iPad Keeps Dropping Wi-Fi? Here's The Fix!

May 16, 2022 • Filed to: Fix iOS Mobile Device Issues • Proven solutions

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iPads come in two variants - a regular variant with Wi-Fi only for internet connectivity and another variant with cellular and Wi-Fi options. If your cellular + Wi-Fi iPad keeps dropping Wi-Fi, you might be less annoyed, but what to do when your only connectivity is Wi-Fi and your Wi-Fi iPad keeps dropping Wi-Fi? How to get around that issue?

Part I: Why iPad Keeps Dropping Wi-Fi?

The reasons why the iPad keeps dropping Wi-Fi may be obvious and not-so-obvious. Here are some reasons why the iPad keeps dropping Wi-Fi:

Poor Reception

This is one of the most common reasons, although one that people do not think about until they have exhausted everything else. You might be sitting in one corner while your Wi-Fi hardware might be in another, and even though you see Wi-Fi connected, the quality of the signal is poor enough that the iPad keeps dropping Wi-Fi.

Signal Interference

Signal interference is, again, one of those reasons that we tend to overlook until push has come to shove. Wi-Fi is everywhere - everybody uses Wi-Fi. Generally, Wi-Fi hardware is designed to work to account for signal interference from other beacons around, and it does that in the background without the user ever coming to know of it.

Poor Quality Accessories

An iPad that is encased in a third-party case that was not designed to spec can be a reason for poor Wi-Fi too. How so? The materials used could be hampering signal reception for the iPad.

Hardware Failures

Plural? Yes, there can be multiple hardware failure points causing the issue with the iPad dropping Wi-Fi all the time. There could be the iPad itself, there could be the poor-quality power to the Wi-Fi router, there could be a failure in the router itself.

Software Issues

Then there are software quirks that might be causing repeated Wi-Fi dropping on the iPad. These can be within the Wi-Fi router software or the iPad software. Part II will go over them in detail.

Part II: How to Fix iPad Keeps Disconnecting from Wi-Fi Issue?

Fixing the iPad dropping Wi-Fi issue is just as easy as finding the exact issue that is causing it in the first place.

1. Fix iPad Dropping Wi-Fi Due to Poor Reception

In case the iPad keeps dropping Wi-Fi due to poor Wi-Fi reception, you will notice a symptom of this: in some places, the Wi-Fi would never drop, and in some others, the Wi-Fi would keep dropping frequently. It would be like the old phone call memes, trying to find reception. That's exactly what is likely going on here. The Wi-Fi hardware is unable to cover the entire space where you are properly, and as such, the iPad is unable to get a strong enough signal at your current spot. When you move closer to the Wi-Fi hardware, the signal reception will be better, and you'll notice that iPad does not drop Wi-Fi anymore.

There are three ways to fix the situation:

1: Change your spot to be closer to the Wi-Fi hardware

2: Relocate the Wi-Fi hardware in a somewhat central location so that the whole space is equally covered

3: Invest in a Wi-Fi mesh router system that will enable much better coverage and eliminate poor reception problems and the iPad keeps dropping Wi-Fi problem along with it.

2. Fix iPad Dropping Wi-Fi Due to Signal Interference

Now, signal interference is harder to figure out generally but is a safe bet to assume today especially when we know we are surrounded by Wi-Fi routers everywhere and especially if we have a commonplace, ISP-provided router as well. Why is that? That is because it is more than likely that similar routers will operate similarly, and, therefore, your neighbor's Wi-Fi could be causing interference with your own, especially when combined with the low signal as your own Wi-Fi struggles to reach you in that other corner of the house/ home-office you are in. This is, in short, frequency/ signal overlap that can confuse the iPad, and it struggles to pick one.

The way to fix this situation is to change the channel on your Wi-Fi signal in your Wi-Fi hardware settings. Most routers offer a way to change the Wi-Fi channel manually and automatically. While it automatically tries to work out the least-problematic channel, sometimes you need to manually experiment with these things if your iPad keeps dropping Wi-Fi due to signal interference.

How to change channels is different for every router brand. It is best that you speak with your ISP if they supplied one, else look up online about your particular router brand.

3. Fix iPad Dropping Wi-Fi Due to Poor Quality Accessories

Poor-quality, third-party accessories such as screen protectors and cases can create unknown, unforeseen issues. It is entirely possible for that cheap case to be blocking Wi-Fi reception on your beloved iPad, causing you grief.

To know if the case is causing issues with your Wi-Fi reception, simply remove the case from the iPad and see if that resolves or helps the Wi-Fi reception.

4. Fix iPad Dropping Wi-Fi Due to Hardware Failures

Hardware failures include the Wi-Fi radio failure in the iPad itself or Wi-Fi antennae failure in the Wi-Fi router. If either is not working optimally anymore, there will occur issues such as the iPad keeps dropping Wi-Fi issue that you are facing. How to know which of the two is failing?

If the Wi-Fi router antennae are failing or there is some issue in the Wi-Fi router, every device connected to the router will start facing the same issue as the iPad dropping Wi-Fi. This means that all devices will keep dropping Wi-Fi just the way the iPad does. If this is not the case, then it means the issue could lie within the iPad itself.

The iPad could have developed a hardware issue, but, given the high manufacturing standards Apple uses, it is more than likely only a software issue, and that can be resolved easily with simple fixes.

