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, Bluetooth, 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.

All the best,
David P.

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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carrlyn ward
2 days ago

Okay!

sandra d goins
2 days ago

I have an iPhone 8 Plus that has slight water damage. I don’t know what happened as i received it second hand. The Wi-Fi toggle is grayed out and Bluetooth won’t connect. Does that mean it’s just the Wi-Fi antenna and I need to replace that?

Editor
Colin Boyd
1 day ago
Reply to  sandra d goins

Hi Sandra. Unfortunately, water damage can be pretty complicated, so there’s no guarantee a new antenna will fix the problem. Here’s a link to an article we published all about iPhone water damage: https://www.payetteforward.com/iphone-water-damage-ultimate-guide-how-to-fix-liquid-damage/

Hope this helps!

sandra d goins
1 day ago
Reply to  Colin Boyd

So I checked for water damage in the SIM card slot and it is still white unlike the white sticker near the Wi-Fi antenna. I did do a lot of research to make sure that the antenna is the problem, since none of the problems that could cause the gray out are unlikely such as if it was the logic board the battery itself wouldn’t charge. Actually, none of the symptoms of water damage to the logic board are showing. And I did try the freezer trick although I don’t recommend it since it would damage the battery; 15-20 minutes… Read more »

Editor
Colin Boyd
1 day ago
Reply to  sandra d goins

Hi Sandra! Thanks for all this information. It sounds like you’ve put a lot of work into troubleshooting this issue, awesome job! The best advice I have for you moving forward is to reach out to Apple Support directly. With specific problems such as this, a licensed Apple technician is really your best bet for getting the problem squared away.

I’m sorry we couldn’t be of more help, best of luck getting this squared away!

Mary Wilson
1 month ago

Hi! I had the problem of my iPhone 8 Plus disabling my Wi-Fi capabilities. When i turned off my “Hey Siri” in Settings, it automatically turned it back on. I had turned on “Hey Siri” the night before and didn’t think that is what caused it but the Wi-Fi stopped almost as soon as I did that and turned back on as soon as I cut it off. I hope it’s that easy of a fix for some of you!

Bili
1 month ago

It worked after inserting my friend’s SIM card

diana
2 months ago

i tried but my phone doesn’t let me reset the network settings

Admin
David Lynch
2 months ago
Reply to  diana

What do you see when you go to Settings -> General -> Reset -> Reset Network Settings?

Abi
4 months ago

Ive had my iphone 7 for a year and the first year was fine, lately i have noticed that my wifi has not been working and my wifi would work for like an hour then after it greys out i have resetted my phone and it still doesnt work

Last edited 4 months ago by Abi
Editor
Colin Boyd
3 months ago
Reply to  Abi

Hi Abi, can your iPhone connect to other Wi-Fi networks normally?

Faith
5 months ago

I reset my network settings 6 times, and each time it didn’t work. Sometimes it would only work for a few minutes then stop. Finally, I put my phone in the freezer for 15 minutes, but still it wasn’t working. So i did the network reset one more time and it worked. It has been doing fine for the past few hours, at least. So maybe try the freezer trick, and THEN rest your network. Hope this helps someone because I know how frustrated I was getting

Editor
Colin Boyd
4 months ago
Reply to  Faith

Hi Faith, well that is an unconventional solution! We certainly can’t recommend it, but we wanted to approve this comment in case anyone else has nothing left to lose and wants to freeze their technology. Sometimes we’d like to freeze our phones as well.

Ellie Thornton
6 months ago

i’ve tried everything including the freezer thing, it’s still greyed out and doesn’t let me do anything. if anyone has any other ideas on what to do please help! it’s driving me mad. i’ve tried resetting network settings and resetting all settings i’ve tried turning my phone off and on multiple times and tried toggling airplane mode on and off nothing works.

Riza Gandeza
8 months ago

I tried the freezer thing and it restored back the wifi for about 20 mins then i lost connection tried restarting and its greyed out again.

Sam
8 months ago

Wifi area was grey on and off for a few days which i fixed by restarting the phone. Now , that’s not working. I tried opening the reset button (in general settings) but nothings opening ie reset but isn’t working. I don’t want to do a factory reset as yet. Anything else I can try? Thanks

Liam Shotwell
8 months ago
Reply to  Sam

Try resetting network settings, that might help resolve any connectivity problems occuring with your iPhone.

loren
9 months ago

my wifi isn’t working, i tried all of the options but still not working… should i reformat my phone..??

Liam Shotwell
9 months ago
Reply to  loren

Check out our article about how to put your iPhone in DFU mode.

Ryan
9 months ago

Didn’t have to heat it up, just went straight to the freezer for about 20 mins total. The wifi button wasn’t immediately available, had to restart–then I was Shocked that it worked. WiFi’s back. That’s after trying all the software fixes–resetting network settings and a full DFU restore. Never would’ve thought to freeze it. Not sure how it works, so I’m a bit skeptical of the longevity of the solution. Hope it lasts!

