Fix Grayed Out iPhone WiFi

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Fix grayed out iPhone wifi

Another option is to upgrade iOS. You can check for new software updates by tapping settings > general > software update. Keep in mind, most users affected by this issue experienced it after upgrading to iOS 6.1.3. If you don’t have an iPhone 5, 6.1.3 is the latest version, and may be the last 6.x version. You may choose to make do without WiFi until iOS 7 is released, however, if this is a hardware issue, no upgrade will truly fix it.

Apple recommends restoring your iPhone with iTunes as a possible solution. Follow these steps to restore your iPhone.

Didn’t Work?

If the software configuration changes didn’t work, you most likely have an issue with the WiFi module. If your iPhone is still under warranty, take it to the nearest Apple store or contact Apple for replacement. If you have a third-party extended warranty, follow their process for repair or replacement. If your iPhone’s warranty has expired, there is still hope. You can take it to a repair shop. Many repair shops are familiar with this issue. They can fix it with a heat gun or by replacing the WiFi module. From my research, this should cost no more than $60.

Not Recommended

There are a few DIY fixes for this issue that are floating around the Internet. I don’t recommend these, as they may cause other damage to your iPhone. One fix is to turn off your iPhone and seal it in a plastic bag, squeezing out all of the air. The iPhone is then placed in the freezer for 15 minutes. When the iPhone is turned back on, some users are able to use WiFi again. For most, this is a temporary solution, lasting a few hours or maybe a day. Other users have done the opposite, using a hair dryer to heat up their iPhone. I don’t recommend either of these fixes. They will likely damage your iPhone further. Some people may have nothing to lose, as their warranty has expired. I would suggest taking it to a repair shop. If you live in a remote area, you can send your device to a repair service.

The iPhone is a well-made device. No device is perfect. People experiencing WiFi issues are rightfully annoyed. I would be upset if this happened to me. Keep in mind that this issue affects very few people. There are other mobile devices that are far more problematic than the iPhone. The vast majority of iPhone users are happy with their devices and the iPhone is ranked #1 in customer satisfaction, 9 times in a row. It’s not perfect, but it is better than a lot of other devices on the market.

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34 thoughts on “Fix Grayed Out iPhone WiFi

  1. yeah right…and i am one of those who is affected by this issue…upgraded my 4S when the latest update was released and then i’ve just experienced this issue by the end of last month…

  2. I also had this issue with my iPhone. The apple techs looked at me like I was from outer space but did replace my iPhone with 3 days left on warranty. That night it prompted me to update my new iPhone and not realizing what caused my iPhone to grey out the WIFI I updated and it instantly disabled it. Apple sent me a replacement phone in 36 hours.

  3. As I have googled hundreds of pages on this issue let me add my 5 cents. This is a pure and simple HW issue. T he phone is broken you need a new one. Go to your Apple store and tell them you need it and don’t accept that the Wifi SW is broken –

    You may and will see where in some cases the WiFI comes back intermittently but this is rare and even more frustrating as it quickly drops off again.

    Hardware broken. I upgraded to iOS7 yesterday and this made even less of a difference to the problem.

  4. This has also just happened to my iPhone 4 that is also out of warranty. Same again no one wants to admit fault , but there obviously is one as many people are reporting the same thing! Let’s brew up a storm to make apple rectify the problem!

  5. My iPhone 4s is also affected with this problem. I can’t use WIFI anymore. Its WIFI grayed out. I bought my iPhone from a different country and now I am living somewhere else. I really last my way and don’t know what to do. Apple should take responsibility and fix this issue.

  6. It seems to me that this problem is not rare at all. I’ve got TWO new iPhones from the Apple’s guarantee repair but they BOTH faced this issue within a month. The first one greyed out the same day I got it. I guess I should move closer to the repair shop as it seems I will have to switch to a new phone every month for the forseeable future.

  7. My iPhone 4s is also affected with this problem. I can’t use WIFI anymore. Its WIFI grayed out.

    I wil never buy a iphone again… NEVER AGAIN.

