Potential Quick Fixes When Your iPad Won’t Connect to Your Wifi Network

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The iPad is a great device even when its offline, but like nearly all computing devices these days it is much greater when it’s connected to the web. For most of us, most of the time that means connecting via a WiFi network when possible. So it is terribly frustrating when an iPad won’t connect to a home WiFi network.

So I thought I’d share some basic troubleshooting tips for when your iPad won’t connect to your WiFi network, and some potential quick fixes.

If your iPad doesn’t connect to your home wireless network the first thing to do (apart from ensuring that WiFi is turned On via Settings> WiFi) is check to see whether it is able to connect to any WiFi network. If you have a friendly neighbor see if they will let you do a quick test. If not, take your iPad to a local coffee shop or a similar location with free WiFi.

Assumptions:

For the purposes of this article I’m going to assume that when tested your iPad is able to connect to other WiFi networks successfully, but just has difficulties connecting to your own home (or small office) WiFi network. If it doesn’t connect at all to any wireless networks then see the bottom of this post for some quick advice on how to handle that.

I’m also going to assume that you have checked and confirmed that other devices – your PC, an iPhone or similar – can connect successfully to your wireless network – from the same general area of the house as the iPad is trying to connect from. If that is not the case, then you may well need to troubleshoot the network itself rather than an iPad-specific issue.

If you know that your other devices can connect to your wireless network and that your iPad can connect to other wireless networks, here are some potential quick fixes to try to get your iPad working on your network. I’ll list them starting with the quickest and easiest, then the next easiest, and so on. If you try one of these and the iPad connects, there’s no need to carry on with others unless the issue re-occurs soon after.

– Turn WiFi off and back on via Settings > WiFi.

– Restart the iPad. Press and hold until you see the ‘Slide to Power Off’ prompt and slide to do so.

– Try a hard reboot of the iPad. To do so hold down the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button simultaneously for around 12 seconds – ignore the ‘Slide to Power Off’ prompt and keep holding down both buttons until you see the screen go dark and then see the Apple logo appear as the iPad powers up again.

– Restart your wireless router. This is usually done by just pulling its power adapter out of the router for around 15 seconds and plugging it back in.

– Try a reset of network settings on the iPad – via Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.

– Try a reset of all settings on the iPad – via Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings.

ResetSettings

– Change the passphrase on your wireless network. This will mean you’ll need to re-join the network with the new passphrase from all your connected devices, but it is quite often a good, quick fix for this sort of issue. If you don’t use any security on your network, well then this an excellent time to correct that. Switching the network from unsecure to secure (whichever level you choose) will have the same effect as changing the passphrase.

One of the above steps should resolve the majority of issues with an iPad that’s not able to connect to a WiFi network. If none of them do, then some less quick solutions need to be looked at. A full restore of the device is one possible next step, though if your iPad is within its warranty period or has an Apple Care plan attached to it then you should probably contact Apple for other suggestions before doing a restore.

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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126 thoughts on “Potential Quick Fixes When Your iPad Won’t Connect to Your Wifi Network

  1. My mom and I have the ipad3 32GB with wifi. Up until a couple of weeks ago we had been able to connect to our wireless router fine, but now we can’t. I tried all of the suggestions above through resetting the network settings. Maybe resetting everything will work. I also have a 32GB ipod touch and now it can’t connect to our router either. Our Nook tablet, my LG Optimus cell phone and our desktop all connect fine. Maybe resetting the password for the router will help too. But I don’t remember how to do that! Any suggestions? (I’m at work right now and don’t remember what kind of wireless router I have, but Comcast calls it a “wireless gateway” what ever that means.)

  2. First off I would like to say that your website is very informative but i’m not full of information when it comes to the ipad (apple) I just bought and I’m having a very frustrating time trying to connect the apps I want to the internet. It seems I have tried incessantly and they either tell me my id is wrong or the answers to the security questions are wrong.By the way what does PING mean.
    I tried again this morning to connect my ipad to itunes with my computer and I didn’t know you were supposed to use your computer to connect your ipad I know it sounds ridiculous but if I don’t tell you these things that I don’t know I won’t get any answers.When i got on to itunes and same with ipad and tried to connect the two, wifi and kdlink kept going off. I hope someone out there can help me there’s so many apps I want to connect with and its so frustrating.

