A number of users report an inability to connect to Wi-Fi networks after the iPhone OS 3.1.3 update. The problems usually fall into one of the following categories, or a combination thereof:
- Wi-Fi completely inaccessible; option is grayed out in Settings.
- No networks can be found
- Cannot connect to found networks
- Signal repeatedly drops
As with Wi-Fi connectivity issues for all platforms, these problems have myriad causes, but this particular issue–triggered by the iPhone OS 3.1.3 update–does not appear to respond to traditional fixes such as resetting network settings, restoring the iPhone and more (as described in this Knowledge Base article).
In fact, although this issue was, in most cases, triggered by a software/firmware update (iPhone OS 3.1.3), it acts like a hardware problem. To that end, several posters to this Apple Discussions thread have experienced success with a highly unorthodox and potentially dangerous fix: putting the iPhone in the freezer for several minutes. This is an option we can’t recommend, as it’s likely to void your iPhone warranty and could cause other significant issues. Nonetheless, a number of users have found it to work:
- Cathal2000: I put my iPhone 3G, (jailbroken, OS 3.1.2) into the freezer for one hour today and BINGO, my Wifi is back. I could see the Wifi hotspots but could not connect. Now i can connect and the signal is very strong.
- krao3456: “I had my iPhone 3 G replaced recently and the replaced set has come with 3.1.2, and I had the same wi-fi issues. All solutions suggested in this forum have not worked. I read elsewhere that ‘heating’ element is causing this problem and for some users it worked well, when they put their iPhone in a ‘Freezer” for about 5-8 minutes. To my utter surprise it worked for me as well. Yesterday night, I have put the phone in the freezer for 5 minutes and after taking it out, i just clicked >Settings>Wifi> it immediately found by home wifi and prompted for my WPA password. It is now working in my office wifi.”
Again, we only mention the freezer trick as an anecdote. Employing this technique may severely damage your iPhone and void your warranty. We recommend running through the fixes mentioned in Apple’s Knowledge Base article, then seeking help from Apple Support or an authorized repair center.
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.