iPad Wi-Fi Problems: Comprehensive List of Fixes [UPDATED]

By far the most widespread issue affecting iPad users is one in which they experience weak/fluctuating Wi-Fi signals, inordinately slow transfer speeds, and/or inability to maintain wireless connections (constant drops). Affected users report fast connection and throughput from Macs, PCs, iPhones and other devices connected to the same Wi-Fi network, but significantly degraded speeds and/or fluctuating signal strength on the iPad.

Sources tell us that Apple is working to roll out a software-based fix for this issue, though timing is uncertain. In the meantime, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of potential fixes for the problem:

Turn router off then on Try turning your wireless router off then back on.

Change or turn off wireless security You may want to try toggling the settings on your wireless router, switching from WPA to WEP or vice versa, or, as a last resort, turning wireless security off altogether. For AirPort routers, this can be accomplished with the AirPort Admin Utility. For other routers, this can usually be accomplished by accessing the router’s configuration page — open a browser and enter the address 192.168.1.1.

Reset network settings on iPad. On your iPad, open Settings, then navigate to “General” in the left-hand pane. Scroll down and tap Reset, then select “Reset Network Settings.” This will delete any stored WiFi passwords and other information, but may result in a more stable connection.

Adjust brightness upward. Oddly, a number of users have found that they can resolve this issue by simply adjusting the iPad’s brightness level upward and off the lowest setting. To do this, tap Settings, then select “Brightness & Wallpaper” from the left-hand pane. Slide the brightness bar upward, then wait 1-2 minutes and check for an improvement in signal strength. Speculation holds that a power delivery issue associated with the screen brightness affects Wi-Fi.

Change thresholds in router settings. Access your routers configuration screen (for most routers, open a browser and enter the address 192.168.1.1), then change the fragmentation threshold and the CTS/RTS threshold as described here. Some users have found success with the settings Fragmentation= 2048, RTS = 512.

Change 802.11 spec on router. Try changing your router’s wireless spec mode from B, G and N to G only or vice versa. For AirPort routers, this can be accomplished with the AirPort Admin Utility. For other routers, this can usually be accomplished by accessing the router’s configuration page — open a browser and enter the address 192.168.1.1.

Switch routers. Although a far-from-ideal solution, some users have found success with switching to a different wireless router.

Turn off “Ask to Join Networks.” To do so, tap Settings on your iPad, then select “Wi-Fi” from the left-hand pane. Slide “Ask to Join Networks” to off. Speculation holds that leaving this option on causes the iPad to constantly seek networks, resulting in some type of interference with the network to which it is connected.

Forget network then rejoin. Tap Settings on your iPad, then select Wi-Fi from the left-hand pane. Choose the network with which you are experiencing difficulty, then select “Forget this network.” Go back to the previous screen and rejoin the network.

Turn off Bluetooth. Some users report that, perhaps due to interference issues, turning off Bluetooth can boost Wi-Fi signal strength. To do so, tap Settings then tap General in the left-hand pane. Tap Bluetooth in the right-hand pane, then slide to off.

Feedback? info@appletoolbox.com.

Comments

  1. says

    My iPad was having the same problems reconnecting after sleep. I think it was struggling with DHCP ip address conflicts. I know that my router (Linksys WRT54ag) allocates addresses between 192.168.1.100 through 192.168.1.149, and that I typically only use the first 10 to 15 of these with all the various networked devices in my house. I didn’t want to make any changes to my router (this is clearly Apple’s problem — all of my many other wireless devices work fine and have for years). I simply set a static ip address on my iPad of 192.168.1.145. Of course subnet mask set to 255.255.0.0, with the gateway and DNS servers at 192.168.1.1. I know it would be better to set a static ip outside the DHCP range, but again, I didn’t want to screw with the router. I was having constant issues before. Since assigning a static ip inside (and at the high end of) the dhcp range, I’ve had no trouble whatsoever.