    • Sue, I don’t know who you are, but I love you! No one could help me, but I now have a check next to my network name and am up and running. I know this is a year later, but thanks.

      Susan

  3. Well I had this wifi issue which only surfaced in the last week for my iPad and iPhone at the same time! Both stopped automatically connecting to the home wifi. Turned router off, no change. Even though my iPad/iPhone settings both had the Auto on for joining a known network. Even weirder was that ” Forget this Network ” feature had disappeared on both devices. I tried reset network settings with no change. So I had to join the network manually, but even then I would have to repeat this two or three times because it showed failed attempts. I resolved this issue as follows – in the wifi choose a network under “other” I entered my home network name, in security I entered the option WPA2 then my password, it then overrode the existing home network and all was back to normal again. Haven’t had the problem since. Hope this helps.

    • Same problem – had no problems with WiFi until yesterday – have done everything suggested and still can’t connect – I did the “other network” option and entered the WPA2 but I have never needed a password so don’t know what it wants. When I did a hard reboot I thought I would be able to start from scratch and enter new passwords, etc. but it is still asking for a password that I do not know. Frustrating to say the least!!! I will go to the Apple store tomorrow unless anyone has any more suggestions – thanks!

    • Thanks!!!!!! I have had issues connecting my iPAD to some networks outside my home network. And when I could get it to connect, the pages would often load in the wrong format. Tried the Other – WPA2 – Join approach and it worked perfectly! Thank you. This was a frustrating issue that until now had no idea how to correct.

    • Susan, you are an angel. Everyone in my house has tried to get my new ipad to connect, with know success. First time, on the new network, thank you!!!

  4. My daughter bought a new iPad and I was having difficulty either connecting the wireless or maintaining a connection. I have a linksys wireless router capable of running either at 2.4GHz or 5 GHz. The problem with the iPad was at a starting point of 2.4GHz. When I changed the freq of the wireless setting to 5 GHz, the iPad connected immediatly and performance was blazing. Unfortunately, the wireless laptop in the house would no longer connect. My plan at this point is to get a second wireless router, run DHCP off one only, set each wireless to run at the desired frequency, and set the same SSID and security on each.

    • I have the iPad 2 w/ wi-fi only. I bought it in April and have not had any issues connecting to any wi-fi until yesterday when it would no longer connect to my wi-fi at home. All other devices at home were connected with no problems. The iPad was working on the same network the day before. Everytime I restart the iPad, it connects to the internet for about 5 mins then is no longer connected (even though it shows full bars). I updated the software to the latest version. Still didn’t work. I am wondering if this is the same issue that I read about in April with the new iPads having issues connecting to wi-fi.

  5. Asterix.. Thank you for your suggestion using the “other” optin in wi fi networks. Works perfect

  6. My iPad 2 will only work on my home wifi network. I cannot use it at airports, with my wireless hotspot, in hotels or on any other wifi/cable network. I tired the reboot and still nothing. But works fine at home. What can I do to use it outside my home where I really need it. Forgot to add that I can still get my mail but can’t connect to safari.

  7. The ‘problem’ is terminology! I was trying for over an hour to get my ipad to connect to my wi-fi by typing in the “password” – that I know is on the settings of my router, and that my ipad was asking for – except that isn’t the ‘password’ that Apple wanted. What the ipad actually wanted was my ‘Wireless Key’. But Apple was continually asking for my “password” – which is NOT the same thing, or rather it is! If it had said, “Enter your wireless key” then I would have done so. Or maybe it’s Thomson’s fault (the manufacturer of my router) for calling it a ‘wireless key’ when it should call it a ‘password’. One of the two manufacturers (or both) are at fault for giving things differing names! I’m a mechanical & electrical engineer, and we have standard names for everything, that everyone knows. Why does the world of computing have different terms for the same damn thing???

