Nothing is more annoying than an iPhone that keeps telling you that you’ve got the incorrect Wi-Fi password when you know for a fact that’s not true. Once you get this error, you can find that it can happen at any point during the day, with your phone dropping of the network, forcing you to reconnect to your home network.
Even worse, if the problem continues, it can mess up your Apple Watch and HomePod Mini, as these devices take their wireless connection information from your phone when it’s close by. The usual recommendation is to reboot 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 take you through them in order, starting with the easiest first.
1. Reboot your phone
Sometimes your phone just needs a reboot. For most iPhones, you need to press and hold either volume button and the side button at the same time, until you see the power off slider.
If you have a newer iPhone SE, press and hold the side button under the power off slider appears. For the original iPhone SE, press and hold the top button under the power off slider appears.
For all phones, drag the slider to turn your phone off. Wait 30 seconds and then press and hold the side button to power your phone back on. Try reconnecting to the problem Wi-Fi network to see if this has fixed the issue.
2. Forget the Wi-Fi network
Next, you can try and forget the Wi-Fi network. To do this, you have to be in range of the wireless network causing the problems. Go to Settings, Wi-Fi, then tap the ‘i’ icon next to the network that you want to forget and tap Forget this network. You’ll get 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 should forget the wireless network for all of your Apple devices that are signed in using your Apple ID. Tap Forget. You’ll now need to rejoin the network, and it should now work.
3. Reset your network settings
A more nuclear option is to reset your phone’s network settings. This leaves all of your data intact but it will remove all Wi-Fi network names and passwords from your device. To do this go to Settings, General, Reset, then select Reset Network Settings. You’ll need to Enter your phone’s PIN, after which your phone will reboot.
When it restarts, you can connect to the problem Wi-Fi network again. This should hopefully fix the problem.
4. Delete the Wi-Fi network from iCloud Keychain
I’ve still had the incorrect Wi-Fi password after doing all of these steps in the past, and the problem came down to iCloud Keychain. This is the system that Apple uses to synchronise passwords, including those for Wi-Fi networks, between all of your devices.
In my case, my iPhone kept downloading the wrong password from iCloud. To fix this, I had to remove the password for my network from iCloud Keychain. The rub is that you can only do this using a Mac, and you need to be signed into the same Apple ID as you use your phone.
If you don’t have a Mac, you can borrow one from a friend, create a new user account and then sign in on that. Once done, 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 should get two entries, both of the kind ‘AirPort network password’. Right-click each one and select Delete. You have now removed your iCloud password for your wireless network. Do not delete any passwords that are not of the kind ‘AirPor network password’ as these are not wireless network passwords.
Now, turn Wi-Fi on your phone off and back on again. You’ll now need to rejoin your home network, but it should work correctly and you won’t have the incorrect Wi-Fi password problem again.