    • Ted says

      Thank you Heath! Knocked it out in 1 punch. And I was about to buy or hook up a 2nd router! I was able to re-enable security (only 64 bit) and return the RTS and Threshold settings back to default (yet another “red herring”). Simply put , my iPad 1 with IOS 5.0.1 has a specific DHCP acquiring problem with my old Airlink101 108Mpbs router. Its an older router, but works just fine for my iPhone4 with IOS 4.3.3 and my wife’s iPhone3GS with whatever older IOS is on that. Thanks again!

    • cindy says

      hi i am having the same problem … tried everything nothing worked….. have an appointment with apple store …. hope this fixes the problem

      • CoCo says

        Hi Cindy,

        May I ask if how much did it cost when you bring your iPad to Apple store due to wifi melfunctioning? I am afraid i’m also having the same issue… I tried to connect to Wifi and nothing seems to be working so i’m pretty sure we are having the same issue.

        Could you pleae kindly let me know how much did they quote you to fix the wifi and how long did it take?

        Thanks :)

    • Donna says

      How do I get the “Forget this Network” option?
      I only get the “Join Network” option?

      Thanks for your help.

  2. says

    In my case I have experimented, and it is definitely the bluetooth that slows the WiFi. Hope there is a fix for this because I want to stream movies and TV while listening on bluetooth headphones!

  3. says

    Heath, how did you set the static IP address on the iPad? I tried your suggestion but it defaulted back to the DHCP option, which is allocating me an IP address starting 169 with no DNS or router address, thus not getting me online, just connected to the wireless.

    Thanks

  4. says

    I got a new router, a D-link DIR-655. Awesome router. Had to use the same procedure as above, however, the default DHCP range was 192.168.0.100 through .199 (note, the D-link defaults to 192.168.0.x not 192.168.1.x like the Linksys). I just set the iPad’s static ip to 192.168.0.200 (this time outside the DHCP range — would have worked before too without configuring the router, but I didn’t know what I was talking about), with subnet mask set to 255.255.0.0, and with the gateway and DNS servers at 192.168.0.1. Again, works like a charm.

    • Eliz says

      I have spent 10 hours in the last 2 days trying to connect my iPad4 to my new WiFi. The router is brand new- DLink. My iPhone 3G connects without a problem as does my iPod Touch! I have a strong signal, but get an “unable to connect” message. I have set a Static ip as you outlined, only after I tried all the other suggested “fixes” I am now thoroughly frustrated!! -and too wish I had anything BUT the iPad!!!
      Help

    • Kyle says

      What about when you are mobile? (ie. at a friend’s house, coffee shop or at the office.) You have no access to their router settings and you can’t keep changing your iPad settings trying to adapt to different networks.

      I am furious!! I bought the iPad being fully aware that there is a problem but I thought that they wouldn’t still be selling them if the problem still exists. I was wrong!! I am unable to keep a wifi connection on my work network for more than 10 seconds.

      Why does Apple refuse to admit that there is a problem here? The internet is loaded with people who have these problems and they refuse to admit it or release a software fix!!

    • Ori says

      Thanks heath. My issue is a bit different.since im travelling a lot, i need wifi mostly in coffee and public places so i cant do all the router manouvers. Some places the signal is perfect! And just like my iphone4 and in other places i get full signal bars but its not being able to surf and the iPhone surf pefectly…
      Wanted to ask: 1. What is ‘getway’ you mentioned, cant see this word in my ‘static ip’ page.
      2.Is there any ‘generic’ set and ‘safest’ ip numbers (sorry dont know much about those terms) that would work with any/most routers?
      Thanks again

    • Ori says

      Thanks! since Im travelling a lot, i need wifi mostly in public places so I cant do all the router manouvers. Some places the signal is perfect!  like my iphone4 and in other places i get full signal bars but not being able to surf when the iPhone surf pefectly…
      Wanted to ask: 1. What is ‘gatetway’ you mentioned, cant see this word in my ‘static ip’ page.
       2.Is there any ‘generic’ set and ‘safest’ ip numbers (dont know much about those terms) that would work with any/most routers?
      Thanks again

