Why Is Wi-Fi Grayed Out On My iPhone? Here’s The Real Fix!

Your iPhone hasn’t been connecting to Wi-Fi networks that it used to connect to automatically. You opened Settings -> Wi-Fi to see what’s happening, and discovered that that the Wi-Fi button is grayed out and you can’t turn it back on.

If the Bluetooth on your iPhone is showing the spinning wheel in Settings -> Bluetooth and won’t detect any devices, the suggestions in this article might fix that problem as well. In this article, I’ll explain why your iPhone’s Wi-Fi is grayed out and the steps you can take to fix the Wi-Fi on your iPhone.

This article is inspired by a question I received from Robert in our iPhone Help Facebook group, where I encourage readers to ask questions about their iPhones and other tech devices. Robert posted,

“The wifi button is greyed-out and does not work and Bluetooth will not work either (spinning wheel) Can you please help?”

Robert, I certainly hope so: This one is dedicated to you!

Why Is The Wi-Fi Grayed Out On My iPhone?

In my experience, a grayed-out Wi-Fi button usually indicates a hardware problem with the Wi-Fi antenna on your iPhone. On Robert’s model, an iPhone 4S, the Wi-Fi antenna runs directly under the headphone jack, and often times some debris or a little drop of liquid can short it out.

A grayed-out Wi-Fi button can affect any model of iPhone, even ones without a headphone jack.

How Can I Tell If My iPhone’s Wi-Fi Antenna Is Damaged?

Take a flashlight and point it down the headphone jack on your iPhone. If you see any debris in there, take a toothbrush (one you’ve never used) or an anti-static brush and gently brush out the gunk. If you have an iPhone 4 or 4S, you’ll see a white dot at the bottom of the headphone jack.

That circular sticker is one of the liquid contact indicators Apple techs use to determine whether liquid has come into contact with your iPhone. I’m not here to play the blame game, but if that white dot has turned red, your iPhone has come into contact with liquid at some point, and that can explain the cause of the issue.

Before we rule out a software issue, try resetting the Network Settings on your iPhone by going to Settings -> General -> Transfer or Reset iPhone -> Reset -> Reset Network Settings. Resetting the network settings restores your iPhone’s Wi-Fi, Virtual Private Network, and other network settings to factory defaults.

Before you do that, however, make sure you know your Wi-Fi passwords, because “Reset Network Settings” will erase them from your iPhone. After your iPhone reboots, you’ll have to reconnect to your Wi-Fi network by heading to Settings -> Wi-Fi.

What If ‘Reset Network Settings’ Doesn’t Fix My iPhone’s Wi-Fi Antenna?

My experience and gut tells me that after your iPhone reboots, your Wi-Fi antenna will still be grayed out, and we’ve got a hardware issue on our hands. Apple won’t repair just a Wi-Fi antenna on an iPhone, so a grayed-out Wi-Fi antenna means you’ll have to replace your entire iPhone — if you go through Apple. (If you’re under warranty, by all means, go through Apple!)

If you’re not under warranty, replacing an iPhone through the Genius Bar or AppleCare is much cheaper than purchasing a new phone at retail cost, but it’s still not cheap. To start the repair process, call your local Apple Store and set up an appointment with the Genius Bar or visit the Apple Support website to begin the repair process online.

Your Experiences With Fixing The Grayed-Out Wi-Fi On iPhone

As this article wraps up, I’d love to hear your experiences with fixing the Wi-Fi on your personal iPhone in the comments section below — especially if you’ve gone so far as to stick your iPhone in the fridge or under a lamp. I’m confident that we can work together to fix the grayed-out Wi-Fi problem on your iPhone, and I’ll be around to answer your questions as they arise.

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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9 months ago

Hello David, My iphone 7 has suddenly greyed out my wifi button so I can’t switch wifi on. Can you please help? Thanks in advance

10 months ago

I have an iPhoneX. Wifi was grayed-out and Wifi would only come on momentarily by toggling it on the swipe-down screen. Tried the compressed air into the jack—no luck. I reset the network settings and restarted my phone a couple times. No luck. Reset the network settings again. No luck. Finally just let the phone charge up to 70% and the problem magically resolved. *My phone had died right before losing the Wifi…must have caused the glitch…?
Goofy phones 🙃

1 year ago

Hi guys i noticed my wifi toggle got greyed on my iphone 7. I was worried because it worked perfectly a while ago. The first thing i did was to reset the network settings. After i did that, it still didnt come on so i put the phone off for about 10mins then i blew air into the jack pot and put it back on again. As soon as i did that, it came on😊. I believe this would help

1 year ago

i have a iphone 8 + nd my bluetooth works but not my wifi idk howdo i turn it on ughh

1 year ago
Reply to  breanna


Andy Astorga
1 year ago

Hey I got a iPhone 12 and my wifi is grayed out and does not let me turn on wifi what do I do?

1 year ago
Reply to  Andy Astorga

im having the same problem i tried fixing it

1 year ago
Reply to  Andy Astorga

did you ever fix it and if so how?

Adina Jackson
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy Astorga

I’m having the same problem. I think something is wrong with the iPhone 12. My cousin wife is having the same problem too.

2 years ago

My iPhone6 WiFi and Bluetooth is no longer showing nor working how can I fix it please?

Crystal Morgan
2 years ago

I have an iPhone 8 Plus and the gray part where you connect it to Wi-Fi doesn’t work at all. I tried rest the settings and it still doesn’t work. And can’t even download apps from the App Store. What do I do?

2 years ago

Thanks. Resetting the network fixed the issue with my wife’s iPad Mini.

2 years ago

so basically i didny know what happend to my phone and my wifi just went grayed out for almost a whole week .

Micah little
2 years ago
Reply to  sainnina

Try for over 8 months now. Gotta love data

2 years ago

my iphone cannot connect to apple ID server. Also i can’t update software due to this, how can i fixed it?

David Lynch
2 years ago
Reply to  Carlo

Could be an issue with Apple’s Servers. Check out their System Status page to make sure everything is running normal.

2 years ago

my phone wifi isnt working and its an iphone 7 i see now that its not gonna work ever again after doing all these steps and it not working ive been crying because my family isnt gonna buy me a new one and i wont be able to text anyone or do anything

Jack Marsden
2 years ago

I smashed my iPhone 12 Mini and the WiFi icon has been greyed out. It still lets me use data (I’m not sure if that’s relevant). When I smashed my screen, a section of my screen has turned completely white where the phone struck the floor. Is this a problem with the antenna or is this something else?

Colin Boyd
2 years ago
Reply to  Jack Marsden

Hi Jack! It sounds like a hardware component of your iPhone’s display has been damaged. I’d suggest reaching out to Apple Support directly for a free diagnosis and repair quote. A licensed Apple Technician is really the safest bet for resolving issues like this. Thanks for reading!

2 years ago
Reply to  Colin Boyd

i did nothing to my phone and the wifi turned off ???????????

Pam g
2 years ago
Reply to  carlos

My iPhone SE did that. I just blew into the headphone Jack & now it works fine. I guess it was just dust.