16 ways to troubleshoot WiFi on the iPad
To make the most of your iPad, you need WiFi. Here are 16 ways you can troubleshoot your iPad's WiFi connection and stay online.
1. Is your router turned on or is the connection running?
Check your router and ensure that WiFi is actually turned on. Many modern routers have a switch or button that allows you to enable and disable the WiFi connection. Can you connect to the internet using a web browser and your computer? If you can, then your iPad has the problem.
2. Make sure the WiFi network is running
Even though you may be able to connect to the internet, Before we spend too much time troubleshooting why your iPad is having a problem, let's make sure it is actually the device with the problem. Use your laptop, desktop or smartphone to connect to the Internet and verify the router is working. It's preferable to connect wirelessly to verify the WiFi is working, but if you don't have another wireless device, using your desktop will be fine.
3. Check your password
It isn’t difficult to incorrectly type a password, especially if it is a difficult combination of letters, numbers and special characters. Ensure that you are typing in the correct password and you may just find that it is the solution you are looking for. Some passwords can be quite long and complicated and it is easy to mistake an "8" for a "B" or a "0" for an "O".
4. Check your distance from the router
In order to successfully establish a connection and utilize it, you must be within range of the router. The required range for a WiFi connection varies across different routers, however the standard range is between 150 to 300 feet based on whether you are indoors or outdoors. If you are too far away, the WiFi signal strength may not be strong enough for your iPad to connect to WiFi.
5. Public (Free) WiFi network
If you are connecting through a public WiFi Hotspot such as at a coffee shop or cafe, you may need to agree to terms before you can access apps that use the network connection. If you go into the Safari browser and attempt to open a page, these types of networks will often send you to a special page where you can verify the contract. Even after you okay the contract and get on the Internet, you may not have access to all of your apps.
If you are unable to access the internet while connected to WiFi, you may need to log in or subscribe.
Check to see if you have a self-assigned IP address: Tap Settings > Wi-Fi and locate the Wi-Fi network to which you're connected and tap the < i >. If your IP address is 169.254.xxx.xxx, you may not be able to access the Internet. Reset network settings on your device by tapping Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. Note: This will reset all network settings including: previously connected Wi-Fi networks and passwords recently used, Bluetooth accessories, VPN and APN settings
6. Is your iPad WiFi turned ON?
If you are connecting to your home network, go into the iPad settings and make sure everything is set up okay. Once you tap on the Settings icon on your iPad, the first setting you want to check is that WiFi Mode is turned ON and Airplane Mode is OFF. If Airplane Mode is on, you won't be able to connect to the Internet.
7. Ask to Join Networks is On
If you aren't being prompted to join the network, it may be that Ask to Join Networks is Off. The easiest solution is to turn this setting on, though you can also input the information manually by choosing "Other..." from the network list.
8. Unable to locate a WiFi Network
Verify that the network is available by tapping Settings > Wi-Fi and choosing from the available networks. Note: It may take a few seconds for the Wi-Fi network name to appear. If you do not see the network you would like to join, you may be attempting to connect to a hidden network. By default, most WiFi networks are either public or private. But a WiFi network can be closed or hidden, which means it won't broadcast the name of the network to your iPad. Tap Other and enter the required network settings.
9. Reset the iPad’s WiFi connection
You can reset the iPad’s WiFi connection by simply going to Settings > Wi-Fi and sliding the button to OFF, waiting for a few seconds, and switching to ON again. All of the WiFi settings will disappear. Next, simply turn it back on again. This will force the iPad to search for the WiFi network again and rejoin.
10. Renew the lease
An iPad saves, or ‘leases’ in this case, the IP address of a network for a certain period of time and sometimes this can cause problems. The IP address fortunately can be quickly renewed by clicking the Renew lease button within the networks settings. In Settings, WiFi, tap the connected network) It will have a checkmark to indicate it is the active network) and then tap: Renew Lease.