  8. It worked for me! I turned of my iphone 4s, heated it with a dryer for 3-5minutes. At first it would not turn on again (overheated). After cooling down Wifi worked perfectly!

    • I did it, too, and it lasted for about 30 days, then quit again. Even the lady in the YouTube video where I learned about this “fix” said it only lasted 32 days on her phone.

    • I would be upset if it happened to me. Did you try contacting Apple? In some cases, they have replaced devices even if the warranty has expired.

    • Have you tried the hairdryer or freezer yet? It just happened on my iPad 2 also. Im having trouble finding a fix for my iPad, since most cases are with the iPhone. Apple won’t help me out. Let me know if you have any solutions. Thanks

      • Consider taking it in or sending it in for service. The last time I checked, you can get the WiFi module replaced for around $60. You may be able to find a better deal.

        From what I understand, freezing or heating the device only work temporarily and could damage the device in other ways. I don’t recommend it.

  9. Where did this guy get his research? I know so many people that continue to have this issue and that’s just in one remote location! Get a different phone people if you still have a chance!!

    • Interesting. I live in the SF Bay Area and I am an engineer with 15 years of software development experience. I know a lot of people with iPhones and not one who has this issue. Nonetheless, I wrote up this article because it does affect a fraction of users.

      I still have an almost 4-year old iPhone 4, which I dropped once, and yet has no issues, not even a scratch. Even though it is old, it is something I keep around to use as an Apple TV remote. The WiFi still works. It runs the latest operating system. That cannot be said for any other smartphone that is four years old.

      This article is at the top of SERPs, yet it doesn’t have that many views. This also indicates it is not a widespread issue.

      If your claim is that the majority of iPhones have faulty WiFi, you are mistaken. This does appear to be a manufacturing defect. Apple has taken responsibility for it, to some extent, and replaced devices in many cases. It is true that some people have experienced this problem. With hundreds of millions of iPhones sold, some will be defective.

      Some units have damaged WiFi due to shocks and exposure to heat. Has any other manufacturer managed to make an indestructible smartphone? In all of the tests I have seen, iPhones hold up to shocks from being dropped better than any other device.

      http://www.androidauthority.com/iphone-5s-vs-5c-drop-test-271282/

      This is from Android Authority. They seem to do this test, without bias, and show that the iPhone is more rugged than other phones. They seem to hope that other manufacturers will take note and stop making junk.

      If you look at the iPhone’s customer satisfaction, it surpasses every other smartphone manufacturer. They are not perfect. They do have some manufacturing defects, however, this is far less than other manufacturers.

      I have owned many tech products in my life. Apple, by far, has the best quality, both in terms of software and hardware. No one else even comes close. Pretty much everyone in the valley knows this, and we eat, sleep and breathe technology.

      You seem pretty desperate to convert people. My advice: do this by mentioning the positive aspects of your preferred smartphone manufacturer. You don’t have to criticize me, my research or make a desperate appeal. It comes off as a bit desperate and pathetic. Where do you get your research? You have some claim that everyone in your area has an iPhone with faulty WiFi. That is not statistically likely. Did they also get hit with lightning and win the lottery three times?

      For the unlucky few who have experienced this problem, please contact Apple or a qualified technician. This is a solvable problem. If Apple won’t fix this, you can have the module replaced for a reasonable price.

    • It depends on what you want out of your mobile computing experience. If you value customization and a choice of many different devices, Android is a better choice. If you need better performance to create multimedia or enjoy high end gaming, iOS is a better option. The iPhone isn’t a waste of money. It’s actually a pretty good value, when one considers performance.

      For most people, Android is adequate. I personally prefer iOS. The phone is the least expensive part of the package — it costs less than three months of service. I can’t justify paying $80/mo for service, only to wait for apps. Some apps, such as high end multitrack recording apps (Cubasis, as just one example) are currently exclusive to iOS. I think the phone that can handle multitrack recording and console/desktop quality graphics and gaming is worth every penny and more.

  10. You are correct. Apple sells millions of I phones and very few are failing. All the more reason Apple should correct the issue. They make billions on there products and refuse to fix a few phones with hardware issues. Sorry, lost me as a customer!!!

