Troubleshoot Your iPad: Problems with Networks - dummies

Troubleshoot Your iPad: Problems with Networks

By Edward C. Baig, Bob LeVitus

If you’re having problems with Wi-Fi or your wireless carrier’s data network (Wi-Fi + 3G or + 4G models only) on your iPad, this information may help. The techniques here are short and sweet — except for the last one, restore.

Restore is inconvenient and time-consuming, and it still entails erasing all your data and media and then restoring it.

First, here are some simple steps that may help:

  • Make sure that you have sufficient Wi-Fi, 3G, or 4G signal strength, as shown in this figure.


  • Try moving around. Changing your location by as little as a few feet can sometimes mean the difference between great wireless reception and no wireless reception. If you’re inside, try moving around even a step or two in one direction. If you’re outside, try moving 10 or 20 paces in any direction.

    Keep an eye on the cell signal or Wi-Fi icon as you move around, and stop when you see more bars than you saw before.

  • Restart your iPad. Restarting your iPad is often all it takes to fix whatever is wrong.

    If you have a Wi-Fi + 3G or + 4G iPad, try the following two bullet points.

  • Make sure that you haven’t left your iPad in Airplane mode. In Airplane mode (Wi-Fi + 3G or + 4G models only), all network-dependent features are disabled, so you can’t send or receive messages, or use any of the applications that require a Wi-Fi or data network connection (that is, Mail, Safari, Maps, YouTube, and the iTunes and App Store apps).

  • Toggle Airplane mode on and off. Turn on Airplane mode by tapping Settings on the Home screen and then tapping the Airplane mode On/Off switch to turn it on. Wait 15 or 20 seconds, and then turn it off again.

    Toggling Airplane mode on and off like this resets both the Wi-Fi and wireless data-network connections. If your network connection was the problem, toggling Airplane mode on and off may correct it.

Apple offers two very good articles that may help you with Wi-Fi issues. The first offers some general troubleshooting tips and hints; the second discusses potential sources of interference for wireless devices and networks.

If none of the preceding suggestions fixes your network issues, try restoring your iPad.

Performing a restore deletes everything on your iPad — all your data, media, and settings. You should be able to put things back the way they were with your next sync. If that doesn’t happen, for whatever reason, you can’t say you weren’t warned.