Mac

How to fix your MacBook WiFi connection that keeps dropping

My new MacBook kept dropping its Wireless connection, every single time I opened the laptop and would wake it from sleep. Basically, I'd have to manually re-connect 2 or 3 times until the connection stuck, and I kept getting an error message saying "Error connecting to network 'jc'".

I first called support thinking it was my router. But then doing a bit of digging on the internet, I found out that this is a common issue with Macs, and there are the six simple steps to fixing it permanently:

1. Go to Preferences–>Network
2. Add a new location
3. In the Show: menu, go to Network Port Configurations
4. Make sure AirPort is checked (it should be by default)
5. Drag Airport to the top of the list (above Modem)
6. Click Apply and watch your signal meter. In about a second, it'll pop back to life.

(I also disable BlueTooth and FireWire, just because I don't need them at home)

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28 Comments

  1. Hii,
    this is really nice share, since i m a mac user. Thank you for this tip..

    Best Regards,
    Eliena andrews

  2. Thanks so much, this has been bugging me enormously.

    Dave

  3. I have been working on solving this issue for weeks now and the answer is to make sure you don't have WEP security on. When I turned this off and used WPA instead my signal came back (very strong) and even my neighbors signals got really strong and worked very well (don't judge me). So give that a try for sure or at least trying changing your security around.

  4. this is amazing, i have been searching so hard for this. i almost returned my mac because of the sucky connection, and this fixes it.

  5. I just purchased a new Macbook (2.4 ) and have been frustrated by the wireless connection dropping off continually. I have tried to access the settings to try the fixed mentioned here but when you go to Network –add a new location all you can access is "automatic" I would like to try the fix listed here but it won't let me. wpa wireless channel 11, Mac OS X, very frustrated and not very computer wise.
    Any ideas??
    Ken Arthur

  6. this method did not fix my connection issue, but others may try the method I found that worked. First a little back story.

    Got my Mac Blackbook and the wi-fi worked great from my Linksys wrt54g2 router. Moved to Germany and into an apartment and my connection issues started happening. My MB would connect once then loose connection quickly and would only recover connection if i either closed and re-opened my screen, or re-connected to my network… then it would drop again before my next page turn.

    After multiple days of research I read about SOOOO many others having this issue and the fact the Apple pretty much refused to acknowledge the issue. It seemed that sometime near the OX 10.4.2 update the airport driver got fubar'd leaving all those with Intel based macs wi-fi connects messed up.

    Some of the solutions i read about and tried had to do with changing my WEP connection to WPA. This did not work, but i left it as WPA as my research finds it a more secure connection. I also read about and tried setting my Wireless RTA Threshold in my router to 256 from the *2432 default. This as well did not work, though I have left it at this setting as it seems to be the best value for MAC's connecting over wi-fi. This is not true for PC's though so be careful.

    More research, more research, o' my brain hurts and my patience is wearing….. then BINGO!!! I found a thread about connection issues that pertained to MB's not connecting to local-network printers. The poster mentioned that MAC's seem to have a hard time connecting to networks that had more than one wi-fi network present. This is my issue i thought. I have 8 in my available connections now. In my old home I had just mine. So i followed the directions suggested and it has now been 2 weeks of 100% perfect wi-fi connections.

    Below is the excerpt from this page, http://www.macintouch.com/readerreports/macbookpro/topic2005.html (Do a find for “Little Snitch”). The program the writer talks about is called Little Snitch found here, http://www.obdev.at/products/littlesnitch/index.html. It's a $29 dollar program, but in my mind its well worth it to make my $1500 Blackbook work!

    This may not be the Apple Fix we have been waiting for them, but its completely working for me.

    [quote]
    I have used Little Snitch software for several years, and it occurred to me that I might be able to use it to block any connections with the other network. Using the latest version (v.2), go to Preferences, or Little Snitch Configuration, choose Rules under the Window menu, and click the New button.

    In the pop-up window that shows up, click on the gear icon and choose "Choose System Process." A file open box opens, and under the folder "libexec," choose "airportd." "airportd" is the system daemon that controls the Airport card in the MacBook Pro. In the box that comes up, set the main menu to "Allow Connections" and the Server menu to "Local Network."
    [/quote]

  7. Folks,

    The last response works!!!

    Install the Little Snitch software.

    Using the latest version (v.2), go to Preferences, or Little Snitch Configuration, choose Rules under the Window menu, and click the New button. In the pop-up window that shows up, click on the gear icon and choose "Choose System Process." A file open box opens, and under the folder "libexec," choose "airportd." "airportd" is the system daemon that controls the Airport card in the MacBook Pro. In the box that comes up, set the main menu to "Allow Connections" and the Server menu to "Local Network."

    THAT'S IT. RUNNING ON FULL STRENGTH SO FAR…..

