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How to Remove a WiFi Network from Mac

If your MacBook keeps connecting to a WiFi network that you don’t want it to connect to, here’s how to remove a WiFi network from your Mac so that it doesn’t automatically connect to it anymore.

In OS X, once you connect to a WiFi network, it’ll remember that network by default and connect to it automatically the next time you’re in the area. This can be very convenient, especially if you use it daily — you don’t need to keep connecting to the WiFi network manually every time.

However, if you’re planning on just using the WiFi network once, there’s no point in having it saved so that you can automatically reconnect in the future whenever you’re in the area. In fact, it can be pretty annoying when your MacBook automatically connects to a WiFi network that’s in range that you have saved.

Of course, you can select not to have your Mac remember a WiFi network when you first connect to it, but many of us quickly miss that step when we go to connect to the internet, mostly because we’re in a hurry and need to get some work done.

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However, there’s a way to fix this, and it simply consists of removing that WiFi network from the list of saved WiFi networks that your MacBook has remembered. Here’s how to remove a saved WiFi network from your Mac.

Removing WiFi Networks from Mac

Over the years, your Mac has probably built up a big list of WiFi networks that it has remembered. Every hotel WiFi network you connected to, every Starbucks you ever went to, your Mac remembers these WiFi networks if you connected to them.

From a security standpoint, it’s nothing dangerous or anything, but it’s mostly just annoying. If you ever go back to that Starbucks, your MacBook will automatically reconnect to the WiFi network there, which could be convenient, but if you don’t want to be connected to the internet, it can be annoying if it automatically reconnects.

Luckily, there’s a quick fix. Just follow these simple steps to remove saved WiFi networks from your Mac.

Open up System Preferences by going up to the Apple logo in the menu bar and selecting System Preferences (or click on the icon in the dock if you have it there).

Then, click on Network. A new window will open and the left-hand side you’ll see a list of the different ways that you can connect to the internet. Go ahead and click on the Wi-Fi option if it isn’t already selected.

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Next, click the Advanced button at the bottom. You’ll then see a list of different WiFi networks, which are all of the WiFi networks that your Mac has saved. Most likely, there are a few WiFi networks that simply don’t need to be in the list anymore, including that time where you went to Starbucks while on vacation to get a bit of work done. You’ll likely never go back to that same Starbucks location, so it’s a good idea to just delete it from the list, as well as other WiFi networks that you have saved.

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To delete a WiFi network from the list, simply select it and click the small minus button to the left of the plus button. This will instantly delete the WiFi network from the list. Be sure not to delete any of your primary WiFi networks, like the one at home or the one at work. It won’t be the end of the world if you do, but you’ll just have to manually reconnect to them next time.

After you delete the WiFi networks that you no longer want saved, you can exit out of System Preferences and you’re done! The next time you enter an area with a WiFi network that you used to connect to, your Mac will no longer automatically connect to it.

This is especially convenient if there happen to be two WiFi networks in one area, but you prefer to connect to one over the other. You can also adjust the priority of your saved WiFi networks by clicking-and-dragging them around in the list to adjust their order. This helps if you want to have multiple WiFi networks saved, but prefer to connect to one over the others when you enter an area with multiple WiFi networks.

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4 Comments

  1. jean

    02/18/2016 at 11:01 am

    This does not tell you how to delete previous networks of your own that you no longer have operational to stop showing up in the drop-box of networks showing as available. I have added then discontinued to use a wifi extender and now use a router, but the old networks from the extender are still showing up, as are the networks previous to that from my cable company that I no longer use.

    Reply

  2. Floresca

    03/18/2016 at 4:49 am

    To get rid of the networks AVAILABLE you are going to have to turn off whatever is broadcasting that signal. You must still have a router the sends out OLD-NETWORK as an available connection point.

    Reply

  3. Mike

    04/30/2016 at 3:16 pm

    It should be possible to simply give a blacklist of SSIDs that I never want to connect to, so the mac doesn’t ever connect to them or even show them in the available networks list. It’s annoying to have all the neighbours wifi networks always show up in that list.

    Reply

  4. Sunya

    01/04/2017 at 11:03 pm

    This was helpful.. Thanks :)

    Reply

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