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 iPad2 wouldn’t connect to my VirginMedia Superhub out of the box. Googled and found a clue that the iPad2 needs to be connecting to a 150Mbps router, not a 300Mbps router. Dropped the SuperHub down to that speed and it worked immediately. Of course, don’t know what I’ll do once I have a broadband speed greater than 150Mbps… ;-)

  2. I had this trouble and my Internet service provider told me to change my router’s name (from the generic one that it was named at the factory) and the password. Voila! It worked like a charm! No more wifi problems. Wish the Apple tech support people knew this.

    1. You probably did not need to bother with renaming the network. Just the password change would very likely have done the trick.

      Anyway – glad you both found your solutions.

    2. HA!! IT WORKED

      Changing the name of the router thanks Deb!

      So just to let you know, my ipad could SEE the wireless connection but never accepted the password, so i just changed the name of the router and it worked straight away, how cool!

  3. my ipad 2 does not have trouble finding and connecting to my wireless network even at 300 Mbps. Only problem I have is when on Skype, the iPad seems to drop the signal a lot even when I am 10 feet away. I then have to go back into the settings and re-connect. I you could help on this issue, that would be awesome.

  4. since moving to ios5 I can’t get my iPad 2 to STAY connected to my wifi signal. Every 10 minutes or so I have to rejoin my wifi network. It’s a HUGE pain in the ass and makes me just NOT want to even use the damned thing. Any advice out there or others dealing with a similar issue?

  5. I had problems connecting with my iPad 2 today. Nothing above worked. I deleted all MAC addresses in my modem setup and reentered the MAC address of my iPad and iPhone. Success!

  6. hi,

    we already have an ipad 2, 3 iphones and an ipod touch connected to our router with no problem… just bought another ipad 2 and no matter what i try it will not connect to the network.. it can see it, enter password and just get the spinning circle, it will not connect. i have reset all the ipad settings, reset the router, turned security on and off everything and dont know where to go next… soooo frustrating!

      1. I have the same problem. Bought iPad2 in November, been working fine until today. Won’t connect to wifi. Tried turning off/on iPad, reset wifi connections, turn router on/off. just get the spinning circle.. My son’s ipad2 is working fine off the same router…

        1. same here! the inernet just wont connect on my ipad2 and my iphone! but the other computers at my house work perfectly

  7. I am having the same failure to connect problem…..last time I visited this house, I connected NO PROBLEM….now, although I have been through all steps except the last suggestion which would require my hosts to reset all their electronics, it recognizes but just twirls …

    Any ideas?

  8. i cant believe apple have just gone quiet on this and are not releasing any information…talk about UN-ethical business…take your money, and run with it…i for one am very disappointed in Apple products and no word…im sure they are aware of it and just ignoring until they have a resolution…in the meantime im just going to sit on the very expensive ipad 2 and wish i never got the thing…even tho it works amazing when it does, and very badly when it doesnt.THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT APPLE! NOT!

  9. Same issue here. Got TWO new iPad 2s for Christmas ( for visiting relratives). One connected no problem to our Windstream 2wire network, just as iPad 1 and iPod touch do. The other won’t Connect despite three or four attempts at each of the solutions suggested. It does connect to my Verizon midi but not the home network. Not sure what to do next…

  10. OMG… I have been trying to get me iPad starting now since Christmas Day! I have a ZyXEL router which connects my new PC/tv, and two further laptops. Will iPad connect – no chance! Tried all above. Won’t work next door but connects at a friend’s house and the store!

  11. My iPad was failing to connect to my WiFi network through a Belkin F5D8632-4 router. The resolution for me in the end was becoming aware that part of the security set-up is that hardware is only allowed connection to my network if the MAC address for the hardware is registered on the router. This meant I had to firstly enter the iPads MAC address on the MAC address control page to allow the iPad access to the WiFi network and secondly enter the iPad MAC address in the MAC address filtering page to allow it access through the Firewall. Once that was done I have had perfect performance from the iPad over my WiFi network. I hope this may help some of you and may you all have a very good new year.

  12. iPad2 was working fine all day (01-02-12) until this evening 9pm. Tried every suggestion here and many other sites as well. 3 laptops connected and are working fine also.
    Does Apple support scan these groups at all to see what’s annoying it’s livelihood?

