Are you one of the millions of people who received an iPad Mini or iPhone 5 for Christmas and you find that you are now having problems connecting your device to WiFi (wireless internet connection)? Or perhaps you’ve owned your iPhone 5 or iPad Mini for a while now but you are finding yourself plagued with WiFi connection issues. Regardless, if you are experiencing WiFi connection problems with your iPhone 5 or iPad Mini, then here’s a couple of tips to help you get back onto WiFi and cruising along with your device.
When you first purchased your iPhone 5 or your iPad Mini, the latest iOS version from Apple was more than likely iOS 6.0 which was released on September 19th. Within hours of this release, users were already complaining about iOS 6 WiFi problems and the web exploded with animosity toward Apple over these issues. iOS 6.0.1 came on November 1st, and this was Apple’s first attempt to resolve the massive WiFi connectivity problems that users were experiencing. Then finally, on December 18th, 2012, Apple released iOS 6.0.2 which had one single purpose in its design, and that is to resolve the WiFi connectivity problems with iPhone 5 and iPad Mini devices.
So that’s just a little bit of history behind the iOS releases from Apple. But even these fixes are something that’s not fully acknowledged by users. Heck, some people don’t even know how to check and see what version of iOS they are running on their device.
3 ways to fix your iPhone 5 & iPad Mini wifi problems
This article is only going to address the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini. Reason being, I’m going to show you how to check and see if you’ve upgraded to the latest iOS 6.0.2 firmware which is only available for iPhone 5 and iPad Mini. And if you haven’t upgraded to iOS 6.0.2, then I’m going to show you how to do that as well.
For those of you who have an iPhone that predates the iPhone 5, or an iPad that predates the iPad Mini, then click on this article to learn how to trouble shoot your WiFi connectivity problems.
Now for those of you with an iPhone 5 and iPad Mini, let’s get to work and get you WiFi connection problems resolved.
#1: Upgrade to the latest iOS 6.0.2 firmware
Like I mentioned before, iOS 6.0.2 is a firmware update that’s only available to iPhone 5 and iPad Mini devices. First, let’s check what firmware you are currently running:
From the homepage of your device (iPhone 5 or iPad Mini), click on Settings > General > About. On the About page, look down through the list of items and find Version. Now look to the right and you’ll see what version of iOS your iPhone 5 or iPad Mini is running. If you says anything less than iOS 6.0.2, then you are needing to update your iPhone 5 or iPad Mini to the latest firmware release. And as I mentioned already, the iOS 6.0.2 release is designed explicitly to fix WiFi connectivity issues.
How to upgrade your iPhone 5 or iPad Mini to iOS 6.0.2.
If your iPhone 5 or iPad Mini isn’t running iOS 6.0.2, this how to get it updated.
From the home screen of your iPhone 5 or iPad Mini, look at Settings icon. Do you see a small number 1 on it with a red circle? If so, this means your update is already to be installed right from your device. Go ahead and tap on Settings > General (if you see a number 1 with a red circle on your Settings icon on your homepage, then you probably see a number 1 next to your General option as well) > after you tap General, you should now see at the top something that says Software Update, go ahead and tap Software Update.
After tapping on Software Update you’ll see your device start checking for an update. Finally, your device will settle on a screen that shows you the iOS 6.0.2 update is ready to be installed on your iPhone 5 or iPad Mini. Now go ahead and tap on the “Install Now” option and your device will automatically start to update itself to the latest iOS 6.0.2 firmware.
After tapping on Install Update, you’ll then be taken to a legal notice, just click on the “Agree” option at the bottom. Now your device will start to the process of updating to the latest iOS 6.0.2 firmware.
During the update process, there are a few criteria that need to be met: a) your device has to have at least 50% of batter life remaining and b) you have to be connected to a WiFi network. If one of these criteria are not met, then you should see a notice telling you what you need to do. Also during the update process, your iPhone 5 or iPad Mini will go through an update and reboot process. This is where you’ll see a progress bar underneath an Apple icon on the front of your device. Be patient, this process can take several minutes to complete.
*** DO NOT turn off your device, or try to do anything on your device, while it’s updating. Just leave it alone until it’s finished.
Now that your iPhone 5 or iPad Mini is updated to the latest firmware, I would recommend rebooting it one last time just for kicks. Simply push and hold the power button until your device powers off completely. Then push your power button to turn it back on.
It’s now time to see if you can connect to your WiFi network. Go ahead and click Settings > WiFi > (click On if it’s not already on) > tap on your WiFi network to connect.
