How to Fix an “Unable to Join the Network” Error in iOS
Considering that so much of the functionality of iOS is dependent on the internet, it’s pretty frustrating if you can’t join a wireless network because of a mystery “Unable to join the network [name]” error popping up on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. You may encounter this alert trying to join a wifi network as usual, or by trying to manually join a network:
With such a nondescript error message, it’s hard to know exactly what the problem with the wi-fi is, but for most cases you can resolve the issue fairly quickly with the multistep process described below:
- Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings
- Enter the devices passcode and confirm the reset
- Let the iPhone/iPad restart, you’ll see a spinning cursor on the device as it finishes the reset before the device boots back on
- Go back to Settings > Wi-Fi and join the network again
Resetting Network Settings removes saved passwords and configuration details, and the device automatically restarts itself to (presumably) dump any residual cache or preferences . Yes, you’ll have to re-enter passwords and specific network information again.
At this point the iPhone / iPad should connect to the network fine as usual. If you’re still having trouble after taking the aforementioned steps, go forget the Wi-Fi network via the iOS Settings and then manually join it again. Manually joining networks is done by choosing “Other” from the Wi-Fi menu and entering the exact router name, network encryption type, and router password.
From personal experience, the “unable to join network” error seems to occur when connecting to certain Wireless N routers more often than anything else, so if you have a dual band router you may just opt for the other network and skip the troubled signal. Sometimes restarting the router can help too, but since not all users have control over that, it’s generally best to offer an iOS client specific resolution.