5 Steps to Solving Mac Wi-Fi Issues

One of the more frustrating issues faced by Mac users is when the device refuses to connect to Wi-Fi. The good news is that source of the issue is never your Mac has gone into some kind of moody strop, but rather something somewhere has gone wrong. This means you can fix it.

Mac Wi-fi Problems

Wi-fi can be broken in several ways. Common problems include:

  • Your Mac won’t connect but other devices do connect.
  • Mac connects to Wi-Fi but you are unable to access the internet.
  • Wi-Fi connection keeps dropping out.
  • Wi-Fi connection is very slow.

These kinds of problems can be addressed by following these steps.

Wireless Diagnostic

The first place to start is to run the Wireless Diagnostics tool. You can open the tool by holding down Option and +click the Wi-Fi icon. You’ll find it top right.

Open Wireless Diagnostics. After the test, you may have a good connection. If you haven’t, move on to the next step.

Reconfigure Your Wireless Settings

Before you reconfigure your existing Wi-Fi settings backup your files using Time Machine. Once that’s done do the following:

  • Shutdown Wi-Fi and your browsers
  • Go to Finder then Go, Go to Folder
  • Paste in /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/

A new window will appear. You should select the following files:

  • preferences.plist
  • com.apple.wifi.message-tracer.plist
  • com.apple.network.eapolclient.configuration.plist
  • com.apple.airport.preferences.plist
  • NetworkInterfaces.plist

Move the files to a new folder on your Desktop and restart your device.

Once booted go to Wi-Fi preferences. Turn on Wi-Fi and select the network again.

This is proving to be a good solution should your Wi-Fi no longer work or works intermittently following an upgrade. If the issue is still present after doing all of this, reinstall your MacOS.

No Wi-Fi After Sleep Mode

If you notice your Wi-Fi sleeps after sleep mode, try the following fix:

  • System Preferences then Battery, Power Adaptor
  • Uncheck the Wake for network access option.
  • Check your Wi-Fi to see if it is working.

Is the Issue your Router?

If you’ve got this far and still no Wi-Fi the issue may be a hardware one. To check if it is the router, try this:

  • Unplug your router for about five minutes.
  • Plug your router back in and try and connect to other Wi-Fi devices. If they connect try connecting your Mac. If they won’t connect the chances are the issue is with the router, contact your ISP.
  • If your Mac won’t connect try moving the router in a different part of the room. You may have caught interference or a ‘dead zone.’
  • If you can move it to the centre of the room. The less distance and obstacles the easier it is for your Mac to talk to it.

Try Switching Off Bluetooth

Sometimes Bluetooth devices can interfere with Wi-Fi as they both rely on radio frequencies. So:

  • Apple menu then System Preferences.
  • Select Bluetooth then Bluetooth off.
  • Check to see if Wi-Fi is working.

Macs are great machines but only when firing on all cylinders. If your Wi-Fi isn’t working then try these steps first before doing anything else.


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