My iPhone Won’t Connect To Wi-Fi. Here’s The Fix!

Problems With Your Wireless Router

A common reason why iPhones won’t connect to a Wi-Fi network is a problem with your iPhone’s relationship to your wireless router. You’ll understand how to fix the problem after you know a little bit more about how Wi-Fi works on your iPhone.

How Wi-Fi Networks Work, And Why It Applies To You

There are two things involved when your iPhone connects to Wi-Fi: Your iPhone and your wireless router. Your wireless router broadcasts a signal with the name of your wireless network for all to see. When you connect to Wi-Fi, a relationship is formed between your wireless router and your iPhone. 

Your wireless router (or Wi-Fi router) is like the post office. It’s the middleman between your iPhone and the internet, just like the post office is the middleman between the flow of mail between your home and the outside world. When you send a letter, the post office delivers it to the right address. When you receive a letter, the post office can only deliver it if it knows your address. That’s exactly what happens with your iPhone.

When your iPhone and other devices connect to Wi-Fi, your wireless router assigns each one a separate address. Everything on the internet has its own unique address. When you came to, your wireless router (or internet connection) translates into, the internet address of this website. Your computer has an address, too. You can find out what it is by typing What Is My IP? into Google.

How Does This Relate To My iPhone Not Connecting To Wi-Fi?

A lot of the time, your iPhone won’t connect to Wi-Fi because your wireless router won’t assign your iPhone an address the way it should. This can happen for different reasons, but it’s only necessary to understand that your wireless router is refusing to allow your iPhone to connect because it’s confused about its address.

Resetting your wireless router to its factory default settings resets its “address book”, and it’s the easiest, most effective way to fix the problem for good. Don’t waste your time trying to diagnose obscure wireless connectivity issues. Just reset it to factory defaults and set it up again. It only takes a few minutes to set up a wireless router, but troubleshooting wireless connectivity issues can take hours.

How Do I Reset My Wireless Router To Factory Defaults?

If there were one way to do this, I’d tell you how. There are a billion different wireless routers out there, so I’ll do the next best thing and show you the easiest way to find out how to reset your router.

Reset Wi-Fi RouterMost routers have a tiny reset button in a hole on the back or the bottom of your router. The easiest way to reset it to factory defaults is to leave your router plugged in and use a pen to press down the reset button inside the hole for about 15 seconds. The picture is an example of what this hole looks like on a Linksys router. Your router will act just it did when you took it out of the box for the very first time.

This is the way I’d reset my router, but if you don’t know how to set your wireless router from scratch, make sure you have the instructions handy. Here’s the best way to find them if you threw away the box.

  1. Find your wireless router’s model number and write it down. It’s usually on the bottom or the side of your wireless router.
  2. Visit the manufacturer’s support website and search for your model number. You’ll find the setup instructions or downloadable user guide on the manufacturer’s support website. Here are links to a few of the big ones:

When You Set Up Your Wireless Network Again

When you set up your wireless router, it’s OK (but not necessary) to use the same name for your wireless network and same password as before. Try reconnecting to the network with your iPhone. If it connects, we’ve determined the problem was with your wireless router.

A Less Common Reason Why Your iPhone Won’t Connect To Wi-Fi

If you’re still having problems, look at your wireless security settings. Make sure the wireless security type is set to WPA2 Personal using AES encryption, not TKIP or TKIP / AES. It’s not official, but Apple devices seem to have difficulty with TKIP security. Fortunately, it’s not necessary to understand why. Look for wireless security settings in your wireless router’s manual to find out how to change this setting.

Diagnosing Hardware Problems


If you’ve Reset Network Settings on your iPhone and it won’t connect to any Wi-Fi networks at all, try to DFU restore your iPhone and restore it from a backup. If that doesn’t work, there’s a good chance you’ll need to repair your iPhone.

Apple Stores don’t do repairs to Wi-Fi antennas. The best they can do is replace your whole iPhone, and that can be expensive if you don’t have AppleCare+ and your iPhone is out of warranty or damaged. A less-expensive option I recommend is Puls, a repair company that will send a certified technician to you.

Wireless Router

If you’ve reset your wireless router to factory default settings and no devices will connect to it, there may be a hardware problem with your Wi-Fi router. Visit the manufacturer’s website to learn the troubleshooting steps before you decide to go out and buy a new one.

If You Have To Buy A New Router

Apple’s Airport routers are easy to set up and have great software built in. I’m not being an Apple fanboy with this one — they really are better than the others I’ve seen. They’re a bit more expensive than the other routers you’ll find on Amazon, but may be worth paying more to avoid any more headaches.

Wrapping It Up

By this point, your iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi or you’re well on your way to a fix. I’d like to hear about your experiences solving the problem in the comments section below. If you do, let us know exactly why your iPhone wouldn’t connect to Wi-Fi and the model number of your wireless router. Your experience can help other readers with the same problem.

Thanks so much for reading and all the best,
David P.

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About Author

I'm a former Apple employee and the founder of Payette Forward, and I'm here to help you with your iPhone.