Mac WiFi shows an exclamation mark? Fix it in 3 simple steps

Radu Tyrsina
by Radu Tyrsina
Founder & Editor-in-Chief
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  • Seeing the exclamation mark next to your WiFi icon on MacBook means that the device is trying to connect to the network but it has been unsuccessful.
  • To resolve this issue, it is recommended that you use the terminal to reset your Wi-Fi interface, and also recreate the configuration files.
  • For more comprehensive Mac information on a variety of subjects, don't hesitate to bookmark our Mac page.
  • If you want to check out more detailed guides, visit our thorough Mac Troubleshooting Hub.
Macbook wifi shows an exclamation mark

There are many problems with Wi-Fi connection that you can encounter, and speaking of which, many users reported that Wi-Fi on MacBook shows an exclamation mark. This problem will prevent you from connecting to the Internet properly, and in this article, we’ll show you how to fix it.

What to do if MacBook Wi-Fi shows an exclamation mark?

1. Use the terminal to reset your Wi-Fi interface

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If your Wi-Fi shows an exclamation mark, perhaps you can fix the problem simply by resetting the Wi-Fi interface from the Terminal. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Terminal. You can start it from Applications/Utilities.
  2. Enter the following commands:
    • sudo ifconfig en1 down
    • sudo ifconfig en1 up

After running these commands, check if the problem is still there.


2. Recreate the configuration files

According to users, one way to fix this problem is to recreate the configuration files. This is quite simple, and in order to do that, you just need to follow these steps:

  1. Open Finder and choose Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Type ~/Library and click Go.
    go to library macbook wifi shows exclamation mark
  3. Navigate to Preferences/SystemConfiguration
  4. Locate the following files and move them to your desktop or any other folder:
    • NetworkInterfaces.plist
    • preferences.plist

After doing that, restart your MacBook. Once your laptop restarts, these files will be recreated and the issue should be resolved.

You can also do this from the Terminal if you want. To do it, run the following commands in the Terminal:

  • sudo cd /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/
  • sudo mv NetworkInterfaces.plist NetworkInterfaces.plist.orig
  • sudo mv preferences.plist preferences.plist.orig
  • sudo reboot

3. Set a manual IP address

Sometimes MacBook Wi-Fi shows an exclamation mark if there’s an issue with your IP address. To fix this problem, it’s advised to set a manual IP address. To do that, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open the Apple menu and choose System Preferences.
  2. Navigate to Network and select Wi-Fi from the list.
  3. Now click on the Advanced button.
  4. Set Configure IPv4 to Using DHCP with manual address.
    use dhcp with manual address macbook wifi shows exclamation mark
  5. Enter the IPv4 Address that you want to use. The other information should be filled automatically.
  6. Save changes.

After doing that, check if the problem is still there.

In today’s guide, we presented you with some useful solutions that you can try if MacBook Wi-Fi shows an exclamation mark.

FAQ: Learn more about different problems on MacBook

  • How long does it take to wipe a Mac?

How long the process will take will depend largely on how much storage capacity you have, and also how much of it is used. Usually, it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to complete the wiping process.

  • Why is WiFi not working on my MacBook?

Your WiFi issue could be caused by a variety of reasons, but the most common is a faulty network configuration or not using the right credentials when logging in. For more details on this subject, have a look at this article.

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  • Why does my MacBook WiFi keep disconnecting?

The most common reason for this error occurring is that your MacBook might be trying to connect to another network. For more details on this subject, visit this article from our database.

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