Nothing is more annoying than an iPhone that constantly tells you that you have an incorrect Wi-Fi password when you know it for a fact that is not true. Once you receive this error, you may find that it can happen at any point in the day, with your phone dropping off the network, forcing you to reconnect to your home network.
Even worse, if the problem continues, it can shake yours Apple Watch and HomePod Mini, since these devices take their wireless connection information from your phone when it is nearby. The usual recommendation is to restart your router, but this rarely works, in my experience, and you need to try something different.
Fortunately, there are some fixes that can help. I’ll walk you through them in order, starting with the easiest first.
1. Pick up your phone
Sometimes your phone just needs a reboot. For most iPhones, you need to press and hold either the volume button and the side button at the same time, until you see the slider off power.
If you have a newer iPhone SE, hold down the side button under the off cursor. For the original iPhone SE, press and hold the top button under the off cursor.
For all phones, drag the slider to turn off your phone. Wait 30 seconds and then hold down the side button to turn on your phone. Try connecting it back to the Wi-Fi network problem to see if it solved the problem.
2. Forget the Wi-Fi network
Then, you can try and forget about the Wi-Fi network. To do this, you need to be within range of the wireless network that is causing the problems. Go to Settings, Wi-Fi, then tap the ‘i’ icon next to the network you want to forget and tap Forget this network. You will receive a warning screen that says, “Your device and other devices using iCloud Keychain will no longer join this Wi-Fi network.”
This means that doing this action must forget about the wireless network for all your Apple devices that are signed in with your Apple ID. Touch Forget. Now you have to get back on the network, and it should now work.
3. Reset your network settings
A more nuclear option is to reset your phone’s network configuration. This will leave all your data intact but will delete all Wi-Fi network names and passwords from your device. To do this go to Settings, General, Reset, then select Reset Network Settings. You must enter your phone PIN, after which your phone will restart.
When it restarts, you can also connect to the Wi-Fi network problem. This should hopefully solve the problem.
4. Remove the Wi-Fi network from iCloud Keychain
I’ve always had the wrong word for Wi-Fi after doing all these steps in the past, and the problem came to iCloud Keychain. This is the system that Apple uses to sync passwords, including those for Wi-Fi networks, between all your devices.
In my case, my iPhone continued to download the wrong password from iCloud. To resolve this, I had to remove the password for my network from iCloud Keychain. The trick is that you can only do this with a Mac, and you have to sign in with the same Apple ID you use on your phone.
If you don’t have a Mac, you can borrow one from a friend, create a new user account, and then access it. Once finished, press Apple + Spacebar and type Keychain Access, then run Keychain Access. Click iCloud on the left hand side and then use the search box to find your Wi-Fi name.
You must enter two entries, both of the type ‘AirPort network password’. Right-click on each and select Delete. You have now deleted your iCloud password for your wireless network. Do not delete passwords that are not of the type ‘AirPor Network Password’ that are not wireless network passwords.
Now, turn off the Wi-Fi on your phone and turn it back on. You will now need to reconnect your home network, but it should work properly and you will no longer have the wrong Wi-Fi password problem.