterated, thus allowing your device to work properly again.
A soft reset or reboot on an iPhone X, XS, XS Max, or XR is carried out this way:
- Press and hold the Side button and either Volume button until the Power off slider appears.
- Drag the slider to power off your iPhone completely.
- Then after 30 seconds, press the Side button again to turn your iPhone back on.
To soft reset/reboot an iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or earlier version, refer to these steps instead:
- Press and hold the Top or Side button until the Power off slider appears.
- Drag the slider to power off the phone completely.
- After about 30 seconds, press and hold the Top or Side button again to turn the phone back on.
Performing a soft reset or reboot on your iPhone doesn’t affect any saved information on the internal memory. Thus, it’s always safe to carry out these process whenever your device misbehaves. Should the problem continue and you’re still having a wireless connectivity issue on your device, try the next solution.
Fourth solution: Reset network settings on your iPhone.
Your phone network settings might need a reset if invalid network customization or incorrect configuration is causing your device to fail to connect to WiFi. In this reset, cellular and WiFi data are erased and the default network options are restored. If you wish to try it, then here’s how it’s done:
- Tap Settings from the Home screen to get started.
- Select General.
- Scroll down to and then tap on Reset.
- Select the option to Reset Network Settings.
- Enter your phone’s passcode when asked to proceed.
- Then tap the option to confirm that you want to reset network settings on your phone.
Your iPhone will restart automatically after the reset. Allow it to finish booting up and then go to Settings to enable WiFi and reconnect to your WiFi network. Make sure to check if the iPhone won’t connect to WiFi issue has been corrected after doing this solution.
Last resort: Factory reset/iOS restore.
A factory reset is often needed when dealing with persistent issues like unable to connect to WiFi. The problem may be due to some complex system errors that could not be rectified by the standard procedures. Thus, a full system reset would be necessary. But before you begin, back up your iPhone data to iCloud or iTunes. And since your iPhone can’t connect to WiFi, it would be better to use iTunes to reset and restore your iPhone on a computer. Here’s how it’s done:
- Launch iTunes on your computer. You can use either a Windows PC or Mac computer for as long as it has the latest version of iTunes app and is connected to the Internet.
- Connect your iPhone to the computer using the Apple-supplied cable or Lightning cable that came with it.
- If prompted to enter your device passcode or Trust This Computer, simply follow the onscreen instructions to proceed.
- Select your iPhone when it shows up in iTunes.
- Navigate to the Summary section, then click the button to Restore [iPhone]. You may also opt to back up files from your iPhone before restoring it. Just click the Back Up iPhone button to do so.
- Finally, if prompted with a warning message, click the Restore button to confirm.
Your computer must have stable Internet access and enough storage space to allocate new backup files.
Troubleshooting your modem/router
If your iPhone still refuses to connect to WiFi after performing the previous methods, then the problem is likely on the modem or wireless router in use. At this point, you can apply these methods to troubleshoot your network equipment.
First solution: Reboot/power cycle the modem/wireless router.
Turning the wireless router/modem off and back on again can effectively clear out minor problems on your phone’s WiFi functions. In fact, it’s one of the first recommended solutions by network service providers when dealing with random Internet problems. Thus if you haven’t already, power cycle/reboot your wireless router or modem with these steps:
- Press the Power button/switch to turn the equipment off.
- While it’s turned off, unplug its AC adapter from the power source.
- After 30 seconds to 1 minute, plug it back in then turn it on.
- Wait for the equipment to obtain stable WiFi signal.
Your iPhone and other WiFi enabled devices will then retry to connect, if you’ve set them up to auto-connect to your WiFi network. However, if it still won’t connect to WiFi, then move on to the next possible solution.
Second solution: Update your modem/router firmware, if possible.
Firmware issues on the wireless router or modem can also be addressed by an update. If possible, try updating your network equipment. Or you can ask further assistance from your Internet service provider or device manufacturer to update the equipment for you instead.
Third solution: Reset your modem/router.
If all else failed to solve the problem, resetting the modem/router can be considered among the last options. This will clear out everything from your network equipment’s system. To make sure that you’re doing the right thing, ask your Internet service provider beforehand. The modem/wireless router can also be reset remotely using a dedicated software from ISPs. Through this system, your Internet service provider can refresh your network equipment from their end by clicking on a single command button.
Does your iPhone still won’t connect to WiFi?
It’s possible that the problem is already beyond your capacity to fix. In that case, asking for further assistance would be necessary. There are two outlets where you can get help from. First is your carrier/Internet service provider and second is Apple technician. Thus you may call your carrier’s customer care to report the problem or contact Apple Support. Here are the possible circumstances when you should call for more help from the network support team.
- Check for network outages. It’s possible that WiFi services are currently down due to some scheduled maintenance or technical difficulties. Typically, your Internet service provider will inform you ahead about scheduled network service maintenance unless an unexpected problem occurs. In this case, there’s not much can be done on your end but to wait until your network engineers are done fixing the problem.
- Rule out hardware damage. If you’re place in located near an Apple Genius bar, take your iPhone there so that an authorized technician can examine it. Doing so will help rule out hardware damage. If you suspect that the modem/router is to blame, visit the authorized service center of your network equipment and have it checked by a technician instead. Or you can also set up an appointment with your service provider for them to send a technician in your place to figure out what really is causing the problem.
If the problem started after installing an iOS update and that it persisted after exhausting all possible solutions on your end, then you should escalate it to Apple Support. This might be another iOS WiFi bug that requires a dedicated fix patch. Apple will be obliged to create a fix patch if it’s confirmed to be an iOS bug.
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