So, your MacBook is connected to Wi-Fi but no internet is working? These days, we need a stable Wi-Fi connection to do just about everything. Simple, mundane, everyday tasks require reliable internet service.
We use the internet to communicate, work, and play. But the internet is still a man-made creation, making it possible to run into humanlike errors occasionally.
Sometimes, it may appear that your Wi-Fi is connected to your device, but there is no internet connection. This error is frustrating at best, and can definitely mess up your whole day, especially if you’re trying to meet tight deadlines!
Before you head to the nearest Apple repair center or decide to change your internet provider, give a DIY project a chance. There are a few easy solutions you can try before calling it quits. Let’s check them out!
Reasons Your MacBook Is Connected to Wi-Fi Without Internet Connection
While it’s tempting to simply throw your entire router or MacBook away, try running a few diagnostic tests to find the root of the connectivity issue.
From there, you’ll be able to assign the best possible solution while hopefully reducing the likelihood of running into the same problem again.
First, check your connectivity across other devices that are linked to the same Wi-Fi network. If everything else is working, but your MacBook isn’t, the MacBook could be the culprit.
However, your MacBook might be able to connect to other networks. If that’s the case, you’ll have to dig deeper into your router. We’ll focus mainly on your laptop itself in this article.
How to Fix Macbook Connected to Wi-Fi but No Internet
It may sound cliche, but shutting your MacBook off and on again before running any further troubleshooting may eliminate the issue completely.
Sometimes, MacBooks get overheated or you’re simply running too many programs at once, and your MacBook needs a fresh start.
Don’t give up hope if that doesn’t work, though.
Solution 1. Create a New Network Location
This isn’t as scary as it may seem.
Your MacBook is smart; it will automatically set a network location for you, and you typically won’t have to put much thought into it when you use your MacBook.
However, if you’re facing connectivity issues, you can create an entirely new network location.
Step 1: Open Apple Menu
Click on the ‘Network’ button from the System Preferences section.
Step 2: Edit Location
Select ‘Edit Location’ from the Location drop-down menu.
Step 3: Add a New Location
Click the + icon to add a new location.
Step 4: Done
Click ‘Done’ and then ‘Apply’ to finalize your new settings.
Sometimes, the simplest solutions really are the best. Watch tech guru Chris of Street Geeks use these easy steps to fix his internet connection.
Solution 2. Make Sure Your Date, Time, and Location Are Accurate
This may sound like a no-brainer, but your MacBook should be showing accurate dates, times, and locations for the Wi-Fi connection to operate smoothly.
Step 1: System Preferences
Open ‘System Preferences’ and select ‘Date and Time.’
Step 2: Time Zone
You can adjust the time zone as well as the data in this section too. Or you can set it automatically by pressing ‘Set time zone automatically.’
Every time you change time zones while connected to Wi-Fi, the MacBook will adjust to the new time zone on its own, without you having to do any additional work.
Step 3: Edit Location
In your ‘System Preferences,’ select ‘Privacy & Security’ and then ‘Privacy.’
Find Location Services from the list. Then, tick ‘Enable Location Services.’
Solution 3. Turn Your Wi-Fi Off and On
You can begin this method by simply turning off Wi-Fi connectivity completely. Restart your computer, and then turn your Wi-Fi connection back on.
However, if that doesn’t work, try this instead:
Step 1: Network Settings
In ‘System Preferences,’ select ‘Network.’
Step 2: Advanced Settings
Find the name of your Wi-Fi network and click ‘Advanced Settings.’
Step 3: Remove The Network
Press the minus button to remove the Wi-Fi network. Alternatively, you can press ‘Forget This Network.’
Step 4: Finalize
Click on ‘Ok’ and then ‘Apply.’
Step 5: Reconnect Your Wi-Fi
Simply reconnect your Wi-Fi by reentering your password. You shouldn’t need to restart your MacBook before completing this step.
Solution 4. Run Internal Wireless Diagnostic Tests on Your MacBook
Your MacBook is an incredibly smart machine.
It comes with a Wireless Diagnostics tool for these tricky situations.
You’ll have to do a little extra work past this point to fix the problem, but the Wireless Diagnostics tool saves lots of time identifying what that problem actually is.
Step 1: Open The Wireless Diagnostics Tool
You can find the Wireless Diagnostics tool by clicking the Wi-Fi icon at the top right-hand corner of your screen. Hold the option key while clicking in order to bring it up.
