How to fix an iPad Air 3 that has weak Wi-Fi signal, poor Wi-Fi reception

Weak Wi-Fi signal or poor Wi-Fi reception is usually due to proximity issues between the network equipment and the connected device. Network outages, environmental factors and software-related network problems on the affected device are also among other possible causes. If you’re reading this post, then it’s probably because you’re finding some means to resolve a relevant issue on your iOS device. To address that concern, I’ve mapped out some potential solutions for you to refer to. Read on to learn what to do if your iPad Air 3 is receiving weak Wi-Fi signal or poor Wi-Fi reception before setting up a service appointment with a network technician.

For those who are looking for a solution to a different problem, drop by our troubleshooting page for we have already addressed some of the most common issues with this device. Browse through the page to find issues that are similar to yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work for you or if you still need our help, contact us anytime through our iPad issues questionnaire.

Troubleshooting iPad Air 3 weak Wi-Fi signal issue

The following procedures are used to eliminate common factors that cause Wi-Fi signal issues among iOS devices. The solutions I demonstrate are specifically applicable to the Apple iPad Air (2019) tablet. Don’t forget to test browse after carrying out each solution to determine whether or not the problem is resolved. 

First solution: Power cycle the modem/wireless router.

A common approach in troubleshooting wireless Internet problems in computers and mobile devices is to start working out on the main source of the Internet connection and that is the modem or wireless router (depending on the network setup). Thus it’s recommended to start eliminating minor firmware issues on the network equipment that might have adversely affected your iPad Air’s Wi-Fi reception. And the most effective solution to try on is the so-called power cycle on the wireless router or modem in use. If you can access the network equipment at the moment, then follow these steps to power cycle it:

  1. Press the power button to turn the device off.
  2. When it’s turned off, unplug its AC adapter from the power source. Keep it that way for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  3. After the elapsed time, plug it back in then turn on again.
  4. Wait for the signal indicator to become stable.

Check the Wi-Fi signal strength indicator and see how many bars it shows. If it’s only showing 1 to 3 bars, then that only denotes that the network equipment is getting poor or weak Wi-Fi signal. The same thing goes with your iPad Air 3.

Second solution: Reboot your iPad Air 3 (soft reset).

To eliminate minor firmware issues on your iPad Air 3 that caused Wi-Fi signal issues, reboot or soft reset your iPad. This will fix random errors including Wi-Fi signal/reception problems that are inflicted by network system glitches. If you haven’t already, then follow these steps to soft reset/reboot your iPad Air 3:

  1. Press and hold down the Power/Top button for a few seconds until the Power off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider to power off your device.
  3. After a few seconds, press and hold the Power/Top button until the Apple logo appears.

Allow your device to finish booting up and re-establish Wi-Fi connection. See if that fixes the weak Wi-Fi signal your iPad is experiencing. If your iPad Air 3 still has poor Wi-Fi reception after a soft reset, then rule out network-related iOS errors using the next procedures.

Third solution: Toggle Wi-Fi, Airplane mode off and on again.

If the symptoms suddenly instigate, then it could be just due to some random glitches transpiring on the iPad’s wireless system. And the easiest possible solution to this is the old Airplane Mode trick. Here’s how it works: 

  1. Go to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu.
  2. Toggle the switch to turn Airplane Mode on. Wireless radios and relevant functions are simultaneously disabled.
  3. While Airplane mode is enabled, reboot/soft reset your iPad Pro.
  4. When the boot-up sequence is complete, go back to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu.
  5. Then toggle the switch to turn Airplane Mode off again.

Your iPad will then re-establish wireless network connections. See if that changes and improves the Wi-Fi signal your iPad is receiving then.

ALSO READ: How to fix Apple iPad Air 3 that won’t connect to WiFi

Fourth solution: Forget Wi-Fi network then add it back.

If all your devices are experiencing the same Wi-Fi signal issues and they’re all connected to the same SSID or wireless network, then the problem could be due to a corrupted SSID. If that’s the case, you’ll need to delete the problematic network and then add it back. Here’s how you do it:

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Select Wi-Fi.
  3. Toggle the Wi-Fi switch to enable Wi-Fi feature, if not enabled. 
  4. Scroll down to the list of saved networks then choose your Wi-Fi network.
  5. Tap the information “i” icon next to the SSID or name of your Wi-Fi network.
  6. Then tap the option to Forget this network.
  7. If prompted, tap Forget Network to confirm that you want to delete the selected network. 