  5. says

    I have OS4.2.1 on iPad but today I started having problems with my router it turns itself off every few seconds and restarts again making it useless. I tried rebooting and resetting my ZyXel router. Then connecting it only to PC then adding hard drive connected to router. I can turn off the wireless and did this. I discovered the problem was the wireless connection. So I tunred off all the wireless connections, MAC, iPhone, Laptop etc and turned them on one by one. I’ve discovered its the iPad that is causing the problem everytime it tries to connect it brings down the router and it keeps restarting. Then when wireless comes up and iPad tries to connect then down again it goes! Appears to have happened after I added a Flicer App which I deleted but still have the problem. Will have to try another router to see what happens. Want to see if I can reset iPad and refresh it as new and see if that helps.

  6. says

    I have an iPad and had no wifi speed issues on iOS 3.x but when I upgraded to iOS 4 it slowed down and completely ruined my experience of the iPad

    Anyway, after trying all of these resolutions with no luck or improvement I took the plunge and replaced my wifi router. Now all wifi speed issues have completely disappeared. I had no problems with my old router on any other device other than the iPad but nevertheless this is what has fixed it for me.

    I had a Linksys wag325n and now have a billion bipac 7800n. I suspect the issue was something about the age of my old router and the 802.11n “standard” supported by the Linksys, but that’s just speculation!

  7. says

    This is obvious, apples networking sucks, I can tell you now this is not the routers fault it is apples problem and it extends over to the OS X operating system. They are blaming networking companies when it is apples problem

  8. Chris says

    I have been having the wifi issue with my iPad since the iOS 4.2 update. This has been making me tear my hair out with frustration as it has made the iPad totally not fit for purpose.
    I had tried all the solutions on this site with no avail. I was waiting for the 4.3 update, in the hope that this would finally sort the issue.
    I could wait no longer and purchased a used Apple Airport Extreme router on eBay. Just plugged it in and configured it, guess what… iPad is back to full iOS 3 speeds!! I am over the moon.

    There is definitely an issue with the wifi whether Apple accept it or not.
    Quick fix: get an Airport Extreme!
    Long fix: Wait for Apple to quietly solve the issue with an iOS update and pretend that it was a “non-issue”!

  9. Dan says

    (Dec 25, 2011) Got a new IPAD 2 today for the wife. Had immediate network issues. Changing to a static IP seems to have worked for me…. Apple needs to do a damned sight better in networking.

  10. Rick says

    I have done these things and I still can not get onto the intent with my IPAD. It sees the network and says it is connected….

  11. Erik says

    Lucky you who can get into the settings. I got my new 64GB iPad yesterday and I’m stuck in the initial setup wizard where I’m supposed to select the network. At first, I didn’t get my network displayed. At that time I could tap on the other networks and be prompted to log in. After restarting my wi-fi router my network shows up (with best possible signal) but now nothing happens when I tap on any network, including my own. I assume that it’s a bug in the software but I don’t have the ability to reboot to get a fresh start it seems, I can’t even take out the battery and do it that way. The “manual” tells me I shouldn’t use the iPad while riding a bike and that I shouldn’t drop it on the ground but there is absolutely no useful information in it. I’m completely stuck. How I wish I’d gotten a Samsung Galaxy instead. I’m so disappointed. :-(

  12. Paula French says

    I’ve spent 5 hours trying to connect my new (today) iPad to my home wi fi. I feel as if I’ve been scammed. I’m not a techy and have no idea how to change or even access settings on this thing. I thought it was supposed to be intuitive! Was told it would work fine.
    All other devices -PC Mac Book, printers etc work fine.
    What a ripoff.

    • Ann says

      I had a new ipad last week. The wireless connection worked fine for a week the suddenly stopped. It only connects if im 10cm away from the router. Done all the usual things, been in touch with provider who say they have the wireless on the strongest it can be. Still no success. This sucks.