  8. My airport icon states "no airport card installed"

  9. The little snitch doesn't work…… and it is annoying!!

  10. I have tried many things to solve this problem, and the Little Snitch suggestion looks promising. But I can't get it to work, because "airportd" seems to be missing entirely from my computer! As I only have intermittent problems, surely my aiport must have some sort of daemon but there's nothing identifiable in the process list… help…?

    I'm running 10.4.11 on a Macbook Pro

  11. Ok I seem to have the same problem but I cant follow the instructions. I go to System preferences, go to network then where the hell is add location? Is it under network name, because all i see under that is create network? ??? maybe missing something but what is written as the instructions doesn't match up

  12. Hey thanks a lot for this Justin – this has been happening for me at work and home so it's good to see there is a solution out there!

  13. Hi everyone, perhaps someone finds this information useful:

    I have been struggling with dropouts for quite some time, reading all I could find on the net regarding this topic. I think I can say I've tried most of – if not all – software/settings related solutions either on the computer and router side. Nothing helped.
    I finally decided to try installing a new wifi card, and it fixed all problems instantly.
    I get full bars reception as I used to, from before the dropouts and week reception started.

    So if you cannot find a fix, send the computer back to apple and have the wifi card replaced.
    If your apple care period is over, which was my case, you can even try to disassemble the top case and exchange the card yourself. There are instructions on how to do it on youtube.
    I only recommend it however for those, that have experience in putting things back together, and know how to be gentle with electronics. I got the wifi card (AR5BXB6 for my white MacBook 13") from eBay.

  14. okay so i just bought my friend's macbook off of her..and the reason why she sold it to me was because of the wifi problems. for the last 2 days, i've been researching to find out why airport is having problems connecting or even holding a connection. the only "good" results i found was to change..your router to WPA? i'm not computer wizz so excuse my terminology/usage of it. so i'm sure my router is setup as WEP…i'd hate to change it to WPA since it's my brothers and i'm sure he'd rip me apart. so my main problem is that i bring my laptop to school, and it cannot detect/connect to the wifi AT ALL. with my dell inspiron, it would always detect and connect to the wifi. with this macbook, nothing. and i'm sure i don't have the authority to change the settings on the school's router, so how do i solve this problem? i see other kids with macbooks/macbook pros and they seem to be browsing the internet on the wifi, why can't i? HELP!!! D:

  15. oh and the specs of the macbook is..it's the 1st gen black macbook?
    it's running 10.4.11 and all of the software is up to date, since i did it last night. 😛 i dont know what else i need to say..i hope its enough!

  16. Hi All

    I fixed this by setting IPv6 to OFF (from Automatic) under the Advanced/TCPIP tab (in NW settings)

    Previously WIFI would die (Airport would not detect any WIFIs) after eiter sleep or sending/receiving a lot of data.

  17. thanx Mathias,

    I have tried most fixes listed here that I could figure out… Yours worked for me the best I think. So far my connection is stable and holding!!!!

  18. OMG Thanks so much for this!! I was awfully close to chucking my Macbook out the top floor window!

  19. Thanks, this was bugging me for ages!

  20. The proposed solutions did not work for my Mid-2010 Macbook pro. I had a U-verse router (2Wire 3800 HGV) and found that the issue of dropping wifi connections was related to the router.For me, the solution was to disable the wifi on the 2wire router and use my old linksys wrt54G router. Problem solved. After 2 weeks, I have had no problems with dropping the wifi connection from my macbook.

  21. Thanks Mathias,

    My daughter's wifi stopped working a month ago. She even reinstalled the system. But your fix worked. Thanks again

  22. Thank You So Much!!!

  23. Thank you Cesar and Mathias.
    Both of your fixes worked for me.
    I've suffered with this issue for the last year and was beyond frustrated.
    I so appreciate you guys taking the time to share your fixes and finds with the community.

  24. I did not have success with the reordering of the connection list. My problem was a wifi router/access point (Zonet, no longer made) that disconnected periodically. I went through every Internet solution, reinstalled the OS, and had Apple reinstall the airport electronics. Finally, I bought a Netgear WNDR3400 router/accesspoint and the problem disappeared. So, I suggest that someone with this problem try their Mac on another router known to work with Macs.

  25. This way must work but I didn't come across this until just now. My wifi was dropping too and basically driving me batty. I fixed mine by signing onto my router. http://(router ip) then to advance settings and changed the "channel" from automatic to one of the 11 available. I used 11 and it worked like a charm. Hope it works for you. 🙂

  26. Vinícius Maciel

    Hi guys, how can I change the ipv6 to off? Here I only have these options: "Automatic" "Manually " and "Link: only local". Somebody can help me?

  27. First post seems to have worked for me! I couldn't find 'Add location' first and then the 'show: menu' but add location isn't actually an option, there's just a dropdown menu at the top of the pref. page and I ignored the show menu part once airport moved to the top of my list. Seems to have worked so far!

  28. spoke too soon…dropped it again…bugger

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