11. Restart your iPad
It is not unusual for technology to become unresponsive (‘to hang’), so restarting the tablet could help reset the internal modem. This basic troubleshooting step can cure all types of problems and should always be done before you actually start changing settings.
Steps on how to restart an iPad:
- Press and hold the Sleep / Wake button for about 3 seconds until a red slider appears on your screen.
- Swipe the slider to the right, confirming that you would like to restart.
- After your iPad has completely turned off, press and hold your power button again, waiting until the Apple logo appears on screen.
- Once your iPad has restarted you can attempt to connect to your WiFi service again.
12. Restart your router
If you are still unable to establish a connection it is time to restart your internet router. It is quite possible that the router is failing to transmit a connection over the 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz frequency block. Restarting a router is a simple matter of turning it off for a few seconds and then powering it back on. Most routers have an on/off switch in the back or turn it off at the power point.
After restarting your router allow it to sit for 1 – 2 minutes before attempting to establish a connection again, this will allow it enough time to restart the WiFi service. If you have another device handy that connects to the network, such as your laptop or smartphone, test the connection on this device before checking to see if it solved the problem for your iPad.
Note: Make sure no one else is currently on the Internet. Restarting the router will also kick people off the Internet even if they have a wired connection.
13. Forget network
If you are still having problems, it is time to actually start changing some settings. This mostly has to do with telling the iPad to forget what it knows about connecting to the Internet and giving the iPad a fresh start. You can do this by going to Settings, then Wi- Fi. Once you are on the WiFi Networks screen, you will want to get into the settings for your individual network by touching the blue circle beside the network name. The button has a "i" symbol in the middle. Tap “Forget Network”
Then your iPad will Forget the network and reconnect to it with fresh settings. You can reconnect by choosing your network from the list. If you are connecting to a private network, you will need the password to reconnect.
14. Reset network settings
It also might be a good idea to reset all network settings. It may sound extreme to some, but all that would happen is that all Network information would be cleared off your iPad. Please note that all saved Wi-Fi passwords will be lost!
Steps on how to reset the network settings on your iPad:
- Go to Settings
- Click on General Settings
- Then go to Reset
- Click on Reset Network Settings
15. Is your iPad up to date?
Another common issue that can cause problems is allowing the operating system or firmware on your device to become out of date. Apple regularly releases both small and large updates, all of which are targeted at enhancing your device or rectifying known bugs and software problems. Checking to see if your iPad requires an update is easy and it is even easier to upgrade it if an update is available.
In Settings, General, Software Update, you can check if your iPad is up to date.
You can also use iTunes to check for a software update.
- Firstly, plug your iPad into your computer and start up iTunes, this may take a few moments depending on the speed of your computer.
- Now navigate to the “Device” section on iTunes and select your device.
- Once iTunes has loaded the Device Dashboard screen click on “Check for updates”.
If an update is available iTunes will provide you with a notice, allowing you to download and then install the update on your device. Once this has been completed restart your iPad and attempt to establish a WiFi connection again, which should now be fixed.
16. Restore the iPad to Factory Default
This will erase all settings and data on the iPad and put it in a "like new" status.
You'll want to make sure you sync the iPad before performing this step so that you back up all of your data. Connect your iPad with your computer using the Lightning cable and sync it through iTunes.
The first step to reset your iPad is to go into the iPad's settings. Choose the General settings and scroll down the page until you see "Reset". This is the last option in the general settings.
Your options here:
Reset All Settings. This will leave the data (music, movies, contacts, etc.) but reset the preferences.
Erase All Content and Settings. This protects you by making sure all data is off the iPad, which includes information for your iTunes account. If you are selling the iPad on eBay, or giving it to a friend or family member who will be using a different iTunes account, choose to erase all content and settings.
After confirming your choice, the process of erasing the data on your iPad begins. The entire process takes a couple of minutes, and during the process, the Apple logo will appear in the middle of the screen. Once it is done, a graphic asking to be plugged into iTunes will appear.
At this point, the data on the iPad is erased and the iPad is at the factory default. At this point, you can enter your wireless network settings again.