How to fix an Apple iPhone XS Max that won’t connect to Wi-Fi [Troubleshooting Guide]

One of the key features of every smartphone is Wi-Fi. In order to use this feature, all you have to do is enable Wi-Fi on your phone settings, set up your Wi-Fi network, then connect. Once connected, you can start browsing the web on your phone. Modern smartphones are typically equipped with advanced Wi-Fi capabilities and that denotes faster Internet connection. But it turned out that Apple’s recently rolled out iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max failed to render the same quality Wi-Fi feature as what people expect.

Early reports have it that some iPhone XS and the bigger iPhone XS Max are unable to connect to Wi-Fi while others are getting weak Wi-Fi signal. Many people believe that it’s a software issue and so they’re hoping for Apple to promptly roll out a fix. While waiting for the said fix patch, you can try some workarounds as temporary solutions. To give you some inputs, I’ve mapped out applicable methods for you to try on. Read on to find out what to do if ever your iPhone XS Max is unable to connect to Wi-Fi.

Before we move on to our troubleshooting, if you are looking for a solution to a different issue, make sure you drop by our troubleshooting page as we’ve already addressed some of the most common problems reported by our readers. Find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If you still need our help after that, then feel free to contact us by filling up our iPhone issues questionnaire.

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How to troubleshoot iPhone XS Max that won’t connect to WiFi?

Before troubleshooting software problems that may have prevented your iPhone XS Max from establishing secure connection to the selected Wi-Fi network, try to rule out firmware issues with the wireless router or modem in use. Wireless access points must also be considered among the underlying causes when dealing with wireless Internet problems in mobile devices. Wireless access points pertain to your network equipment or the main source of your Internet connection either wireless router or modem, depending on your Internet setup. Like smartphones, routers and modems also encounter random firmware crashes and when this happens, all connected devices will suffer symptoms from slow browsing to intermittent or no Internet connection at all. And the simplest yet very effective solution to this would be a power cycle or soft reset on the wireless router or modem.

If you can access your wireless router or modem right now, toggle its power switch to turn off. Once it’s completely off, unplug the AC adapter from the power source for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then plug it back in to the power source and turn on again. Wait until your wireless router/modem is finished booting up. Now, retry connecting your iPhone XS Max to Wi-Fi. If it won’t connect, then move on and try these subsequent workarounds.

First solution: Turn Wi-Fi off and on shortly.

The Wi-Fi network may be glitching and needs restart. That said, toggling Wi-Fi off and then on again can be regarded among the first possible solutions. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tap Settings from Home.
  2. Tap Wi-Fi.
  3. Tap the Wi-Fi switch to turn it off.
  4. After a few seconds, tap the switch again to turn Wi-Fi back on.

After turning Wi-Fi off and on, restart or perform a soft reset on your iPhone XS Max to refresh its internal memory and clears iOS from minor software glitches that may have affected its network functions. Here’s how to soft reset your iPhone XS Max:

  1. Press and hold the Side button and either Volume button simultaneously for a few seconds.
  2. Release both buttons when the Slide to Power off command appears.
  3. Drag the Power off slider to the right to turn off the phone.
  4. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Side button again until the Apple logo appears then release.

Once it’s finished booting up, re-attempt to connect to your Wi-Fi network and see if it’s already working as intended.

Second solution: Enable Airplane Mode shortly and then disable again.

Another simple old trick that can do wonders when it comes to minor Wi-Fi connectivity issues in mobile devices is the Airplane mode trick. It’s done by simply toggling the Airplane mode switch on and then off again shortly. Turning Airplane mode on automatically disables Wi-Fi radios on the phone and turning it back off re-enable them. So it’s like a quick reboot on the Wi-Fi functions and for some reasons, that helps clear any minor glitches affecting the network connections on the phone. If you’d like to try it, then follow these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from Home.
  2. Tap Airplane Mode.
  3. Tap the Airplane mode switch to enable the feature.
  4. Perform a soft reset on your iPhone XS Max.
  5. Then go back to Settings-> Airplane Mode, then tap the switch to disable the feature again.

Reconnect to your Wi-Fi network and see if the problem is gone.

Third solution: Forget Wi-Fi network then set it up again.

It’s possible that your iPhone is connected to other unsecured Wi-Fi network in range like your next door neighbour’s. Sometimes, the device would automatically search for a network with better or stronger signal. To make sure this isn’t causing you troubles, forget/delete Wi-Fi networks from your iPhone XS Max then manually connect to your Wi-Fi network. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap Wi-Fi.
  3. Find the Wi-Fi network you want to forget then tap the information (i) icon next to the network name.
  4. Tap Forget This Network.
  5. If prompted, read the warning prompt then tap Forget to confirm.

You can also set your device to stop automatically joining a network in range. Here’s how:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap Wi-Fi.
  3. Tap the Information (i) icon next to the Wi-Fi network.
  4. Scroll to and tap the Auto-Join switch to turn the feature off.

Once you’re done doing all the above steps, restart/soft reset your iPhone XS Max then re-attempt to connect to your Wi-Fi network.

Fourth solution: Reset network settings on your iPhone XS Max.

The Wi-Fi network in use might have been corrupted and therefore needs to be set up again. That said, performing a network settings reset on the iPhone can be considered among other potential solutions. When you reset network settings, all data connections on your iPhone XS Max are restored to factory defaults. All stored Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth devices, and tethered connections will be deleted.  Incorrect or invalid network configurations are likewise cleared in the process. To perform a network settings reset on your iPhone XS Max, simply follow these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll to and tap Reset.
  4. Select Reset Network Settings option.
  5. If prompted, enter your device passcode to continue.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm network settings reset.

Your iPhone should restart by itself when the reset is finished. By then you can reconnect to your Wi-Fi network.

Fifth solution: Reset then restore your iPhone XS Max to factory defaults.

First, back up all your important files to iCloud or iTunes. This reset will delete all saved information from the phone’s internal storage, so creating a backup is recommended beforehand. Once everything is set, you can start performing these steps to factory reset your iPhone XS Max through settings menu:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll to and tap Reset.
  4. Select the option to Erase All Content and Settings. This is the option to master reset your iPhone XS Max.
  5. Enter your device passcode when asked.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm master reset.

Wait until your iPhone is done wiping data and then reverts to its factory default settings. Once the reset is finished, your iPhone will reboot by itself. Allow it to finish rebooting and then proceed with the initial device setup process. Reconnect to your Wi-Fi network and see if the problem is solved.

Software-related problems are usually dealt with by a factory reset (master reset). For persistent issues, more advanced solutions like software repair, if not, service would be necessary.

If none of the prior workarounds helped and your iPhone XS Max still won’t connect to Wi-Fi, then you can ask further assistance from your Internet service provider or carrier. They may be able to suggest more advanced solutions to apply. Or you can immediately escalate the problem to Apple Support so they can conduct further assessments and if necessary, develop a fix patch as remedy.

Connect with us

If you need more help with the use of certain functions and features of the Apple iPhone XS Max smartphone, feel free to visit our Tutorial Page. There you can find a list of how-to contents, step-by-step tutorials, as well as answers to FAQs regarding iPhone XS Max. If you have other concerns or encountered some troubles while using the phone, you can reach us through this form. Just be sure to tell us more details of the problem or device issue(s) you may have and we will be more than happy to assist you further.

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