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 payetteforward.com, your wireless router (or internet connection) translates payetteforward.com into 104.24.106.250, 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

iPhone

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.

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Bill
20 days ago

iphone wouldn’t connect while the laptop did. I followed the steps up to and including the router reset. That did it. It worked! Imagine! Thanks!

Sm00thCr1m1na1
21 days ago

I deleted the VPN i had and it worked

Vanessa
22 days ago

Hello — my iPhone 10 started having trouble maintaining connection with my home wifi about 6 months ago. It worked fine for at least a year prior to this time. I may be able to connect (sometimes I can’t connect at all), but then connection is so slow, it’s not worth being connected. My husband always uses our home wifi for his iPhone and my MacBook Pro has never had a problem, either. I confirmed that my iPhone connects easily to any other Wifi including friends’ homes and public places. I’ve reset my router and reset my phone’s network settings.… Read more »

Shoshannah
8 days ago
Reply to  Vanessa

I have the same problem

sanjana
22 days ago

My iphone 7 won’t connect to the wifi. like my mac and ipad connect to the wifi, but my phone doesn’t seem to connect. It also shows the icon, but i’m still unable to connect. I’ve tried switching the phone on and off, resetting the network setting, and switching the wifi on and off, and it still won’t connect.

Greg
22 days ago

My iPhone 8+ won’t connect to my wifi, but other devices, like my Mac and iPad, have no issue. On my phone there’s just a spool next to my WiFi network’s name.
I’ve tried resetting modem/router, reset network settings on the phone, turned WiFi off and on, turned the phone off and on, and a few other things.

Editor
Liam Shotwell
22 days ago
Reply to  Greg

Have you tried resetting your network settings on your iPhone 8+? That might help if your iPhone won’t connect to Wi-Fi. There are instructions in the above article for resetting your network settings. It won’t delete any of your data, but you’ll have to enter in your Wi-Fi password again.

Greg
22 days ago
Reply to  Liam Shotwell

I did try resetting the network settings, but it did not solve the issue. My phone can see the network, but when I put in the password it just spools next to the networks name as shown in the picture.

8208B66B-6FB7-4BD0-B4AF-75D73DC55874.jpeg
Editor
Liam Shotwell
22 days ago
Reply to  Greg

If nothing else in this article was able to help, you should check out this page to learn how to do a DFU restore. If there’s anything software related wrong with your iPhone, a DFU restore will be able to resolve it. I suggest doing the cable method to your computer so you can back up the phone without a Wi-Fi connection. If the DFU restore is completed successfully and you still aren’t able to connect to your Wi-Fi network, there might be something wrong with the antenna. HOWEVER, if your iPhone manages to connect to other Wi-Fi networks, then… Read more »

mark
19 days ago
Reply to  Liam Shotwell

Hi Liam

my iPad is connecting fine to Wifi but Phone stopped few days ago. it shows as
connected in settings but either doesnt show on home screen or shows but doesnt connect to internet…

any thoughts?

thanks

Editor
Liam Shotwell
18 days ago
Reply to  mark

Sometimes you can be connected but not get any service. Sounds ridiculous, right? It’s usually a problem with authentication, or maybe just a glitch with the router. Try these things, Disconnect from Wi-Fi and try to reconnect (I’m sure you’ve tried this already though.) Turn the iPad off and back on again (the obligatory tech support suggestion :P) Turn your router off and back on again. Might correct any issues you have with the network. Reset your iPad network settings if the previous steps aren’t doing any good. And finally, Try a DFU restore if absolutely nothing else is working.… Read more »

tony
1 month ago

my network keeps appearing then diapering and when i put in my password it always says incorrect and then the network is lost again. it also finds other wifi networks more than it finds my own

Haru
1 month ago

Hello I have an iPhone 8+ and it won’t connect to my wifi. All of the other devices in the house are connecting fine without any issue. A couple of weeks ago, I was having the same problem with the same phone. I looked everywhere, did everything that was suggested but still didn’t work. So my father suggested I reset my phone, saying that maybe lack of storage was causing the issue. So, I did, and I lost everything, but it worked. I was able to recover a few stuff through iCloud. Fast forward today, I woke up to my… Read more »

Editor
Liam Shotwell
1 month ago
Reply to  Haru

When you did a reset, did you do a DFU restore? That’s the definitive way to fully reset the software on your device, and that might help you get connected.

