It looks like iOS 16.1 has a bug that is making Wi-Fi connections very weird for iPhone and iPad users, at least going through various reports online.
As MacRumors (opens in new tab) flag, the issue consists of random wireless disconnections after updating to iOS 16.1, an issue that Twitter and Reddit users are complaining about, and people on the Apple support forum (opens in new tab) also.
some affected people (opens in new tab) say the problem can crop up regularly, like disconnecting (and then reconnecting) every 10 seconds or so (which of course would be extremely frustrating).
Typical complaints are something like this (opens in new tab): “I updated to iOS 16.1, I have problems with Wi-Fi, my Wi-Fi signal continues[s] disappearing and appearing by itself”.
Or this (opens in new tab): “Was watching NBA and the stream was fine as it is plugged into the ATV4K. But my iPad and iPhone lost WiFi access. And I was a few meters from the router. It was strange because the ISP had no problems. I rebooted the router and everything was fine.”
It’s really this (opens in new tab): “I have this problem and it’s super inconsistent. Things like my browser will still work, but Zoom/Google Meet/etc. stop working unless I disconnect from Wi-Fi and just call on 5G.”
Analysis: A frustrating bug, but there are workarounds
Between the randomness of the disconnects and the way the issues are playing out in slightly different ways, this is odd.
Also note that some users note that this glitch was surfacing in iOS 16.1 beta – which wouldn’t be too surprising, although you’d expect this to signal it to be fixed – or even earlier with iOS 16.0 in what appears to be rare cases. So if gremlin came before, iOS 16.1 seems to have made things worse somehow.
With any luck, this is something Apple is looking at as a priority, but in the meantime, there are some workarounds.
The most commonly theorized cure is forgetting the WiFi network and adding it back – some say this works to solve the problem, but others indicate it made no difference to them. It’s worth a look, though, if you’re experiencing this particular Wi-Fi issue.
Another theory we have visa (opens in new tab) is to go to Settings / Privacy & Security / Location Services / System Services and then turn off the Network and Wireless toggle.
It’s unclear exactly how big the issue is, but there seems to be a worrying amount of complaints about it, so we’d expect an Apple investigation into these Wi-Fi issues to come quickly.
In the meantime, fingers crossed that one of the aforementioned workarounds will hold it, while much like the disconnects themselves, whether or not they work seems to be pretty random.