  11. I would suggest that any smart phone that fails to support wifi as the number one feature is a complete failure. To blow this off as only affecting a small proportion of customers is missing the point. Without wifi there is no need to buy a smartphone, much less a $500 iphone (or whatever you spend). It is unacceptable that Apple has not addressed this issue directly – and it is an issue – regardless of the proportion affected. All the sites are here say and useless suggestions and brand promoting. Who cares if you like Android, or iOS? Who cares about going to an Apple rep when there is no corp response? Furthermore, who cares if you are an engineer who has an iPhone that is not affected? You like Apple? Great. Good for you. You have a smart phone without wifi and need a definitive answer as to the cause? Tough luck. All you get is useless opinions and useless suggestions (reset networks).

    • You might want to re-read the article. I provide a link to the Apple support forum where others were able to have Apple fix their device for free. I also recommend taking it to a certified repair shop (Apple store or other repair service). If you are interested in doing something productive, it can be fixed. I have yet to see this problem solved by complaining about Apple on a website.

      You may also want to consider purchasing another brand of smart phone. Apple isn’t the only smart phone maker out there. I’m sure you can find one that is perfectly manufactured and completely flawless.

  12. Boy, this issue needs a true CSI report. I also work for a Silicon Vly base company for decades. We do environmental testing, which Apple may also do, of products during their development to insure the most reliable design and customer satisfaction for future sales.
    Okay, when we see a design problem we can get down to an electron microscope image, in our Reliability Physics’ Dept, to ID the fault and then back out to determine ‘Root Cause’.
    Just because an IC chip failed, does not mean the chip is ‘Root Cause’, what caused the chip to be operated beyond its electrical limits to fail?
    ‘Root Cause’ is needed to truly solve and improve the product designs. My experience, the Iphone has numerous weaknesses that Apple has a prioritized list of. No produce is defect free and will work forever. Most products have failures that a so latent the user’s application never detects it, or accepts it as an annoyance.

    From my prospective there are numerous risks that can lead to end user failures:
    1. The operating limits of the WiFi module are being exceeded and the software, mechanical Thermo-dynamics and lastly is the user.
    2. Too many Internal interconnections add to product reliability and cause ‘phantom failure symptoms’.
    3. Sub-assembly quality control; the same module/component are not made from the same patch/time. There are imperfections in the manufacturing processes and these minor flaws add ‘latent’ risk to product reliability.
    4. High speed end product testing/verification. Your 4s may have be testing for less than a minute before be packaged for sale. No real world testing was done to the ones at the Apple Labs during the design phase.

    Keep in mind that these devices are ‘Cutting Edge’ which also means the designs are pushing the operating limits to meet customer desires/expectations. When designs are on the edge, product reliability is always at risk and the designer is aware of it, failures are going to happen. So, as we all do with any investment, we calculate our ‘Risk-to-Reward’ and decide if we want to move forward to market or not.

    Lastly, I’ve taken apart my kids Iphone 4s with special tools and it is a riddled with too many mechanical and electrical interconnections, one or two were loose! Products with this many interconnections, for me, is a reliability nightmare. Most high quality companies know to minimized this to improve reliability.
    Apparently Apple seems to be okay with this.

    • This is a very insightful comment. Thanks for taking the time to write this.

      It seems to be a manufacturing flaw that is exacerbated by heat. This is why it happens after people upgrade iOS. About a week after a new version of iOS comes out, I see a spike in views on this article. I wrote this because people were coming up with all sorts of cockamamie explanations — Apple does this on purpose to force people to buy a new iPhone. That’s not true. I still have an iPhone 4 and the WiFi works fine. It is over four years old. Apple actually did take responsibility for this and repaired and replaced many iPhones with this problem. They could have done a better job and repaired all iPhones with this issue. It would foster brand loyalty. There are a lot of upset people in the comments, and I’m sure many of them have moved to other brands of smartphones.