    • Thank you so much Barry. I had gone through all the solutions above and had no luck connecting my iPad. In fact the “join” key was greyed out. When I read the word “terminology” in your post, my mind clicked. I remembered when I was setting up the ATT combo router for my dad that I wondered whether the key or password was what was needed for Apple devices to connect. But that’s been months ago and I forgot. Thank you so much for jogging my memory.

    • Pardon me for sounding ignorant, but what is “wireless key”? If it is not password then where would I find it on my Ipad? I am so frustrated that my Ipad doesn’t connect to my home wi-fi since I updated it to io6 or whatever! I have tried everything including what Asterix suggested but no luck! Obviously the password I use for my wi-fi is not working since it keeps telling me ‘unable to join the network’ – I am completely at my wits end. Why does Apple have to make it so complicated?

      • “Wireless key” is the security key needed for you to allow you access to the wireless communications of your WiFi router. If you have AT&T U-verse it is the key for the built-in router in the U-verse gateway. You get the key (seven characters or more) from your AT&T tech or the person who installed your router. It is separate and apart from and has nothing to do with Apple.

        • Suddenly was having the same problem with my iPad. Using other and router security key solved my problem too. I am so glad there are knowledgeable people who are willing to share info! Thanks so much!

    • Have spent all week trying to connect my new ipad to my home wifi, had used it in the hotel and airport fine but it wouldn’t connect to my home wif. i knew my password was correct as i had used it to connect my laptop and playstation, but after reading this had another look at my router and it has a WPA key on it, tried that instead of my ‘password’ and straight in! thank you sooo much!

  8. Barry is right!!! Verizon uses the term “password” for the router password. But what Apple means when they say “password” is the wireless key (the security key used to encrypt all correspondence going through the router. I input the wireless key, after having done it several times before but now having gone through all the resets prescribed by Patrick Jordan, and HOLY SHIT, it worked. Now, if I could just find all my iPhone aps on my new iPad….

  9. So I dropped my ipad on yesterday and now I am having an issue with it connecting to wifi everywhere. It can’t be my home router bc all the other ipads, Macbooks and other laptops don’t have a problem. I have tried restoring my entire ipad back to nothing, resetting all networks and nothing seems to work…it just searches and searches and never finds anything. Even when I type in my network name it doesn’t work. Before the hard reset and restore I was still able to play my games and read my kindle books, do I have to go to the apple store? The closest is so far away….

  10. All remedies concerning my iPad failed. iPad wouldn’t connect to local in-home wireless network (kept spinning its wheels indicating it was continually trying) but desktop PC and laptop PC had no trouble connecting. Seems like the problem clearly should be in the iPad. But after rebooting the AT&T residential gateway/router, iPad worked fine!

  11. Patrick: Thank you so much for the tips on getting I-pad to connect to wireless. I was very frustrated and found your site–worked like a charm. Very grateful!
    Rosemary

  12. Well, I have the same problem.
    I have the I-pad 2 and my husband has the I-pad 3. Both worked fine till two weeks ago. They would not connect to our home server anymore.
    All other devices do though. Laptop connects to the same server, fine – had even an IT-guy here today for three hours. He couldn’t figure it out.
    Talked to our Internet company, our server is fine.
    Talked to tech from Apple for 19 $, was told to do a back up on the laptop, my I-pad was wiped clean and everything was put back on. Nothing.

    I have tried pressing both buttons for the reboot.
    I have rebooted our router several times.
    I have reset the settings for the network.
    I have put in the password and router code.
    Our I-pads do see the “home” server but if you click on it it will say “unable to join the network “home”. Dismiss.”

    What the heck am I missing?? I have spent hours trying to figure it out today and I am no closer. (Forgot to mention, that our I-pads work just fine at other places.)

    Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks, Undine

    • Forgot to mention that I tried Asterix’s approach as well with WPA2 and the security code. Didn’t work. I only get to see “could not find the network “home”. Dismiss.”

      Undine

      • Undine – sorry to hear this issue is giving you so much trouble. My next steps if I was in your shoes would be:

        – Reset all settings

        – Do a full restore on one of the iPads.