5. Fix iPad Dropping Wi-Fi Due to Software Issues

There can be a few software reasons why the iPad keeps dropping Wi-Fi, such as if you split your Wi-Fi network or if suppose your Wi-Fi mesh router system is not in sync somehow, or when there are some software issues within the iPad itself. All of these are fixable rather easily.

Fix 1: Force Restart The iPad

One of the first software fixes that you ought to try for everything that's going wrong with your user experience is to restart the device. Here's how to restart the iPad:

iPad With Home Button

restart ipad with home button

Step 1: For an iPad with a home button, press and hold the Power button till the slider screen comes up. Drag the slider to shut down the iPad.

Step 2: Press and hold the Power button to restart the iPad.

iPad Without Home Button

restart ipad without home button

Step 1: Press and hold any one of the volume keys and the Power button till the slider screen appears. Drag to shut down the iPad.

Step 2: Press the Power button and hold until the iPad restarts.

Fix 2: Restart The Wi-Fi Router

When was the last time you restarted the Wi-Fi router? Not to name and shame, so let's just say that routers have been known to require reboots to perform optimally, so much so that now brands are offering a scheduled reboot feature to automate the job! Imagine that!

Now, without going much into the nitty-gritty of scheduling the reboot, let's just switch off the Wi-Fi router's power and switch it back on after about 30 seconds to power cycle the router. See if this resolves the frequent Wi-Fi dropping issue on the iPad.

Fix 3: Sync The Wi-Fi Mesh Router System

If you have one of those swanky mesh router systems, there is little chance that you are suffering from poor Wi-Fi coverage. The whole idea of a mesh system is to cover the premises in glorious Wi-Fi. So, what gives? Well, sometimes, while moving about, the nodes do not hand over the baton to each other reliably, causing the iPad to drop Wi-Fi occasionally. The mesh routers systems feature a Sync button on the nodes, and you can, in consultation with the manual for your specific brand, sync the nodes manually to ensure that the handing over works reliably.

Fix 4: Reset Network Settings

Sometimes, software updates can cause corruption at a level where the issues manifest in unknown ways and can cause annoyances such as the iPad dropping Wi-Fi issue. Resetting the network settings can fix such issues if they were caused by a recent software update on the iPad, especially one that might have updated/ tweaked the internal network code configuration in the iPad. Here's how to reset network settings on the iPad:

Step 1: Go to Settings > General and scroll down till the end

Step 2: Tap Transfer or Reset iPad > Reset

reset ipad settings

Step 3: Tap Reset All Settings.

Fix 5: Add The Other Wi-Fi Band in iPad

Most recent Wi-Fi routers are dual-band routers, which means that they offer Wi-Fi signal in 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz band. Now, generally, they are set up to provide two separate bands of service, and you connect to either of them. However, therein lies the catch. The 5 GHz band will work in a smaller area and the reception will not travel as far as the 2.4 GHz band. So, if in one room you simply connected to either and were good, you might suddenly discover the iPad keeps dropping Wi-Fi when going to father corners of your place. That's because the iPad does not proper signal quality from the 5 GHz band you likely connected to. In that case, switching to the 2.4 GHz band is the best bet.

Here's how to add another Wi-Fi network to the list of trusted networks on the iPad:

Step 1: Go to Settings > Wi-Fi

Step 2: You will see the list of available networks.

wifi network illustration on iphone

Step 3: From this list, you will be able to recognize the 2.4 GHz band Wi-Fi network easily since by default they are named clearly.

Step 4: Connect to it with the password from your existing Wi-Fi. Most likely, it will work. If not, you will need to access the admin settings of your router (check the internet for your brand) and set up a password for the 2.4 GHz band afresh.

Now, ideally, your iPad will switch between 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz automatically as the best signal it gets, resolving your iPad dropping Wi-Fi problem completely.

There is another approach here, which is to get into your router settings and name the two bands the same and the passwords to be the same. That way, the iPad will still do what we did above. But, the method described above is preferred to ensure that you are in more control of the switch, that the iPad switches only when necessary and does not remains connected to the 2.4 GHz band all the time, which would offer you lower transmission rates than the 5 GHz band and depending on your internet plan might even cause you to see reduced download speeds.

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Now, if none of the above has resolved anything and the iPad still keeps dropping Wi-Fi, it might be time to take slightly more intrusive steps such as repairing the iPadOS. This can be done the Apple way by connecting the iPad to the computer and using iTunes (Windows/ older macOS) or macOS Finder (newer macOS versions) or you can try out the amazingly easy way to repair iPadOS with Wondershare Dr.Fone, a suite of tools that caters to fixing all imaginable issues that users around the world face every day with their smartphones and tablets. Dr.Fone has a module called System Repair that allows you to repair the iPad problems without deleting user data and for a more thorough repair, with deleting user data. It allows you to downgrade to a previous version easily without having to search the internet for the firmware file. And, thoughtfully, Dr.Fone also has a module to allow you to create backups of user data on the iPad that you can restore just as easily once the repair is done. You can click the following button to download the software on your computer to have a try.

Conclusion

When your iPad keeps dropping Wi-Fi, it can be one of the most frustrating of experiences especially when you have an iPad with only Wi-Fi connectivity. Internet is essential to have the iPad drop Wi-Fi is outrageous. Fortunately, there are several ways to fix the problem quickly, ranging from working with the Wi-Fi router settings to repairing iPadOS if all else fails.

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