How to Stop Mac from Auto-Joining a Wi-Fi Network

Stop auto-joining an unwanted Wi-Fi network on your Mac with these simple steps.

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

By default, a Mac will automatically connect to Wi-Fi when it recognizes a network that it has joined before. If you'd like to stop this from happening for a network you don't want ot auto-join (such as an unsecured network at your local coffee shop) you need to know how to remove a Wi-Fi network from Mac network settings. We'll show you how.

Why You’ll Love This Tip

  • Stop your Mac from trying to connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot when you don’t want it to.
  • Avoid accidentally joining a neighbor or friend’s Wi-Fi, but still have your Mac remember its login credentials for later.

How to Stop Auto-Joining a Wi-Fi Network on Mac

It can be annoying if your Mac keeps trying to join a Wi-Fi network that you don’t want it to join. Fortunately, there's an easy fix for this in Mac Wi-Fi settings. For more tips on customizing your Apple device preferences, sign up for our Tip of the Day newsletter. Here's how to stop auto-joining networks on Mac.

  1. Click on the Apple menu in the top-left corner, then click on System Preferences.

  2. Click on Network.

  3. Click on the Network Name drop-down menu to see the list of currently detected networks, then click on the network that you want to stop auto-joining.

  4. Click to uncheck the checkbox next to Automatically join this network.

If this checkbox is unchecked then your Mac will no longer automatically join this Wi-Fi network when it’s detected. If you wish to re-check it you can do so later, and your Mac will still remember the login details for the network in question.
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Author Details

Devala Rees's picture

Author Details

Devala Rees

Devala Rees has been a writer since the age of eleven, and a loyal user of Apple products for even longer. His writing background is quite eclectic, from freelance professional articles to Hindu religious scholarship to fantasy novels. Much of his writing on various topics can be found on