Fix Wi-Fi on iPhone 4S – the crazy fix
The grey Wi-Fi issue on iPhone 4S devices (the one when you can’t enable Wi-Fi at all), caused by iOS 7 is hardware based and cannot be properly fixed otherwise than by changing the Wi-Fi chip on board of iPhone.
It costs around $50 in non-Apple repair stations to fix Wi-Fi on iPhone 4S. Apple itself suggests getting same phone model for $200. And most of exchanged phones have the same issue. It appears in just a few days after exchange.
However, there is a crazy fix that actually works, and we verified it. Proceed with it at your own risk.
UPDATE: More than a year after this original article has been posted, we strongly recommend bringing your iPhone to a repair station to fix your Wi-Fi. The fix described below may work for many months, but it is not permanent in any way. In my personal experience, I realized it isn’t just worth my time to fix it every month – which is how much the fix lasts on average.
Steps to fix Wi-Fi on iPhone 4S
- Reboot your iPhone
- Use hair dryer to blow into the hole where you connect headphones for duration of 4-5 minutes
- You should get warning message in iOS saying that your iPhone needs to cool down before it could be used further
- Do not turn off your iPhone
- Wrap it in something to avoid moisture and put it in the fridge
- Take it out. Viola! your Wi-Fi is working
The fix is not temporary! We had stable Wi-Fi for 5 days and it’s still up.
How it works: it seems that iOS 7 causes overheat of Wi-Fi cheap and it gradually raises its internal shutdown temperature setting. The steps listed in the fix reset the Wi-Fi chip’s shutdown temperature setting. Properly working Wi-Fi chips are not affected by iOS and the setting is always constant.
P.S. Apple, please provide a hair blowdryer with each iPhone!
P.P.S. The fix provided stable Wi-Fi connectivity for a period of one month. After that, we had to redo it and Wi-Fi is working again without issues.
It is now June and for the period of 5 months since this post was published, we had to repeat the fix 5 times. So it lasts for about one month. Make sure to do the fix in advance before you go traveling, otherwise you will have to enjoy your vacation without Wi-Fi.