Before you decide to work out of a Starbucks, we have compiled a list of various methods on what to do when your MacBook cannot connect to Wi-Fi.
If you take a walk down any city street with your smartphone out and the Wi-Fi turned on, there will be at least a dozen public Wi-Fi networks available. In the public parks, coffee shops, and even apartment complexes. Those same apartments more than likely house a few remote workers who are typing away at their MacBook Pros and using whichever (highly expensive) Internet service is available to them.
Why describe this broad but vague scenario? To illustrate that it appears everyone is connected to Wi-Fi of some kind for either working, streaming movies and music, or buying random products online.
However, when someone logs onto their MacBook only to find that their connection is not working, then yeah, their constantly-connected world is going to be a little upside down for a bit. What gives? Most folks who live in expensive city apartments are already paying top dollar for a good Internet connection.
Before you decide to say “Screw it!” and walk down to your local coffee shop to use their free Internet, we have compiled a list of various methods on what to do when your MacBook cannot connect to Wi-Fi. After all, a free solution is better than having to buy a few large coffees in order to stay in a cafe.
When your MacBook cannot connect to Wi-Fi, here are a few answers for your connectivity concerns.
The symptoms of a bad Wi-Fi connection can stem from several reasons. The device not being in range, too many additional devices connected at once (for example, having a MacBook Air, smartphone, and PlayStation 5 using the same signal is quite a bit for a small room), or just a bad router. However, if those problems are solved, and there are still Wi-Fi issues with your MacBook, it might be time to see what is wrong with the device.
Let’s get the apparent solutions out of the way…
These solutions might be a bit too obvious, but sometimes the most obvious ones slip your mind.
- Make sure you turn on your Wi-Fi.
- Get into a better range of the router.
- See if the Wi-Fi is working on other devices, such as your smartphone or tablet. If it works for another device, it can indicate an issue with your MacBook and not the network.
- Try using an ethernet cable, or purchase an ethernet cable adapter, to directly connect your device to the router.
- Hop on your ISP’s customer service line to see if there is an outage or any other issue out of your control.
Using Wireless Diagnostics
Wireless Diagnostics is a built-in tool that will allow the system to detect any problems the device is having with the MacBook’s Wi-Fi. If the connection is dropping out or webpages are taking forever to load, Wireless Diagnostics is the tool.
- Before starting Wireless Diagnostics, make sure to close down all the currently open apps.
- Next, attempt to connect to the Wi-Fi network that is giving you trouble.
- Third, press and hold down the Option key, click on the Wi-Fi status icon, and then click on Open Wireless Diagnostics.
- In the Wireless Diagnostics window, follow the instructions to start the diagnostics process. At most, Wireless Diagnostics will take a few minutes.
- When the process finishes, there will be two options for the user: Monitor my Wi-Fi Connection and Continue to Summary:
a. The first option will notify the user if the Wi-Fi issues continue in rare instances. It will minimize and continuously monitor the connection until it finds another issue. Wireless Diagnostics will stop monitoring but present the user with options on what they can do next.
b. If a user clicks on Continue to Summary, there will now be a list of options for the user to mitigate their current Wi-Fi-related issues. For example, it may list Review Wi-Fi Best Practices, and next to it will be a blue dot with a lowercase i. Click on that to read information about this option.
After running Wireless Diagnostics, the software will create a diagnostics report detailing all the ins-and-outs of the issues with your Wi-Fi.
Forget your Wi-Fi network.
- Click on the Apple logo on the top-left corner and when the drop-down menu opens up, click on System Preferences.
- In the System Preferences menu window, click on Network. Once that panel opens, click on the Advanced option.
- There will be a window listing all of the Wi-Fi networks that the MacBook has used. Next to the one that is giving you trouble, click on the minus sign.
- Finally, click OK and then Apply. The MacBook will forget all about this particular connection.
- Once forgotten, reconnect to the network. Just remember to have the password on hand, that is.
Resetting the PRAM/NVRAM.
The PRAM is tied to various applications and settings, including Wi-Fi. So, knowing how to reset the PRAM/NVRAM will be helpful for these kinds of issues.
- Shut down your MacBook.
- Hold down the Option, Command, P, and R keys and turn the device back on.
- Keep pressing on the keys for about 20 seconds, until the startup chime sounds off or once the Apple logo appears and disappears a second time.
Resetting the SMC.
- Turn off the MacBook.
- Hold down the power button for at least 10 seconds and then release it.
- Please wait at least 5 seconds and then press the power button to turn it back on again.
If the Wi-Fi is still acting up, it won’t hurt to reset the SMC again through a different method:
- Power down the device.
- Press and hold the Control, Option, and Shift keys for at least 7 seconds. While holding those three keys, start pressing down on the power button.
- Continue holding down all four keys for an additional 7 seconds and then release.
- Wait another five seconds to turn the device back on again.
Check your TCP/IP Settings.
Speaking of more acronyms, the Transmission Control Protocol or Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) settings allow your device to communicate with other networks. While it sounds very technical, rest assured, any MacBook user will be able to see and change these settings.
- Click on the Apple logo at the top of your screen and click on the System Preferences option in the drop-down menu.
- Next, click Network and then select the Advanced option.
- On this window, there will be several labeled tabs. Click on the one named TCP/IP.
- Finally, click on the Renew DHCP Lease button.
By renewing the lease, it will reassign an IP address to the MacBook, and then the user can be able to connect to their desired network.
Change your DNS settings.
A Domain Name System (or DNS) translates domain names found onto the Internet into IP addresses, which allows for communication between the networks. Yes, it does sound more technical than a TCP, but it is just as easy to access the settings as it is to access those.
- Click on the Wi-Fi icon on the top of your Mac’s interface or go into System Preferences.
- Select Network and once again, select Advanced.
- The same window with the TCP/IP tabs will open. Click on the tab labeled DNS.
- On this menu, click on the plus icon at the bottom of the window. Now, the user can directly change their DNS to access the Internet. The following DNS connections are available for nearly all MacBook users. Select one of these, and more than likely, the Internet should be accessible: a. Google: 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11
b. Cloudflare: 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124
c. OpenDNS: 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52
d. Comodo Secure DNS: 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11
e. DNS Advantage: 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124
See if your macOS is up-to-date.
A lot of issues with your MacBook can be solved by checking for system updates.
Suppose you open up the System Preferences menu and click on the Software Updates option to see what version your OS is. If it is up-to-date, there will not be an option to upgrade your system.
“Did you try turning off and back on again?”
Holding down your MacBook’s power button to do a hard reset might solve the connectivity problems. It is an incredibly tired-but-true method, but you can’t argue with the results that a hard reset brings.
“Tell My Wi-Fi Love Her” is an excellent and hilarious network name. But what’s even better is if the network connects to your MacBook.
Nearly every device seems to have an Internet connection. Not just your MacBook, but lots of kitchen appliances as well, like your coffee machine and refrigerator. Even with that in mind, when the Wi-Fi cannot connect to any of them, it can be a hassle. Luckily for MacBook owners, there are several ways to fix this issue.
Now, if you are curious as to why your Mr. Coffee will not connect to the Internet, sadly, we cannot help you there.
Although, it is kind of funny knowing that in today’s day-and-age, Mr. Coffee can connect to the Internet. Reminds us of Spaceballs.
At MicroReplay, we know a thing or two about MacBooks and how to repair these devices. With over twenty plus years of experience, our company specializes in repairing liquid damaged MacBooks and other high-end laptops.
In need of a liquid spill or cracked screen repair? Book a repair with us today!
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