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I use a WiFi network that requires users to first go through a captive portal login window after joining the WiFi network. It works fine on my Android phone, but on my iPad no captive portal login window appears, and as a result I cannot use the WiFi network. What could the issue be?

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iOS attempts to connect to http://captive.apple.com. If this request doesn't return the string "Success", the captive portal page is opened on the device. Therefore if the router isn't redirecting this request, the captive portal won't be shown.

Usually in these cases you can open Safari and connect to a non-HTTPS URL where you will be redirected to the captive portal. If you know the URL of the portal through another device, you can enter this in Safari to go straight there if the redirects aren't working properly.

If DNS is really not working, you might even need to browse something like http://1.1.1.1 if you don’t see the captive portal log in.

In the majority of cases (maybe 98%) this is a problem on the network, it the iOS device. If you reboot your device and still can’t connect, you’ll need the person(s) that run the network to assist in all likelihood.

  • if it‘s indeed a problem of the network, it‘s strange that it works with Android based devives ;-) – salocinx Sep 25 '18 at 19:58
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One workaround that seems to do the trick:

  1. Once you've connected to the WiFi, tap the ⓘ symbol next to it.
  2. On the settings page, find the Router IP address (underneath Subnet Mask)
  3. Long tap on it, and you'll get a popup to copy it to the clipboard
  4. Go to Safari and paste it into the address bar*. It should take you to the portal page.

* You may need to prefix it with http://

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