Troubleshooting WiFi Issue on iOS Devices

We’ve all been there. While returning the email sent by your boss or looking up the directions to an important meeting that you’re already five minutes late to, the app you’re using tells you that you have no Internet connection. You dart your eyes to the upper left corner of your device and notice the three familiar bowed lines are missing. There is no WiFi signal.

Indeed, losing or not being able to find a WiFi connection on an iOS device can be very frustrating. Most likely you’re right in the middle of sending an email or looking up important information. Here’s a list identifying the troubleshooting to go through to get the problem resolved as quickly as possible.

The first thing you should do is the most obvious. Go into the Settings on your device and make sure that WiFi is turned on. While you may be sure you didn’t turn it off, you have to eliminate that as a possibility first. It’s like checking to make sure a device is plugged in when it’s not working. If it shows WiFi as being on, turn it off and back on again, as sometimes doing something this simple will help.


While there in the Settings, look over the list of available networks. See if your network is listed. If it’s not, you’ve found your problem. It has nothing to do with the device. Check your router or other means of connection to the desired WiFi network. If it’s a shared network, either business or public, check with a network administrator or someone else in charge to see if it’s an isolated problem or network-wide.


Another way to check your network connection is to check your other devices, either iOS or computer. If you have a connection on your iPhone, but not your iPad, you know it’s a problem with your iPad. When I lost my connection recently on my iPad, I immediatley checked my iPhone, and found it didn’t have a WiFi signal either. I immediately went to check the router, knowing it was system-wide.


Sometimes the problem can be resolved by turning the device off and back on again. It happens periodically with my iPhone that I’ll notice I have no signal, either WiFi or 3G. It’s almost as if it’s frozen. Holding down the Power button on the device will bring up the Slide to Power Off message. Once it’s shut down all the way, turn it back on again and see if this resolves the issue.


If this is a network you previously haven’t had a successful connection with, check the network settings. In many cases you will need a password or key to be able to sign in. Make sure you have been given the proper password or key. Also be sure that you are within proper range from the router or base station and that it’s turned on. Try resetting the network settings by choosing the “General Menu” under “Settings”, then choosing “Reset”, and finally “Reset Network Settings”.  This will reset everything in the network, including all settings and passwords.

Knowing all of this beforehand should help to not have that instant panic set in the moment the WiFi signal is lost or can’t be found. While it may still take you away from your email or getting that important information for a few moments, it should be resolved quickly, unless it is a problem with your network. And in that case, it will help to at least know what the problem is to begin sorting that out with your network.

Image credit: BigStockPhoto

Laura Tucker
Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox