Your iPhone is failing to connect to Wi-Fi and you cannot figure out the issue. Maybe your friend can connect their iPhone without issue, maybe you can only connect with your computer, or maybe none of your devices are connecting at all. Maybe certain networks allow your iPhone to connect, or maybe you can't connect to a single network at all. There are countless 'maybes' regarding this confusing problem, but it is possible to solve it with the right information. This article will help you learn to how to diagnose the issue (whether it is your wireless router or iPhone) and teach you how to fix it.
First Things First
In many cases, if a customer comes in and is dealing with issues connecting their iPhone to Wi-Fi, a technician will suggest the customer try connecting to the store's Wi-Fi. The majority of the time, it will connect without issue. This is the first step in determining your iPhone's issue, and an important question to ask yourself:
“Will my iPhone successfully connect to any other Wi-Fi networks, or is it only one network that my iPhone refuses to connect to?”
If you do not have access to a different Wi-Fi network to experiment with, head to your local library, a coffee shop, or a friend's home to attempt a Wi-Fi connection there. If your iPhone is able to connect, this indicates it is not a hardware problem. Instead, there is an issue between your wireless router at home and your iPhone.
Note: If your iPhone will not connect to any wireless networks, skip past the following section to 'Eliminate Any Wi-Fi Networks Stored On Your iPhone'. If this still does not help, skip to 'Diagnosing Hardware Issues'.
How To Fix iPhone That Won't Connect to Wi-Fi:
If you haven't tried this already, turn off your both your wireless router and your iPhone before turning them back on.
On your iPhone's screen, hold down the power button until the option to slide to power off appears. Using your finger, swipe across the screen and wait for your iPhone to shut down. It usually takes between 15 to 30 seconds for it to power off. Next, turn your iPhone back on by holding the power button down until the Apple logo shows up on the screen.
Turning the Wi-Fi router off and on is simple: Unplug the power cord from the wall, wait about 10 seconds, and plug it back in.
Once your router reboots, attempt to reconnect to your Wi-Fi. If this step worked, it means there was an issue with the built-in software (also known as firmware) of your wireless router. The way Wi-Fi networks work is a concept understood by very few people. Although all wireless routers utilize similar hardware, the built-in software in Wi-Fi routers varies significantly between models.
As with your computer and iPhone, your wireless router's software can crash. Although the router may still indicate a Wi-Fi network is available, the software fails to respond when a device attempts to connect. If turning your wireless router on and off to reset it solves the issue, you may want to see if the manufacturer's website lists any software updates that are available for your router. Staying up to date on software updates can help prevent this problem in the future.
When Your iPhone Successfully Connects To All Wi-Fi Networks, Except For One
This issue is especially difficult to diagnose, particularly at an Apple Store. Typically, this problem only presents itself at home, so it cannot be reproduced at the store. Even the best technician will only be able to offer relatively generic advice. We hope this article gives you the knowledge to address this problem effectively.
Problems Between Your iPhone And Your Wi-Fi Network
iPhones recall every Wi-Fi network they have ever connected to, as well as the password for each of those networks. When you return to your home after being out and about, your iPhone *should* automatically reconnect to Wi-FI and enter the password.
One of the biggest benefits of the iPhone - although technology lovers tend to complain about it - is its simplicity. This simplicity can make it difficult to "check under the hood" to discover any issues. As opposed to a PC or Mac, your iPhone is unable to display the Wi-Fi networks it has saved throughout the years.
Eliminate Any Wi-Fi Networks Stored On Your iPhone
Although you can’t forget individual networks, you can completely reset your iPhone’s database of Wi-Fi networks. This fixes the issue a lot of the time, and all but eliminates the possibility that a software issue on your iPhone is causing the problem. Go to Settings -> General -> Reset and choose Reset Network Settings.
Since you will have to connect all your Wi-Fi networks all over again along with their passwords, be sure to make a note of the important ones prior to beginning. Once your iPhone reboots, make another attempt at connecting to your wireless router. If the issue persists, your wireless router may be the culprit.
Issues With Your Wireless Router
One of the most common reasons for iPhones failing to connect is an issue between the iPhone itself and the wireless router. Once you learn a bit more about the relationship between your wireless router and your iPhone, you will have a better understanding of how to address the problem.
