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iPhone won’t connect to Wi-Fi? Here’s how to fix it

It’s so annoying when your iPhone or iPad suddenly stops connecting to Wi-Fi. Had that issue too? Read on for tips on how you can get to the root of the issue and get your iPhone’s Wi-Fi connection working again. We also have a tip on how to improve your device’s defenses and, in particular, your online privacy on wireless networks and public Wi-Fi hotspots with a powerful app like Avira Phantom VPN.


Why isn’t my iPhone connecting to Wi-Fi?

There are numerous reasons why your iPhone suddenly can’t connect to a Wi-Fi network. Here are some possible causes, which we’ll then look at in more detail:

  • Incorrect Wi-Fi settings
  • Network issues
  • Software problems
  • Hardware problems

Incorrect iPhone Wi-Fi settings

In many cases, your iPhone’s Wi-Fi settings might simply be incorrect, which is why your device can’t connect to Wi-Fi.

Maybe you simply entered the wrong password or you’re trying to connect to a Wi-Fi network for which you don’t have the security keys. You might have also accidentally put your iPhone or iPad into airplane mode.

Network issues

The Wi-Fi network you’re using might itself have problems, which is why you can’t connect to it with your iPhone. If other devices cannot connect to the same Wi-Fi network, it’s safe to say that the network’s the issue.

Perhaps the security protocol has been updated or the password has been changed, which is why your iPhone can’t connect — or the network you’re using is simply overloaded and therefore experiencing connection problems.

Software problems

Sometimes system or software errors can affect your iPhone’s Wi-Fi module. You might also be using an outdated version of iOS, meaning you can no longer connect to the Wi-Fi network.

As you know, you should ALWAYS have the latest iOS version installed on your iPhone or iPad — especially since these updates usually also plug recently discovered security holes. An iPhone clean up should also be a firm fixture on your maintenance agenda.

iPhone hardware problems

In rare cases, there may also be a hardware defect with your iPhone’s Wi-Fi module. If you can rule out all other causes, your device may even be damaged. If it is, contact an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP) so they can take a closer look at the hardware.

How can I tell my iPhone isn’t connecting to a Wi-Fi network?

There are several giveaways that your iPhone isn’t connecting to a Wi-Fi network. Here are some typical tell-tale signs:

  • No Wi-Fi connection
    You don’t see the Wi-Fi icon on your iPhone. The Wi-Fi icon in the status bar at the top right of the screen isn’t displayed or you can only see the mobile data icon.
  • No access to the internet
    One thing’s for sure: If your iPhone isn’t connected to a Wi-Fi network, you won’t be able to connect to the internet via Wi-Fi. If you’ve switched off mobile data, you’ll then be unable to open any websites and/or apps — nor get updates or download files via Wi-Fi.
  • Connection error message
    You may receive an error message when trying to establish a network connection. This error message may indicate that your iPhone can’t connect to the network or that the password you entered is incorrect.
  • Constantly switching between Wi-Fi and mobile data
    Does your iPhone keep switching back and forth between the Wi-Fi and mobile data network without establishing a solid connection? This could be due to an unstable Wi-Fi connection.
  • Slow or limited internet access
    Even if your iPhone establishes a Wi-Fi connection, the connection may be interrupted or the websites you access may load extremely slowly. Both of these issues can also be a sign that your iPhone isn’t properly connected to the Wi-Fi network.

If you notice one or more of these signs, it may mean that your iPhone isn’t successfully connecting to the Wi-Fi network.

If your iPhone won’t connect to Wi-Fi, here’s how to fix this

The most obvious first step is probably to restart your iPhone or iPad — and with a bit of luck you’ll have already fixed the issue. Here’s how to start your iPhone with Face ID if it just won’t connect to Wi-Fi:

  1. Press and hold the power button on the right side of your iPhone.
  2. Press and hold one of the volume buttons on the left until the power off slider appears.
  3. Move the slider from left to right to turn off your device.
  4. Turn your iPhone back on by holding down the power button until the Apple logo appears and enter your PIN.

How to check and fix iPhone Wi-Fi issues

Step one:
Check that Wi-Fi is toggled on (in other words, that you’re not in airplane mode) and that the Wi-Fi signal is strong enough.

  1. To do this, open the Settings app and tap Wi-Fi.
  2. Tap your Wi-Fi network name to connect to the network. A blue check mark next to the Wi-Fi network name indicates that you’re connected to the network.
  3. Tap the i icon next to the Wi-Fi network’s name. If Auto-Join is turned off, toggle it on.

Step two:
Check whether you can successfully connect other devices to the Wi-Fi network. If your other devices connect to the network without any problems, it’s likely that your iPhone or iPad is the issue.

Step three:
Make sure you entered the Wi-Fi password correctly and, if necessary, re-enter it if prompted. Even if you enter the correct password, you may receive a message such as Unable to join the network or Incorrect password for. In this case, restart your device and then re-enter your password.

