Home / Product Selection / Tablet / Troubleshooting / Troubleshooting Wi-Fi networks and connections
  • Question

    Troubleshooting Wi-Fi networks and connections

    • Answer
    • Symptoms

      When using a Wi-Fi network with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you may occasionally encounter the following issues:

      • Unable to locate or join a nearby Wi-Fi network
      • Weak or low Wi-Fi signal strength
      • Connected to Wi-Fi network, but unable to access the Internet

      This article outlines basic troubleshooting tips and techniques for Wi-Fi on your iOS device. For information on enabling or configuring a Wi-Fi connection, see the User Guide for your product.

      Note: iOS devices sold in China may use the term Wireless LAN (WLAN) instead of Wi-Fi. Not all China iPhone models support WLAN; see this article for more information.

      Products Affected

      iPhone, iPad, iPod touch


      Many Wi-Fi issues can be resolved by doing the following:

      Basic troubleshooting

      • Tap Settings > Wi-Fi and turn Wi-Fi off and then on again.
      • Verify that you are in range of your Wi-Fi router or base station.
      • Confirm that your Wi-Fi router and Cable/DSL modem are connected to power and turned on.
      • Check whether other devices (portable computers, for example) are able to connect to the Wi-Fi network and access the Internet.
      • Update your Wi-Fi router to the latest firmware.
        • For AirPort Base Stations, refer to this article for information about firmware updates. For third-party Wi-Fi routers, check the manufacturer's website for details on updating your firmware.
      • Restart your iOS device
        • Hold the On/Off button until "slide to power off" appears. Slide to power off your device. When it is off, press the On/Off button to turn it back on.

      If you are still experiencing a Wi-Fi issue after trying the above, choose the symptom below that closely matches your issue:

      If you're unable to locate or join a nearby Wi-Fi network

      • Check to see if the network is available by tapping Settings > Wi-Fi and choose from the available networks listed there. Note: It may take a few seconds for the Wi-Fi network name to appear.
      • Wi-Fi networks configured as closed or private do not broadcast the network name to Wi-Fi devices.
        • Join a closed or private network by tapping Settings > Wi-Fi > Other and entering the Wi-Fi network name, security, and password.
      • Try restarting your Wi-Fi router by turning it off and then on again.
        • Note: If your ISP also provides cable or phone service, check with them before attempting this step to avoid interruption of service.
      • When joining an 802.11n Wi-Fi network, ensure your router is properly configured. See this article for more information.
      • Reset network settings by tapping Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.
        • Note: This will reset all network settings, including passwords, VPN, and APN settings.

      After joining a Wi-Fi network, you notice the signal strength is weak or fluctuates

      • Try moving closer to the Wi-Fi router or base station to see if the Wi-Fi signal improves.
      • Check for sources of potential interference.
      • Remove your iOS device from any case, stand, or other attachment to see if the Wi-Fi signal improves.
      • Open Safari and try to load a webpage to see if the Wi-Fi signal improves.

      If you are unable to access the Internet while connected to a Wi-Fi network

      • If you are using a public or commercial network that requires a login or subscription, see this article for more information.
      • Verify that you are selecting the correct network if you are in a location with multiple Wi-Fi networks.
      • Verify that the Wi-Fi network settings are correct. You can view and configure Wi-Fi settings using the following steps:
        • Tap Settings > Wi-Fi.
        • Locate the Wi-Fi network you are currently using and tap The right arrow button.
      • If you've verified that your settings are correct and the issue persists, try the following:
        • Tap "Forget this Network" to reset settings for this Wi-Fi network, including the password. Then try connecting to the network again. 
          Note: This can be useful if you identify a network issue and want to prevent the device from automatically using this network in the future.
        • Reset network settings by tapping Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network SettingsNote: This will reset all network settings, including passwords, VPN, and APN settings.

      Note: If the Wi-Fi network uses MAC address filtering, you will need to add the MAC address to the access list for the Wi-Fi router. The MAC address for your device is listed as the Wi-Fi address in Settings > General > About.

      Additional Information

      If you are using a Wi-Fi router at home, refer to your user manual/documentation to assist you with some of these suggestions.

      • Check the manufacturer's website for firmware or software updates for your Wi-Fi router.
      • Check the wireless security option of your Wi-Fi router:
        • If you are using WEP security and have multiple WEP keys on your Wi-Fi router, try configuring your Wi-Fi router to use only a single WEP key in key index 1.
        • Consider using WPA or WPA2 instead. WPA and WPA2 encryption protocols are newer, more effective security options for wireless networks than the older WEP protocol.
      • Temporarily disable wireless encryption or security on the Wi-Fi router to rule out encryption issues.
      • Disable 40MHz in the 2.4GHz settings on the Wi-Fi router. Mac computers, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch do not support this mode. Disabling it may reduce interference issues.
      • Supported Wi-Fi networks vary by iPhone, iPad, iPod touch model (Example: Does my device support 802.11n?). Refer to Tech Specs for detailed information on which standards your device supports.

      Find additional information on configuring your Wi-Fi router for use with iOS devices.

    • View Answer at http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1398
    • Not the answer you were looking for?
    • Click a problem area below for more Tablet solutions