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 thoughts on “How to connect your OS X Mac to a wireless network”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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…


  5. 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)

  6. 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

  7. 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. :-)

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  9. 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

  10. 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!!)

  11. Christian Burbano

    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?

  12. 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.

  13. 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*

  14. 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?

  15. Shiloh Schneider

    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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