Does anyone else's iPhone 5S disconnect from wifi randomly when the phone is locked?

Frankied22

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Nov 24, 2010
1,683
454
So I currently dropped my cell service and am using my iPhone 5S with nothing but wifi and I've starting noticing that my phone drops wifi when the phone is locked. This can't be normal right? I was under the impression iOS devices remain connected to wifi even when the phone is locked, so you can get updates or notifications in the background. Has anyone else experienced this? It's annoying because my phone will be locked and I won't get any messages until I turn on and unlock the phone.
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,244
1,312
I've noticed lately when I'm at work and my iPhone screen turns of for a notification, I've noticed the phone was on LTE instead of wifi, like it should be.

If I unlock the phone and start using it, it'll switch to wifi.

Not just me huh? Lol
 
  • Like
Reactions: Howyalikdemapls

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,303
1,695
My 4S stays connected. I only know this because I AirPlay pandora constantly and AirPlay requires wifi.

That could be because I start it prior to locking the device.

Also iCloud back ups occur when the device is locked, plugged in and on wifi. So it should at least know it can use wifi.
 

TribeFan1

macrumors regular
Oct 1, 2013
121
7
I have the same issues with my 5S. The wifi constantly drops randomly and it is pretty annoying. I am going to assume it is just for battery saving
 

EM2013

macrumors 68000
Sep 2, 2013
1,739
1,364
The only time this happens to me is when my battery is low around 10% other than that it's always connected to my wifi.
 

nburwell

macrumors 601
May 6, 2008
4,581
1,615
DE
This happens to me when I'm connected to my work wifi. At home, it's always connected. However, when I unlock the phone at work, it immediately connects to the network.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Howyalikdemapls

zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
5,529
6,457
Florida, USA
It depends on your router. Some routers support WiFi sleep mode, which allows your phone to keep Wifi on without burning a lot of power. If it does, your phone will keep WiFi enabled.

Others do not, so the phone shuts down WiFi to save battery. However, past experience has shown the phone will remain on WiFi no matter what if it doesn't have a cellular data connection. This may have changed, though; that was a couple years ago. :)
 

wordoflife

macrumors 604
Jul 6, 2009
7,559
32
How?

Connecting to WiFi requires less battery than connecting to cellular data.
Doesn't seem like the existing threads on this have been able to really answer that question either.
Cellular data allows you to receive and send MMS/Group SMS messages and access visual voicemail. I suspect that the phone stays connected to cellular data as to not take away these features. I think it would be pretty annoying that I couldn't use those features on WiFi.

Anyways, as for all of my iOS devices. I find that it reconnects to WiFi right when I turn on the screen.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
47,423
15,974
Cellular data allows you to receive and send MMS/Group SMS messages and access visual voicemail. I suspect that the phone stays connected to cellular data as to not take away these features. I think it would be pretty annoying that I couldn't use those features on WiFi.

Anyways, as for all of my iOS devices. I find that it reconnects to WiFi right when I turn on the screen.
But it could be connected to both as is essentially the case when you are using the phone and you are on WiFi.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
47,423
15,974
What is the point of being connected to both when not using the device?
Well, that's what it seems like people are asking about, why isn't it staying connected to WiFi when it's locked. For some reason they seem to want it to be and even expect it to be.
 

Brian Y

macrumors 68040
Oct 21, 2012
3,504
599
Yep, WiFi is crap on my 5S. Don't get me wrong, when it's connected it's fast, but not not very reliable.

For example, we have 2 wireless access points - one on each floor due to having weak ceilings. When walking up the stairs, every other device can switch between the APs without interruption. The 5S hangs onto the old AP as long as possible (i.e. until it drops the connection) THEN it will disconnect, and connect to the upstairs access point.

Oddly enough - it works fine on my retina iPad mini, and every other device - just the iPhone has problems.
 

Max(IT)

Suspended
Dec 8, 2009
8,550
1,640
Italy
So I currently dropped my cell service and am using my iPhone 5S with nothing but wifi and I've starting noticing that my phone drops wifi when the phone is locked. This can't be normal right? I was under the impression iOS devices remain connected to wifi even when the phone is locked, so you can get updates or notifications in the background. Has anyone else experienced this? It's annoying because my phone will be locked and I won't get any messages until I turn on and unlock the phone.
I really don't know if my iPhone drops wifi when locked and not connected to the plug, but the real question is: how can you check it ? If it is locked, the screen is off and you can't check ...
Surely when I unlock it the wifi connection is already on, so I don't think it drops wifi.
 

Frankied22

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Nov 24, 2010
1,683
454
I really don't know if my iPhone drops wifi when locked and not connected to the plug, but the real question is: how can you check it ? If it is locked, the screen is off and you can't check ...
Surely when I unlock it the wifi connection is already on, so I don't think it drops wifi.

I know because I don't receive any messages or motivations. Then when I unlock it there's no wifi signal for a few seconds because it's reconnecting. Once it's reconnected all my messages and notifications come in.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Howyalikdemapls

Max(IT)

Suspended
Dec 8, 2009
8,550
1,640
Italy
I know because I don't receive any messages or motivations. Then when I unlock it there's no wifi signal for a few seconds because it's reconnecting. Once it's reconnected all my messages and notifications come in.
It doesn't happen on my iPhone 5S.
Is it maybe the router/AP ?
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
47,423
15,974
I know because I don't receive any messages or motivations. Then when I unlock it there's no wifi signal for a few seconds because it's reconnecting. Once it's reconnected all my messages and notifications come in.
Thats odd since without any other radio being active and just WiFi being on it should stay connected to it even when it's locked like an iPod Touch or a WiFi only iPad would.
 

ugcop

macrumors 6502a
Mar 15, 2012
599
103
Traveling @ Warp Speed ...... USA
Thats odd since without any other radio being active and just WiFi being on it should stay connected to it even when it's locked like an iPod Touch or a WiFi only iPad would.
It's primary purpose is to be a phone unlike iPod or iPad. The phone radio stays on and the wifi shuts down the same as an iPad cellular.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
47,423
15,974
It's primary purpose is to be a phone unlike iPod or iPad. The phone radio stays on and the wifi shuts down the same as an iPad cellular.
Not if the cell connection is actually turned off I would think, as seems to be the case for the OP.