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 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 fluctuating signal strength on the iPad.
- Fix Your iPad Wi-Fi Problems
- Check your Router’s Settings
- WiFi Troubleshooting Guide
- WiFi Dropping Out After iOS Update
- WiFi Issues on iPad Pro
- Slow Internet or WiFi?
- Update Your DNS to make WiFi and Internet Faster
Sources tell us that Apple is working to roll out a software-based fix for this issue, though the timing is uncertain. In the meantime, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of potential fixes for the problem.
Fix Your iPad Wi-Fi Problems
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, use 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 action deletes any stored WiFi passwords and other information but may result in a more stable connection.
Adjust brightness upward
Oddly, some users have found that they can resolve this issue by just 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.
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 continually seek networks, resulting in some 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.
Update Your DNS Settings
Use Google’s Public DNS or Cisco Open DNS services and make your WiFi and Internet faster than your ISP’s DNS service. For Google Public DNS IPv4, go to Settings > WiFi, select the WiFi Network you connect to and tap the “i” next to it, tap DNS, and type in 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124 as your DNS servers. For OpenDNS, type in 126.96.36.199, 188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11.
Check your Router’s Settings
Reboot Your Router
Sometimes, a simple reboot of your WiFi Router does the trick! It’s usually just turning it off, waiting a few seconds, and turning it back on. Unplugging and plugging back also works!
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 modify 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 specs on router
Try changing your router’s wireless spec mode from B, G, and N to G only or vice versa. For AirPort routers, use 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.
Although a far-from-ideal solution, some users have found success with switching to a different wireless router.
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.