iOS 13 and iPadOS has introduced many new features for Apple Users. If you are experiencing Wi-Fi issues following the iOS 13 or iPadOS update, this article is for you. We have highlighted some of the common workarounds and fixes to address networking and connectivity issues.
Before we deep dive into some of the tips around fixing potential issues, it may be prudent to explore some of the changes introduced to Wi-Fi features in iOS 13 and iPadOS.
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iOS 13 / iPadOS Wi-Fi settings changes
Before highlighting some of the common workarounds and fixes, let’s look at some of the changes in Wi-Fi feature as introduced in iOS 13.
When you tap on Settings > Wi-Fi in iOS 13, you will find three new sections. The iOS 12 ‘Choose a network..’ has now been replaced with two separate sections in iOS 13:
- My Networks – This is the list of all Wi-Fi networks that you have recently connected to using your device.
- Other Networks – This is a list of all other wi-fi networks that are available to you
The Ask to Join Networks toggle in iOS 12 has now been replaced with more options. Instead of the toggle, in iOS 13 and iPadOS, you can choose between:
- Off ( This requires you t manually select a network if no known networks are available)
- Notify ( Known networks are joined automatically. If no known networks are available you will see a notification for available networks)
- Ask ( Known networks are joined automatically. if no known networks are available you will be ‘asked’ before joining a new network.
The separation of Wi-Fi Networks to two distinct categories with the additional notification is designed to prevent you from joining unknown networks that might pose a security issue.
The other change in iOS 13 is the inclusion of ‘Auto-Join Hotspot’. When this setting is on and ‘automatic’ is chosen, your iPhone or iPad will discover nearby hotspots and join if no wi-fi network is available.
Wi-Fi in iOS 13 and iPadOS also introduces a low data mode that can be helpful. The low data mode helps apps on your iPhone to reduce its network data use.
Wi-Fi Settings in Control Center on iOS 13 and iPadOS
When you 3D touch on the Wi-Fi icon in the control center on iOS 12, you find the Wi-Fi network that your device is connected to. You can disconnect by tapping on the Wi-Fi icon here.
In iOS 13 and iPadOS, there is another layer of the feature. When you 3D touch the Wi-Fi icon, you will now see the name of the network that you are currently connected to along with a list of other networks that are available to you. You can also tap on ‘Wi-Fi Settings…’ on this screen and access the settings directly.
10 Tips to fix Wi-Fi problems after iOS 13 or iPadOS update
Here is a list of tips that you can try if you are experiencing slow Wi-Fi, wi-fi connection dropping or unable to join Wi-Fi networks from your iPhone or iPad following the iOS 13 update.
Disable the Wi-Fi using the Settings app, restart your device and then enable Wi-Fi. Sometimes this simple operation can fix most Wi-Fi annoyances.
Please try each step in sequence until it solves your Wi-Fi problem.
- Toggle Airplane Mode On and off and then try to connect to your preferred Wi-Fi network. (Settings > Airplane Mode). This helps when your device connects to Wi-Fi but your internet does not work.
- Toggle Wi-Fi to OFF. After 15 seconds toggle it back to ON and then try connecting to your preferred Wi-Fi network.
- Tap on the ‘i’ icon next to the Wi-Fi network in Settings and choose ‘Forget This Network’. Restart your iPhone or iPad and try connecting again to see if that helps.
- Change the DNS of the Wi-Fi network. Tap on ‘Configure DNS’ in the wi-fi network settings, switch it to Manual and tap ‘Add Server’. Type in 18.104.22.168 or 22.214.171.124 and save. Now try and connect to the Wi-Fi network and test for improved performance. If it shows better performance, you can delete the others.
- If experiencing a slow Wi-Fi connection, try and switch off Bluetooth (Settings > Bluetooth) and then reconnect to the Wi-Fi network
- Bluetooth also uses the 2.4 GHz band and turning BT off reduces the traffic on this band
- Wi-Fi drops off during weak signal on the iPhone. Check the Wi-Fi Assist setting (Settings > Cellular > Wi-Fi Assist). This will ensure that your device stays connected to the Wi-fi even when the signal is weak.
- If your wireless router supports both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bandwidth, you may want to check the following:
- Are you using the same SSID? ( Make separate names for the bandwidth and see if your wi-fi performance is improved when you switch to 5Ghz)
- If your Wi-Fi router supports both 2.4 and 5 GHz bands, connect your devices to the 5GHz band or reduce the number of active devices that use the 2.4 GHz band (or turn off Bluetooth which also uses the 2.4 GHz band)
- Some routers have a ‘smart’ feature where they combine the bandwidths into the same SSID. This feature can sometimes cause Wi-Fi performance issues. Check this article below for more details.
- Change the setting and do a speed test. Here are Apple’s recommended settings for Wi-Fi routers that you should take a look into.
- Reset Network Settings ( Settings > General>Reset > Reset Network Settings). You may have to enter your Wi-Fi credentials so please make a note of it before you reset.
- Many users say that ‘Reset all settings’ following a major iOS update fixes quite a few issues on the device, especially battery drainage issues and slow wi-fi problem. Here is what you should know about this option:
- The Reset All settings does not remove your photos or other media or data as the name suggests.
- It will require you to re-enter your Apple Pay credit card information
- Some apps settings and privacy access may change and you may have to set it up again
- You will need to re-enter your Wi-Fi settings and credentials
- If your wi-fi problem is still persistent even after trying each of the steps above, your best option would be to restore your iPhone or iPad with a fresh copy of iOS 13 or iPadOS and check if it solves your issues.
Turn off Fast Roaming on Mesh Networks for better Wi-Fi on iPhone
Over the last few years, many of us have upgraded our home wi-fi routers. Most of the new and improved Wi-Fi networking equipment today support a wide variety of advanced technologies. For example, if you are using the NetGear Orbi and look into the advanced settings, you will find the following:
Enable Implicit BEAMFORMING
Enable Fast Roaming
We suggest that you keep the first two options enabled but turn off Fast Roaming on the network and test if your iPhone has a better Wi-Fi performance with fewer disruptions.
Sometimes there are Wi-Fi issues that impact a particular model of iPhone or iPad following an upgrade. In these cases, Apple usually releases a fix within a few days or a week. We will keep this post updated with any such news.
Please let us know if you have any questions or need additional help. We hope that you are able to resolve any iOS 13 related Wi-Fi issues on your iPhone and are able to take advantage of all the new iOS 13 and iPadOS features!
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.