Wi-Fi is our most necessary resource when working from home – or almost any activity on our MacBook, but it can often go wrong. In order to know how to fix the Wi-Fi on Mac, we must first diagnose the problem. Even if we’re not specific with our diagnosis, it’s a good idea to understand if it’s an issue with the internet provider, the router, or the Mac itself.
However, before starting the troubleshooting process of fixing our Wi-Fi, we should ensure our Mac is up to date. This is a good practice not just because it can resolve issues, but because it can prevent other issues too. So, head to System Preferences and click Software Update.
Assess the Wi-Fi environment on Mac
The first thing to do when troubleshooting the Wi-Fi issues is to simply press “Wi-Fi recommendations” when offered by macOS (it’s usually presented when selecting the Wi-Fi status menu and there’s an issue.
If you’re not presented with the recommendation, quit all the apps that are open and press the Option key whilst selecting Open Wireless Diagnostics from the Wi-Fi status menu. After entering the admin name and password, run the diagnostics to see if an issue can be identified. You can monitor the Wi-Fi connection if it’s an intermittent problem.
From here, you can assess the results of the monitoring and create a diagnostics report if necessary. It’s also worth trying a few other tricks such as turning off Bluetooth, as this can sometimes interfere, and alter the DNS and MTU settings.
If the issues are intermittent, such as frequent slowing down, then make sure your signal strength is good enough. Head closer towards the router and see if this fixes the issue, or plug in an ethernet. Another trick is to forget your Wi-Fi network by pressing the (-) button on the Advanced network settings (then reconnect after). If your issue persists, it’s likely that the issue is with your provider or router.
Fixes when the issue isn’t your Mac
So, it’s beginning to look likely that your router is the issue – or the actual internet provider. So, the first step here is to simply turn the router off for 30 seconds (at the mains) and then plug it in again and reboot. This in and of itself can be a common fix for Wi-Fi issues, but you may also want to actually reset the Wi-Fi too, or place it in a different spot in the house before turning it back on (it may be in a “dead-zone”).
Next up is to see if the router is working properly. Use the lights on the front of the router to diagnose the problem by Googling what each light means with your router model. You may need to update your router firmware, particularly if it’s the Apple Airport router, so head to Applications on the Mac and type in Airport Utility in the search bar. If a red circle notification is there, it means an update is due.
If the Wi-Fi issues persist, the best course of action to take is to ring up the internet provider helpline. Insist on the importance of Wi-Fi to be fixed ASAP, and it’s possible the issue is because of them (i.e. road works nearby). They can further help diagnose the problem too if it is an issue with your Mac or router that you have missed.