Liam Shotwell
9 months ago
Reply to  Ryan

Yeah, putting your phone in the freezer isn’t that great for your battery. Exposing your battery to extreme temperatures for long periods of time can be bad for it. If it was only for 20 minutes, it should probably be fine.

Israel Roman
8 months ago
Reply to  Liam Shotwell

I was about to go to the Phone store to replace my iPhone 8 plus, but I decided to try this as a last ditch effort and it worked! Battery status went to 1% so I was a little scared but I plugged in and it started charging so I restarted the phone and my wifi button was on. The phone warmed up and battery went right back to pre-freezer level. Let’s hope the fix is permanent! Thank you very much.

Gaurav
10 months ago

Resetting the network setting solves the greyed out button promblem and now it turns on but now i have a new problem my iphone is not showing any wifi networks pls help?

Liam Shotwell
10 months ago
Reply to  Gaurav

What kind of iPhone do you have? If it’s damaged and old, it might be time to upgrade to a new iPhone.

James
7 months ago
Reply to  Gaurav

I have the same problem, iPhone SE 2020, only had it a couple months.

Emma
11 months ago

I heated up my iPhone with a hairdryer until it said it was overheated then stuck it in the freezer for 10/15 mins.
it worked. Flipping awesome. Thank you!!!

sarah
11 months ago
Reply to  Emma

I just did the hairdryer & freezer too and it worked, I also did all of the re-boots so could be a combination of things.

Tara
10 months ago
Reply to  sarah

The freezer trick worked.

Liam Shotwell
10 months ago
Reply to  Tara

I’m glad this method worked for some of you, but please be careful when exposing your phone to extreme temperatures, hot and cold alike. These temperatures can harm your iPhone’s battery if exposed to them long enough!

Bri
10 months ago
Reply to  Emma

What phone do you have? I have an iPhone X and I’m about to try the same.

Tytionna Miller
1 year ago

none of these steps have worked for my phone previously and I and still trying.

Precious
1 year ago

My iPhone 8 Plus is just a year old. The WIFI button is completely unresponsive. I’ve tried rebooting and a factory reset

Amen
1 year ago
Reply to  Precious

the same problem here with mu iphone 7, Did You find any fixes?!

Eve
10 months ago
Reply to  Amen

same problem here :”)

Sean-Michael
1 year ago

Didn’t Work, but to be fair there is a cracked screen with worse damage at the bottom left corner?! I’m sure I’ll figure something out. I’m just trying to fix it so I can sell it, I have too many iPhones pilling up, I don’t want to get far behind, ya know? also my REAL QUESTION WAS ABOUT MAC-Book Pros? Do you have experience with them? Do you have a web page with any tutorials on how to use it to it’s potential? It’s my first APPLE “COMPUTER” EVERYTHING ELSE IS APPLE OF COURSE, I wait till the very last… Read more »

Hana
1 year ago

This was the first and most informative article i found on this issue, it was very well written and honestly a godsend ??

OBALINDA.cz
1 year ago

RESTART works for me every single time.

Amy
1 year ago

if you swipe up from the bottom and pull up your quick menu(with flashlight, wifi, airdrop etc) and hit the airdrop button then contacts only it automatically turns on your WiFi for you. Now mine works but it still says WiFi off but it does work. It’s better then paying for repairs or a new phone.

Haliza Hussein
1 year ago

Hi David, my iphone 6s wifi button grayed out. I have Reset my iphone but it doesn’t work, is it cause of hardware damage? Can it be fix?

Mimi
1 year ago

What if the phone keeps shutting off and turning on?

Howells McCauley
1 year ago
Reply to  Mimi

You probably have a battery issue, service your battery

Mia
1 year ago

I reset my networks and it worked like a charm.

NED
1 year ago

Don’t buy apple products PERIOD.

Jeff
1 year ago
Reply to  NED

Yep best advice ever

Jeff d
1 year ago

Just fixed my iPhone 5se greyed our button

dijin
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff d

how?

Ava
1 year ago

I only just got my iPhone for Christmas and it has just done it my dad cannot afforded another one but I need it when I go out

Young
1 year ago

My phone dropped and got cracked and I went to get the screen fixed but, my wifi button will not turn on it will not do anything in settings or when you scroll up.

Amen
1 year ago
Reply to  Young

What iPhone You had ?! it depends where the WI-FI antenna is placed !!