Step 2: Follow The Instructions
The Wireless Diagnostics tool is very easy to follow. It will present you with a few simple instructions. Your wait time will vary based on your circumstances, but diagnostic tests shouldn’t normally take more than a couple of minutes to complete.
Again, you’ll need to take additional action to solve the problem once you find out what it is. However, once you’ve found a diagnosis, half the battle is over!
Solution 5. Test Your Wi-Fi in a Guest Account
Most people only use one main account for a personal computer. Gone are the days when the entire family had an account on one centralized computer.
You no longer have to remind your little brother that mom said it’s your turn to play some Flash games.
Step 1: Allow Guest Accounts On Your MacBook
From your ‘System Preferences,’ select ‘Users & Groups.’ Click the lock and set your password. Select the option to allow guests to access your MacBook.
Step 2: Log Out of Your MacBook
Open the main Apple menu and select ‘Log Out.’
Step 3: Log in as a Guest
Once you’ve logged in from your guest account, test your Wi-Fi signal.
Your Wi-Fi connection might work perfectly fine from your Guest account, meaning you’ll need to make some adjustments to your Admin account.
Step 4: Reboot MacBook With ‘Safe Mode’ (Optional)
Once all other possibilities have been ruled out and you’ve agreed that your Wi-Fi issues are due to your Admin account, restart your computer in Safe Mode.
In Safe Mode, you can identify any third-party issues that may be causing your connectivity issues.
If you notice your Wi-Fi works well in Safe Mode, but not with a standard load-up, individually remove all login items.
This is almost like manually clearing out a cache.
Eventually, the culprit will be identified (though this can be a tedious process for older MacBooks with more login items).
Your Wi-Fi still may not work in Safe Mode. If that’s the case, carefully delete your Admin account.
Before the account is deleted, make sure you save all important files on a backup hard drive to transfer them to your new Admin account.
Solution 6. Prioritize the Network
The “connected to Wi-Fi but no Internet” issue could be due to your system picking the wrong network to automatically connect to. There are multiple reasons why your MacBook may be set to the wrong Wifi network.
Some devices give their users two separate networks–one for 2.4Gz and one for 5Ghz.
Your MacBook will default to whichever one you logged into last, even if it’s not the one you want.
Step 1: Network Preferences
Open ‘System Preferences,’ select ‘Network,’ and then select ‘Wi-Fi.’
Step 2: Edit Recommended Networks
Duplicate Wi-Fi networks can be manually removed.
Step 3: Advanced Settings
Use Advanced Settings to move your preferred networks to the top of the list.
Click ‘OK,’ and you’re done!
Solution 7. Reset Your Router
You probably already tried this one sooner, but it’s definitely worth mentioning. Often, the router can be a possible culprit in the issue plaguing your MacBook.
Wi-Fi routers do occasionally fail and need resetting. Your Wi-Fi router will require different steps based on your model. Typically, you can reset your Wi-Fi router by turning it completely off for a few minutes before turning it back on.
Solution 8. Seek Professional Assistance
If your MacBook stays connected to Wi-Fi but no Internet no matter what you do, then you might need a little professional assistance.
You can contact your internet service provider directly. Their technicians are trained for these kinds of situations. Hopefully, you have a provider with good tech support. if you do, they’ll be able to tell if your MacBook or your network equipment is at fault.
Worst case — you’re looking at bringing your laptop to the Apple store. If it is an older model, you might need to visit a third party. Well-reviewed non-Apple authorized repair shops can still be very good.
Getting professional help for your MacBook is frustrating at best, but getting expert guidance also acts as a preventative measure, ensuring that your problems are less likely to occur again.
|Create a New Network Location||1. Open Apple Menu2. Edit Location3. Add a New Location4. Done|
|Check Date, Time, and Location||1. System Preferences2. Time Zone3. Edit Location|
|Turn Wi-Fi Off and On||1. Network Settings2. Advanced Settings3. Remove The Network4. Finalize5. Reconnect Wifi|
|Run Wireless Diagnostic Tests||1. Open Wireless Diagnostics Tool2. Follow Instructions|
|Test Wifi in Guest Account||1. Allow Guest Accounts2. Log Out3. Log in as Guest4. Reboot in Safe Mode (Optional)|
|Prioritize the Network||1. Network Preferences2. Edit Recommended Networks3. Advanced Settings|
|Reset Your Router||Turn off router for a few minutes, then turn it back on|
|Seek Professional Assistance||Contact internet provider, visit an Apple store, or third-party repair shop|
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Josep Suria/Shutterstock.com.