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

Your iPhone won’t connect to Wi-Fi and you don’t know why. Maybe your computer connects, maybe your friend’s iPhone connects, or maybe no devices will connect at all. Maybe your iPhone connects to every Wi-Fi network except for one, or maybe it doesn’t connect to any networks at all.

There are a lot of maybes when it comes to diagnosing and solving this problem, but I’ll help you get to the bottom of it. In this article, I’ll explain why your iPhone won’t connect to Wi-Fi and help you fix the problem, whether it’s with your iPhone or your wireless router.

Meanwhile, At The Genius Bar…

iPhone Connected To Wi-FiA customer comes in and says their iPhone won’t connect to Wi-Fi. The technician asks the customer to connect to Wi-Fi inside the store, and most of the time, it works. That’s the first step in diagnosing this issue, and the first question you should ask yourself:

“Will my iPhone connect to any Wi-Fi networks, or is it just one network my iPhone won’t connect to?”

If you don’t have another Wi-Fi network to use to test your iPhone, go to Starbucks, your local library, or your friend’s house and try to connect to their Wi-Fi. If your iPhone connects, it’s not a hardware problem – there’s a problem between your iPhone and your wireless router at home.

Note: If your iPhone doesn’t connect to any wireless networks, skip to the section of this article called Delete All The Wi-Fi Networks Stored On Your iPhone. If that doesn’t work, skip to to the section called Diagnosing Hardware Issues. Check out my other article if Wi-Fi is grayed out in Settings!

The Simplest Fix

If you haven’t already, try powering off your iPhone and Wi-Fi router, and turning them back on.

  1. On your iPhone, press and hold the power button until slide to power off appears. Slide across the screen with your finger and wait for your iPhone to power off. It can take 15 seconds or more for your iPhone to power off. Next, hold the power button until you see the Apple logo appears on the screen.
  2. We’ll use a very technical trick to turn your Wi-Fi router off and back on: Pull the power cord out of the wall and plug it back in.

After your router reboots, try reconnecting your iPhone to Wi-Fi. If it works, there was a problem with your wireless router’s built-in software (sometimes called firmware). Few people understand how Wi-Fi networks actually work. All Wi-Fi routers use essentially the same hardware to create wireless networks, but the software built into Wi-Fi routers varies greatly from model to model. 

Just like on your iPhone and your computer, the software built into your wireless router can crash. The router may still broadcast the Wi-Fi network, but the built-in software doesn’t respond when a device tries to connect. If resetting your wireless router fixes the problem, you may wish to check the manufacturer’s website to see if a software (or firmware) update is available for your router. Software updates can prevent the problem from coming back.

When Your iPhone Connects To All Wi-Fi Networks, Except For One

This scenario makes it very difficult to diagnose the problem, especially in an Apple Store. Usually, the customer can’t reproduce the issue because it only happens at home. The best a technician can do is offer some generic advice, reset some settings, and wish the customer best of luck. I hope this article will be more helpful than that, because unlike a Genius, you can take it home with you.

Before we dive deeper, I find it helpful to restate the problem: Your iPhone won’t connect to Wi-Fi because there is a problem with your iPhone or your wireless router. Problems with iPhones are easier to diagnose, so we’ll start there.

Problems With iPhones And Wi-Fi Networks

iPhones remember all the Wi-Fi networks they’ve ever connected to, along with the password for each network. When we come home from work, our iPhones automatically reconnect to our Wi-Fi at home and enter the password. At least they’re supposed to.

One of the major benefits of the iPhone, and the thing that geeks are always complaining about, is that it’s simple, and therefore limited in terms of a user’s ability to “go under the hood” to diagnose an issue. Unlike your Mac or PC, your iPhone can’t display the list of Wi-Fi networks it’s saved over the years. You can “forget” a Wi-Fi network, but only if you’re already connected to it.

Toggle Wi-Fi Off And Back On

One quick step when your iPhone is not connecting to Wi-Fi is quickly turning Wi-Fi off and back on. Think of it like turning your iPhone off and back on — it gives your iPhone a fresh start and second chance to make a clean connection to Wi-Fi.

Open the Settings app and tap on Wi-Fi. Then, tap the switch next to Wi-Fi at the top of the menu. Wait a few seconds, then toggle W-Fi back on!

toggle wi-fi off and back on iphone

Delete All The Wi-Fi Networks Stored On Your iPhone

Next, try completely resetting 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.

how to reset iPhone network settings

You’ll have to reconnect to all your Wi-Fi networks and enter their passwords again, so make sure you know the important ones before you begin. Try reconnecting to your wireless router after your iPhone reboots. If it still won’t connect, it’s time to take a look at your wireless router. I’ll show you how to fix it on the next page of this article.

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

pawan perera
pawan perera
2 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

james doyle
james doyle
2 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.

mahmudur rahman
mahmudur rahman
2 months ago

thanks man. you just helped me out. great job

Roman Dude
Roman Dude
2 months ago

I just had this problem, March 2020, and deleting NordVPN off the phone did the trick. Was trial and error until I stumbled on that.

Anonymous
Anonymous
1 year ago

Thank you! Unplugging the router from the wall did the trick. Thank you!

Anonymous
Anonymous
1 year ago

bruh yall think apple doin this on purpose with they software updates

Anonymous
Anonymous
1 year ago

okay so i know for a fact that its not my router because everysingle electronic in my house connects to it in every singlr room and its fast af. my iphone 6 is the only one that wont connect. it only connects when its litterally right next to it. ive done everything it said here and still nothing. im very upset,

Anonymous
Anonymous
1 year ago

We’ve tried all this and it still does not work. Any suggestions?

Anon
Anon
3 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous

I posted this previously but far back near the beginning of this thread. In case it helps you, I used the following technique to make my iphone 11 accept our router (Apple Airport Extreme), after all else failed. Have a person in your home send you their WIFI password; this works on updated phones, apparently. I have had no trouble ever since doing this: sharing of the password, which is possible on more recently updated iphones. (1) Both people turn on bluetooth and wifi on their phones, unlocked of course. Sit near each other. (2) Receiver clicks on the desired… Read more »

Anonymous
Anonymous
1 year ago

My IPHONE after REPLACING SCREEN WONT LET ME SWIPE THE SWITCH!! WHEN I ASK SIRI TO TURN ON WIFI SHESays she has but when I checked Settings she hasnt and I physically cant help

Anonymous
Anonymous
1 year ago

My iPhone 6 used to work everywhere until I updated it. Then it stopped everywhere but home. Several updates later still not working elsewhere. Plus when its in a bad mood I get kicked off at home. But when I go to settings it lets me back on (only at home)

Anonymous
Anonymous
1 year ago

My iPhone works at home on WiFi but wont work on any other.

Anonymous
Anonymous
1 year ago

wifi on my desktop is working. But still is not working on my phone. As best as I can tell I followed all of the directions. Very frustrated but I do appreciate the pay it forward website in general. Thank you.

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