    • Eliz says

      I spent 10 hours in the last 2 days trying to connect my iPad4 to my new WiFi. The router is brand new- DLink. My iPhone 3G connects without a problem as does my iPod Touch! I have a strong signal, but get an “unable to connect” message. I tried everything suggested here! I finally got HELP from “Get an Answer”. My problem basically was- When asked for the PASSWORD, that is what I keyed in. BUT NO- it meant SECURITY KEY- NOT PASSWORD!!! Problem solved-

    • Spike Eel says

      It’s not and should never be related to the networking devices and setups if your other devices are functioning properly as before. What the IT folks don’t realize is that resetting a router or other devices and their associated settings to fix a problem (or just troubleshoot it) on a new device interrupts the “it’s working just fine” usage of the other devices, like other computers, etc.

      The iPad OS problem occured after an upgrade from OS 5.1 to 5.1.1. It is the OS that caused the problem. A possible solution is to restore to 5.1. And there needs to be a way to do this and then have Apple fix the damned software. Terrible problem.

  13. Carol says

    Can contact to hotel wifi on I phone but not iPad.?? Error message ip address to long how do I fix???

  14. David says

    I finally fixed my ipad2. All I had to do was figure out that right combination. One problem though. My 8 year old kid can’t fine anyone to sit by the router and reboot it every 5 minutes. I do appreciate my kid’s dedication. He reboots the router for me every 5 minutes without complaining.

  15. Carole says

    Hi. I suddenly started having problem with ipad not rejoining home network after asleep or off. Tried several of the above suggestions with no luck. THEN, I tried the one about choose to “forget” and requested to rejoin my network.. It worked like a charm for me.. Very happy because it had interupted ability to Facetime with son. Thanks for the solution!

    • Sue says

      THANK YOU!!!! I’ve been going nuts for 3 days! After getting icloud my iPad would NOT get wifi while our phones and commuters did. Such a simple solution. Apple wanted $110 to fix this problem. Ridiculous. Their product – wouldn’t you think they could have people on a helpline to help with something so simple? You are my hero Carole!!!!

    • PennyB says

      Carole, June 17th.. Thankyou for posting, I had tried everything and was about to trundle off to the Apple store–yet again!! Worked a treat.
      Very grateful. :-)

  16. Rich Iwasaki says

    Using a first gen iPad successfully on my home wifi network, after a recharging, I could not get it to connect, even though it recognized my home network name, and showed full strength bars. Repeatedly entering the correct password for the network only resulted in the dreaded Unable to Connect message. After trying most of the recommended fixes, and spending hours, what finally worked for me was turning off Bluetooth, turning off Ask to Join networks, and increasing screen brightness.
    Hope this helps others.

  17. Martin says

    Thanks Heath I spendt 2 days looking for answer my older wrt110 n I changed the CRT transmission to what you said changed the channel to 11 set the mhtz 20 and set it to N only seemed to resolve the issue:)

  18. says

    Thanks Heath I spendt 2 days looking for answer my older wrt110 n I changed the CRT transmission to what said changed the channel to 11 set the mhtz 20 and set it to N only seemed to resolve the issue:)

    • Kingsolo says

      I have the same problem Teng with my iPad2. Before upgrading to iOS6 everything is working fine… After updating to iOS6 it screwed all my wifi signal & connection. Good thing I haven’t updated my iPod touch that still works perfectly with all my existing wifi connections & routers. Hope apple will have a software update to fix this major bug on iOS updates.

  19. Jordan says

    I just had a new router installed in my apartment. My MacBook, Dell, and iPhone are all connected great. My iPad 1 (with 5.1.1 iOS) always connected to my old network, but now when I enter the password, it just keeps trying to connect but never gets the “check mark” signifying that I’m connected.

    I’ve tried rebooting the router, hard reset of the iPad, forgetting the network, resetting the network settings, adjusting the brightness…everything.

    What should I do?

