It appears that iOS 16.1 has a bug which is causing Wi-Fi connections to become very flaky for iPhone and iPad users, at least going by numerous reports online.
As MacRumors (opens in new tab) flags up, the problem consists of random disconnects of the wireless connection after updating to iOS 16.1, an issue that users across Twitter and Reddit are complaining about, and folks on Apple’s support forum (opens in new tab) too.
Some affected people (opens in new tab) say the problem can crop up regularly, such as disconnecting (then reconnecting) every 10 seconds or so (which would, of course, be hugely frustrating).
Typical complaints run something like this (opens in new tab): “I’ve upgraded to iOS 16.1, I have trouble with Wi-Fi, my Wi-Fi sign keep[s] disappearing and appears by itself.”
Or this (opens in new tab): “Was watching NBA and the stream was fine as it’s hardwired on ATV4K. But my iPad and iPhone lost Wi-Fi access. And I was a few feet from the router. It was weird because ISP had no issues. Rebooted router and all was good.”
And indeed this (opens in new tab): “I have this issue and it is super inconsistent. Things like my browser will still work but Zoom/Google Meet/etc. stop working unless I disconnect from Wi-Fi and just do the call on 5G.”
Analysis: A frustrating bug, but there are potential workarounds
Between the randomness of the disconnects and the way problems are playing out in slightly different manners, this is a weird one.
Also note that some users observe that this flaw was popping up in the iOS 16.1 beta – which wouldn’t be overly surprising, though you’d hope this would flag it to be fixed – or even before with iOS 16.0 in what appear to be rare cases. So, if the gremlin has cropped up before, iOS 16.1 seems to have made things somehow worse.
With any luck this is something Apple is looking into as a priority, but in the meantime, there are some suggested workarounds.
The most commonly theorized cure is to forget the Wi-Fi network, then add it back – some say this works to resolve the problem, but others indicate it didn’t make any difference for them. It’s worth a whirl, though, if you are facing this particular Wi-Fi conundrum.
Another theory we’ve seen (opens in new tab) is to head to Settings / Privacy & Security / Location Services / System Services, and then switch off the Networking & Wireless toggle.
It’s not clear exactly how big an issue this is, but there seem to be a worrying amount of complaints around this, so hopefully, an Apple investigation into these Wi-Fi woes will proceed swiftly.
Meantime, fingers crossed that one of the mentioned workarounds will hold you over, though much like the disconnections themselves, whether or not they work seems to be rather random.