If the Wi-Fi option is grayed out on your iPhone or iPad, here's how to fix it!

If the Wi-Fi option is grayed out on your iPhone or iPad, here's how to fix it!

Many iPhone and iPad owners over the past several months have reported issues with the Wi-Fi toggle in the Settings app being grayed out, or dim. In turn, this leaves them unable to turn on Wi-Fi at all. This can also cause Control Center to produce a "Wi-Fi Not Available" error message. If this sounds like something you're experiencing, we can help you quickly troubleshoot the issue and regain Wi-Fi functionality again.

1. Make sure you're on the latest version of iOS

One of the first things you should do before trying any other troubleshooting steps is to make sure you're running the most current version of iOS. Every time Apple issues an update, it contains bug fixes and improvements, which may very well solve the issue on its own. You can do it right from your iPhone or iPad, no computer required.

If you're on the most current version already or updating didn't seem to fix the issue, continue on.

2. Reboot your iPhone or iPad

Hard rebooting your iPhone or iPad can sometimes resolve issues as well. It's also a quick and easy troubleshooting step that should be tried before most others for any issue. Just hold down the Power button and Home button on your iPhone or iPad and don't let go until you see the Apple logo.

After your iPhone or iPad reboots, check the Wi-Fi option in Settings again. If it's still grayed out, move on to the next step.

3. Reset network settings

Resetting the network settings on your iPhone or iPad is another way to make sure some kind of setting isn't what is causing the problem. While it should fix any corrupt settings, you will have to re-enter all your Wi-Fi passwords, VPN settings, and anything else you have configured network wise. For most folks that's a small price to pay to have working Wi-Fi again.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Tap on Reset — it's all the way at the bottom.
  4. Tap on Reset Network Settings.
  5. Let your iPhone or iPad reboot.

4. Restore your iPhone or iPad

If none of the above steps have worked for you and your Wi-Fi toggle is still grayed out, it's probably time to try a restore. Simply plug your iPhone or iPad into iTunes and restore it brand new. Be sure to make a backup first though, whether that's to iCloud or to iTunes. If you aren't sure how to restore your iPhone or iPad, you can follow our guide.

5. Visit an Apple Store or repair shop

If nothing helped you, not even a restore, it's most likely a hardware issue. In rare cases, grayed out Wi-Fi can be caused by a hardware failure. In particular, it's an issue with the actual Wi-Fi chip on the logic board. This seemed to happen more often with the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s than other iPhone models. The only way to fix the issue permanently is to either swap your iPhone or iPad out at an Apple Store, or find a repair shop that is experienced with soldering that can reflow the chip. Be sure they are familiar with the issue and actually know how to fix it before going this route. If you're going the Apple route, you may have to pay for a replacement if you're out of warranty, but it's always worth a try since it is a known issue.

How did you fix grayed out Wi-Fi on your iPhone or iPad?

If you had this issue, what ended up working for you? Did you end up having to get a new iPhone or iPad or did one of the above steps seem to resolve the issue? Be sure to let us know in the comments along with what model iPhone and what version of iOS you had the problem on.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

If the Wi-Fi option is grayed out on your iPhone or iPad, here's how to fix it!


That's for old spinning HardDrives, not iPhones. With the HardDrives, it only gets them working to get data off, not to actually fix them forever. Also, you put them in an airtight ziplock baggie first.

Had this happened to an iPhone 4s. Nothing mentioned helped even the freezer thingy. Only thing you can do is have apple replace it if you are still under warranty. If not you are screwed!

Tried all of the above on a 4S (except visiting Apple as it's out of warranty) and none worked. However the wifi and Bluetooth now works again after applying heat for 10 minutes to the underside of the headphone jack until the temperature warning appeared and then putting it in a sealed plastic bag and straight in the freezer for 10 minutes. Big thanks to whoever worked out how to do this.

Bobbob, with all due respect, you are wrong here. It does work, it's not anecdotal, and no "spinning drives" were involved - it was an iPhone 4S ;)

It worked for YOU. It's like you're saying "my car was making a rattling noise, I hit it with a hammer and I fixed it, I had no idea what was going on under the hood, but it worked for *me* so it'll fix *EVERY* car." If this worked in *every* case, Apple would be suggesting it when people called in. This is too risky to say it'll fix everyone's phone.

Edit: Further, if someone is within warranty, and wants to avoid being without their phone, or a hold charge on a credit card, this could very easily void said warranty.

Whatever mate. You got my point in your first four words - "It worked for YOU". I never said "it'll fix everyone's phone", I said it fixed mine, same as the other people all over the interweb who posted this as a fix for their 4's and 4S's that seem to have been afflicted by this issue since recent iOS updates. Keep up the good work on the spinning hard drives though :D

Freezer trick worked on my broken 4S also. WiFi randomly quit working one day, did all the tricks mentioned in the article, nothing. Did a quick internet search, saw the freezer trick and figured why not. 10 minutes later my iPhone was back up and running fine. It was still working when I upgraded 7 months later. Funny thing is, the freezer trick worked on the iPhone and not on a hard drive I had fail on me.

