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.
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.
— 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.