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Why Does My iPhone Keep Disconnecting from WiFi When Locked?

Are you tired of your iPhone disconnecting from WiFi when it’s locked? It can be frustrating to have to constantly reconnect every time you want to use the internet on your device. Fortunately, there are several common and advanced fixes that can help resolve this issue. In this blog post, we’ll explore why iPhones disconnect from WiFi when they’re locked and provide solutions for how to fix it so you can stay connected at all times. Let’s dive in!

Understanding the Issue

When iPhones are locked, they disconnect from WiFi to save battery life. However, this can be problematic if you’re using your iPhone for activities that require internet connectivity. This issue is common among iPhone users and can be frustrating to deal with.

The reason behind this behavior is the default setting on iPhones that automatically disconnects them from WiFi when they’re not in use or idle. When your phone goes into sleep mode, it stops seeking a connection with the network, which leads to disconnection.

Common Fixes:

If you’re experiencing the frustrating issue of your iPhone disconnecting from WiFi when locked, there are some common fixes you can try.

First, enable auto-join for the WiFi network you’re having trouble with. This will ensure that your phone automatically reconnects to the network even when it’s locked. Another option is to forget and re-join the network, renew DHCP lease, or disable WiFi networking and assist. Turning off VPN or resetting network settings may also help solve this problem.

1. Enable Auto-Join for WiFi Network

Enabling Auto-Join for WiFi network is one of the simplest solutions you can try to fix iPhone disconnection from WiFi when locked.

When auto-join is enabled, your device will automatically connect to a previously joined network as soon as it comes within range. To enable this feature, go to Settings > Wi-Fi and select the network you want your device to join automatically. Then toggle on the “Auto-Join” option.

2. Forget and Re-Join WiFi Network

If you’re facing issues with your iPhone disconnecting from WiFi when locked, forgetting and rejoining the network could be a simple solution.

To forget and rejoin a network, go to Settings > Wi-Fi > tap on the (i) icon next to the network name > Forget this Network. Then try reconnecting by selecting that same network again and entering the password if required. This can help refresh any outdated or incorrect network settings that may be causing disconnection issues.

3. Renew DHCP Lease

If you’re experiencing issues with your iPhone disconnecting from WiFi when locked, renewing the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) lease could help. This process involves obtaining a new IP address from the router, which can sometimes fix connectivity problems.

To start, go to Settings > WiFi and tap on the ‘i’ icon next to your network name. From there, click on “Renew Lease” at the bottom of the page. Wait for a few seconds until it says “Renewing Lease” and then reconnect to your WiFi network again. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, try some of our other solutions listed in this article.

4. Disable WiFi Networking and Assist

If none of the previous fixes worked, disabling WiFi Networking and Assist may be an option. To do this, go to Settings > Cellular > Wi-Fi Assist and turn it off. This feature automatically switches to cellular data when your iPhone has weak Wi-Fi signal.

Disabling WiFi Networking can also help resolve the issue. Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services and turn off Wi-Fi networking. However, keep in mind that turning these features off might result in slower internet speeds or increased cellular data usage.

5. Turn Off VPN

A Virtual Private Network or VPN is a useful tool that provides security and privacy when using public WiFi. However, it can also cause connectivity issues for some iPhone users.

If your iPhone keeps disconnecting from WiFi when locked, try turning off the VPN connection. Go to Settings > General > VPN and toggle the switch off. This should improve your WiFi connectivity.

Keep in mind that turning off your VPN may compromise your internet security, so only do this if you are experiencing persistent WiFi disconnection issues on your iPhone.

6. Reset Network Settings

If none of the previous fixes worked, resetting network settings might do the trick. This option will erase all your saved Wi-Fi passwords and other network configurations, so you’ll need to re-enter them after.

To reset network settings on your iPhone, go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. Your device will restart once the process is complete.

Advanced Fixes:

If you’ve tried the common fixes to no avail, it’s time to consider advanced solutions. First, check if your router firmware is up-to-date and update it if necessary. Outdated firmware can cause connectivity issues.

Ensure that your WiFi router is compatible with your iPhone model. Incompatible models may experience frequent disconnects. If these don’t work, try using Google DNS or force restarting your device before resorting to a factory reset.

1. Update Router Firmware

Updating the router firmware can often fix issues with iPhone disconnecting from WiFi when locked. Firmware is a type of software that controls your router’s hardware, and outdated firmware may cause connectivity problems. To update your router’s firmware, visit the manufacturer’s website and follow their instructions.

Keep in mind that updating firmware isn’t always a straightforward process and may require technical knowledge or assistance. If you’re unsure about how to proceed, check with your internet service provider or seek help from a professional technician.

2. Check WiFi Router Compatibility

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If you’ve tried all the common fixes but your iPhone still disconnects from WiFi when locked, it’s time to explore advanced solutions. One of these is checking the compatibility of your WiFi router with your iPhone.

The reason why some routers may cause issues with iPhones lies in their technical specifications and protocols, such as 802.11ac, WPA2 encryption, or dual-band frequencies. Therefore, you should consult your router manual or manufacturer website to ensure that it supports the same standards as your iPhone model and iOS version.

3. Use Google DNS

When your iPhone disconnects from WiFi when locked, it could be due to issues with DNS settings. A simple solution is to switch to Google’s public DNS servers.

To use Google DNS on your iPhone, go to Settings > Wi-Fi and tap on the “i” icon next to the connected network. Then, scroll down and select “Configure DNS” and choose “Manual.” Add and as the primary and secondary DNS addresses respectively.

Using Google’s fast and reliable DNS servers can solve any connectivity problems you may have experienced with your iPhone while locked or asleep!

4. Force Restart iPhone

Sometimes, force restarting an iPhone can fix persistent WiFi disconnection issues. To force restart your iPhone:

1. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button and Home button simultaneously until the Apple logo appears.
2. Release the buttons and wait for your phone to reboot.

This process clears out any software glitches that may be causing connectivity problems between your iPhone and WiFi network. If this method does not work, move on to more advanced fixes like resetting network settings or factory resetting your device.

5. Factory Reset iPhone

If all else fails, you may need to resort to a factory reset. This means wiping your iPhone completely and starting fresh with default settings. It’s important to note that this should be a last resort as it will erase all data on your device.

To perform a factory reset, go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. Follow the prompts and enter your passcode if prompted. Keep in mind that this process may take some time, but it can often solve persistent WiFi connectivity issues on your iPhone. Just make sure to back up all important data before performing the reset!

Tips for Keeping WiFi on When iPhone is Locked

One way to prevent your iPhone from disconnecting from WiFi when locked is by adjusting some settings. First, go to Settings > Display & Brightness and make sure that the Auto-Lock setting is set to Never. This will keep your phone screen on while it’s charging or plugged in.

You can also enable “background app refresh” for apps that need WiFi connection even when the phone is locked. To do this, go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh and toggle on the switch next to each desired app. By doing these simple tweaks, you can ensure a stable WiFi connection even when your iPhone is locked.


If your iPhone keeps disconnecting from WiFi when locked, there are several common and advanced fixes that you can try. The first step is to enable auto-join for the WiFi network or forget and re-join the network. If these solutions don’t work, renewing DHCP lease or disabling WiFi networking and Assist may help.

For more advanced fixes, updating router firmware or checking compatibility with your iPhone may be necessary. Using Google DNS, force restarting your iPhone or even factory resetting it can also fix the issue in some cases.

To prevent future disconnections when your phone is locked, make sure to adjust settings such as Auto-Lock and Low Power Mode on your phone. By following these tips and tricks, you can say goodbye to frustrating WiFi interruptions on your iPhone!

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