Having trouble with your Wi-Fi connection on your Mac? Maybe you want to remove a network that you no longer use or that is causing issues. In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of forgetting a network on your Mac, so you can start fresh or reconnect with a better signal. Let’s dive in!
Our Macs remember the networks we connect to for convenience, but sometimes it’s necessary to let go of old connections. Whether you’re moving to a new place, dealing with a faulty network, or simply want to declutter your Wi-Fi list, forgetting a network can be helpful. Don’t worry, it’s a straightforward process, and we’ll guide you step by step.
1. Open Network Preferences
First, click on the Apple menu in the top-left corner of your screen and select “System Preferences.” In the System Preferences window, click on the “Network” icon.
1.1 Access Network Settings
Once you’re in the Network preferences, you’ll see a list of available connections on the left side of the window. Select the type of network you want to forget, such as Wi-Fi or Ethernet.
1.2 Select the Network
After selecting the network type, you’ll see a list of available networks in the main window. Choose the network you want to forget by clicking on it once.
1.3 Click on the Minus (-) Button
At the bottom left of the window, you’ll find a small minus (-) button. Click on it to remove the selected network from your Mac.
1.4 Confirm the Removal
A confirmation dialog box will appear asking if you want to forget the network. Click on the “Forget” button to proceed. The network will be removed from your Mac, and it won’t automatically connect to it in the future.
2. Forget Network Using Wi-Fi Menu
If you prefer a quicker way to forget a network, you can use the Wi-Fi menu on your Mac’s menu bar.
2.1 Open the Wi-Fi Menu
Click on the Wi-Fi symbol on the menu bar at the top right of your screen. It looks like a series of curved lines.
2.2 Open Network Preferences
While holding the Option key on your keyboard, click on the Wi-Fi network you want to forget in the drop-down menu. This will open the Network preferences for that network.
2.3 Forget the Network
In the Network preferences, click on the minus (-) button at the bottom left of the window to forget the network. Confirm the removal, and you’re done!
3. Forget Network from Keychain Access
Keychain Access is a utility on Mac that stores and manages passwords. If you’re experiencing issues with a network and want to remove it completely, you can do so from Keychain Access.
3.1 Open Keychain Access
To open Keychain Access, go to your Applications folder, then open the Utilities folder, and finally, click on “Keychain Access.”
3.2 Search for the Network
In the Keychain Access window, type the name of the network you want to forget in the search bar located in the top-right corner.
3.3 Delete the Network Keychain
Once you’ve located the network in the search results, right-click on it and select “Delete” from the context menu. Confirm the deletion when prompted.
3.4 Restart your Mac
To ensure that the network is completely forgotten, it’s recommended to restart your Mac after deleting the network from Keychain Access. This will clear any remaining cached information.
4. Forget Network Using Terminal
If you prefer using the command line, you can also forget a network on your Mac using Terminal.
4.1 Open Terminal
Go to the Applications folder, then open the Utilities folder, and launch Terminal.
4.2 Find the Network
In the Terminal window, type the following command and press Enter:
A list of network services will be displayed. Identify the network you want to forget.
4.3 Forget the Network
Type the following command in Terminal, replacing “NetworkServiceName” with the name of the network service you want to forget, and press Enter:
sudo networksetup -removepreferredwirelessnetwork "NetworkServiceName" "SSID"
Enter your administrator password when prompted and press Enter. The network will be forgotten.
4.4 Restart your Mac
After using Terminal to forget the network, it’s a good idea to restart your Mac to ensure the changes take effect.
5. Remove Networks from Auto-Join List
If you want to prevent your Mac from automatically connecting to certain networks, you can remove them from the auto-join list.
5.1 Open Network Preferences
Go to System Preferences, click on the “Network” icon, and select the network type (e.g., Wi-Fi).
5.2 Advanced Settings
In the Network preferences, click on the “Advanced” button located at the bottom right of the window.