Freezer trick is whatever, as the risk in doing it wrong is low. Too many variables with the hair dryer that can mess the phone up way worse.

The hard drive thing isn't always a fix, as I was trying to point out by saying the hair dryer won't absolutely, 100% work. I had the hard drive in the freezer work on a drive when I had 2 fail in my RAID5. Worked long enough to back up vital data, then it died. Only works if the issue is with the platters I think, not the circuitry on the controller.

"However the wifi and Bluetooth now works again after applying heat for 10 minutes to the underside of the headphone jack until the temperature warning appeared and then putting it in a sealed plastic bag and straight in the freezer for 10 minutes." didn't say anything implying "your results *will* vary"

What that does is warm up the solder. If someone does it too long, they could either damage the chips, or force them out of their location. Also, I'd guess you're a bit young as you hadn't heard of that trick for hard drives, and haven't seemed to read the link I sent you, nor that people have been doing the freezer trick since the 80's. Either way, the freezer thing is one thing, as it can't *really* be messed up. Hair dryer can really mess up a phone, and isn't something to do thinking it *will* fix an iPhone. If done wrong, which can happen easily, you may have a phone that Apple deems "beyond economical repair". Basically where they'll say you need a whole new phone, as opposed to their repair price.

Bobbob, again with all due respect, your replies are BS. You say here you just want to point out the risks, but your first response to my comment was "It will not fix anything for you."

"You're a bit young"? FYI, I'm 47 and have been involved in tech for quite some time. Don't make assumptions about people and things you have no knowledge of.

Let's face it, you're not here to help, just to troll. Move along.

My bad for my wording, I thought it was implied that I meant it won't fix for other people. As I said "This worked for OYSTR anecdotally. It will not fix anything for you." I thought, given context, you wasn't YOU, just you, as in other people reading it.

I don't know any 47 year olds who talk like that*, nor any who may have been into computers and things that amount of time without hearing of the HDD in the freezer trick. I sit corrected.

*that = "Keep up the good work on the spinning hard drives though :D"

Have fun with the last comment here, I don't intend to reply as we're getting no where.

It's funny when people like you only knows thing by reading an article....

Whereas there' some people that knows thing by trying them out themselves...

Like in this case... People have tried that freezer thingy and it works.... They TRIED.... And you DIDNT... You only knew about it on an article and try to bash it...

Sent from the iMore App

I'm not bashing that people tried, it's their phone, they can do what they want. What I *am* basing is the thought that this *will* absolutely, 100% work, in *every* case. It won't. It can further damage your phone, and make Apple charge you *more* for a "beyond economical repair" phone. The freezer trick doesn't have as much room for error as it's easy to put it in a bag and then in the freezer. Putting a hair dryer next to it, and warming up solder is another matter. People will put it too hot, or in the wrong place, and then they'll make a $200 or whatever repair in to a whole phone replacement. I just wanted to make a point so people don't try it without knowing the risks involved.

Thanks for this solution, was skeptical but tried it (using my AGA rather than a hair drier) and it worked perfectly. I expect to move to Android soon so hopefully this fix will last a few months.

Apparently is works by re-flowing the solder around the WiFi chip which is prone to a dry joint. Not sure why the iOS8.02 update caused it to fail but happy it works, for now. Apparently this fix doesn't last though.

Update: The heat/freezer trick worked for a few days then same problem. When I tried it again it only lasted an hour or so. Damn!

Had this problem on a 4s and fixed it by heating the phone with a hair dryer until the phone shut down due to overheating. Once the phone shut off I cooled it in the refrigerator before turning it back on. The wifi was working again once the phone cooled and powered back on. I think the heat does something to the soldering. Just Google iphone hair dryer trick for more information. Most of what I read about this trick indicates it is a temporary fix but it worked for me for several weeks until I could upgrade my phone.

Sent from the iMore App

Maybe try potting your phone in airplane mode for a min then turn airplane back off. Or reboot in airplane mode then take it out of airplane mode? Never heard of the hair dryer/freezer thing, but if that's working for some, I doubt airplane mode would work.

Sent from the iMore App

Yea airplane mode doesn't do anything. I've wiped and restored the 4 twice today and have an out of warranty iPhone. Not fair and so stupid. So many people told me NOT to update my iPhone. Should have listened. I have the 6 and when I switched phones I also updated the old one and put the 4 away not thinking twice about it.
I am going to the iPhone store tomorrow and plan on doing some tear shedding. The tears will be real and come very easily as the reason I pulled the 4 out is because I shattered the screen on my new iPhone 6 because I dropped it taking a picture.