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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Lee Chiang
5 years ago

I’m a long time apple fan, but the recent iOS update/battery throttling scandal has caused me my trust in the mega corporation. I have in my hand an iphone 6, with a dead wifi. I bought my daughter a new X, shelling out BIG bucks into Tim’s luxury cottages in the Hamptons. (thanks Tim… looking for my invite still). So i just shelled out another $40 to test the new battery replacement. ZERO. Nada. zilch. dead as a nail. Now I have a nice (actually just decent) camera and ipod music player… any offers? real cheap.

Melinda Chung
5 years ago

You are a saviour! My daughters iphone6 plus had a greyed-out wifi button and I couldnt for my life figure out how to enable it except for bringing it to Apple or a 3rd party repair shop in my country. But I tried your resetting network settings option and it worked. Thanks so much! Your advice has been most helpful!

Adam Prosperie
5 years ago

attempting the fridge now with an iphone 6…

Joan Caramante
5 years ago

Restoring did work,however the next day i had to do it again i am hoping this holds

Tyler Krohn
5 years ago

I have an iPhone 6 and my neither my wifi, Bluetooth, or my hotspot will work. I tried resetting the network settings, that didn’t work so I looked at this sticker in the headphone jack at it is still white. I would really appreciate any help that I could get with this.

Nihal Alam
5 years ago

My iphone 4 is still greyed out

Jie Gui
5 years ago

Thank you so much!! You saved my phone!

Rahul Dhopeshwar
5 years ago

This worked ony for few minutes and again it got greyed out.

Rahul Dhopeshwar
5 years ago

Here is what I did to fix this problem. I pressed both the home and power button together and when the phone went off, released only the power button and kept the home button pressed for few more seconds. Later switched on the phone and the grey wifi/bluetooth issue went off.

Romario Snapbacks Back Parry
5 years ago

Thanks man it worked better than apple

Caleb Davies-Gray
5 years ago

I’d didn’t work. It is still grayed out

Ranee Kozain Fitzwater
5 years ago

This just happened to my iPhone 6. I took it to Irepair to change my charger port because my phone wouldn’t charge. The antennae is part of the charger port. The guy from there replaced my charger port, but the wifi is still greyed out. He thinks the new one he put in was damaged and had to order another one, to replace the one he put into my phone. My phone is charging fine now. They only charge $55 to replace the whole charger port which includes your mic, headphone jack, vibration, charger port, and antennae.

Afnan Fayyaz
5 years ago

my iphone’s wifi is greyed out
i dont want to replace it or bye another one because i dont have much money.
i cant clean the antenna. what can i do . i hav an iphone 4s

Elaine Rettger
5 years ago

The refrigerator trick worked, amazing. We’ll see how long it lasts. Thanks for the help.

Vlc Plugs
5 years ago

the best way to fix this kind of issue for all the iphone model,,before trying any restoring, resetting or going to a technician or apple store,,the reason why your wifi toggle is greyd out is because your phone went to high temp..dont panic..turn off your phone for a couple of minutes and find a way to cool it down, you can use electric fan, or anything that will cool it down..and turn it back on..and you will see the magic..

Sonia Paton
5 years ago

This WORKS. Heat I phone in a hair dryer, medium heat for 4-5 minutes. A message will come up (although not necessary) saying that phone needs to cool down. Place phone in a freezer bag and place it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. Fixed! It won’t last forever and you will need to repeat the process, but it lasts long enough to update etc.

Brian Pember
6 years ago

Hi. I have a 4s. I’ve reset Network settings – to no avail. I’ve tried it several times. I’ve checked the headphone jack and the dot is still white and there does not appear to be any gunk in there. I’ve plugged the headphones in and they work fine. Bluetooth works. But wi-fi is still greyed out and because of that my hotspot does not work. Hotspot is not greyed out, it can be turned on but to no effect – my other devices cannot find it. Any further suggestions? Otherwise I’ll have to update, and I was hoping to… Read more »

Akira Fudo
6 years ago

Knowing apple, they probably made sure this would happen to force people into buying new devices… No way though! I am going to demand a replacement. If my device works perfectly otherwise, why should I pay them for a new one when this should be an anticipated and REPAIRABLE problem?

Lucy Kennedy
6 years ago

thanks david, you saved my phone!