5.3 Remove Networks
In the “Wi-Fi” or “Airport” tab, you’ll see a list of networks in the Preferred Networks section. Select the networks you want to remove and click on the minus (-) button to delete them from the auto-join list. Click “OK” to save the changes.
5.4 Restart your Mac
Restart your Mac to ensure that the removed networks are no longer automatically joined.
6. Forget Networks on macOS Big Sur and Later
If you’re using macOS Big Sur or a later version, the process of forgetting networks has been simplified.
6.1 Open Network Preferences
Click on the Apple menu, select “System Preferences,” and click on the “Network” icon.
6.2 Wi-Fi Options
In the Network preferences, click on the “Wi-Fi” section on the left side of the window.
6.3 Forget a Network
Under the list of available networks, hover your mouse over the network you want to forget, and click on the small “x” button that appears. Confirm the removal when prompted.
6.4 Restart your Mac
After forgetting the network, it’s recommended to restart your Mac to ensure the changes take effect.
7. Forget Network Using Keychain Access
If you prefer a more direct method of removing a network from your Mac, you can utilize the Keychain Access application.
7.1 Launch Keychain Access
Open the Applications folder, then Utilities folder, and find Keychain Access. Launch the application.
7.2 Locate the Network
In the Keychain Access window, use the search bar at the top-right corner to search for the network you want to forget.
7.3 Delete Network Credentials
Once you find the network in the search results, right-click on it and select “Delete” from the context menu. Confirm the deletion when prompted.
7.4 Restart your Mac
For the changes to take effect, it’s recommended to restart your Mac after removing the network credentials from Keychain Access.
8. Forget Network Using Network Diagnostics
If you’re experiencing persistent connectivity issues with a specific network, you can utilize the Network Diagnostics feature on your Mac to forget the network and troubleshoot further.
8.1 Open Network Diagnostics
Click on the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar and select “Open Network Diagnostics.”
8.2 Follow the Diagnostics Process
Network Diagnostics will guide you through a series of steps to diagnose and resolve network issues. Follow the prompts until you reach the network selection screen.
8.3 Forget the Network
In the network selection screen, select the network you want to forget and click on the “Forget Network” button.
8.4 Complete the Diagnostics Process
Continue following the Network Diagnostics process to troubleshoot any remaining connectivity issues. The forgotten network will no longer be automatically connected to.
9. Forget Network Using Wireless Diagnostics
If you prefer a more advanced network troubleshooting tool, you can utilize the Wireless Diagnostics feature on your Mac to forget a network and perform detailed analysis.
9.1 Launch Wireless Diagnostics
Press and hold the Option key on your keyboard, then click on the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar. From the drop-down menu, select “Open Wireless Diagnostics.”
9.2 Follow the Diagnostics Process
Wireless Diagnostics will launch and guide you through the process of analyzing your Wi-Fi connection. Follow the on-screen instructions until you reach the summary screen.
9.3 Forget the Network
In the summary screen, click on the “Scan Now” button. After the scan is complete, select the network you want to forget from the list of detected networks. Click on the “Forget Network” button.
9.4 Continue with Diagnostics
Proceed with the remaining steps of the Wireless Diagnostics process to analyze and troubleshoot your Wi-Fi connection further.
10. Forget Network Using CleanMyMac X
If you prefer an all-in-one solution for optimizing your Mac, you can use the CleanMyMac X application to forget networks and perform other system maintenance tasks.
10.1 Launch CleanMyMac X
Open the CleanMyMac X application on your Mac. If you don’t have it installed, you can download it from the official website and follow the installation instructions.
10.2 Select Privacy Module
In the CleanMyMac X interface, click on the “Privacy” module located in the sidebar.
10.3 Scan for Networks
Click on the “Scan” button to initiate a scan for various privacy-related items, including saved networks.
10.4 Forget Networks
Once the scan is complete, you’ll see a list of detected networks. Select the networks you want to forget and click on the “Remove” button to remove them from your Mac.
10.5 Confirm Removal
A confirmation dialog box will appear asking if you want to remove the selected networks. Click on the “Remove” button to confirm the removal.
