How to Forget a Wi-Fi Network on Mac

Photo of a Mac on a desktop

If you often travel with your MacBook, you’ll probably end up connecting to more Wi-Fi networks than you care to remember. Once you’ve finished using these networks, though, it’s likely that they remain somewhere on your computer. What can you do if you want to forget one or more of these? This article will walks you through how to forget a Wi-Fi network on your Mac.

Why You Should Forget a Wi-Fi Network on Your Mac

Just as with your iPhone, you may want to forget a Wi-Fi network on your Mac. One reason is that you’ll no longer use it – for example, when you replace your old router. If this is the case, keeping old details on your computer has no use whatsoever. 

You may also choose to forget network for security purposes. Public networks, in particular, could pose risks in this respect – ranging from data theft to distributing malware on your device. Once again, there is no reason to keep that stored network. Signing on again would be more worthwhile than losing data to malware.

How to Remove a Wi-Fi Network from Your Mac

The process of forgetting a Wi-Fi network on a Mac is pretty simple: 

1. In your Mac’s toolbar, look for the Wi-Fi logo at the top of your screen.

Screenshot showing where to select the Wi-Fi logo on a Macbook Air

2. Click on the Wi-Fi logo to open additional options.

3. Look for “Network Preferences … ” at the bottom of the drop-down list, then select it.

Screenshotting showing where to choose Wi-Fi network preferences on Mac

4. When the Network Preferences window opens, you’ll need to click on the “Advanced … ” button.

Screenshot showing how to get to advanced Network settings on Mac

5. Your computer will show you a list of the Wi-Fi networks you’ve joined. Scroll down to find the network(s) you’d like to disconnect from.

6. Once you’ve selected the network, look for the “plus” and “minus” symbols underneath the list. Click on the “-” to have your Mac forget the network.

Screenshot showing how to forget a selected wireless network on Mac

7. Repeat this process for each Wi-Fi network you want to remove.

If you want to forget many networks at once, hold the Command button as you click through. 

Screenshot showing how to forget multiple Wi-Fi Networks on Mac

How to Stop Your Mac From Automatically Remembering Wi-Fi Networks

After forgetting the networks you no longer wish to be connected to, you can stop your computer from automatically remembering networks you connect to in the future.

Follow these steps:

1. Follow steps 1 through 5 above to return to the window where you removed the Wi-Fi networks.

2. Underneath the list of Wi-Fi networks your computer has remembered, you’ll find an option that says: “Remember networks this computer has joined.” Untick its checkbox.

Screenshot showing how to forget networks automatically

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What happens when I forget a Wi-Fi network on my Mac? 

Once you’ve forgotten a Wi-Fi network on your Mac, your computer will remove it from your list of remembered networks. You will have to re-add it to use it again.

2. Can I rejoin a Wi-Fi network on my Mac after forgetting it?

Yes, you can. However, you’ll need to sign in like you did the first time you added it. It’s now like a network you have never visited before.

3. Can I un-forget a Wi-Fi network on my Mac?

No. Once you’ve forgotten a Wi-Fi network on your Mac, you cannot reverse this. The only way you can connect again is if you choose it again while in range and enter the necessary security codes, as explained above.

Wrapping Up

It’s easy to forget about the risks of keeping Wi-Fi networks on your Mac that you don’t use. Fortunately, though, the steps to remove any you don’t want to remain connected to are straightforward.

Along with showing you how to forget a Wi-Fi network on your Mac, we’ve also equipped you with everything you need to stop your computer from automatically remembering these in the future, giving you more control. Read on to learn how to find the best Wi-Fi channel for the 5GHz frequency.

Danny Maiorca Danny Maiorca

Danny has been a professional writer for over five years. Now based in Copenhagen, Denmark, he plied his trade working for various companies in the UK — where he was born — before taking the leap into freelancing. He specializes in iOS and Mac.

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