Mac Help Desk
Quick fixes for common Mac problems

How to reset network settings on Mac

Having trouble with your network connectivity? Knowing how to reset network settings on your Mac is vital for any MacBook owner, so let's get started.

1. Delete and re-add your Wi-Fi Connection

Sometimes, simply deleting the connection, then re-adding is all you need to get your Wi-Fi back up and running.

Wi-Fi networks list

  1. Select the Apple menu > System Preferences > Network.

  2. Remove your Wi-Fi connection by selecting then pressing "-.”

  3. Re-add by pressing "+" and selecting Wi-Fi from the drop-down.

  4. Press Create, then Apply.

2. Reset your SMC

Your System Management Controller or SMC controls low-level functions, such as the battery, fans, power, and other features on your Mac. Sometimes, a quick reset can solve issues with network preferences.

Depending on which Mac you have, resetting the SMC varies. Follow Apples SMC reset guidelines here.

3. Reset your PRAM

PRAM (parameter random access memory) holds data about the configuration of your Mac; if resetting the SMC didn't help, sometimes a PRAM reset can solve connectivity issues. Here's how:

  1. Shut your Mac down completely. 

  2. Press the power button to reboot.

  3. Press down and hold the Command + Option +P +R keys until you hear the startup chime.

  4. Let go of the keys.

4. Flush DNS cache

If the above tips haven't helped, flushing your DNS cache is another great trick. I like to use a tool like CleanMyMac X to help me with this because it saves time and means I don't have to go fishing around in all random Library folders. So, here’s how to clear your DNS cache:

Flush DNS cache in Maintenance

5. Delete old Wi-Fi networks 

Removing old, saved Wi-Fi settings is another helpful tip; you can use the app I just mentioned to do this. Here’s how:

CleanMyMac X - open wi-fi networks

  • Launch the app and select Privacy from the sidebar.

  • Press Scan.

  • Select Wi-Fi Networks and press Remove.

Now you've tweaked your Mac Wi-Fi settings, you should be back online! Happy browsing.

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