Step four:
Another option you can use to fix your iPhone’s connection issues is to forget the Wi-Fi network you’re trying to connect to.

The first time you connect to a Wi-Fi network, your iPhone or iPad will remember that network automatically and try to connect again. And if something has changed in the meantime (such as the password), this can mean that you will no longer be able to connect to the internet with your iPhone. Here’s how to forget a Wi-Fi network on your iPhone or iPad:

  1. In the Settings app, select Wi-Fi.
  2. Then tap the info icon next to the network you want to forget.
  3. Select Forget This Network and then tap Forget to confirm.

You can then rejoin the Wi-Fi network you just forgot.

Check for network issues

Your iOS or iPadOS device might have detected problems with your chosen Wi-Fi network. If so, you’ll see the message No Internet Connection. Tap the info icon for further details.

If you see a message like this, you should be highly suspicious — especially on public Wi-Fi hotspots — and tap the info icon to find out what possible issues your iPhone has detected. Unsecured networks can also be the cause of your iPhone not connecting to the internet.

Do you often use public Wi-Fi hotspots to go online? If you do, definitely add a VPN (virtual private network) to your mobile devices to boost their defenses. With an app like Avira Phantom VPN, you can improve your online privacy and device security. This app will keep you connected more securely on public Wi-Fi hotspots because it helps you hide your IP address and cover your online tracks — making it less likely for cybercriminals to get at your data.


Troubleshoot router problems and restore iPhone Wi-Fi connectivity

Exhausted all your options and still can’t connect your iPhone to the Wi-Fi network? If you have issues connecting to your home Wi-Fi network, the router might be the cause.

To find out, first use another device and try to establish a network connection. If this other device also doesn’t connect to the internet, the reason why your iPhone or iPad cannot be connected to the Wi-Fi network is probably due to the router.

In this case, first check that all the necessary cables are plugged in and connected correctly. Once you’ve done that, restart your router by turning it off, waiting a few seconds, then turning it back on again. If you still can’t connect to the internet, you may need to reset your router by pressing and holding its reset button for around ten seconds.

If you still don’t have any joy, there could be a network issue — something that ISPs (internet service providers) are usually quick to tell you about. Alternatively, call your ISP’s troubleshooting hotline.

If your iPhone absolutely refuses to connect to the Wi-Fi network, reset it to its factory settings

To avoid losing data following a factory reset, back up your iPhone first — it’s quick and easy to do if you follow our instructions.

If all else fails and you still can’t connect to the Wi-Fi network, the only thing that may help is to reset your iPhone or iPad to its factory settings. If you’re running iOS or iPadOS 15 or later, here’s how:

  1. In the Settings app, tap General.
  2. Select Transfer or Reset iPhone.
  3. Then tap Reset and finally select Reset Network Settings.

This will reset all previously used Wi-Fi networks and passwords as well as all mobile network settings including VPN/APN settings.

How to avoid problems connecting your iPhone to Wi-Fi

Regularly cleaning up your iPhone indirectly helps improve your iOS device’s performance and can help prevent issues connecting your iPhone to Wi-Fi.

As mentioned, it’s also a good idea to always ensure your iPhone or iPad has the latest iOS or iPadOS version — something that’s a breeze to do thanks to the automatic updates option. Here’s how to turn that feature on:

  1. Open the Settings app, tap General, then Software Update.
  2. Now tap Automatic Updates to turn on this feature.

Apple provides updates fairly regularly to fix issues preventing your iOS device from connecting to Wi-Fi. Additionally, these system updates include important security patches that strengthen your device’s cybersecurity defenses — so, all the more reason to turn on automatic updates.

And even though Apple devices tend to be less affected by cyberattacks, an additional antivirus app for your iPhone and iPad, like Avira Mobile Security for iOS, helps you defend yourself from precisely those kind of attacks while also providing additional malware protection.

Avira Phantom VPN is one of the tools already included in the free antivirus app Avira Mobile Security for iOS — so you can decide which of the two solutions best suits your needs. Both apps can also protect your wireless connection, whether you’re on your home network or using a public Wi-Fi hotspot at a coffee shop.


iPhone and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the United States and other countries and regions.

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Avira, a company with over 100 million customers and more than 500 employees, is a worldwide leading supplier of self-developed security solutions for professional and private use. With more than 25 years of experience, the company is a pioneer in its field.
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Protect your iPhone or iPad on wireless networks and public Wi-Fi hotspots with Avira Phantom VPN

Avira logo

Protect your iPhone or iPad on wireless networks and public Wi-Fi hotspots with Avira Phantom VPN

Avira logo

Protect your iPhone or iPad on wireless networks and public Wi-Fi hotspots with Avira Phantom VPN

Avira logo

Protect your iPhone or iPad on wireless networks and public Wi-Fi hotspots with Avira Phantom VPN