Can’t turn on WiFi on Mac? Fix it fast with these solutions

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • Not being able to turn your WiFi on while using your Mac can be extremely frustrating, but we have some good solutions for you in this guide.
  • To start fixing this issue, first, delete the SystemConfiguration folder, and then use the Terminal.
  • In order to always have access to easy-to-follow guides, consider bookmarking our useful Mac Fix webpage.
  • If you want to check out some more useful information on this subject, visit our practical Mac Hub.
Can't turn on the wifi on mac

Not being able to access the Internet can be a huge problem, and many Mac owners reported that they can’t turn on Wi-Fi on their device. There are many causes for this problem, but we have a couple of solutions that you help you fix this problem.

What to do if I can’t turn on Wi-Fi on my Mac?

1. Delete the SystemConfiguration folder


Your network settings are stored in the SystemConfiguration folder and by removing that folder, you’ll reset the settings to default and fix a wide range of Wi-Fi problems. To remove this folder, do the following:

  1. Navigate to Library/Preferences Bear in mind that the Library directory is hidden so you’ll have to reveal it first.
  2. Locate the SystemConfiguration folder and copy it to your desktop.
  3. Now delete the SystemConfiguration folder from the original location.
  4. Restart your Mac.

After doing that, your network will be recreated automatically and the issue should be resolved. Several users reported that this is just a temporary solution so keep that in mind.

2. Use the Terminal

can't turn on wifi on mac use the terminal

According to users, one way to fix this problem is to run a couple of commands in the Terminal. To do that, you just need to follow these steps:

  1. Open the Terminal. You can find it in the Applications/Utilities directory.
  2. When the Terminal opens, run the following commands:
    • networksetup -setairportpower en0 off
    • networksetup -setairportpower en0 on

After the commands are executed, check if the problem is still there.

3. Delete the problematic connection

According to users, you can fix this problem simply by removing the problematic connection. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Restart your Mac.
  2. Navigate to Network Preferences and select your Wi-Fi connection from the left pane.
  3. Click the gear icon next to the connection and choose Make Service Inactive.
  4. After disabling the connection, click the minus icon to remove the connection.
     remove wi-fi network can't turn on wifi on mac
  5. After doing that, click the plus icon to add a new connection.

Once you add a new connection, check if the problem is still there.

4. Check the hardware

If other solutions didn’t work for you, perhaps there’s a problem with your hardware. To fix that, it’s advised to take your Mac to a certified repair center and ask them to have a look. Few users reported that the ribbon cable was detached from the wireless card, and after connecting it tightly again, the issue was resolved.

There you go, these are just a couple of simple solutions that might come in handy if you can’t turn on Wi-Fi on your Mac.


FAQ: Learn more about WiFi issues on Mac

  • What do you do if your Mac won’t connect to WiFi?

If your Mac won’t connect to WiFi, you should check that your router is running properly, check the login information from your internet provider, and also restart your device and router.

  • How do I run a WiFi diagnostics on my Mac?

To run the WiFi diagnostics tool on your Mac, press the Option key and click on the WiFi icon, and then click on the Open Wireless Diagnostics option.

  • Who is connected to my WiFi Mac?

To check who is connected to your WiFi on Mac, you need to press the Option key and click the WiFi icon. This will show you who is using your network, and also the router address.