How to connect your OS X Mac to a wireless network

Much like everything else about OS X, connecting to a wireless network is painfully easy. But if you’re not familiar w/ OS X, and need to walk someone else through it, the following steps might prove helpful.

  1. When connecting your Mac to a wireless network, one of the first things you’ll want to do is make sure that the AirPort icon is enabled in your Menu bar. If it’s already there, please skip down to Step 5.
  2. Select the Apple Button (very upper left corner of your screen) and choose System Preferences… from the drop-down list. From there, select Network.

  3. click to enlarge

  4. Select you AirPort entry, and click the Configure… button.

  5. click to enlarge

  6. Make sure the Airport tab is selected from the top menu, and then place a check in the box labelled Show AirPort status in menu bar

  7. click to enlarge

  8. Click the AirPort icon in your menu bar, and you should be presented with a list of visible wireless networks. Select the network you want to join.
  9. If the network requires a password, you’ll be prompted to enter it now. If it doesn’t, you should automatically connect.
  10. When you’re connected, the AirPort icon will change from a ‘light grey’ color to a solid black. The number of solid black lines indicates the signal strength (more black bars = stronger signal). That’s it!
{ 32 comments… add one }
  • Haylon June 26, 2007, 2:55 pm

    This is a really helpful page. I do tech support, but I’m not very Mac-literate. I’ve used this page a few times. Thanks.

  • MARLA November 2, 2008, 1:52 pm


  • joel November 5, 2008, 8:38 am

    hi, we just got a new laptop and we need help on first connecting with the internet, but, we do not know what to type in the password box because we do not know our password what should we type in thankyou.

  • Anonymous February 23, 2009, 10:24 am

    Thanks for the article, I needed a step-by-step tutorial to e-mail to our CEO to show him how to connect to a wireless network (he is VERY computer illiterate). Your article and included screenshots were very helpful.

  • Mary Barnes February 25, 2009, 9:47 pm

    This was awsome…thank you so much!

  • Munz Noor April 21, 2009, 4:11 pm

    I need help in connecting mac osx to another mac osx via wifi. I just got the latest macbook and had the old (white) macbook. I wanted to create a network on the white macbook however it said ‘there was an error creating your Computer-to-computer network’. Does anyone know how to rectify the problem?

    I manage to create a network on the new macbook and the white macbook able to connect to the new one. I just cant seem create a network from the white macbook. can anyone help with any configuration please? I am out of ideas… it should be so simple…


  • joan April 22, 2009, 12:12 pm

    I’ve got the same problem as Joel. We’ve also just gotten a new laptop and we need help on connecting with the internet.We Have No CLUE what to type in the password box ’cause we don’t know our password and so what we should type in … We’ve got a wifi fir the windows xp but we have no CLUE how to install the wifi in our mac (if it IS possible)

  • ruben May 12, 2009, 8:02 am

    ya me pude conectar a internet a traves de airport ahora el problema es que no veo el grupo de trabajo ni ninguna maquina y no me puedo enlazar con ellos para poder imprimir con una impresora conectada a una pc. no se si sea la configuracion d mi maquina algun tiempo ya veia todas las maquinas y despues de una actualizacion ya no pude ver nada utilizo 10.5.3 de os ya formatee la maquina y no puedo estoy desesperado que puedo hacer

  • frankwick May 13, 2009, 1:40 pm

    I’m not a mac fan, but I have been able to use this page to help troubleshoot some troublesome macs in my service area. thanks. If everyone would just go to Windows 7 we would all be happy. :-)

  • baldwing69 July 24, 2009, 1:49 pm

    Este tutoríal es bastante ilustrativo y sencillo de entender, muchas gracias.

  • devaki August 29, 2009, 7:05 am

    myself followed above procedures but it is not working…..

  • devaki August 29, 2009, 7:09 am

    myself followed above procedures but it is not working…..its coming change the computer settings… im using monzilla fire fox and disabled the blocking pop up files option

  • Sandra Davey December 9, 2009, 4:00 pm

    These instructions were exactly what I needed. Clear, articulate, simple. Thank you so much.

  • Mike December 20, 2009, 8:15 pm

    Worked great for me as I walked someone through it on the telephone! Kudos

  • Mike January 24, 2010, 11:52 pm

    Does the entire process (above) assume I’m using an Airport to set up my wireless network? (Cause I’m not…….I’m using my Belkin router, from which I am also running my HP laptop, which works fine,,,,,,but I can’t get my Macbook running. Help!!)

  • anne February 12, 2010, 7:57 am

    I’m having the same problem as Mike. I’m using a Netgear router but can’t get my Macbook running.

  • Christian Burbano April 26, 2010, 10:26 am

    Hola, necesito ayuda por que cada que realizo estos pasos uno a uno y llego a la parte de escribir la contraseña, me dice “seguridad incompatile” en la parte inferior izquierda, y no accede a internet, que puedo hacer?

  • Frankie June 29, 2010, 6:10 am

    We Dont have a Airport Button…

  • Sebastián July 20, 2010, 3:09 am

    Muchisimas gracias por este aporte Paso a paso!



  • Harini November 10, 2010, 9:58 am


    It was really useful..

  • phone mike December 21, 2010, 1:45 pm

    If you do not have a airport button you might look under your system preferences and go to network and you should be able to find you internal airport there.

  • em February 10, 2011, 3:51 am

    Hi. I have just got a macbook pro. Am trying to connect to my home wifi which is password protected. I put the password in and everything however its not working. Says i need to restart router all the time (which i have done, makes no difference) The wifi router is plugged into my home computer, does that affect it? Wifi works on my iphone and other latop… *confused*

  • Clay July 16, 2011, 8:25 pm

    Thanks this was really helpful

  • Kyle January 16, 2012, 3:40 pm

    Thank you!!

  • Warwick Begley October 13, 2013, 12:31 pm

    So I know all of what they’ve said but my emac comes up with, “there was an error joining the airport network” how do I fix this?

  • Anjela Renee Author April 13, 2014, 3:55 pm

    i have an ibook G4 shows an internet connection but browser shows no connection.

  • Renee January 5, 2015, 11:56 pm

    where do I get the password?

  • Rockwell Valencia Sillero March 6, 2017, 10:15 pm

    fire out nako

  • Shiloh Schneider August 10, 2017, 2:14 pm

    I have ab Ibook G3 “clamshell” with Mac OS X 10.1 and the airport signal has full bars and is showing its connected but when i open internet explorer it says ” Error the specified server could not be found.” and when I open this version of Itunes it doesn’t allow me to connect to radio. So, its not letting me use the wifi but looks like it recognizes it.

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