  13. Same here. Wifi worked fine up until today. Have had the iPad since April

    Laptop and iPhone connect fine

    1. Did you recently insert a new sim card? I have been having the same problem but found that if I took out the ipad sim card and left it out then shut down ipad2 and re-started it. Ipad 2 then connected fine to the wifi at home. All I can figure is that the sim card may stop it some how going to wifi. The wifi circle now comes on and goes solid whereas before it just kept circling. I also have ipad 1 and no issues with that as it stays on wifi all the time as it does not have a sim card. The same router is used for all my laptop, 2nd pc, ipod and iphones.

  14. Thank you! You made it so I didn’t throw my iTouch out the window with frustration and I didn’t need to change my username or password.

  15. I’m having same problem with my Ipad 2, connected to Sky Wi fi, but keep getting the internet not connected message. had the thing since Christmas and was fine up until friday. Ipod and laptap are connnecting fine. soooo frustrating!!

  16. My Ipad 2 , IOS 5.0.1 doesn’t even See any network SSID! and i didn’t have this problem on 4.3.3
    any help?

  17. I have the ipad2,has been working fine since january up until 3 days ago,now all i have is the ring going around and no connection,i have iphone 3gs and my partner has the iphone4 both connect fine to router(netgear)i also have a laptop and an xbox 360 running thru same network and they are all fine,have tried every one of the suggestions mentioned above and none of them have worked,i have reset my router and my ipad,i have done a full restore of it as well and there is nothing to fix it :( i have scheduled a callback from apple in the morning so if they cant advise me on what to do,im screwed,its eally frustrating,if anyone has managed to fix the issue could you please shed some light on it as i need my ipad for a lot of my work and without it connecting and a little bit up sh*t creek.Thanks

  18. Well, the iPad2 finds my wifi network, (which works fine on my pc), names it correctly, and then asks for a password.

    I’ve tried most of Webster’s dictionary! My new router gives a WPA2 code, and also calls it a password. But when this is entered into the iPad2, it just says it cannot find the wifi (which it has just named and correctly identified!), and tells me to dismiss.

    Dismiss! Like a stupid schoolboy!

    Maybe I am stupid, by not understanding which password the darned thing wants.

    Surely a sophisticated machine could progress to give a hint which password/information it wants!

    The problem is, these things are designed by brilliant computer nerds who cannot imagine anyone not understanding what they see as obvious. Security considerations, whilst necessary, are often barring the wrong people.

    Is it possible that the iPad2 is retaining the password of the previous router, which worked? If this is so, how can I find that password please?

    Any ideas, anyone? Thanks.

    Clive.

  19. Hi, I had the problem where the ipad 2 wasn’t accepting the password to my new virgin media hub wireless. I did all the resets – which didn’t work. I then tried giving the ipad wifi the passphrase from the virgin media hub (on the back) as a password which it accepted and now appears to be working. Hope this helps.

    1. using the passphrase on the virgin hub instead of the password also worked for me. thank you!

  20. Thank you Patrick; your solution worked for me and got the wife off my back, complaining that her Ipad2 would not connect to the Wi-Fi router.

  21. Okay, I just bought the new iPad today(3rd generation) and it will not connect to my home internet but will connect just fine any place else. Both my husband and I have the new iPhone 4S and two of my children have the newest iTouch…all of which have never had an issue connecting to my wireless connection. I’ve tried every single “trick” and this iPad will not work at home. Naturally, I’m very frustrated. What can I do?! Thank you.

  22. I tried all the steps above on my IPad to no avail. When I sit directly next to the Wifi router it “sorta” works (1-2 bars) but when I leave the room it goes back to 3G…..HOWEVER my wife’s IPad, both of our IPhones, her PC and my MacBook Pro all connect to the Wifi from anywhere in the house with 5 bars.

  23. Okay, just spent hours trying to get this @#$%@#$% thing connected. Mac, 2 iphones were fine.

    SOLUTION THAT WORKED FOR ME>>>
    Changed the name on my home network to temp name, logged in just fine. Then, changed it back so all my other devices, family, etc do not have to change their settings.

    THANKS THANKS THANKS THANKS THANKS

  24. My wifi only worked ar home and in aople store and after trying restore wtv they gave me a new ipad today. Same issue ie ipad recognises free wifi locations. I get tge tick box abd wifi sign but cannot open any sitee. Help!

