Solving Problems With Wireless Networking on iOS Devices

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As smartphone technology continues to advance, people can do more with their devices. However, there is a chance that more things can also go wrong. This guide explains how to solve (or avoid) the most common wireless connection problems on Apple iPhone and other iOS devices.

Update iOS to Improve Wi-Fi Connectivity

iPhone owners have complained about Wi-Fi connectivity issues with the iPhone many times over the years including the famous iPhone 4 death grip controversy. The root causes of these problems have sometimes been clouded with misinformation, but Apple has provided some solutions in the past through fixes to the phone's firmware. Always look for and install an iOS upgrade if one is available when experiencing Wi-Fi connectivity issues on your iPhone.

To version-check and upgrade iOS on Apple devices, open the General section inside the Settings app, then open the Software Update section.

Turn Off LTE

Apple added LTE capability to iPhone starting with iPhone 5. LTE allows a device to send and receive data over cellular connections significantly faster than older network protocols. Unfortunately, LTE can also generate radio interference that causes an iPhone to disrupt the signal of digital televisions or other home electronics. Keeping LTE active will reduce battery life in some locations. And the higher speed transfers of LTE mean that data caps on your service plans can be exceeded more quickly. Giving up the speed benefits in return for avoiding all of these problems can be a worthwhile tradeoff.

To disable LTE on iOS, open the General section inside Settings, then open the Cellular section and switch the selector for "Enable LTE to Off.

Forget a Wi-Fi Network

Apple iOS may automatically connect to networks it finds that you have connected to before. This is convenient for home networking but can be undesirable in public locations. iOS contains a "Forget This Network" feature that you can use to stop the device from automatically connecting to networks you specify.

To disable auto-connection for a network, open the Wi-Fi section inside Settings, then open the right-hand menu attached to the active network and push the Forget This Network button at the top of the screen. (Note this feature requires you to be connected to the network whose auto-connection setting you are changing.)

Reset Network Settings

If you're suddenly having difficulty connecting to a network from an iPhone, the administrator may have recently changed the network's configuration settings. Apple iPhone remembers settings (such as wireless security options) previously used for its Wi-Fi, VPN, and its other connection types. Updating individual network settings on the phone to match the network's new configuration often solves this problem. However, if network connections still do not function properly, iPhone also provides an option to fully erase all of the phone's network settings, allowing you to start with a fresh setup.

To reset iOS network settings, open the General section inside Settings, then open the Reset section and push the Reset Network Settings button. (Note this feature requires you to reconfigure any wireless or wired network that you wish to access.)

Disable Bluetooth When Not in Use

Bluetooth can be used on the iPhone to connect a wireless keyboard or another peripheral device. A few third-party apps also enable Bluetooth file transfers between iOS devices. Except in these special situations, though, keeping it enabled presents some (small) security risk and reduces battery life (slightly). Disabling it means one less thing that can go wrong.

To disable Bluetooth on iOS, open the Bluetooth section inside Settings and switch the selector to Off.