Our smartphones are our avenue into the digital world. We can connect to our friends and family via social media, download and stream new music, or learn new skills through online courses or digital downloads. Having an iPhone not connecting to WiFi is not only frustrating, but it can mean the difference between staying on top of our work emails and falling behind. There are several reasons why an iPhone won’t connect to WiFi, so let’s run through them and see if we can troubleshoot the issue for you.
Why is your iPhone not connecting to WiFi and the internet?
If you constantly find that your iPhone is not connecting to WiFi, it may be hard to pinpoint the sole cause. For instance, if you are at home, at work, or at school, you may just simply be too far away from the internet router, or you may just be getting a poor or slow signal. Or, it may be something as simple as enabling airplane mode by mistake.
Other possible reasons include:
- Updating to new software that hasn’t ironed out all the bugs yet.
- Having misconfigured settings.
- Having a WiFi antenna that is broken and requires repair.
- Not having the WiFi turned on or configured to auto-join.
With this said, let’s take a look at some troubleshooting steps that will hopefully restore your iPhone’s WiFi connection.
11 solutions to fix an iPhone not connecting to WiFi
1. Make sure you’re in the range of your internet router.
While this one sounds obvious, it comes directly from Apple Support. If you’re too far from your WiFi router, your iPhone might not be picking up the signal from it, thus not connecting to WiFi at all. To see if this is the issue, take your iPhone and place it directly beside your router and see if your WiFi connects. If it doesn’t, move on to the next step below.
2. Restart your iPhone and turn WiFi Off and On again.
This solution is by far the number one method for any IT problem, and there is truth in the advice to try “turning it off and on again.” Powering down and restarting your iPhone can fix connectivity issues, so try this by going to Settings – General – Shut Down. Wait about 30-60 seconds, and then hold and press the power button to turn the iPhone back on.
If the iPhone is not connecting to WiFi after turning the device off and on again, head to the WiFi settings and toggle it off and then back on. To do this, go to Settings – WiFi – Toggle the switch. Wait 30-60 seconds, and then toggle it back on to see if this resolves the issue. Sometimes just simply resetting the WiFi like this allows your iPhone to connect to the internet.
3. Toggle airplane mode off.
Airplane mode, sometimes called flight mode, is an option on iPhones that turns off all radio connections (except Bluetooth) such as WiFi and cellular data connections that could otherwise interfere with commercial airplane sensors and equipment. If you’ve toggled airplane mode on, your iPhone won’t connect to WiFi, no matter how many times you toggle the network, restart your iPhone, or forget the connection and rejoin.
- You can either head to the Control Center on your iPhone and tap the airplane mode to toggle it off (it’ll be orange if on) or:
- Head into your settings, and toggle off airplane mode with the toggle. The toggle will show green if airplane mode is on.
4. Turn off your Bluetooth.
If you have Bluetooth turned on, this can interfere with your iPhone’s connection to WiFi since both occupy the same 2.4Ghz radio spectrum. While the interference is supposed to be minimal, some users find that their WiFi doesn’t work or they can’t connect to the internet if they have Bluetooth on. So, just make sure that you have Bluetooth toggled off.
- Go to Settings – Bluetooth – Toggle Off.
5. Forget your WiFi connection and rejoin the network.
If toggling the WiFi off and on or ensuring that Bluetooth and airplane mode are off does nothing to help you connect to your WiFi network, then consider forgetting the internet connection completely and rejoining the network. Before doing this, make sure that you know your WiFi password.
- Head to Settings – WiFi – Tap on your WiFi’s name.
- At the top of the screen, choose to Forget This Network.
- This will completely disconnect you from the WiFi connection.
- You will now need to re-find the WiFi connection from the available network list.
- Click on your internet connection from this list and re-enter your password to connect.
6. Assign a new IP address by doing a DHCP lease.
Your iPhone has an IP address automatically assigned to it via the DHCP, which stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. The IP address is what allows your iPhone to connect to your WiFi network and send and receive information from the internet. Sometimes, issues occur when the IP address expires, leaving your IP address invalid. An invalid IP address makes it impossible for your iPhone to connect to your WiFi router. Luckily, you can fix this by renewing the lease on the IP address.
- Go to Settings – WiFi – Tap WiFi Name – Choose Renew Lease.
7. Reset the network settings on your iPhone.
Sometimes, the connection to your WiFi is only part of the problem. Resetting your iPhone’s network settings will return all network-related configurations (i.e., wifi, cellular) to factory default. Be sure to note down your WiFi password, as the reset process will erase it.
- Go to Settings – General – Reset, then select Reset Network Settings.
8. Turn off WiFi assist.
If you are on IOS 9.0 or later, there is an option within your cellular data settings for WiFi assist, which is a feature that automatically uses your cellular data if your WiFi connectivity is poor. You can try turning this feature off completely or toggling it off and back on to see if it impacts your iPhone not connecting to WiFi.
- Head to your Settings – Cellular Data.
- Scroll all the way to the bottom of the cellular data page.
- Turn WiFi assist off by using the toggle.
- The toggle should be to the left for it to be off.
- Once WiFi assist is disabled, try reconnecting to your WiFi network.
9. Install pending updates.
If you are able to connect to an alternate WiFi network or have enough cellular data available, downloading outstanding updates can fix issues with compatibility or reset functions that have run amok.
- Open Settings – General – Software Update, then tap on Download and Install.
10. Check for carrier updates.
Your iPhone carrier can provide you with setting updates that are related to cellular network connectivity and performance. You can check to see if you have a carrier update available by doing the following:
- Go to Settings – General – About.
- Scroll down until you see “Carrier” – if there is an update, you will be able to click this button to update.
- If the update was mandatory, you might see an “ok” button instead that tells you that the update has been downloaded and installed.
To verify that you have the latest carrier update, you will need to make a note of the update that you have and then contact your cellular carrier to confirm.
11. Restore your iPhone to factory settings.
If your iPhone is not connecting to WiFi after attempting all of the resolutions above, you can take a drastic measure and restore your iPhone to factory settings. We only recommend that you do this if you are okay with your iPhone returning to its original, out-of-the-box condition.
- Settings – General – Reset – Erase All Content and Settings.
Note: It is important to note that if you have a backup of your phone’s data and restoring your iPhone fixes the issue, you will not be able to restore your backup without re-introducing the problem.
We hope that these solutions have helped you with your iPhone not connecting to WiFi. If they have, let us know which resolution worked for you in the comments below.
Make sure to check out our related article in case your iPhone personal hotspot is not working either.