You can also delete any other saved Wi-Fi networks to prevent them from causing conflicts with the selected Wi-Fi network. Your device might join or connect to an open network especially when glitching. If this happens, the Wi-Fi reception or signal your device gets is weak or poor considering the proximity between the Internet source (modem) and your iPad Air 3.

Fifth solution: Update iOS and carrier settings, if possible.

Network-related issues affecting iOS devices, particularly those that are attributed to carrier services are also remedied by updating carrier settings. These updates are different from the ones released by Apple. Carrier updates are generally rolled out to optimize and enhance network-related services while other updates contain network patches or bug fixes. Normally, carriers push these updates automatically. This means that the carrier updates are automatically installed. Nonetheless, there are also other carrier updates that require manual installation. To check and install carrier updates on your iPad Air 3, simply follow these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap About
  4. Scroll to the Carrier section to view any carrier settings update available. If there’s an update, then simply follow the steps to implement it. 

Software updates rolled out by Apple also provide bug fixes including network patches. If you haven’t  configured your iPad to auto-install updates, follow these steps to check for any new iOS version available:

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Software update.

You can also use iTunes to update your iPad OS manually on a computer.

  1. Connect your iPad to the computer using the original USB cable or Lightning cable that came with it.
  2. Open iTunes on your computer and wait for it to detect your iPad.
  3. When your iPad appears in iTunes, click on its icon to select it.
  4. Then click the Summary pane.
  5. Click the button to Check for Update.
  6. If a new update is available, click Download and Update.
  7. Enter your passcode when asked to proceed.

After installing software updates on your iPad Air 3, reboot/soft reset it to apply the recent system changes. Then see if that solves the problem on weak Wi-Fi signal or poor Wi-Fi reception on your iPad Air 3.

Sixth solution: Reset network settings to fix weak Wi-Fi signal issue on your iPad Air 3.

If updating doesn’t solve the problem, then you may have to consider performing resets. There are various types of resets you can do on an iOS device. Since the problem you’re dealing with is network-related, resetting the network settings is recommended. This reset clears out all your current network configurations and deletes all saved Wi-Fi network and relevant information. Any associated errors are likewise eliminated in the process. And here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset network settings.
  5. If prompted, enter your device passcode to proceed.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm that you want to reset network settings on your iPad Air 3.

Give your device a enough time to finish the network settings reset and then restarts when done. As soon as it boots up, enable Wi-Fi to set up your Wi-Fi network as new and then reconnect to the Internet.

Last resort: Erase your iPad Air 3 and set it up as new.

If all else failed to fix the problem and only your iPad Air 3 is experiencing weak Wi-Fi signal or poor Wi-Fi reception, then it’s likely due to some complex system error affecting your iPad’s wireless network services. And this is when a factory reset/master reset is necessary. But before you do, be sure to back up all critical files from your iPad Storage to iCloud or iTunes. Failure to do so will result in permanent data loss, so you might lose important contents. Once you have secured the backup, follow these steps to factory reset your iPad Air 3 through settings:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Reset.
  4. Select the option to Erase all content and settings.
  5. Enter your passcode to proceed.
  6. Tap the option to confirm full system reset or factory reset.

Just follow the onscreen commands and prompts to finish updating your iPad.

You can also use iTunes to manually erase your iPad Air 3 then download and install the latest software available. This is likely what’s needed if your iPad Air doesn’t have stable internet access. Just ensure that the computer you’re using is connected to the internet and has the latest iTunes app installed.

ALSO READ: How to fix slow Internet connection on your iPad Air 3

Still getting weak Wi-Fi signal or poor Wi-Fi reception on your iPad Air 3?

If your iPad Air 3 is still getting weak Wi-Fi signal after applying the aforementioned solutions, it’s possible that the problem isn’t with the iPad but more likely with the network equipment or Internet service provider. In that case, you can ask for further assistance from your modem/router provider as it may be necessary to reset the network equipment. Alternatively, you can take the device to an authorized service center nearby for hardware assessment, especially if all your devices are experiencing the same poor Wi-Fi reception or getting weak Wi-Fi signal.

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