Angell Nana Little
6 years ago

hi, i once had this problem n as i was resolving it i pressed both the home and power bottom together and when the phone went off i released one and hold one and the grey wifi went off but i have forgotten it. can you pls help me out

Rachel Hernandez Biagioli
6 years ago

Thankyou sooo much for your advice!!!! I was able to fix my phone without haveing to buy another one.

Carlos Stewart
6 years ago

Hello David, Thanks for all your great information. I dropped my iPhone 6 Plus in the kitchen today and my Bluetooth /Wifi are just gone. I think damaged the internal antenna. Time for a new phone. :/

Justin Evans
6 years ago

hi david i have a i phone and the wifi well not work on it i tryed ur way but it well not work

Jah Jussa
6 years ago

Hi David – I have an Ipad air which had a similar problem with the wifi greyed out – the apple store said they couldn’t fix it, but when I got home, I split my router’s SSID so there was a 5ghz signal and the 2.4ghz – it turns out that this was my problem. If I connect to the 2.4ghz signal, the machine works fine. If I connect to the 5ghz, it greys out. I also turned off all network location settings.

Rafael Jonathan Camilo Vera
6 years ago

Thank you for the advice, thanks to it I figured out that the problem is the antenna, and not just a simple software issue as it is suggested in many websites. Furthermore, it was surprising to me to find that this is actually the most common issue among iphone 5/5s users.

Carolyn Greco
6 years ago

I am sooo grateful! Your advice worked!

Hina Patel
6 years ago

i have i phone 6 i lots wifi and bluthooth renage too

Dawie Venter
6 years ago

wifi is grayed out but that happened after installing update…
any help??

Lindsey Moore
6 years ago

I’m in the hardware issue bucket :/ stuck a light up my headphone jack to look for the white or red dot at the end (slightly harder than it seems) and it’s still white, but all other signs including a long web chat and diagnose from apple support point to hardware issue. Off to the apple store i go. Thanks for the helpful article!

6 years ago

I tired the reset as recommended a few times, no luck. Cleaned the phone jack, no luck. My hotspot worked and all other switches worked, just not Bluetooth and wireless. Then I tried synching my fit bit and communication started. Did the reset a couple more times and back in business. Note this took place over a few hours. It was a hot day, may have been some sweat but I have an Otter case and doubt moisture was the problem. Grateful it is now functioning.

Kirk T Davis
6 years ago

I have a iPhone 6s Plus and it is not even a week old been in a case the hole time and my wifi and Bluetooth are not working. Have tried the sever temp changes of over heating and then freezing did not work

I went to AT&T today and they did a soft restart on my phone. This solved the problem and can be accomplished by pushing the power button and the home button at the same time.

Ricki Moyer
7 years ago

I have had the iphone 5 since it came out. The screen has cracked and been repaired at least 5 times. I have the wifi greyed out almost daily and I have put it in the fridge when it feels too hot. This will work for about 15 minutes. It will be connected to wifi then it’ll disconnect from the wifi on its own in the middle of a song or just sitting there on standby even when it’s not over heated. The screen is cracked right now and I cannot afford to repair it, or even pay my phone… Read more »

Napoli partenopei
7 years ago

It worked for me by cleaning out the headphone jack or whatever its called. I used a toothpick and a flashlight to clean it out. Hopefully the problem doesnt come back

7 years ago

i know how to fix it it seems kinda weird but then its fixed
1.you need to get a hair dryer and dry your phone around for about 2 minutes
2.then you need to take your sim-card out and switch off your phone
3.put it in the freezer for about 5 minutes
4.take your phone out and put your sim card in
5.then switch your phone on
it might break after again because thats what happened to mine the wifi wasn’t working after 2 days

Tricia Donnellan
7 years ago

if I can see the red dot, does that mean that I will have to replace or repair the phone?

Lars-Ole Hansen
7 years ago

I suddenly as well lost wifi and bluetooth. After trying all the recommendations, and was ready to go to the shop to get a new phone, I thought I would try the crazy suggestion of putting it in the cooler. I am an electronic engineer myself, so didn’t think it would work. I then more for fun put it 15 min in the freezer and afterwards under a halogen lamp. AND IT HAS WORKED EVER SINCE.

