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How To Forget Wifi Network On Mac

How To Forget Wifi Network On Mac

In my digital journey, there’s been the occasional need to ‘clean house’ with my Wi-Fi connections, particularly on my Mac. Removing old networks can help with troubleshooting issues, streamlining connections, and enhancing security. In this article, I’ll share the methods I’ve used to forget Wi-Fi networks on a Mac.

1

Common Scenarios:

Effortless Network Clean-Up 🧹

  • Cleaning up your list of remembered Wi-Fi networks can improve connection times and reduce confusion.
  • When dealing with Wi-Fi names (SSIDs) that are similar, it helps to clear out old or unused ones.

Security Hygiene 🛡

  • Forgetting old networks is integral to good security hygiene, especially networks from hotels, airports, or coffee shops that you no longer visit.
  • This process can help ensure your Mac doesn’t automatically connect to networks with weaker security.

Connectivity Troubleshooting 🛠

  • Forgetting a network and reconnecting can resolve connectivity issues.
  • If a Wi-Fi network’s configuration has changed (like its password), deleting the old network from your device can allow you to reconnect with the new settings.
2

Step-by-Step Guide. How To Forget Wifi Network On Mac:

Method 1: Through System Preferences 🎛

  • Open System Preferences and select ‘Network’.
  • Choose ‘Wi-Fi’ from the list on the left and click on the ‘Advanced’ button.
  • Find the network you want to forget, select it, and then click on the ‘-‘ button to remove it.
  • Click ‘OK’ to confirm and ‘Apply’ to save the changes.

Note: You’ll need administrative privileges to make these changes.

Conclusion: This method is very straightforward and user-friendly, especially for less tech-savvy users.

Method 2: Using Keychain Access 🗝

  • Open the Keychain Access app found in the ‘Utilities’ folder of your ‘Applications’.
  • Search for the Wi-Fi network name (SSID) in the top right search bar.
  • Select the relevant network and right-click to choose ‘Delete’.
  • Enter your Mac’s password when prompted and confirm the deletion.

Note: Removing items from Keychain Access is permanent, so ensure you’re deleting the right entry.

Conclusion: This is a more advanced method suited for users who want additional control over their saved networks.

Method 3: Via Terminal for Power Users 🔧

  • Open the Terminal application located in the ‘Utilities’ folder inside ‘Applications’.
  • Type the command networksetup -removepreferredwirelessnetwork en0 NETWORK_NAME replacing ‘NETWORK_NAME’ with the exact name of the Wi-Fi network to forget.
  • Press ‘Enter’ to execute the command.

Note: You may need to replace ‘en0’ with the right interface if it differs on your Mac.

Conclusion: Terminal commands offer a quick and powerful way to make system modifications for experienced users.

Method 4: Batch Removal for Multiple Networks 📶

  • Open Terminal and enter networksetup -listpreferredwirelessnetworks en0 to list all saved networks.
  • Create a command or script to remove all networks listed or several specific ones.
  • For each network you want to forget, run -networksetup -removepreferredwirelessnetwork en0 NETWORK_NAME command.

Note: Be cautious when running batch operations as you might inadvertently remove networks you still use.

Conclusion: This approach is excellent when handling many networks and can save time compared to removing them one by one.

Method 5: For Those With Profiles Installed 🛠

  • Navigate to System Preferences followed by ‘Profiles’.
  • Select the profile that contains the Wi-Fi Network you’d like to forget, and hit the minus (-) button.
  • Confirm the removal of the profile, which will also remove any network settings associated with it.

Note: Profiles are usually installed by organizations to manage Wi-Fi and other settings on devices they supervise.

Conclusion: Understanding whether your network settings are managed by a profile is essential for proper removal.

3

Precautions and Tips:

Guard Your Wi-Fi Passkeys 🔑

  • Remember that when you forget a network on your Mac, the password is also removed from your keychain.
  • Write down or store the network credentials somewhere secure before removing them if you think you’ll need them again.

Maintain System Integrity 🛡

  • Only make changes to networks you’re familiar with to avoid accidentally disrupting internet connectivity.
  • Regularly check your saved networks to identify and remove any unfamiliar or unused ones.

Handle Profiles with Care 📄

  • If your Mac is part of a corporate or educational institution network, you might require permission before making any changes to profiles.
  • Forgetting a network that is mandated by a profile may result in losing access to other network resources or breaching IT policies.
4

Enhancing Mac’s Performance

Forgetting Wi-Fi networks on your Mac can have benefits beyond decluttering your connection list. Removing these networks can help streamline your Mac’s performance when connecting to Wi-Fi, as it won’t waste time searching for networks it can’t connect to. It’s also essential for general maintenance and cybersecurity.

Moreover, if you’re frequently on the move, your Mac can accumulate a considerable list of Wi-Fi networks. This can clutter the Wi-Fi dropdown menu and make it difficult to connect to the networks you frequently use. Additionally, older networks could have weak security protocols like WEP, which can pose security risks. For a primer on Wi-Fi security, the website of the non-profit organization, Wi-Fi Alliance, is a good place to start (https://www.wi-fi.org/).

Lastly, new users to macOS might find it helpful to review Apple’s official support resources for system preferences and networking features (https://support.apple.com/mac). They offer a wealth of information to help you understand the nuances of your device better.

Conclusion:

Forgetting a Wi-Fi network on your Mac can be a straightforward process, although it requires varying levels of technical knowledge depending on the method you choose. Whether you are a beginner or a tech enthusiast, understanding how to effectively manage your Wi-Fi connections is critical for a seamless internet experience and maintaining the health of your Mac’s networking capabilities. For additional tips and troubleshooting, always check out reliable resources like Apple Support and other established tech forums.

FAQ

Open System Preferences, select Network, choose Wi-Fi, click the Advanced button, highlight the network to forget and press the - (minus) button.

In System Preferences under Network, select Wi-Fi, go to Advanced, uncheck Automatically join this network for the selected Wi-Fi.

Yes, access Network Preferences, navigate to the Wi-Fi section, hit Advanced, locate the network in the list, and use the minus button to remove it.

It's stored within the Wi-Fi section of System Preferences. Click the Advanced button to view and edit your list of preferred networks.

Forgetting the network through Network Preferences will remove the network and its password from your saved settings.

While there isn't a one-click option, you can select each network in the Advanced Wi-Fi settings and click the minus button to remove each one manually.

The minus button might be grayed out if you are currently connected to the network you're trying to forget. Disconnect first before attempting to remove it.

Yes, you can reconnect by selecting the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar, finding the network, entering the password, and connecting as if it were a new network.

No, forgetting a Wi-Fi network only removes that specific connection, while resetting network settings impacts all network interfaces and configurations.

Try restarting your Mac or manually deleting the network's profile from the Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration directory, but proceed with caution. For further assistance with managing wireless networks on your Mac, visit Apple's official support page: https://support.apple.com.