[12 Ways] How to Fix WiFi Disconnect When iPhone Locked

Are you finding ways to fix iPhone disconnecting from WiFi when locked? 12 ways are listed here to help you. And FoneTool mentioned in solution 12 can be the most effective tool.

Kathy by Kathy Updated November 21, 2023
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Why does my iPhone keep disconnecting from WiFi when locked?

After a recent iOS update, my iPhone 12 WiFi disconnects when locked. This is a huge problem as I am at a location without cellular service so I need to use WiFi Calling to make and receive calls.  This issue makes me can’t receive phone calls anymore.

- Question from Apple Community

Why does WiFi disconnect when iPhone locked?

Wi-Fi has become a necessity in today's society, and people often prefer using it over mobile data for system or app updates due to its lack of data caps. However, many iPhone users have encountered an issue where their Wi-Fi disconnects when the iPhone is locked.

This has caused frustration among iPhone users, and there are some possible reasons behind the issue.

⛔ The router signal is too weak.
⛔ Some temporary bugs exist on your iPhone.
⛔ The expiration of the IP address assigned by your router.
⛔ Some features on iPhone automatically disconnect the WiFi.
⛔ The router itself has an issue.
⛔ The VPN is active on your iPhone.
⛔ Improper DNS configuration on your iPhone device causes the problem.
⛔ An outdated iOS system is running on your device.

How to fix WiFi disconnect when iPhone locked

Now that you know the main reasons for this issue, you can continue reading to find the most helpful solution among the 12 methods below.

Solution 1. Forget the WiFi

If the router signal is too weak, WiFi connection will disconnect automatically, you can manually reconnect it. 

Launch the Settings app on your iPhone and access the WiFi section > Locate the troublesome WiFi network and select the Forget This Network option. Your iPhone will disconnect from the WiFi network. Then you can simply reconnect it by entering your WiFi password.

forget netowrk

You can also check other ways below. And do you want to learn how to download an app over 200 MB without Wi-Fi? Go to the article you can find the answers.

Solution 2. Restart the iPhone

Force restarting your iPhone can be another effective way to solve the iPhone disconnecting from WiFi when locked issue.

For iPhone 8 Plus/8/X or later: Press and release the Volume Up button > Press and release the Volume Down button > Press and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears.

restart iphone

For iPhone 7 Plus or 7: Press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Volume Down buttons simultaneously until the Apple logo appears.

For iPhone 6 or earlier: Press and hold the Home button and Sleep/Wake button at the same time until the Apple logo is displayed on your screen.

Solution 3. Renew the IP

If the IP address assigned by the router has expired, you can update the IP address to fix the issue. Open the Settings app on your iPhone > Navigate to the WiFi section > Tap on the small "i" icon located next to your WiFi network's name > Look for the DHCP option > Simply tap on Renew Lease and you're done.

renew lease

Solution 4. Disable the WiFi Assist

Wi-Fi Assist is a handy iOS feature designed to maintain a stable internet connection during activities like browsing and streaming. When enabled, Wi-Fi Assist will seamlessly switch to Cellular Data when it detects a weak or unstable Wi-Fi connection.

You can try to disable this feature to solve the problem: Open the Settings app > Navigate to Cellular (or Mobile Data, depending on your region) > Scroll down the menu and locate the Wi-Fi Assist option to turn it off.

disable wifi assist

Solution 5. Turn off the VPN

If you have an active VPN on your device, disabling it might solve the iPhone being disconnected issue: Go to the Settings app > Tap on the VPN option to access your VPN settings. It's typically found in the list of settings under General or Network > Toggle the switch next to the active VPN profile to the OFF position.

disable vpn

Solution 6. Update router firmware

When the issue occurs, it's important to check the Wi-Fi router. If you suspect this, one potential solution is to update your router's firmware, especially if it's running on an outdated version.

It's worth noting that each router manufacturer may have a unique procedure for updating firmware. To get precise instructions, please visit your router manufacturer's official website for detailed guidance on this process.

Solution 7. Turn off the WiFi Networking option

If none of the previously mentioned solutions have solved the issue, it's possible that your iPhone may be experiencing a bug that affects its ability to connect to Wi-Fi networks. Then you can attempt to solve it by disabling the wireless networking service on your device.

Go to the Settings app > Tap on Privacy > Location Services > Scroll all the way to the bottom and tap on System Services > Toggle the option next to Wi-Fi Networking to off.

system service

Solution 8. Enable Auto-Join

The problem can sometimes be attributed to the Auto-Join option on your device. You can attempt to solve it by enabling the Auto-Join option for the Wi-Fi network: Open the Settings app > Tap on Wi-Fi >Tap on the small "i" icon next to the name of your Wi-Fi connection > Look for the Auto-Join option and turn it on.

Solution 9. Reset Network Settings

You can also try to reset the network settings on iPhone to fix the WiFi disconnect when iPhone locked issue: Go to the Settings app > General > Reset > Choose Reset Network Settings.

reset network settings

Note: This operation will delete all network settings including your saved Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth connections, and VPN configurations.

Solution 10. Use Google DNS

If an improper DNS configuration exists on your iPhone, you can consider using Google's public DNS as an alternative.

Open the Settings app > Wi-Fi > Tap on the small "i" icon next to the name of your Wi-Fi connection > Click on Configure DNS option > Choose the Manual option > Select Add Server and type in as the New DNS Server > Tap on Save to make it.

google dns

After adding the Google DNS servers, you can remove the DNS server of your service provider if it's listed, then tap Save in the upper-right corner of the screen.

Solution 11. Update iOS system

Sometimes, the problem may be caused by the outdated iOS system. Then you can go to Settings > General > Choose Software Update. If there is any update available, click Download and Install to make it.

software update

Solution 12. Factory reset iPhone

If none of the previously mentioned solutions have solved the issue, you might need to consider performing a factory reset on your iPhone. In this case, using professional iPhone data management software like FoneTool can be very helpful. It can help you perform a one-click backup and then erase all iPhone data efficiently.

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Fully Backup iPhone

Step 1. Launch FoneTool on your PC > Connect your iPhone to the computer with a USB cable.

Step 2. Choose Phone Backup > Full Backup and click Get Started to fully back up all iPhone data. (You can also choose Selective Backup to selectively back up photos, videos, music, contacts and messages on iPhone.)

selective backup

Step 3. Check Enable Backup Encryption as you like. Then select a storage path to save the backup and click Start Backup to begin the task. 

Note: You can change the path to back up your iPhone data to the external drive.

confirm to fully back up iPhone

Then you can use FoneTool to factory reset your iPhone without worrying about losing data.

Factory Reset iPhone

Step 1. Click Toolbox > Choose Data Eraser.   

data eraser

Step 2. Choose Erase all data and tap on Get Started. (You can also go to Erase private data to delete iPhone documents and data such as photos, videos, podcasts, messages, etc.)

erase all data

Step 3. Check the instructions on the screen > Tap the Erase Data button to confirm the choice.

Note: If need, you can check the Deep Erase Technology to delete data on iPhone permanently. And it can’t be recovered anymore.

erase iphone

After the erasing, the problem may be fixed. Then you can go to Backup History and click Restore dot to restore your iPhone backup.

restore backup


That’s all about how to fix the WiFi disconnect when Phone locked issue. If all ways have no effect, you can use the professional app - FoneTool to help you fully back up and reset iPhone.

With this rich-feature and wide-compatibility app, you can also transfer data from old iPhone to new iPhone between different Apple IDs when you can’t complete data transfer on iPhone 15.

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