Luke Busbridge
7 years ago

I had the greyed out wifi and no bluetooth on my iphone 4 and I tried everything I could think of. I finally replace the cellular antenna and now it works completely fine.

Boaz Michaely
7 years ago

Cook – Freeze – Thaw – Bingo ! This is a great article and commentary! My Iphone 4S lost its WiFi/BT as experienced by others. I tried almost everything mentioned here and elsewhere including: – Reset network settings – Tried to clean the port – Upgrade IOS using iTunes – Rebuilt IOS using iTunes (all except for ‘restore to factory’) – Then I sent my phone to the freezer for 15 minutes in disbelieve, and was not surprised when that too failed. Getting ready to throw my 4S to the trash, I had nothing to lose and decided to go… Read more »

Boaz Michaely
7 years ago
Reply to  Boaz Michaely

I forgot to mention I also took the SIM card out, but that didn’t change anything either so apparently is not related.

Julita Z L Schulz
7 years ago

I have iphone 4s have the same problem with wifi connection sometimes greyed our an this time cannot find the wireless available even after hard reset and ressting internet connection, did 30 minutes of putting my iphone in a sealed plating and into a freezer, working fine now but don’t know how long will it last. This the 3rd time i lost my wifi connection.

Azeem Sharif
7 years ago

dears i have also issue with my iPhone 6 plus.one night i placed my iPhone behind my bed on floor in winters (pakistan). In the morning when i try to use my iPhone wifi , when it was greyed out. i reseted all setting, it works for 10 min and then automatically my cell phone restarted and wifi is again greyed out. after this i tried many times by reseting , by erasing all data and also by upgrading 9.1 to 9.2 using iTunes but it did not work. if some one have some solution for this plz tell me.… Read more »

My iPhone Won't Connect To Wi-Fi. Here's The Fix!
7 years ago

[…] section called Diagnosing Hardware Issues. If Wi-Fi is grayed out in Settings, my article called Why Is Wi-Fi Grayed Out On My iPhone? will […]

7 years ago

I tried all the methods above and still Wifi was greyed out. I was ready to take my iPhone to Apple, so I took out the sim card and decided it to restart it, when it started Wifi was enabled and working, I putted back my sim card and everything is now fine.

Cierra J Haylow
7 years ago

I was having this problem for a few days and just thought my phone was being junk, it’s a 4s. My Bluetooth randomly stopped working in my car, and the loading circle just kept spinning. We also just got wifi at my house and my phone wouldn’t connect because the wifi was greyed out. Anyways, after reading the article I looked down the jack and sure enough it was disgusting ! I just stuck a dry Q-tip in there and twisted it around and it was so dusty! Then I just restarted my phone and now everything works again !!… Read more »

cristian sirbu
7 years ago

Hi people.! I would like to know what’s behind this all “small errors” so I have to say that I over heated my Iphone 4s untill the warning with high temperature came on the screen.. then i let the phone cool down and after restarting my Wi-fi conection has workt ..unfortunetly just for a week and the error came back.. I’m not sugesting to you all to try this methods and if someone know something more about this Gray Wi-fi it will be nice to share because this is a general error that we all Iphone 4S users have and… Read more »

kwesi-offori mensah
7 years ago

i did it but stopped for good and now has affected my bluetooth please help me out

7 years ago

It’s weird how 4s has been working great. Wifi worked just fine when I upgraded software to IOS 9. Immediately after upgrade wifi was grayed out.

Dunixi Larrauri
7 years ago

I acctually got a swab and put it down the audio jack, alot of crap was in it… but after thaat it worked so thx 😀

7 years ago

I have been struggling with this problem for about 2 weeks now,(I have a 4s) I even went as far as replacing my wifi antenna,(not hard to do, you can actually use a small wood nail to unscrew the weird screws at the bottom) as it turns out the issue is a miscommunication between the software and hardware; an issue created 3-4 updates ago that still hasn’t been addressed. Your device is now sensitive to something called thermal shock. It can be fixed but, long story short, you can’t do it without completely stripping your phone and using a special… Read more »

7 years ago

it isn’t only the Iphone.. I have this problem with my Ipad…

Swag or Brag
7 years ago

I had the gray wifi button so after reading your article i kept my iphone in the deep freezer for more than 15mins and it worked … Thnx

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