  20. jtebay says

    I have done everything above. I have an ipad with 6.0 on it. I receive full bars and cannot connect. All other devices see the wireless – ipods, 2 mac books, iphones etc. Not sure what to do.

  21. Jon B says

    Spent like 10 hours today trying to fix this problem for my mom. Pretty sure I got it figured out. The problem for me being that the ipad lost connection repeatedly throughout the day, everyday. After trying and failing for awhile to change over to a static ip adress, I found out in the process the true root of the problem. Disable your security. I know this isn’t the cure all being that people can get on your Internet, but first try just switching from wpa to wep and vice versa. Good luck guys.

  22. Raj says

    I had the same problem, my ipad would try and try connecting to wifi but fails to connect. With lot of investigation i found that changing encryption protocol to AES-CCMP in router setting worked. Good luck guys.

  23. Paul says

    Just wanted to add my findings to all of this. I’ve done some extensive testing on iPad1s, iPad2s, and iPad minis. We actually have over 30 iPad 2s running (mixture of 5.1.1 and 6.0.1) and they all have the same issues. Even the iPad mini running 6.0.2 has the problem. I’ve found when switching to airplane mode or shutting off (holding power for 10 seconds) and turning back on causes all the iPads to fail to maintain network connection. They drop out in 10 to 30 seconds and then can connect again only to drop out in 30 seconds or so. A constant stream is impossible. Only by forgetting the network or toggling the wifi access point are they fixed until the next shutdown. I’ve tested on multiple router types (including airport extreme) and the router does not make a difference.

    I’m forced to use Static IP addresses due to the nature of what we are using the iPads for and the iPads cannot get outside internet access (they use a local network server for content). This combination may be bringing out the worst of it.

    • Paula says

      Mine has been doing this ever since Monday. I upgraded to the latest OS a couple weeks ago and had no issues, went away at the weekend and connected to my friends wi-fi, no problem. Got home and this started. I enter a static IP but it disappears straight away. At about 10.30 at night it decided to work no problem.
      I use an airport express.
      Have restored, flight mode on and off a few times, reset network, forget this network, cleared task bar, cookies, history, run battery down and recharged before turning on, reset ipad, turned off airport express and turned on again. Nothing.

      How do I get the static IP to stay put?

  24. Yowtch says

    Been working on this issue for four days, nothing helped, finally found a solution:

    I double checked my wireless password. Turns out I had to capitalize the first letter. Voila!

    Hope it helps -.-

  25. Gaston says

    I started to have wifi issue with my IPad after the iOS 6.0 update (a few months ago). The issue was very slow downloads. The only way I was able to fix the problem was by changing my router wireless configuration from mixed B/G/N to N-only. My router is a Linksys WRT400N. Hope this can help others with similar issues.

  26. Patty says

    My iPad 2 finds my home wifi and work wifi fine, but seemingly no others–hotel, coffee shops, etc,, which is a problem because I travel for work. Right now I’m tethering it to my iPhone, which finds wifi no problem. Did anyone figure out a fix for this?

  27. Neal says

    I tried the brightness level increase and it definitely raised the signal power. I cannot imagine that connection but it certainly was frustrating too get a very weak signal not even 10 feet from the router. Everything else in my house works great but had issue with the IPAD. Seems to be working now.

  28. jimsj says

    Thank you. Had a Wi-Fi problem after upgrading to iOS 7.0.4. My WPA2 protected Wi-Fi connection should show in the network list without the padlock, and I’d always get the generic “unable to join…” error. The screen brightness trick (lowered from full brightness to 50%) solved it for me. I just think it INSANE that the good folks at Apple thought it OK that screen brightness should be allowed to affect Wi-Fi so adversely. I know battery life is important, but if I want a bright display and Wi-Fi it’s my decision; I understand I’ll have to recharge more often.

  29. Robert says

    Went to the apple store today and tried to remedy this issue. Reset settings and still disconnects. I reduced screen brightness from full on , and turned off Bluetooth and now it works fine . I hope it lasts. Thanks and hopefully this will help others

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