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Mac OS X - Remove Preferred Wireless Networks


Most modern operating systems (Mac OS X 10.5/10.6, Windows Vista/7) remember which wireless access points (APs) they have connected to in order to more quickly re-establish a wireless connection. This is useful in a home network as the computer quickly finds your wireless network and spends less time searching for available networks.

However, with so many access points on campus, your computer may save the information of an access point that is not nearby to your room or office and attempt to establish a connection with it. This can result in a poor wireless connection due to the access point not being the closest one available with the strongest signal strength.

As a result, it is useful to remove the saved/remembered networks from your computer, forcing it to establish a connection with the nearest router with the strongest signal strength.


Mac OS X:

Click on screenshots to expand them
  1. Click on the Apple icon in the top left-hand corner of the the screen in the Menu Bar.

    Menu Bar

  2. Select System Preferences

    Apple Icon Drop Down Menu

  3. In System Preferences, click on the Network icon.

    System Preferences

  4. In the Network preference pane, select "Airport" from the list on the left.

    Network Preferences

  5. Click the button Turn Airport Off and then click the Advanced button

  6. Under the Airport tab, there will be a list titled Preferred Networks listing the network name and security type.

    Preferred Networks

  7. Select the MIT networks by pressing and holding the Command (key with the Apple logo on it) while clicking on any MIT networks listed. If you wish to remove all networks in this list, click on one of the networks listed and press Command + A to select all the networks.

    MIT Networks Selected

  8. Once you've selected the networks, press the Minus button below the list. Then click the OK button.

    MIT Networks Removed

  9. Click the Apply button and then click button Turn Airport On

    Airport Status: Off

  10. From the popup menu, select an MIT wireless network. The recommended networks are MIT SECURE and MIT SECURE N. If your computer supports MIT N or MIT SECURE N, it is recommended you connect to MIT N or MIT SECURE N. Instructions for connecting to these networks can be found here: How to connect to MIT SECURE wireless

    MIT Wireless Networks

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

January 31, 2014

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