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Apple iPad: Why it can’t connect to the internet

Troubleshoot your iPad when it can’t connect to the internet. Here’s possible problems and fixes so you can do it yourself.

If you know that your other devices can connect to your wireless network and that your iPad can connect to other wireless networks, here are some potential quick fixes to try to get your iPad working on your network. I’ll list them starting with the quickest and easiest, then the next easiest, and so on. If you try one of these and the iPad connects, there’s no need to carry on with others unless the issue re-occurs soon after.

  • Turn WiFi off and back on via Settings > WiFi.

  • Restart the iPad. Press and hold until you see the ‘Slide to Power Off’ prompt and slide to do so.

  • Try a hard reboot of the iPad. To do so hold down the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button simultaneously for around 12 seconds – ignore the ‘Slide to Power Off’ prompt and keep holding down both buttons until you see the screen go dark and then see the Apple logo appear as the iPad powers up again.

  • Restart your wireless router. This is usually done by just pulling its power adapter out of the router for around 15 seconds and plugging it back in.

  • Try a reset of network settings on the iPad – via Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.

  • Try a reset of all settings on the iPad – via Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings.

  • Change the passphrase on your wireless network. This will mean you’ll need to re-join the network with the new passphrase from all your connected devices, but it is quite often a good, quick fix for this sort of issue. If you don’t use any security on your network, well then this an excellent time to correct that. Switching the network from unsecure to secure (whichever level you choose) will have the same effect as changing the passphrase.

One of the above steps should resolve the majority of issues with an iPad that’s not able to connect to a WiFi network. If none of them do, then some less quick solutions need to be looked at. A full restore of the device is one possible next step, though if your iPad is within its warranty period or has an Apple Care plan attached to it then you should probably contact Apple for other suggestions before doing a restore.


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