Chi-Chi
1 year ago

I don’t know why, but I just placed my iPhone into the freezer for 15 minutes, and, just like that, the Wifi button is working again!

laraaa
11 months ago
Reply to  Chi-Chi

I HOPE You’re having an amazing day and that you were successful in life thank you so much

Sophie
1 year ago

I have an iPhone 8plus and I have had it for about 2 years now and this suddenly just happened to my phone a few days back, I reset my network settings and it didn’t work then I tried it a couple of more times again just to be sure and then it worked! Yay! So guys try resetting your networking settings a few times if it doesn’t work the first time

Gaby
1 year ago
Reply to  Sophie

how long did it work for ? because i did it and it was temporary

suki
9 months ago
Reply to  Sophie

thank you for saving my life, really appreciate it

Annemiek
8 months ago
Reply to  Sophie

Thank you! After resetting my network settings 5 times I was able to use my WiFi and Bluetooth buttons.

Jahanzaib Khan
2 years ago

thanks my iphone 5c problem not solved

Leila Janelle
2 years ago

I have an iphone 4s and the Wifi is greyed out and the bluetooth has a spinning wheel I tried doing hte hair dryer trick but it didn’t work and I tried reseting it too and getting a new phone is pretty expensive so what should i do?

Lisa Mann
2 years ago

I have an iPhone 8 and I noticed this same issue. I dont have a headphone port, so where do I clean? I tried resetting the network settings and nothing. I tried holding the side button and home button but all it gave me was a screen shot. And yes I know how to do that reset because on all my other iPhones it worked. I dont think that works for the iPhone 8. And yes I held for a long long time and nothing happened. I guess Im screwed. 🙁

Anthony Coppin
2 years ago

After reading this article, I blew into the headphone jack, turned my phone off and on and the wifi woks perfectly.

Katoune Bounma
3 years ago

Hi David,
I tried putting my iPhone 7 plus in the freezer twice and both times the wifi worked when I brought it out, however shortly after, it restarts by itself and wifi goes back to grey. Any other suggestions?

HongVan Nguyen
3 years ago

Thanks for the post. Guess that I have the hardware issue now. My iphone cannot connect to wifi and wifi button just grayed-out.

I try to contact Apple support but they recommend me to back up data before going to their service center. And the problem is iCloud back up is not work without wifi connection. While I cannot back up with iTunes.

Eddie Ellis
3 years ago

When my apple iphone 4s plays up. I smack it and place. It. In the fridge. Seems to work for anyprobs

Jayar Tulauan
3 years ago

hi david,

I already reset my iphone 4s but still the button of wifi still greyed out,
can you assist me?
heres my gmail add: [email protected]

thank you.

Markos Kassim
3 years ago

Will you please assist me with my iphone 4 also? I’m having the same issue, the wifi option is greyed out and Bluetooth won’t turn on either it just continues to search without any results.
Thanks, markos

Fay Rentz
3 years ago

After 2 days with this issue, I finally put it in the freezer for 15 minutes and it has solved both the Wifi and Bluetooth issue. Thank you so much!

Pravin Mali
3 years ago

Thanks buddy, after resetting the network settings my wi fi symbol get enabled. I am very thankful for this important artical

Fatima Mohammed
3 years ago

So my iPhone 7’s wifi is disabled…if i force restart my iPhone from my computer, will it help undisbale it???

Ethan Campbell
3 years ago

Refridgerator trick worked for about 2 seconds, then phone restarted itself and wifi greyed out again. Deployed so can’t fix it for another 4-5 months…. sucks. If anybody finds a permenant solution, please post

Peter Burns
3 years ago

WiFi button has been greyed out all day. Just overheated phone with hair dryer and cooled with car air con and touch wood its now working so thanks.

Stan Sander
3 years ago

Well I tried the wifi reset and it was still greyed out. I then applied heat to the speaker area, then put it in the freezer for 15 minutes and wifi was no longer greyed out. I then connected to my home network. Go figure, who thought this would work? Not me, but it did.

David Kahler
3 years ago

Hi! I just bought my son a used iphone 6s, and the wifi would not turn on. So after googling for a solution, I found your column. The wifi on this phone is not grayed out; however, the slide “button” for the wifi on the settings menu will not slide to turn the wifi on. I don’t know if this may be the same problem as you have described (the wifi antenna being damaged or broken) but it is just strange that the button will not slide into the on position.

Michelle Bier
3 years ago

doesnt work wtf

Sumera Danish
3 years ago

I had a similar problem and I found the solution on Youtube. You have to heat it until it show the too ho message and then instantly turn it off and put it in a plastic bag and then place the bag in the freezer . This method has worked for my 4s

Maria Carolina Campello Bezerra
3 years ago

Hello! I just reset the network settings for my i-phone X and it seems that the problem is solved. I will keep following if, thank you very much!

Doobie Bell-Hill
3 years ago

What as houl d I xo yt? O mmm y iphone if the Wi-Fi as on t turn on and the Bluetooth just keeps constsntly searching? Whatg is the best cure? Thanks

Shenna Baculio Castillo Binalhay
3 years ago

This is indeed accurate and me and my boyfriend will try the 15 mins refrigerator first. Sadly the bottom was red. Well let you know if it works! Thank you!