My Mac Stopped Seeing My Wi-Fi Network, Fix

I recently started experiencing this problem. My Mac suddenly stopped seeing my Wi-Fi network, even though my other devices were able to connect to the same Wi-Fi network. In other words, my Wi-Fi network was not showing up in my list of available networks on my Mac. However, I was seeing other nearby Wi-Fi networks such as my neighbors’ wireless networks.

Wireless network names are broadcast so that you can know which one to join.

You can see nearby wireless networks by clicking the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar on your Mac. The Wi-Fi network names (also called SSIDs) will appear when looking for a Wi-Fi network to join unless it is a hidden network. This article explains how you can fix it if you cannot see your network listed. This is an important problem. This will prevent you from connecting to the Internet over Wi-Fi if your Mac cannot find your Wi-Fi network.

Before you do anything, please ensure that your router is turned on and you are not too far from your Wi-Fi router so that your Mac can get strong signals from it.

Please try the steps below. After trying each step below, try to connect again to see if you’ve fixed your issue.

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1. Restart your Mac and router

Simply restart your Mac and Wi-Fi router. This may help you fix your problem:

  • Mac: You can restart your Mac by choosing Restart from the Apple menu.
  • Router: unplug the power, wait 10 seconds, and then replug. Wait at least two minutes to allow the router to fully turn on.

You may also want to reset your router to its factory default settings. Doing so will wipe out all of your settings. You can start over with fresh settings. Most routers include a reset button (on the back or bottom). You will need to insert a paperclip (or something similar) to push this button. Insert your paperclip and hold down for 30 seconds. Then wait for your router to turn on.

2. Wireless Diagnostics

Your Mac offers a feature called Wireless Diagnostics. Use this to troubleshoot your problem. This tool will analyze your Wi-Fi network. Here is how:

  • On your keyboard, press and hold the Option (alt) key.
  • While pressing the Option key, click the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar.
  • A menu will be opened (that usually displays the nearby Wi-Fi networks).
  • Click Open Wireless Diagnostics. If asked, enter your passcode.
  • Click Continue. And then follow the onscreen instructions. For me, running this was enough to fix this problem.
Wireless Diagnostics

3. Change your Wi-Fi name

Some users have said that changing the Wi-Fi name (also known as SSID, or Service Set Identifier) fixed this problem.

  • Log in to the router’s administrative console. You can do this via a web browser. Routers have a local IP address to access the admin panel. for example:
    • AT&T routers use 192.168.1.254.
    • Linksys routers use 192.168.1.1.
    • Netgear routers use http://www.routerlogin.net.
    • Some routers use 192.168.0.1.
    • BlueCurve Gateway uses 10.0.0.1.
  • Simply type these IP addresses or the URL into your browser’s address bar and hit enter. This will open a login window. You may have to check the documentation or website of other router manufacturers to find out the local address and login details. These details are usually printed on a sticker on your modem.
  • Click Wireless and change the Wi-Fi Name (SSID) name.
Change the wireless network name (SSID)

4. Forget your Wi-Fi network

This involves deleting your wireless profile in macOS. When you follow the steps below, your Mac will forget the Wi-Fi network and its password. Here is how you can do this on your Mac:

  • Open System Preferences on your Mac.
  • Click Network.
  • From the left menu, click Wi-Fi and click the Advanced button.
  • You will see a Preferred Networks list.
  • Select the Wi-Fi network that you are unable to join.
  • Then click the (-) remove button.
  • A popup will appear, click again Remove.
  • Then click OK and Apply.
Forget Wi-Fi on Mac

5. Reset PRAM or NVRAM

Resetting PRAM or NVRAM may fix this problem. PRAM or NVRAM are different things, but they are reset in the same way. Here is how:

  • Turn off your Mac.
  • Locate these four keys and do not press them yet: Option, Command, P, and R.
  • Turn on your Mac and immediately press and hold these keys.
  • Keep holding them for 20 seconds. Then release them. This will reset PRAM or NVRAM. This will reset some of your settings such as display, volume, time zone, etc. Open System Preferences and adjust your settings.

If resetting PRAM or NVRAM does not help, you may want to reset the SMC.

See also: How To View Saved Wi-Fi Passwords On Your Mac

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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