Are you having trouble using the internet because your Mac’s Wi-Fi keeps disconnecting? That can be a harrowing experience while you’re collaborating on projects with your colleagues or a video call. Does that often happen with your Mac? We list some things you can do to fix the problem in this guide.
Before you proceed, you should know that fixing connectivity issues requires some patience and tinkering around. You’ll have to troubleshoot both your Mac and the Wi-Fi connection source. That said, it’s nothing complex or difficult. Follow our solutions, and we guarantee you’ll get the problem fixed in no time.
1. Restart Mac
This will reboot your Mac’s operating system and fix temporarily glitches causing the Wi-Fi connection to malfunction. Reconnect to the network(s) when your MacBook comes back on and check if it resolves the disconnection issue.
2. Run macOS Wireless Diagnostics
Apple has packed Wireless Diagnostics along with some hidden macOS features to automatically diagnose and fix connectivity problems on your Mac. The Wireless Diagnostics tool is one such tool. Here’s how to use it to fix Wi-Fi connectivity issues.
Step 1: Hold the Option key and tap the Wi-Fi icon on the menu bar.
Step 2: Select ‘Open Wireless Diagnostics’ from the menu options.
This will launch the Wireless Diagnostics tool. Proceed to the next steps to use the tool to run diagnostic test on your Mac’s Wi-Fi and wireless connections.
Note: It’s recommended that you connect to the affected/problematic Wi-Fi network that’s often disconnecting before running the network diagnostic tool.
Step 3: Tap Continue to start the network diagnosis.
If the Wireless Diagnostics tool doesn’t detect any problem with the network but you’re still experiencing connectivity fluctuation, you can instruct the tool to monitor your Wi-Fi connection (click ‘Monitor my Wi-Fi connection’).
3. Troubleshoot Router
If you only experience this problem with a particular Wi-Fi network — say your home Wi-Fi — you should check that the router is working properly. For a start, you can reboot the router. You should also make sure the router is positioned in a central location devoid of interference (read more on router positioning for a stable Wi-Fi connection). Resetting the router and updating its latest available firmware could also help fix this problem, particularly if other devices also keep disconnecting constantly.
4. Forget the Network(s)
You should also try deleting the problematic Wi-Fi network(s) from your Mac and reconnect to it.
Step 1: Launch System Preferences and select Network.
Step 2: Select Wi-Fi and click the Advanced button at the bottom-right corner.
Step 3: In the Preferred Networks window, select the affected network(s) that keeps disconnecting and click the minus button below the window.
Step 4: Click the Remove button on the prompt to forget the network.
Pro Tip: To select multiple networks, hold the Command button, and click on the networks you want to forget/remove from your Mac.
To simultaneously forget the networks that you selected, check the ‘Apply to All’ box before clicking the Remove button.
If the problem persists after reconnecting to the network(s), proceed to the next troubleshooting solution.
5. Enable Location Services for Wi-Fi
According to Apple’s recommendations, enabling location services for Wi-Fi on your Mac can improve the stability and performance of wireless network connections. If you often find your Mac disconnecting from different wireless networks, check that you have location services enabled for Wi-Fi.
Step 1: Launch System Preferences and select ‘Security and Privacy.’
Step 2: Next, select Location Services and click the lock icon at the button-left corner to make changes to your Mac’s location settings.
Step 3: Enter your Mac’s password or use Touch ID (on supported Macs) to unlock the ‘Security & Privacy’ preferences.
Step 4: Now, click the Details button next to System Services.
Step 5: Make sure location services for Wi-Fi Networking is checked and click Done to save the change.
6. Reset Wi-Fi Network Settings
This means restoring your Mac’s Wi-Fi configurations back to factory default. By doing this, all previously-connected wireless networks on your Mac will be deleted. Interestingly, errors or glitches causing Wi-Fi networks to keep disconnecting will also be eliminated.
There are different methods of resetting a Mac’s Wi-Fi network configurations but renewing the network stack (also called the ‘TCP/IP stack’) is one of the easiest.
Step 1: Launch System Preferences and select Network.
Step 2: Select Wi-Fi on the left-hand menu and hit the Advanced button.
Step 3: Go to the TCP/IP tab.
Step 4: Tap the ‘Renew DHCP Lease’ button and click OK.
Reconnect your Mac to a Wi-Fi network and check if it stays connected.
7. Update macOS
Major macOS updates sometimes come with bugs that cause connectivity issues. The good thing, however, is that Apple often releases minor revisions (called point releases) that fixes these bugs. If your Mac’s Wi-Fi keeps disconnecting after trying all the recommended fixes mentioned above, go to System Preferences > Software Update and click the Upgrade Now button to update macOS to the latest version.
Stabilize the Connection
Those were some of the best ways to fix the Wi-Fi woes of your Mac without meddling with the system files. Some users discovered that plugging certain USB devices ínto their Macs caused Wi-Fi interference. So disconnect any USB accessories and devices connected to your Mac and check if that resolves the issue. You can also try booting your Mac into Safe Mode.
Next up: Can’t text on your Mac because iMessage is not syncing from your iPhone/iPad? Read the guide linked below to fix the problem when iMessages don’t sync with your Mac.
Last updated on 13 July, 2021
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