Jay
1 month ago

hi! my iphone and iPad connect to wifi when I’m downstairs where the router is, but when I’m upstairs only my macbook connects to wifi. I can’t connect it on my iPhone and my iPad kinda connects, but actually nothing seems to work or never loads. I used the same router in my other house and the range was okay, I could connect to the wifi on the 2 levels. It wasn’t great or anything, sometimes it would disconnect but it wasn’t a major problem. Now it’s causing a problem and I don’t know what to do. If I’m in… Read more »

Editor
Liam Shotwell
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay

I would try just repositioning the router somewhere else. There’s a chance there might be some kind of obstruction you aren’t aware of. A range extender can actually slow your speed down since they repeat data packets. Weird, right? Some of the more expensive ones are better but again, they’re really expensive. Depending on the scenario, it can help in some cases, but in others it might not. You’ll have to try it and find out, but start with moving the router before you go out and spend a ton of money. Getting your Wi-Fi straight from the router will… Read more »

Rita
1 month ago

I can connect to
my home wi-fi but I have been in 2 non secure networks in 2 different hospitals and can not connect. My husbands iPhone connects without any problems.
I have reset my networks. Any thoughts

Maya
1 month ago

My iPhone 7 is connected to the wifi, but it doesn’t show the icon in the upper left side of the screen and it doesn’t allow me to actually go on the internet. Mobile data also doesn’t work.

selena
1 month ago
Reply to  Maya

I’ve got the same issue (iPhone xs) and I’ve tried everything.. can’t reset my phone to factory settings because I don’t have internet connection though ugh

Kelly
1 month ago

Thanks! I needed to reset my network settings.

Dinah Sered
1 month ago

I cannot connect to wifi. I reset my network settings. but it didn’t help
 

Aneeqa
1 month ago

my iphone 5s is not getting connected to wifi, i reset the network setting… also i rest the factory setting but can’t connect to the wifi even my apple id is getting logged in, i tried a lot but every time it is showing verification failed…. please help me how to solve out these issues

wafaa
1 month ago

my iphone is not connecting to my wifi and showing the password is incorrect. and i tried resetting all networks still isnt working


David
2 months ago

my iPhone connects to wifi but won’t use the wifi connected to it only use my data

Editor
Liam Shotwell
2 months ago
Reply to  David

If your iPhone is connecting to Wi-Fi but only seems to be using your mobile data, try turning your Cellular Data off. Go to the Settings app, tap cellular, then make sure that the switch next to Cellular Data is turned Off.

If you do this while connected to Wi-Fi and you aren’t able to use your Internet connection at all, there might be something wrong with your Wi-Fi settings or your Wi-Fi antenna. Check your Wi-Fi settings and if you can’t resolve the problem there, you might need to get your phone serviced.

Good luck to you!

Susan Kent
2 months ago

Hi, I have an old iPhone 6. My current iPhone (X), my iPad and laptop all connect to my WiFi. A few days ago the IPhone 6 just stopped connecting to the WiFi. It doesn’t show ANY available networks. Everything else seems to be working.

Zoom App Not Working On iPhone? Here's The Fix (For iPads Too)!
4 months ago

[…] Check out our other article for more Wi-Fi troubleshooting steps! […]

pawan perera
5 months ago

my iphone is not connecting to my wifi and showing the password is incorrect. and i tried resetting all networks still isnt working

Sumayyah Jugreet
1 month ago
Reply to  pawan perera

Hello
Have you been able to solve this problem ? I am having the same problem can you please help ?

veronica s.
1 month ago

Me too. It’s really annoying that my iPhone 6s+ is the only device not being able to connect. I’ve restored both my iPhone and Wifi to factory default. Also did update it through iTunes to the latest version. 13.5.1. I had my fingers crossed, but still to no avail, it says “Incorrect Password” help

Kirisun
1 month ago
Reply to  veronica s.

I have an iPhone 6S and been having the same problem. Did everything and displays “Incorrect Password” seeing loads of people having the same problem.

valerie
1 month ago
Reply to  veronica s.

hello have you solve this already ?

masiero
1 month ago
Reply to  valerie

me too iphone 6 I cant connect at home, but can elsewhere. also when trying to get my mac or housemate’s phone to send me the password..it doesn’t work either. im using the right password, but on my phone it says incorrect. been a month or two

Shadowsans23
1 month ago
Reply to  masiero

This is happening to me too! (iPhone 5) Can we please get a fix?

james doyle
5 months ago

Thanks for your help on the Iphone/wifi problem. Can you help me please with my MacBook Air. I updated OS to Catalina, now Microsoft requires a subscription to use Excel and WORD. How can I get around that. Originally MSOffice came free with the original OS. Thanks.