  25. well, my ipad will connect to wifi from my router, but it will only stay connected about five seconds. i’ve tried to reset the ipad and the router, but it still doesnt work. my sisters ipad works fine with the wifi, so i dont think that the wifi is the problem, but i cant get mine to connect. help, please?

  26. My iPad 3 went off line today and I spent a couple of hours trying to fix. Finally switched off iPad, disconnected power to router , waited 3 mins, switched router on, wait 2 mins, switch iPad on …. It connected !

  27. I recently bought a MacBook pro after connecting it to the web I found the connection kept dropping out and the wifi menu said “looking for other networks”. After turning off the SSID on my router it worked great. However the side effect is my iPad now can’t connect to wifi with the SSID turned off. Is it just a case of turning on the ssid and connecting the iPad again and then turning it the ssid off? thanks in advance for any help.

  28. Thank you so much for your helpful advice and clear instructions on how to reconnect the wifi. I had great difficulty finding any useful comments for iPad novices. Hard reboot solved the problem.

  29. i tried all the tricks to connect my ip ad 2 to my wifi but they dont work-is there any way to have somebody from apple fix that?

  30. i dont know what to do i have 2 iphones and an ipad and a mac and note book i have the apple time capsule every thing was fine until 3 days go couldnt connect with internet tried everything possible even got a new modem from cable because i thought that was the problem get new one try to get capsule going again and it works on the main computer says i have 100% but wont connect with mac book i phones and i pad had it for about 1 1/2 yrs never had a problem dont know if there is something wrong with router or what been working on it for 2 days if you know what im going through and know what to do or if there is a problem can you please tell me very aggravated please help someone anyone thank you

  31. Thank you! Great article and loved the basic assumptions at the beginning. I had recently installed a range extender to my network and since doing so my iPad had difficulty staying connected to wifi. After re-setting my network connections and inputting the password it seems to have fixed whatever bug was kicking me off. On a side note, learned something new about the hard reboot of the iPad. Thanks again!

  32. My new ipad (the newest one) will not accept the password to my home wifi. We even tried taking the password protection off and it still will not connect. Can anybody help?

  33. I have an ipad 2. Broke the screen 1st Jan. Repaired by 3rd party repairer. WIFI worked fine. Long story but a few issues along the want I got it back but now I can only connect to WIFI if in the same room as my modem. Very frustrating. Just spent another $75 on it getting someone to look at it and can’t see any damage inside. Does anyone know of any type of setting I need to know?

    Thanks

  34. Hi, I have a new iPad 2, and am trying to connect to home wi-fi. The internet bars appear in the left top corner of the screen, but when i type in a web address in it says safari cannot open that address. I have not been able to access any web pages at all. Has anybody had this same problem?

  35. I just bought a new Ipad 2 two days ago – have an old Imac computer, keyboard and mouse at the house, for the past 4 1/2 years – I used to have an airport but now something updated by my Mac professional. My question is: when I turn on my Ipad and try to connect to Wifi here at the house – it says there is a wireless connection. Is it the old connection from my airport or the newer updated by Mac professional?

  36. Hi, i took my ipad2 and my iphone 3g out side of my house, when i came back the internet wouldnt work!
    I tried everything, like re-setting the network, turning wifi off and on , re-typing the password, and it still wont work! ;(
    The wifi bars appear, but the internet wont work!
    So does my iphone 3g, it doesnt work as well, but my moms and dads laptops work perfectly!
    I couldnt acces the internet for a week! Im dyingg! ;( please help

  37. I dont know how to change the name of the network, or password, the computers at my house work perfectly, but im not sure y my phone and ipad wont work ;(..i tried resetting the network, but it still wont work ;(

  38. i have the same issue with my new iPad..
    nothing wrong with my router and i tried to connect internet via wifi with different places but it couldn’t be successful.. i read some comments and i did many things such as reset the network settings, turn bluetooth off etc. but the problem is same. even i tether my iPhone, iPad finds the connection but doesn’t connect.. well i was using the iPad with lower screen brightness and i just change the level of brightness lower than higher and suddenly iPad connection showed up.. this is really weird situation and solution. after that i can connect whatever wifi i want.. i don’t know why it was like that..
    if you guys have same problem just try what i did. it probably works.

