DIY fixes for your Mac WiFi problems

Once you get used to the wireless internet setup, the convenience is hard to resist- be it at home or workplace. The convenience becomes such an integral part of your life that you stop bothering about the nitty-gritty’s of wireless connectivity- until a wifi problem crops up!

Now, Wifi problems can be of various types and you need to think of the platform you are using for web access before troubleshooting Wi-Fi problems. If you are using a MacBook or iMac for accessing the web though Wi-Fi- factors like your model and version of OS X you are using should be considered first.

Below are the effective tips to diagnose and resolve WiFi problems for Mac users:

  • Wireless Diagnostics

     The first step at resolving MacWiFi issues is trying Apple’s Wireless Diagnostics. As you click on the wifi menu in OS X finder bar- the first option that appears is Wireless Diagnostics.

It also lets you send wifi details to Apple for a resolution to the problem. Those running Yosemite can go to menu bar > Window > Performance. Those using Macs running Mavericks and Mountain Lion OS can go to Window > Utilities > Performance.

  • Monitoring Graphs

    After clicking Performance, you will get a window showing graphs. In Yosemite you get 3 graphs showing signal and noise levels, signal quality and transmission rate. Observing the graphs can help you detect and resolve Mac Wifi problems.
  • Finding out causes

    Wi-fi problems in Mac can be caused by numerous factors including faulty hardware or external interferences. If the noise shown in graphs is enhanced by usage of appliances like a microwave oven or wireless phone handset in the vicinity- place them far from the router and see if things improve. Try re-positioning the external antenna of the router.
  • Changing the frequency

    Sometimes, changing the wifi frequency can help. If the router supports 5 GHz try that instead of more commonly used 2.4GHz. This is because 5GHz suffers less from interferences. You will need to name the frequency differently. In OS X go to System Preferences > System Preferences > Wi-Fi > Advanced. Then drag the 5GHz network to top slot.
  • Fixing Wi-Fi: No hardware installed error

    Sometimes, Mac users find their Wifi is not working after waking the laptop from Sleep. This is called the ‘Wi-Fi: No hardware installed error’. Thankfully, this is simple to fix though the procedure may vary based on OS version and type of Mac you have.

This happens when your MacBook or iMac just loses track of the number of devices to be powered on or off. Or, it may leave the Wi-Fi completely turned off. All you need to do is restart the Mac SMC or System Management Controller. The SMC is a Mac subsystem that manages sleep and wake mode along with many other tasks like battery charging, power management and keyboard backlighting etc.

Most Apple desktops and laptops have non removable batteries nowadays. For new Macbooks you need to plug to power source and press keys Control + Shift + Option + Power and release them. Then press the laptop’s power button and the issue will be resolved.

In case you have a really old MacBook with a removable battery, the method is a little different. Unplug the device first and then remove the battery. Then press the power button and hold it for about 5 seconds. Then put in the battery and restart the MacBook.

Those using a Mac Mini or iMac just needs to turn off the device and unplug from power source and then after some time restart it. You may also think of upgrading to the latest OS X version aka El Capitan. The OS contains many fixes for common Mac network errors.