        – Contact Apple Support or a local Apple store

        • @ Patrick,

          thanks for your reply. I did reset all settings last night. I called Apple and talked to a tech and she guided me through.
          My I-pad 2 was backed up, then whiped clean so it’s pretty much in brand new condition and still… did not pick up the server.
          I don’t get it how the I-pad can “see” and detect the “home” server but is not able to join. There are no numbers like IP adresse or such being shown. Very mysterious.

          Undine

          • I have had a similar problem more than once. What worked for me was deleting that network by clicking on “Forget that Network” after “Choose a Network” in Wi-Fi Settings, then later going back to set it up again with password entry. It’s not logical but it worked for me.

            Bill

          • @ Bill,

            I would do it “if” it only would show “forget that network”. It does not even show that…
            Anyway, I have had it now. Today I will go to the Apple store and buy whatever it takes to set up a seperate router just for the I-pads in the house. Let’s see if that works.

            Undine

  13. Thank you, I have Comcast Xfinity and this was an ongoing problem for me. I tried the reset network settings and it fixed it for all my devices. Thanks again.

    • Hi Ryan,
      I’m also having same Comcast Xfinity service but I still see the problem after following all the steps. Can you provide any information?

  14. Thanks you Asterix! Now my Ipad works with my home wifi. You are a genius like Nizz said. I spend a lot of time at the apple store and at home without any solution until i found this website. Thanks again for your advice; worked perfectly!

  15. Hey, I followed all the steps as you mentioned but no luck :(
    Could you please let me know what else I can do to get this fixed?

  16. I’m having the same problem as Venu! So frustrating. I’ve tried all of the suggestions as well. Spent over an hour on the phone with Apple support. Still no luck. I’m able to connect to any other wi fi (at work, restaurants, etc) but not at home. My Mac is working fine with the router so I have no clue where to go from here. Any suggestions would be appreciated!!

  17. Same problem as everyone else. Ultimately I accessed my router settings and refreshed WLAN Monitor and Radio Settings and was able to get it to work. Thanks for the assorted comments that guided me there.

  18. I had the same problem. I have a Comcast Wifi router. I changed the name of my network AND the password and now the IPAD signs on just like before.

  19. Please help. My iPad 2 won’t connect to my home network anymore. We don’t have a secure network, so no password is required to join. All of a sudden today, my iPad is not connected anymore to our network and when I click on our network it asks for a password. Well, we don’t have a password, so I don’t know how to join. I have restarted the router and the iPad, and all of the other things suggested. Can you please help. thanks

  20. Hello, I’ve tried all the tips listed in this article and many of the comments above and still having no luck getting iPad 3 to connect to Airport/Time Capsule router that it used to connect to without trouble. We use a Scientific Atlanta 2203C cable modem from Time Warner Cable. Yesterday, the cable modem had an error that caused our desktop iMac, both iPhones and iPad to loose internet and server connection, though the ISP was connected and green light visible in Network Status window. I powered TWC cable modem on and off, used the reset button to try and solve the issue and noticed some new issues popped up with the Airport/Time Capsule as well. It said it lacked DNS Servers so following advice from another site, I put a couple of server numbers in from Google and that seemed to get things up and running again on the desktop for internet connection and server connection. However, both iPhones and iPad could no longer finish connecting to the Airport/Time Capsule, would just get stuck after transmitting password correctly with the little wheel spinning next to the Network name in the Wi-Fi menu. To try and solve this new problem for the cable modem, I have cycled power, unplugged from wall, and did factory reset, and on the Airport I also cycled power, did factory reset, changed passwords and network id names, changed 2.4ghz channels to 3 and 7, got rid of Google DNS numbers, on all the iOS devices I have used the Forget This Network and Join Other Network ideas, and Reset Networks function (which fixed one of the iPhone 4S but did nothing for iPad or other iPhone) and finally did a hard reboot. I’m perplexed that one iPhone is working again but the others devices seem to be able to see the network and communicate the correct password, turning the wi-fi symbol blue, but the wheel just keeps on turning and won’t complete the transaction with a check mark and wi-fi symbol at the top of the screen. Any recommendations?