How Wi-Fi Networks Function And Why This Is Important to You
Two factors are involved when a connection is established between your iPhone and Wi-Fi: your wireless router and your iPhone. A signal that displays the name of your wireless network is broadcasted from your wireless router for all to view. Once you establish a connecting to Wi-Fi, your iPhone and wireless router form a relationship.
Your wireless router is very similar to the post office. Just as a post office serves as a middleman for directing the flow of mail from your home to other locations, your router serves as the middleman between the internet and your iPhone. To receive a letter, the post office needs to know your address. It is exactly the same in terms of your iPhone.
When you connect your devices to Wi-FI, each one is assigned a separate address by your wireless router. A unique address is assigned to everything on the internet. When you type in a website, your internet connection translates the address into a special code (such as 220.127.116.11) it can recognize. Each computer has its own address too. If you are curious what your computer's address is, you can type "What is my IP?" into Google.
How Does This Relate To Issues Between my iPhone Connecting to Wi-Fi?
Much of the time, your iPhone fails to connect to Wi-Fi when your wireless router does not assign an address to your iPhone. A variety of factors can lead to this, but it is only important to realize that your router is refusing a connection since it is confused about your iPhone's address.
The fastest, most effective way to solve the problem is by resetting your wireless router to its default setting from the factory. This resets its address book. Trying to determine obscure problems with your wireless connectivity will just be a waste of time. Just restore it to its factory default settings and set it up again. While troubleshooting wireless problems can take hours, resetting your router can be done in a matter of minutes.
How Do I Get My Wireless Router Reset to the Factory Defaults?
There isn't necessarily one set method to accomplish this since there are countless types of wireless routers on the market. Read on to learn the easiest way to reset your router.
The majority of wireless routers have a small reset button located in a hole on the bottom or back of the router. The simplest way to restore the factory defaults is by leaving the router plugged in and using a pen to hold down the reset button for approximately 15 seconds. After completing this step, your wireless router will act exactly as it did the first time you took it out of the box.
This method should work for most routers, but if you are unsure of how to restart yours, check the instructions. If you can't find them, follow the next steps:
Located the model number on your wireless router and jot it down - it is usually located on the side or bottom of the router.
Check the support section of the manufacturer's website to try and find the model number of your router.
Visit the manufacturer’s support website and search for your model number. You should find a downloadable user guide or setup instructions on their support site. Following is a list of links to some of the biggest manufacturers:
Setting Up Your Wireless Network Again: What to Do
When you get your wireless router set up again, it is okay (although unnecessary) to reuse the same password and name from your previous wireless network. You can then try reconnecting your iPhone to the network. If it successfully connects, this means the wireless router was the issue.
Some Uncommon Reasons Your iPhone Is Failing to Connect to Wi-Fi
If you are still experiencing issues, check your wireless security settings. Double check that the security type on your router is set to WPA2 Personal using AES encryption. You do not want it set to TKIP / AES or TKIP. Although it is not official, Apple devices seem to experience issues with TKIP security. Fortunately, it is unnecessary to understand the nitty gritty details of why this matters. Simply check your router's manual to determine the wireless security settings.
How to Diagnose Hardware Problems
If you went through the process to reset the network settings on your iPhone and it is still failing to connect to any networks, you might want to try to DFU your iPhone and then restore it from a backup. There is a high chance you will need to get your iPhone repaired if this still does not solve the issue. Since Apple Stores don’t actually perform repairs on Wi-Fi antennas, the best they can do is get you a replacement for your iPhone. This can be expensive if you lack AppleCare+ and have an iPhone that is damaged or past warranty. If you are seeking a less pricey option, iResp.com is a mail-in repair service that has a good reputation.
If you have restored your wireless router to its factory default settings but it still won't allow any devices to connect to it, the router may have a hardware issue. Check the manufacturer's website for helpful tips on troubleshooting before you choose to head out and buy a new router.
If You End Up Having To Buy A New Router
Apple’s Airport routers feature simple setup and excellent built-in software. Although they are a tad pricier than other wireless routers available, it may be worth the extra money to avoid headaches and hassle in the future.
At this point, you have hopefully managed to get your iPhone reconnected to your Wi-Fi or are well on your way to solving the issue. We would love to hear about your progress and your experience below. Be sure to let us know the details such as the model of your iPhone or router. Your experience can provide valuable details for readers that may be experiencing similar problems.
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