Can’t connect to the internet on your Mac, you are probably facing network connection issues. I’ll show you how to fix network connection issues on a Mac in this post.
I will also share some tips on how to troubleshoot common network connection issues.
So whether you’re experiencing slow internet speeds or sporadic connection drops, we’ve got you covered.
Sit back and relax, because here are 8 handy troubleshooting tips and tricks you can use to fix network connection issues on a Mac.
- Check the Network Connection
- Run a Wireless Diagnostics Check
- Update your Mac
- Troubleshoot the Router or Modem
- Change the DNS Settings
- Reset the NVRAM and SMC
- Renew the DHCP Lease on the Mac
- Restart the Mac
Related: How to fix Wi-Fi not working on Mac
How to Fix Network Connection Issues on a Mac
Check the Network Connection
The first step to fixing your network connection issues is to check if you’re connected to the correct network and that the network has a functioning internet connection.
The problem with Macs is that the system jumps from connection to connection depending on what’s available and at times open networks are either super slow or won’t be connected to the internet.
So in order to double-check whether you’re connected to a valid internet connection, click on the Wi-Fi icon in the status menu and then check what the Mac is connected to.
If the network you’re connected to has an exclamation mark then the router you’re connected to is unable to get a DNS handshake from the ISP and because of this, you will not be able to use the internet.
Try switching from that open network to one that’s a bit more reliable, like a 5GHz network which is much faster.
Toggling between available connections can help reset any underlying Wi-Fi issue and will help restore your connection.
If this doesn’t work, then try disabling and enabling the Wi-Fi on your Mac to reset the connection.
Run a Wireless Diagnostics Check
Macs these days come with a built-in wireless diagnostics tool that can diagnose and fix any issue such as drop in Wi-Fi signal or issues with the network connectivity.
Think of it as Apple’s one-stop solution for all wireless network problems.
To launch and run the Wireless diagnostics tool, follow these steps
- Press and hold the Options button on the keyboard and simultaneously click on the Wi-Fi icon in the Status menu.
- Next, click on the Open Wireless Diagnostics option from the drop down menu and then click on Monitor my Wi-Fi Connection.
- In the pop-up window, click on Continue for the Mac to diagnose and isolate the problem.
You will be presented with a detailed summary of the problem at hand and the Mac will then take you through a series of steps to rectify the problem.
If you’re unable to find a definitive solution then try one of the other tips below.
Update your Mac
Generally, like all software, macOS does come with some bugs, especially if you’re running an older version of the OS or if you’re running a BETA version.
Updating the firmware to the latest version will eliminate any connectivity issues you might be facing.
To do this,
- Click on the Apple Menu from the corner of your screen and then click on System Preferences
- Locate Software Update and click on it
- If there is a software update available, it will appear on the Software Update main page, click on Upgrade Now to install the new update.
- Wait for the update to install and then reboot the Mac
Generally, old versions of the software or BETA versions will carry a lot of bugs, updating the system will not only clear any bugs present in the system, but it will also improve the overall processing speed of the Mac.
Troubleshoot the Router or Modem
A majority of network connection issues people face is to do with a faulty router or a badly configured modem.
The router and modem play a crucial role in delivering high-performance internet connection to your Mac, but there are some things you can do to fix connectivity issues with your router.
You can try resetting your router and reconfiguring the internet setting once again.
Another easy trick you can do is restart the router and wait for around 30 seconds before connecting to the network.
You can also double check with your ISP if the IP address is correct and if not then re-enter the correct IP address shared by your service provider.
The worst case scenario is that you have too many devices connected to the same router, removing or disabling some of the connected devices should resolve any network connection issues you’re facing.
Change the DNS Settings
Sometimes, the DNS or Domain Name Server you’re connected to will not work properly and because of this you will notice that the Wi-Fi works fine, but you will not receive any network connection.
The easiest way to resolve this issue is to change the DNS settings you’re connected to and try using a free DNS that Google offers.
You will be able to change the DNS settings of your ISP by following these steps.
- Click on the Wi-Fi icon from the Status menu on your Mac and then click on Network Preferences.
- You can also launch Network Preferences by clicking on the Apple icon and then on System Preferences. Now locate Network Preferences from the left panel and click on it.
- Now, tap on Advanced Settings and then select DNS
- Under DNS Servers, click on the ‘+’ icon and add the Google DNS address
- You can enter either 184.108.40.206 or 220.127.116.11
- Click on OK at the bottom of the page and try connecting to the internet again.
Reset the NVRAM and SMC
Resetting the NVRAM and SMC will help restore your Mac’s settings to their original state and wipe out any bugs or issues that are affecting your network connection.
To reset the NVRAM, follow these steps.
- Shut down your Mac and while powering it on press and hold the Command + Option + P + R keys simultaneously.
- Wait for roughly 20 seconds for the startup sound.
- Release the keys on the second chime if you’re using an older version of macOS
- If you’re using the Mac with a T2 Security chip then release the keys when the Apple logo appears on the screen for the second time.
The NVRAM will have been reset once the Mac restarts. You can follow these steps to reset the SMC of your Mac.
The steps you should follow depend on the kind of Mac you have
- If the Mac has a removable battery – Remove the battery and hold down the power button for around 5-10 seconds before reinstalling the battery and powering on the Mac
- If the Mac has a built-in non-removable battery – Press the Shift + Control + Option + Power button for 10 seconds and release them simultaneously.
Renew the DHCP Lease on the Mac
Renewing the DHCP lease is a good idea if you’re connected to the Wi-Fi but you’re unable to load webpages.
You can follow these instructions to renew your DHCP lease.
- Tap on the Apple icon in the status bar and then click on System Preferences
- Next, select Network from the list and then click on Wi-Fi
- Now, click on Advanced, and then from the header, click on TCP/IP
- Click on Renew DHCP Lease and then finally tap on OK.
This should fix the connection issue with your Mac and you will be able to connect to the internet and load webpages.
Restart the Mac
When all else fails, the easiest way to fix any network or Wi-Fi connection issues is to restart the Mac.
It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book and it has worked wonders for a lot of users, but that’s not always the case and restarting your Mac may not resolve your internet connection issue if the problem is hardware related.
So if you have restarted your Mac and are still facing connection issues then it’s time you consider buying a new router or getting in touch with your internet provider and have them diagnose the issue at their end.
Should I buy a new router to fix my Mac’s Wi-Fi problems?
In a majority of cases, the network issues you’re dealing with might be software-related or basic hardware issues within the Mac.
You can try resolving the issue yourself by following the troubleshooting tips and tricks mentioned throughout the article.
However, if none of them work and you’re certain that the issue lies within the router, then buying a new router will definitely fix the problem’.
How to Fix Network Connection Issues on a Mac – Takeaway
Wi-Fi and network connection issues on a Mac are some of the most annoying issues one can face. They’re time consuming to diagnose and at the same time, they can hamper user productivity.
While everything might seem confusing, there are a number of ways you can troubleshoot a faulty network connection.
I do hope the methods I listed above help you easily resolve any network connection issues you may face on your Mac. If you have any questions pertaining to any of the steps or tips mentioned in this article, feel free to drop a comment and I will get back to you.
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Hey there! I’m Chelsea and chief editor of macsecurity.org. I have always loved Apple products for its efficiency and performance. I love reviewing the latest Apple products and designing guides for old and new Apple users! And in my free time I love experimenting in the kitchen (though, it doesn’t work out 9/10 times)