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Wi-Fi Troubleshooting in macOS Sierra

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10 / 04 / 2017

Wi-Fi Troubleshooting in macOS Sierra

Mac users often report wireless networking issues. Random Wi-Fi signal drop and slow Internet always make you headache. How to deal with it when your network provider claims the issue is on your side? If you don’t want call specialists and spend extra costs on service there are several basic troubleshooting methods every user should try. I’ve tested frequently used steps to resolve common wireless networking troubles.

Mac users often report wireless networking issues. Random Wi-Fi signal drops and slow Internet is always a headache. How to deal with it when your network provider claims that the issue is on your side? If you don’t want to call specialists and spend extra costs on service, there are several basic troubleshooting methods that every user should try. I’ve tested the frequently used steps to resolve common wireless networking troubles.

NOTE: Time Machine is your best friend when it comes to system troubleshooting. It protects you from data loss. Back up your Mac before you proceed.

Reset Wi-Fi Preferences

You’ll need to remove some system configuration files in this troubleshooting method. Before you proceed, make sure that you’ve already secured the important data with Time Machine or used any other available backup method. Time to start.

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  1. Close all applications that use wireless connection or Internet.

  2. Turn off the Wi-Fi in the menu bar.

  3. Open the Finder. Click the Go menu at the top, and then choose the ”Go to Folder” option.

  4. Paste the /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/ path to the address line.

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  1. Hit “Go”.

  2. In the destination folder, locate and remove the following items (or copy those files to the desktop):

com.apple.airport.preferences.plist

com.apple.network.eapolclient.configuration.plist

com.apple.wifi.message-tracer.plist

NetworkInterfaces.plist

preferences.plist

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7. Restart your Mac.

8. Turn on the Wi-Fi and choose your network from the list.

If you’ve already passed through the aforementioned troubleshooting steps, the Internet connection will most likely go back to normal. If it still doesn’t work as expected, keep reading. There are plenty of possible solutions that you can try.

Change your network location and “play” with custom settings

Users can also try to solve the Wi-Fi drops and connection issues by creating new locations with manual DNS and MTU settings. How to do it?

Click the Apple logo and choose “System Preferences” in the drop-down menu. Open Network Preferences and choose the “Edit Locations” option in the Location window.

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Click “+” to add a new location and call it “Wi-Fi fix.” After you enter the location name, select the name of the wireless network to which you want to connect. Then click the “Advanced” button. In TCP/IP tab, hit “Renew DHCP Lease”.

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After that you’ll need to switch to DNS tab and hit “+” to add Google Public DNS servers  8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4.  

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After you change the DNS settings, go to the “Hardware” tab and choose “Manually” from the “Configure” drop-down list. You’ll also need to adjust the MTU settings to “Custom” and set the number 1453.

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What else can I try?

If you still suffer from sudden wi-fi signal drops, there are some more things that you can try. Use these steps as your last hope.

Start your machine in the Safe Mode :

  1. Shut down your Mac.

  2. Wait until your computer turns off, and then press the Power button.

  3. Right after you hear the startup tone, press and hold the Shift key.

  4. Release the Shift key when you see a grey Apple sign and the progress bar below this sign.

  5. Shut down your Mac and turn it back on after about 30 seconds.

Play with your wi-fi router:

  • Disconnect your router from the power for 30 seconds and turn it back on.

  • Update the router firmware.

As the last hope, use the SMC reset option or reset PRAM/NVRAM.

Consider visiting the Apple Store if you’ve passed through the aforementioned steps without success.