How to restore network connection on Mac

If you have problems with the internet and wifi connection of your Mac, how to reset the network, change DNS, and troubleshoot errors.

Mac connectionApple Macs and MacBooks are really beautiful computers to look at and to place in the office or on our desk, but they too, in their beauty and perfection, are still computers, so they can stop working and can have connection problems more or less simple to solve.

If we notice on our Mac that the Internet connection comes and goes, the web pages are not opened correctly or the apps that use Internet services (such as the VoIP or video conferencing apps) do not work as they should, you have come to the right guide: here, in fact, we will find all the methods, simple and quick to apply even for a novice user, for restore network connection on Mac, so you can return to the download and upload speeds seen before the problem occurred and go back to work or study on your Mac as if nothing had happened.

READ ALSO: Solutions for wifi and router connection problems

How to restore Mac connection

To restore the connection on the Mac we will show you both the diagnostic tools present in the macOS operating system and immediately ready to use and some expert tricks to get the Internet connection back working as if we had started the Mac for the first time.

Use Wireless Diagnosis

If the connection problem occurs when we are connected to a Wi-Fi network, we can try with the tool Wireless Diagnosis provided by Apple itself. To use it, make sure you are connected to a Wi-Fi network, press and hold the key Option (Alt), let’s go to the Wi-Fi status menu at the top right and press on Open Wireless Diagnosis.

We enter the credentials of the administrator account, then we wait for the tool to carry out its checks. Based on the result, a window may open with some suggestions to follow, but a summary window of the operations carried out by the Mac to restore the connection may also appear. If the problem is intermittent (the line comes and goes), a window similar to the one below may also appear.

Wireless Diagnosis

In this case, it is advisable to activate the voice Monitor your Wi-Fi connection, so as to leave the Mac the task of checking the connection, so as to be able to intervene in case of problems. Opening the item Go to the summary instead we will get a summary of the information about our network and some useful tips to apply.

Change the DNS

DNS is an important service for the Internet connection and, even if the line works perfectly and the modem is connected, it is sufficient that this service shows a malfunction (for example due to a blackout of the operator’s DNS) to prevent the connection at every website.

To check if the problem concerns the DNS open the menu Wifi or Ethernet at the top right, click on the item Open Network Preferences, let’s go to the active connection at the moment, click on Advanced and finally go to the screen DNS.

Mac DNS

Basically, we will see the IP address of our modem or router, but we can add a new DNS server by pressing the + icon at the bottom and typing 8.8.8.8 (Google’s DNS, always active and working). We then delete the old DNS server present and press down on OK, so as to use only the server chosen by us. To learn more we can also read our guide How to change DNS.

Remove network configurations and preference files

If Wireless Diagnosis and the DNS change have not solved the connection problem, we can try deleting the network configurations present in the system, so as to repeat access to the Wi-Fi network used so far. To proceed, we deactivate the Wi-Fi connection active at that moment (from the menu at the top right Wi-Fi), open the Finder in the Dock bar at the bottom, let’s go up to the menu Go, let’s open Go to the folder and we type the following path.

/ Library / Preferences / SystemConfiguration

Once this folder is opened, delete or move the following files to the Mac’s recycle bin:

  • com.apple.airport.preferences.plist
  • com.apple.network.identification.plist
  • com.apple.wifi.message-tracer.plist
  • NetworkInterfaces.plist
  • preferences.plist

We delete all files, then restart the Mac for the changes to take effect. Upon restart, we try to connect to the offending Wi-Fi network again, so as to check if the connection works without problems.

Other useful tips

If we do not solve this, we must investigate further, since there could be a problem that does not directly concern the Mac but that involves the modem/router or the type of connection we use to connect to it. To try to solve, we also try the advice given in the following list:

  • Let’s restart the modem: this is one of the simplest tips, but it could definitely solve the problem, especially if other devices connected to the same network also had similar problems to the Mac. A restart will allow you to quickly restore the connection without having to do anything else.
  • We use a 5 GHz Wi-Fi connection: all modern Macs have a dual-band connection and it is preferable to always use the 5GHz band, less prone to interference with nearby networks, and significantly faster in any scenario. To learn more we can read our guide Differences between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks; which is better?
  • We use the Ethernet connection: another fast method to understand if the problem is the Wi-Fi connection involves the use of a very long Ethernet cable, so as to be able to connect the Mac to the modem even from different rooms. If the connection works, the problem is with the Wi-Fi module of the Mac or the Wi-Fi module of the modem, as also seen in the guide Solutions for wifi and router connection problems.
  • We remove Range Extender or Powerline: if we connect the Mac via Wi-Fi Extender or Powerline, we try to remove them and connect directly to the modem network or to use an Ethernet cable. These devices are very useful but can overheat over time and block the internet connection until removed and reconnected after a few minutes.

Conclusions

By applying all the advice presented in this guide, we will be able to solve most of the Mac connection problems by ourselves, without having to call a computer technician or turn on another computer and go crazy among a thousand complex and difficult to follow guides on the Web.

If despite the advice seen in the guide, the network connection does not work on the Mac, there is nothing left to do but start a recovery procedure after saving personal files on a USB external drive; to proceed with the restoration just read our guides How to fix Mac, fix MacOS problems and errors is 9 Ways to Reboot Your Mac and Restore Proper Startup.

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