11. Forget Network Using Network Utility
For those who prefer using built-in macOS utilities, the Network Utility tool can also be used to forget networks on your Mac.
11.1 Launch Network Utility
Go to the Applications folder, then Utilities folder, and open Network Utility.
11.2 Select the “Info” Tab
In the Network Utility window, click on the “Info” tab.
11.3 Choose the Network
From the drop-down menu, select the network interface (e.g., Wi-Fi) and choose the network you want to forget.
11.4 Forget the Network
Click on the “Forget” button to remove the selected network from your Mac.
12. Forget Network Using Third-Party Wi-Fi Managers
If you use third-party Wi-Fi managers or network management applications, they often provide options to forget networks as well. These applications offer additional features and customization options for managing your Wi-Fi connections.
12.1 Launch the Wi-Fi Manager
Open the third-party Wi-Fi manager or network management application on your Mac.
12.2 Locate the Network Settings
Navigate to the network settings or preferences section of the application where you can manage your saved networks.
12.3 Forget the Network
Select the network you want to forget and choose the “Forget” or “Remove” option to remove it from your Mac.
12.4 Apply the Changes
Save the changes in the Wi-Fi manager application to ensure that the network is forgotten and will not be automatically connected to in the future.
13. Forget Network Using System Terminal
If you prefer using the command line, you can forget networks on your Mac using the system Terminal.
13.1 Launch Terminal
Open the Terminal application on your Mac.
13.2 Execute the Command
Type the following command in Terminal and press Enter:
sudo networksetup -removepreferredwirelessnetwork "Wi-Fi Interface" "Network SSID"
Replace “Wi-Fi Interface” with the name of your Wi-Fi interface and “Network SSID” with the SSID of the network you want to forget.
13.3 Enter Administrator Password
Enter your administrator password when prompted and press Enter. The network will be forgotten.
13.4 Restart your Mac
After executing the command in Terminal, it’s recommended to restart your Mac to ensure that the changes take effect and the network is forgotten.
14. Forget Network Using macOS Recovery Mode
If you’re unable to access your Mac’s regular operating system, you can use macOS Recovery Mode to forget networks.
14.1 Enter macOS Recovery Mode
Restart your Mac and hold down Command + R until the Apple logo or a spinning globe appears. This will boot your Mac into Recovery Mode.
14.2 Launch Terminal in Recovery Mode
In the macOS Utilities window, select “Utilities” from the menu bar and choose “Terminal.”
14.3 Execute the Command
In the Terminal window, enter the following command and press Enter:
This command will remove all preferred wireless networks from your Mac.
14.4 Restart your Mac
Once the command execution is complete, click on the Apple menu and select “Restart.” Your Mac will reboot into the regular operating system, and all previously preferred wireless networks will be forgotten.
15. Forget Network Using Network-Specific Applications
Certain network-specific applications, such as VPN clients or corporate network managers, may provide options to forget networks associated with their services.
15.1 Launch the Network-Specific Application
Open the application associated with the network you want to forget. For example, if it’s a VPN network, open the VPN client application.
15.2 Access Network Settings
Navigate to the network settings or preferences section within the application.
15.3 Forget the Network
Locate the specific network in the settings and choose the option to forget or remove it from the list of networks associated with the application.
15.4 Save the Changes
Save the changes within the network-specific application to ensure that the network is forgotten and won’t be automatically connected to.
In this article, we have explored various methods to forget networks on your Mac. From utilizing built-in features like Network Preferences, Wi-Fi menu, and Keychain Access, to using third-party applications and Terminal commands, you have a range of options to manage your network connections effectively. Remember to restart your Mac after forgetting a network to ensure the changes are applied.
Whether you’re looking to declutter your Wi-Fi list, troubleshoot connectivity issues, or prevent automatic connections, these methods provide you with the flexibility to tailor your network preferences to your needs. Choose the method that suits you best and enjoy a cleaner and more reliable network experience on your Mac.