How to Fix a Poor Wi-Fi Signal on Your iPad

The problem could be with the iPad, router, or network provider

PRODUCT DISCLOSURE $

Wi-Fi is a great convenience that provides flexibility and mobility that you can't get with an Ethernet cable. When your Wi-FI connection isn't working properly, there are several ways to troubleshoot a weak Wi-Fi signal.

Instructions in this article apply to all iPad devices with iOS 12 or iOS 11 installed.

Causes of Slow Wi-Fi on an iPad

Because a wireless network has many parts, including a modem, a router, and the devices that you use to access the internet, a dip in speed could have a few different causes.

Before you restart the router to improve the speed of the Wi-Fi signal to your iPad, confirm that the problem isn't with the tablet. The best way to find out where the problem exists is to connect to the wireless network from two different devices, such as a laptop and an iPad, from the same spot in your house.

How to Fix Slow Wi-Fi on an iPad

If the iPad is the problem, here are some steps to fix it.

  1. Move closer to the router. If you're in a separate room (or level of the house) from the wireless hardware, it's possible that the signal isn't strong enough by the time it reaches you. Walls and floors can diminish a Wi-Fi signal and make it weaker in different parts of a house, even if you're in range.

    Move the iPad closer to the router and see if the signal strength improves. If the connection is speedy near the router but slows down in distant rooms, boost the signal strength.

  2. Use an app to test the internet speed. An internet speed test determines how fast it is running. To compare it to a laptop, download the Ookla Speedtest app for the iPad and test it against the website version of Speedtest on the laptop.

    If the speed test shows a fast connection on your devices, the website you're connecting to may have a connection problem. Connect to a popular website such as Google to see if the performance issues persist.

  3. Reboot the iPad. To reboot an iPad, hold the Sleep/Wake button to display the slide to power off option. After the iPad is dark for a minute, press the Sleep/Wake button to power it back up.

    An iPad with the Slide to Power Off on screen.
  4. Choose the correct network. If rebooting the iPad didn't solve the Wi-Fi issue, reset the information the iPad stores about your network. Launch the iPad Settings app and tap Wi-Fi to locate your Wi-Fi network. 

    The network you're using is listed at the top of the screen with a check mark next to it. If no network is listed, you aren't connected to a Wi-Fi network. If the wrong Wi-Fi network is listed, that could explain the problem with the Wi-Fi.

    Wi-Fi setting on an iPad
  5. Forget the network. To forget a network, tap the blue i with the circle around it that's located to the right of the network name. A screen that shows the Wi-Fi network information appears. Once connected, tap the i button, then tap Forget This Network

    You can only forget a network you're connected to.

    Instead of connecting again immediately, reboot the iPad to ensure nothing holds over in memory before you connect again. When the iPad boots up, go back to Settings, choose your Wi-Fi network, and enter the password.

    Screenshot of Forget This Network option in iOS on an iPad
  6. Reset the network settings or perform a full reset to factory defaults. These methods clear out any remaining problems with the iPad. Both options are available at Settings > General > Reset. Before you reset the iPad to factory defaults, back up your iPad. Then, restore the iPad from that backup.

    Screenshot of Reset button in iOS on iPad
  7. Reboot your router. To reboot a router, turn it off for a minute or unplug it from the wall for a minute. It can take up to five minutes for the router to reboot and connect to the internet. When it is finished, connect with your iPad. 

    If this doesn't solve the issue, go through the troubleshooting steps for a weak signal on your router.

  8. Contact your internet provider. If your router is broken or old, they may replace it free of charge. The problem could also be with the internet coming into your house or apartment rather than with the router itself, and your provider may have more information about outages or additional troubleshooting steps.