How to Forget a Network on Mac

Cut down on the networks your Mac auto-joins

What to Know

  • Click the Wi-Fi icon > Open Network Preferences > Wi-Fi > Advanced > click the network > click the minus sign (-) > click OK.
  • You can do this on any Mac running MacOS.

Macs have a tendency to auto-join networks you never asked them to be part of. This article explains how to forget a network on your Mac.

How to Forget a Wi-Fi Network on Mac

Deleting or forgetting a network on Mac is fairly simple, once you know where to look. 

  1. On the finder bar at the top of your Mac's screen, click the Wi-Fi icon.

    Wi Fi icon on macOS
  2. Click Open Network Preferences.

    Open Network Preferences

    It's also possible to forget or delete a network via System Preferences. Click the Apple Logo in the top left corner of your Mac's screen, then click System Preferences > Network.

  3. On the left-hand sidebar, click Wi-Fi.

    Network > Wi-Fi
  4. Click Advanced.

    Network > Advanced
  5. Scroll through Preferred Networks to find the network you want to delete.

    MacOS Network Wi-Fi Screen
  6. Click the network, then click the minus (-) to forget it. 

    Add/subtract networks

    Don't want to delete the network, but don't want to auto-join either? Click the tick box next to the network name and you can set your Mac to no longer auto-join the network whenever it's in range.

  7. Repeat for as many networks as you want to remove. 

    Want to remove all the networks at once? Press CMD+A on your keyboard to select all, then click the minus (-).

  8. Click OK to save the changes.

How to Rejoin a Forgotten Wi-Fi Network

Once you've forgotten a Wi-Fi network, your Mac won't auto-join the network again. However, you can easily rejoin it manually. 

When in range of the Wi-Fi network, click the name of the network and enter the password to rejoin. You'll now auto-join the network every time you're in range of it.

Why You Need to Clear a Wi-Fi Network

When you join a Wi-Fi network on your Mac, it automatically joins that wireless network every time you're in range. That's not always as convenient as it sounds.

These can be public Wi-Fi spots, such as your local coffee shop or fast food restaurant, but it could also be at a local library or friend's home. It's useful to be able to connect to these public hotspots, but it can be a nuisance when your Mac rejoins a network you no longer want to connect to. 

It's cleaner to remove networks you have no intention of rejoining, as well as potentially safer (if the network isn't secure). For instance, if you want to log into your online banking, you don't want to do this through an automatically joined public network.

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