      I have had a few people mention that everyone in their town who purchased this at the same store all had the issue. I read about an employer who had this happen to all of the iPhones they purchased. Indeed, that would indicate a manufacturing flaw in a production run. This also seems to happen to the “glass sandwich” models. It’s not surprising, because glass is an insulator. Then you have people who play Candy Crush for 12 hour straight, with their phone plugged into the charger. They notice the phone is very warm. Yes, that’s not good. Apple expects normal use, not obsessive use. It’s like driving a car with the radiator boiling over, and then being upset when it breaks down. Some apps are poorly designed and use a lot of battery power and generate a lot of heat. A social networking app would cause my iPhone to lose 20% of its battery charge in 10 minutes, and the phone was almost too hot to touch. They released an update and fixed it.

      It’s a combination of heat and an underlying manufacturing flaw. It can be fixed for about $60.

  13. I have owned two new 4 s phones and both have the same wifi problem. Apple needs to own up to this obvious widespread problem! Apple would get more respect and brand loyalty in doing so

    • I agree. It would show good faith. It can’t be that expensive for an Apple genius to replace the WiFi module. There are services that will do it for $60. Apple has taken accountability and repaired this issue for some users. I can understand them not wanting the bad publicity of a recall. However, they should fix it for anyone who has the problem, regardless of the warranty.

    • That’s unfortunate. Thanks for posting your experience. One would expect them to treat customers better. I had an issue with my Mac and was also treated badly at the Apple Store.

      You can try a third party repair shop. I’m assuming it’s no longer under warranty. If that’s the case, a third party shop will do the job for much less.

  14. I have an iPhone 4s as soon as I put iOS 7 it greyed out my wifi called apple and all I got was it will cost me 259.00 to fix I call bull sh*t it’s they’re mess up so why would I pay that price anyways I have bought 5ipads,9iphones and a home computer all by Apple never again will I purchase from them I even said I could see 40 or50 dollars but they aren’t very customer friendly stand up and fix the issue Apple cause if not Samsung is getting my money

    • That sounds very frustrating. Charging $259 to fix the WiFi module is robbery. If you look around, you can get it fixed for about $60 from a third party repair service. If this happened to me, I would consider ending my relationship as an Apple customer. As it stands, my iPad 2 was rendered obsolete by iOS 8 only three years after purchase. Their promise that iOS 9 would offer better performance didn’t prove to be true. I’m never buying another iPad again, but I will probably buy a Mac in the future. My iPad is so frustrating to use, I just want to chuck it out the Window. Fortunately, it serves one purpose — a music player with Google Play Music. Apple Music can’t really cut the mustard on their own device, and I found it to be too buggy anyway.

      I do think they’re treating their customers poorly lately, and it’s not how they used to be. For example, they’re trying to push the iPad as a professional device. Anything running iOS is not professional. The copy/paste features are so quirky and spastic! How can such a basic and essential feature be so fundamentally flawed in a “pro” product? There’s so many other reasons why an iPad is not a pro product. They are also ratcheting up their “planned obsolescence” program. They use iOS updates to hobble older devices, hoping people will buy a new one. They don’t do this with the Mac.

      There is a good reason to stick with Apple. All of the apps, movies and TV shows you purchased can’t be moved to another brand of smartphone. That’s the ecosystem lock.

      I also think the Mac is still a great computer, and unless one is an avid gamer, it’s the best choice. I do think the iPhone is one of the best smartphones on the market. I know people who have switched to iPhones and they all seem to like the stability, speed and ease of use.

      That WiFi module problem seems like a product defect. Basically, when you upgraded to iOS 7, the heat generated from downloading the update “fried” the WiFi module. The 4S is the “glass sandwich” design, which traps in heat. It seems to be the one most prone to this defect. Unfortunately, Apple won’t fix it for free if the warranty expires. You’re not even asking for it to be fixed for free. You just don’t want to be ripped off. Yes, $259 is unreasonable, and I think they just want you to buy a new iPhone. Little do they know, you may not buy another Apple product again. In my opinion, Apple is set up for a class action lawsuit. It just seems smart to avoid that and just repair it for free.

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