Were you able to connect? If after updating your iPhone 5 or iPad Mini to the latest iOS 6.0.2 firmware you still aren’t able to connect to your WiFi network, then continue on with the following…
#2: Reset your network settings
I’ve written more detailed article on how to reset the network settings on any iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad here. Basically, you are going to tap Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.
Make sure, if you go through this step, to reset only the network settings on your device.
However, if you just updated your iPhone 5 or iPad Mini to iOS 6.0.2, then you also technically reset your network settings as well. So this step may be redundant. Then again, if after updating to iOS 6.0.2, it may be a necessary step.
For those who had to do this additional step of resetting network settings, now go ahead and tap on Settings > WiFi and try to connect to your WiFi network.
If you still aren’t able to connect to your WiFi network after updating your iPhone 5 or iPad Mini to iOS 6.0.2, and you’ve taken the additional step of resetting your network settings, then it’s time to start looking at your wireless router.
#3: Resetting your wireless router
By this point, I’m assuming you’ve done steps 1 and 2 above to no avail and your iPhone 5 and iPad Mini are still not connecting your WiFi network. If this is the case, we need to now start looking at your wireless router. And there are 2 things specifically that I want you to do:
1) Soft reboot of your wireless router: I want you to first do a soft reboot of your wireless router. You do this by simply unplugging your wireless router, waiting about 60 seconds, and then plugging it back in. This does a soft reset of your network and reboots your wireless router, which may be enough to fix your WiFi connectivity issues. Make sure you give your wireless router enough time to reboot – can be up to 3 minutes or more for your wireless router to get fully booted back up and connected to data. Be watching the front of your wireless router to make sure all the lights that are suppose to be lighting up are fully on.
Once your wireless if fully rebooted, go back to your iPhone 5 or iPad Mini and go to Settings > WiFi and try to connect to your wireless router. Were you successful? Hopefully by this point you are now cruising right along on your WiFi network. But it you still can’t get your iPhone 5 or iPad Mini connected to WiFi, then here’s the last step I want you to take.
2) Hard reboot / resetting your wireless router: This is the most aggressive step of any I’ve discussed up to this point, but if you still aren’t able to get your iPhone 5 or iPad Mini connected to WiFi after following all the steps above, then it’s time to completely reset your wireless router. Make sure you’ve followed all of the steps above before taking this final step. Again, Apple released iOS 6.0.2 for the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini specifically to fix WiFi bugs. And up to this point, the majority of users I’ve seen that have upgraded their iPhone 5 or iPad Mini to iOS 6.0.2 have seen great results.
For those who have followed all the steps above and still can’t get their iPhone 5 or iPad Mini connected to WiFi, let’s continue…
On the back, or sometimes on the bottom, of your wireless router there’s a small reset button. This button isn’t typically much bigger than a pin hole, primarily because resetting your wireless router is a pretty aggressive thing to be doing and is typically a “last resort” trouble shooting step.
But you need to find the reset button on your wireless router, grab an ink pen or something small enough to push the reset button, and then push and hold the reset button for approximately 30 seconds. While you are pushing and holding the reset button, you’ll more than likely see the lights on your wireless router start blinking, turning on and off, etc… once you see this happening, and it’s been about 30 seconds, go ahead and release the reset button on your wireless router.
Your wireless router is now going to go through a reboot sequence where you’ll see it turn off completely, then turn itself back on.
During the reboot process, DO NOT touch your wireless router, DO NOT unplug your wireless router. Basically, just let the wireless router completely reboot itself.
When you reset your wireless router, it will go back to factory default settings. This means, you won’t have a secure network and all passwords, etc… will have to be re-established. I’m not going to go through all of these steps in this article, but just so you know, you’ll basically have a unsecured wireless network with a default network name such as “Linksys”, etc…
Once your wireless router has been reset and is fully booted up, it’s now time to try your iPhone 5 or iPad Mini. In fact, if you don’t have have an iPhone 5 or iPad Mini and you are reading this article because you also are having WiFi connectivity issues, this step of resetting your wireless router may solve your WiFi connectivity problems as well.
So now go ahead and tap Settings > Wi-Fi > attempt to connect to your network. Again, the network will no longer have the custom name that you may have given it when you set up your network previously. Once you reset your wireless router, everything goes back to factory default. You should be able to identify your wireless network because, more than likely, it’s the one with the strongest signal.
Hopefully by now your iPhone 5 or iPad Mini able to connect to your WiFi network. If you’ve followed all the steps above and still are not able to connect to WiFi, or still experiencing WiFi connectivity issues, let me know in the comments below what problems you are still having.