  21. If it helps anyone else, I solved the issue of my iPad mini “spinning it’s wheels” trying to connect by going to general > Reset network settings then at the same time rebooting wireless router (leave off for 30 seconds).

    When iPad restarted, under wifi, I selected “other network” and manually entered my Network name, selected security option (WPA2) and entered password. This got it working.

  22. Hey thanks followed your very straight forward easy steps and have my iPad 2 wifi up and running again.

  23. Thanks so much for all your help this has been driving me mad for 4 hours. I eventually got it with the password off the back of my router

    • Well – after doing these steps (all-reboot, reboot network, shut down my comcast router, and signing in as other using router name, wp2 and router password) for 5 or 6 times…..YIPPEE SKIPPY – I am finally back on line with my ipad – both my mac desktops had no problems throughout this problem with my ipad. But finally finally I was able to get my wifi connections to work. Man – I hope this doesn’t happen often – what a pain!!!

  24. nothing has worked for me. my daughter has an ipad 2 and have followed all directions. still nothing. under wifi no connections come up at all when entered other still get message cannot connect dismiss to my home connection. all my other devices work fine. am frustrated to get it to work. what else can be done?

  25. Thank you so much. Just by following a couple of your steps (turning wifi off and on and then restarting my I Pad 2 got my wifi back to working. I do appreciate the kind assistance.

  26. I tried some different steps from above individually with no success. Then I decided to combine some – I changed the network name and password of my router, rebooted the iPad using the top button and home button simultaneously, and then entered the new router information into the “Other” tab, as above. It worked!

    Maybe only changing the router password would have worked (I didn’t try that individually), but I went all in and now I’m connected, so that’s all I really care about…I think it’s worth a shot if you’re struggling.

    Thanks for the forum on this!

  27. I tried all of the above. My iPad is new out of the box and won’t connect to anything. Apple support told me to take it back so I did. iPad #2 has the exact same issue. It sees the network, allows me to put in the password but just will not connect. Two laptops, a Wii, a printer and 2 iPhones connect just fine. Not a fan of the IPad right now!

  28. Thanks to all but ZERO of these solutions worked for me. I went out and came home – now my ipad won’t connect to my home network or even my android hotspot – which it has no trouble doing before.

    I’ve tried reseting network connections, forgetting the SSIDs, power up and down, hard reboot – all to no avail.

    My ipad can see all the networks but no matter what I try tells me I can’t join any of them. I have double and triple and quadruple checked the passwords – am running WPA-PSK (TKIP) + WPA2-PSK (AES) security – which has not changed – what gives? is apple really this flaky?

  29. I have had wireless issues at home too. It worked for a while then stopped. I resent router and it worked. And now it is doing it again.
    I restarted router but not connecting, keeps spinning.

    Going to try hard reboot and resetting network.

    This is a big pain.

  30. i Have Iphone 4S
    i Can’t turn on my Wi Fi
    there is no Icon there after i tan my Update
    what can i do

  31. OMG!!! Thank YOU SO MUCH!!! This did the trick . My wireless wi-fi netwok was working with one day & after and the next it wasn’t…not sure if I did something after the update but it’s good to go now. Never saw or thought of the reset button.I appeciate the fact that your instructions were easy to follow. Once again THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  32. since i upgraded my OS the ipad2 cant detect ANY WIFI at all. i av tried all the above steps but i still cant find any WIFI. i tried to connect with my mobile phone and i was able to connect. my ipad issue is not just with my WIFI but all other WIFIs too. i am frustrated!

  33. My wife and I are traveling in Europe. We have an Iphone 3G, an IPad, a new Mac AirBook, and a Kindle. When we arrive at a new campground or a cafe with wifi all the devices exempt the IPad quickly find the wifi. We can not reset the router (it is not ours). We have tried to reset the network settings and the general setting on the IPad, no luck. Any suggestions.

  34. I was able to fix this problem by setting the “CipherType” setting of my wireless router to “TKIP and AES”. “AES” was causing intermittent connection problems.