Mac Help Desk
Quick fixes for common Mac problems

How to run the wireless diagnostics on Mac

Wi-Fi issues? No problem, use Apple's built-in Mac wireless diagnostics application to solve Wi-Fi dilemmas quickly. 

The Mac wireless diagnostics application can troubleshoot an annoying wireless network or help you tweak your connection for the best Wi-Fi performance.

Reasons to use Mac network diagnostics

  • Wi-Fi keeps disconnecting

  • Slow transfer speed

  • Wi-Fi interference 

Here's how to find the Mac network diagnostics tool:

Mac network diagnostics tool

  1. Make sure you're connected to the network you want to diagnose.

  2. Close all applications.

  3. Pressing the Option key, in the top menu bar, select the Wi-Fi icon.

  4. Select Open Wireless Diagnostics, and when the diagnostics window appears, press continue. 

Running diagnostics tests on Mac

Follow on-screen instructions. If diagnostics doesn't find anything, here's what to do:

  • When the diagnostics scan is finished, press Monitor my Wi-Fi connection.

  • This can take several minutes to generate the report, follow any on-screen instructions.

  • Once complete, press Continue to summary for more details. 

How to scan for Wi-Fi Networks

The scan function within diagnostics looks at all nearby Wi-Fi networks and gives valuable insight into strength, channels being used and noise levels. It also recommends the best channels for your own Wi-Fi network. Here's how:

  1. Pressing the Option key, in the top menu bar, select the Wi-Fi icon.

  2. When the diagnostics menu appears, press Window > Scan from the top title menu.

  3. Toggle through the sidebar to see channel insight and details. 

How to monitor performance levels

Use the Monitor Performance function within diagnostic to see real-time noise and signal strength graphs. here's how:

How to monitor network performance levels

  1. Pressing the Option key, in the top menu bar, select the Wi-Fi icon.

  2. Select Open Wireless Diagnostics; when the diagnostics window appears, press Window > Performance from the top title menu.

One more fix when your Wi-Fi drops off

If you're not 100% sure what you're looking at or how this can help you tweak your Wi-Fi connection, use a dedicated Mac-troubleshooting tool. The popular app that is notarized by Apple, CleaMyMac X, will troubleshoot your Wi-Fi issues for you; here's how.

It has a feature to forget old Wi-Fi networks so you can refresh your Wi-Fi settings. Here's how to do it:

CleanMyMac X - open wi-fi networks

  1. Open CleanMyMac X — download the free version here.

  2. Select Privacy from the sidebar and press Scan.

  3. Once the scan is finished, select Wi-FI networks and Remove.

Another good tip from the same app is to try and flush your DNS-cache. Flushing your Mac DNS can solve issues like slow or random network and inability to connect to websites, sometimes a quick DNS flush is all you need. 

  1. Open CleanMyMac X 

  2. Select Maintenance from the sidebar and press View All Tasks.

  3. Select Flush DNS and then Run.

Flush DNS cache in Maintenance

So, we've reached the end of this quick Mac wireless diagnostics guide, complete with helpful tips and tricks, happy diagnostics people! 

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