  39. I don’t know if this is the right place to ask this but how on earth do I force my WiFi to ask for the password?! Here’s the deal, sometimes during the evening if I’m listening to stuff on Youtube using my iPad, the connected (I have 2 PCs with wireless at home) breaks on iPad, where it will randomly stop the music/video and ask me to choose a network. (even though PC internet is fine). I’m not very computer savvy so I let my bf deal with the technical stuff, I didn’t really know our wireless password. After I lost connection about 5 times on the 6th it asked me for our wireless connection password. I thought I’d give it a guess because I knew it would be 1 of the 5 passwords we use for pretty much everything else. 3 incorrect passwords later, it doesn’t ask me for any passwords anymore, it just keeps spamming me with “Cannot connect”. It’s as if the connection is stuck with an incorrect password and won’t let me fix it. (By this time bf came home so I asked him about the correct pass and he told me).

    Now I’m sitting here without a way to connect to my own wireless… I tried turning iPad off, turning WiFi off/on, Plane mode on/off, rebooted the iPad and the router too. If I click on other passworded WiFis in the list it asks me for their passwords but if I choose ours, it just buffers then says it cannot connect. Obviously our Internet is working since I’m currently typing this from a PC.

    What the heck do I do?

  40. Wow, your first tip did the trick in less than a minute – had worked on for more than an hour. thanks for sharing!

  41. After trying all of your suggestions, my iPad 2 continued to have difficulty connecting to the internet. Every other device in my home connected wonderfully: two iMacs, Macbook Pro and an iPhone. The iPad would connect to the Network but would not give me an internet connection. The exact same iPad worked wonderfully for months on the exact same network until a few days ago.

    Finally, on a whim, (after spending hours on possible solutions), I deleted all of the MAC addresses stored in my network router. That did the trick and now finally the iPad’s back to normal…for now.

    There seems to be a serious problem with iPads and the way they connect to wireless routers. I’ve never had to dig this deep into the goings on in my network router before – with any device. And the number of frustrated posts all over the internet show that I’m not the only one dealing with this iPad issue.

    Why isn’t Apple dealing with this? Really, most people rely on their iPad to connect to the internet (easily). When it doesn’t, it is extremely frustrating. If Apple doesn’t deal with this soon, they will loose some loyal customers (not to mention the tarnishing of their rep). Maybe the number of customers is too small for them to bother with? I wonder what will happen when large corporations find out that many of the iPads they’ve purchased won’t allow their employees to connect?

  42. I am having the same trouble as the posts above; it is so frustrating that I can’t connect to my wifi at home so I can use my ipad2; if I had know about this problem, I would have never bought the crazy thing…it is absurd

  43. Arrgghhhh!!!Frustrating or what!!!!!!!!!Had my iPad2 since released and always worked well and connected automatically with my home wireless network, same wireless Belkin router, same Virgin Media cable modem. No problems with other wireless devices in household, x3 iPhones, x2 Mac books and 1 iMac. Then this evening turned iPad on and it would not connect to my network. All other devices work okay. Tried everything as listed above but to no avail. Will try public wireless networks tomorrow and see what happens then. Would feel a right plonker going in Apple store only to find it works there. Don’t really want to reset all my passwords either.

  44. Fixed it!!!!!! iPad2 had no problems connecting to other wireless networks but not my home one again? Changed SSID network name and password and could connect on all my devices except my iPad2 which again came up with “Unable to connect to this network”, so changed it back to its original name and password and it worked. Why? I haven’t a clue but it did and I’m happy, until next time!

  45. Thanks, the reset got me going again although I suffered some consternation when I had to input the password from my router onto the ipad when prompted multiple times before it finally linked. Now how many people input the password 4 or 5 times and say well that’s not the answer….

  46. RESOLUTION! So, I was experiencing the same… iPad2 could SEE the networks but wouldn’t connect. Nothing i did resolved it; reset password, reset all settings, renamed network, rebooted router AND cable modem… nothing. It would see the network but the gear would just keep spinning and never get a checkmark. So, I logged into my router, which is an Asus RT-N56U. Then clicked on Advanced Settings on the left side and then on Wireless MAC Filter. I noticed that two MAC addresses were being blocked. Fortunately, one of them was to my iPad2! So, I deleted it, saved the settings and then turned my wireless back on via iPad2. Voila! I am back surfing the net! ;) Hope this helps someone!!!

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