How to Fix the Wi-Fi on an iPad

By Diana V. Faustmann

In a perfect world, your iPad's Wi-Fi antenna connects you to the Internet anytime, anywhere. However, factors such as inefficient or overworked routers, microwave ovens and thick brick walls cause connectivity issues from time to time. Although Wi-Fi problems are often caused by things that are beyond your control, you can use your highly adaptive iPad to overcome them. While physical distance from a Wi-Fi base station or access point is an important consideration, you can find many Wi-Fi quick fixes in your iPad's "Settings" panes.

Step 1

Tap "Settings" to confirm that you have not inadvertently disabled your Wi-Fi antenna. Check that "Airplane Mode" is set to "Off" in the left sidebar. In addition, tap "Wi-Fi" to confirm that the "Wi-Fi" switch is set to "On" in the main pane to the right.

Step 2

Tap "Settings," followed by "Wi-Fi," and locate your current network under "Choose a Network." Tap its blue "Detail" arrow on the extreme right. Tap "Forget this Network" and then "Forget" to disconnect from the network. Next, select the network from the pop-up dialog. Type a password, if requested, and tap "Join." Sometimes disconnecting and reconnecting to a Wi-Fi network solves a flaky connection.

Step 3

Double check your IP address settings. Tap "Settings," followed by "Wi-Fi" and then your current network's blue "Detail" arrow. The IP Address section should be set to "DHCP," unless otherwise instructed. If the IP address begins with "169," you cannot connect with the Internet even if you have Wi-Fi connection. Tap the "Renew Lease" button to request a network address again. The IP address should change to one that typically begins with "192.168" or "10."

Step 4

Restart the iPad if the Wi-Fi icon on your status bar displays gray rather than black radio waves. You may have moved too far away from the network's base station or it may have shut down temporarily while you were connecting. Press the "Sleep/Wake" button on the iPad's upper-right edge until you see a red slider. Drag the slider to the right to power down. Then press the "Sleep/Wake" button again until you see the Apple logo, and your iPad powers up.

Step 5

Tap "Settings," followed by "General." Scroll to the bottom and tap "Reset." Then tap "Reset Network Settings," followed by "Reset" in the pop-up dialog. This restores your Wi-Fi network settings to factory conditions. Against this clean slate, join a network. Select it from the pop-up dialog. Type in its password if requested, and tap "Join."

Step 6

Make sure that you are not more than 115 feet from the Wi-Fi network's base station. Beyond that range, your connection weakens considerably or drops. Move closer to where the base station or router is. If it has a range booster, turn it on to improve your connection.

Tips & Warnings

  • Another way to request an IP Address is to tap "Settings," "Wi-Fi," and then toggle the "Wi-Fi" switch "Off." After a few minutes, toggle it back "On."
  • If all else fails, reset your router. Consult your router's user manual on how to restore it to factory condition, but you will have to rebuild your network from scratch if you opt to do this.