One of the most common problems on Mac computers is no internet access when Wi-Fi is connected. The Mac remain offline even when other devices are connected and working. The following is a guide on how to troubleshoot and fix this problem.
It can be quite frustrating when your Mac fails to connect to the internet even after Wi-Fi is shown to be connected. Here, the browser (usually Safari) will say: Failed to open page. The page cannot be displayed because your computer is currently offline.This is a fairly redundant issue among Mac users and is easy to fix depending on where the problem lies. However, the best fix for this is to restart the Mac and the router it’s connected to. Restarting these devices helps resolve IP conflict between the Mac and router that may be bringing about the error. Nonetheless the most important thing is to firsttroubleshoot the issue to determine what is causing the error.
Troubleshooting your Mac for Wi-Fi issues
Find out where the problem is
The first step is to determine the problem first. To do this, first check whether other devices such as your phone or smart TV can access the internet. If other devices are online, then the problem definitely lies in the Mac. If the other devices are also offline, the problem may be your internet service provider or the router. Additionally, if you don’t have any other devices to test with, try connecting to a different network such as a friend’s house or library.
Restart the router or modem
After troubleshooting your network, you may have found that all devices are offline. In this case, restart the router or modem or both (if you use both). Unplug the power cord for a minute and plug it back in. on top of this, ensure that the router’s firmware is up to date. Also ensure your Mac is close to the router since far range can cause such problems.
Restart your Mac computer
Sometimes, the fix is as easy as restarting your Mac. You can do this by choosing ‘Restart’ on the Apple menu. If this does not work, go to the following step
Forget the Wi-Fi network
Forgetting the Wi-Fi means clearing all the details about the network that was saved by the computer. This includes name of network, password and IP. Before proceeding with this step, ensure you know the password to the network, preferably, write it down. To forget the Wi-Fi,
- Go to System Preferences from the Apple menu
- Click on: Network
- On the left side of the screen, you will see a list of networks detected by the Mac
- Go to the Advanced tab
- Click on: Wi-Fi
- Select the network you want to forget
- Click on the Remove button indicated by a minus (- ) sign
- Click OK and Apply
Once you apply these settings, you will need to reconnect to the network by entering the password. This may fix the problem. Otherwise, go to the following step
Diagnose the network using Apple’s Wireless Diagnostics tool
MacOS comes with a diagnostics tool for this kind of situations known as: Wireless Diagnostics. The tool analyzes your wireless configuration and tries to find any faults and glitches. It will help identify and resolve the Wi-Fi issue. Here is how to go about it.
- Close all apps and connect to the Wi-Fi network (even if there is no internet access)
- Press and hold the Alt button
- With the button pressed down, click on the Wi-Fi icon on the menu bar
- This will prompt and open a new menu. Click on WirelessDiagnostics on this menu
- Click Continue and enter your computer’s admin password if asked
- Wireless diagnostics will start running. Do not interrupt as the process runs for a few minutes
Once the diagnosis is complete, the issue will be fixed automatically and you should be able to connect to the internet. Alternatively, there are other troubleshooting tools on Mac one can use:
When to use it
Driver errors, Mac refusing to boot, networking issues
Apple Hardware Test
Wireless connectivity issues, networking hardware test
Cleaning caches, software updates, Wi-Fi and no internet errors
Wi-Fi and networking issues
Renew the DHCP Lease
Due to frequent changes in IP address on the internet, the DHCP server may ‘forget’ your new IP address. By renewing this lease, the offline problem may be resolved. Here is how to renew the DHCP lease.
- Open System Preferences
- Click on Network
- Select: Wi-Fi
- Click on your network’s name
- Click on Advanced
- Go to the TCP/IP tab at the top of the panel
- Click on: Renew DCHP License
Reset the PRAM and/or NVRAM
Resetting your PRAM and NVRAM resets the internet settings without clearing details such as passwords. To do this, first turn off you Mac. Turn it back on and while pressing and holding the Alt (Option), Ctrl + P + R together. Hold these buttons for 20 sec and then release the keys. This will reset the SMC, PRAM and NVRAM
Clear the preference files
The final step to resolving the connectivity issue is to delete all the preference files. The following steps will show you how.
- Turn off your Wi-Fi
- Go to the Finder
- Click on Go and this will take you to the folder. Alternatively, press Ctrl + shift + G
- Type the following: /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/
- Find the following files:
- Drag them to the trash and empty the trash
- Restart the Mac computer and turn on Wi-Fi. This should resolve the problem.
Contact your internet service provider
If you have triedall the above solutions to no luck, there is a high possibility that there is an outage in your area or an issue with your account. Here, you need to contact your internet service provider and check if it’s a problem on their end. If it’s a public network such as school or hotel, enquire with an employee for assistance.
Once you’re connected to the internet, it’s important to protect your Mac from internet threats such as Trojan Horses and Malware. The following are the best internet security for Mac.
In conclusion, there are lots of reasons your Mac remain offline after connecting to Wi-Fi. Most of them can be resolved with the solutions above, but if the problem persists, we recommend that you contact Apple support as the through the Live chat or taking it to an Apple dealer.
What is the best router Wi-Fi security for MAC?
WPA3 Personal. This can be set in the router settings for the best security for your MAC.
Should automatic firmware updates be on?
Yes, it’s recommended that automatic updates are on to prevent Wi-Fi issues or any other issues in functionality.