What to Do If Your Mac Cannot Connect to Wi-Fi?


Your Mac not connecting to Wi-Fi can delay your workflow. It can become an even bigger problem when your phone has run out of data, and you want to share your Mac’s Internet with your phone. However, if you have data left on your phone, you can learn how to share Wi-Fi with Mac by turning on the hotspot option on your phone. However, this is a temporary solution, and you must look for ways to fix the Wi-Fi connectivity issue on your Mac. 

The variables influencing your Wi-Fi connection can range from hardware issues in your Mac computer or Wi-Fi router to software problems and issues you cannot do anything about, such as your ISP’s server is down. 

Fortunately, this guide will help you to narrow down the culprit and get you back online. 

  • Run Wireless Diagnostics

Wireless Diagnostics is Mac’s in-built Wi-Fi troubleshooting tool, and Apple has improved the tool through the years. The tool can be accessed by searching for it in the Spotlight search feature. 

Alternatively, you can hold down the Option key and click the wireless icon > click Open Wireless Diagnostics > select Continue to run it. 

When the tool finishes analyzing your computer, you will get a detailed look at the network options, and your system will run you through several steps to identify and solve the Wi-Fi problems. 

  • Check the physical hardware 

Turning the router off and switching it on again may fix the problem. Next, unplug the wireless router and cable modem, wait for thirty seconds, and plug your cable modem back in and the wireless router. 

If this does not work, update the router’s firmware. Although some devices automatically do this, yours may not. You might have to do it using the admin panel in a browser. Also, ensure to keep the firmware updated at all times. 

  • Forget the Wi-Fi network and reconnect 

You can try fixing your Wi-Fi issue by removing the Wi-Fi network and then reconnecting to it. 

Go to System Preferences > click Network > choose Wi-Fi on the sidebar > select Advanced > click the minus icon to forget the Wi-Fi network. 

Once the network is removed, follow the same steps and click the plus icon to add the connection. Again, you will need to enter the network password when prompted. 

  •  Update macOS

Whenever you have system issues, don’t forget to check for software updates. For example, if a new macOS version is ready to install, update the operating system and see if your Wi-Fi and other problems are solved. 

Since the current version is macOS Ventura, you can update your system by going to the Apple menu > selecting System Settings > clicking General > selecting Software Update. Your system will search for an update, and if there’s one available, click Update Now. 

However, note that Ventura is not compatible with all Mac models. Therefore, you must check your device’s eligibility before proceeding. 

  • Change the DNS settings 

The system used to match site domain names with IP addresses is called DNS. Changing your Mac’s DNS servers may help you to get back online and connect to the Wi-Fi network. Tweaking these settings might even speed up your connection. 

Changing the DNS settings is a relatively easy thing to do because there are various public DNS servers available. 

If your Mac is running macOS Ventura, you won’t be able to change the DNS server via System Settings without connecting to a Wi-Fi network. If you cannot connect to a network, click the Apple logo > choose System Settings > click Wi-Fi and select Details > select DNS and use the plus icon to add any of the available DNS servers. 

For Mac users running macOS Monterey or older, you can do it via Terminal. Press the Command + Spacebar on your keyboard to bring up the Spotlight Search function and enter Terminal. Then, hit Return to launch Terminal. Enter networksetup -setdnsservers Wi-Fi or replace it with any available DNS servers. If prompted, enter the password. 

You will not get any confirmation, but the DNS will change, and you should be able to connect to the Wi-Fi. 

  • Contact your ISP

If the solutions mentioned above do not work, contact your ISP or the network administrator. Sometimes, the problem is from the ISP’s side, and you cannot do anything to solve it. The only thing you can do is wait for the ISP to fix the issue from their end. 

Besides these, you can restart your computer as this is one of the most common solutions for all Mac problems. 

Final Thoughts 

These solutions will resolve your Wi-Fi problem and get you back up and running. You can continue with your work or play games online. However, if these don’t work, you can get your router, or Mac checked for hardware issues.

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