How to forget a Wi-Fi network on a Mac

Asya Karapetyan
Content marketer, who specializes in Mac how-to guides
October 14, 2022
minutes to read

Apple devices have the advantageous option of remembering the Wi-Fi network to which they have been connected at least once. This is convenient since you do not need to go through the connection procedure each time you return home from the office. However, you might want to forget the network on your Mac to, for example, fix some issues or for security reasons. This article explains how to forget a network on a Mac.

forget wi fi network mac


  1. How to see Wi-Fi networks on a Mac
  2. How to forget networks on a Mac
  3. How to reset network settings on a Mac
  4. FAQs

Tip – How to prevent issues with Mac networks

Below, we explain how to forget a Wi-Fi network on a Mac. This information can help you fix some network issues. An added benefit is that performing regular Mac system cleanup will help you optimize your computer’s performance and protect it from system issues, including issues with Wi-Fi on your Mac.

You can use MacCleaner Pro to optimize your Mac’s performance. This tool will help you remove all junk files, like caches, apps’ leftovers, and broken service files. You can also find duplicate files, analyze your disk space usage, operate hidden files, and uninstall applications to recover valuable space on your disk.

MacCleaner Pro provides a free trial version that you can download right now.


MacCleaner Pro

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How to see Wi-Fi networks on a Mac

There should be a Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar on your Mac desktop. If you don’t see it, go to the Network section in System Preferences and enable the option Show Wi-Fi Status in Menu Bar. Next, follow these steps to view the Wi-Fi networks on your Mac:

  1. Click the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar.
  2. Click Other Networks.
  3. In the drop-down menu, you will see the list of all networks available nearby.
mac menu bar showing wifi networks list

To connect to a network, select it, provide the password, and click Join. a wi-fi network joining window

If you want to see the list of every network to which you have ever connected, do the following:

  1. Open System Preferences and click the Network option.
  2. In the Wi-Fi section of the sidebar, click Advanced.
  3. View the Preferred Networks list.
window showing the list of preferred wi-fi networks

Please note that if you want your Mac to forget a Wi-Fi network so that it will not automatically connect to the “wrong” network, you can accomplish this task another way. You can set it up to not automatically join a network to which your Mac had connected before. To do this, in the list of Preferred Networks, uncheck the checkbox in the corresponding column. You can also uncheck the option “Remember networks this computer has joined” and your Mac will not save the data in the Preferred Networks list.

window showing how to turn off auto-join option for wifi network

How to forget a network on a Mac

No matter why you want to forget a Wi-Fi network on your Mac, the steps to do so are simple.

  1. Open System Preferences on your Mac.
  2. Click Network.
  3. Click the Advanced button.
  4. Select the network you want to forget and click the Minus (-) button.
  5. Confirm the removal of the Wi-Fi network by clicking the Remove button.
conformation messages to forget network on a Mac
Note: if you use iCloud Keychain, your other devices will not join this network anymore.

How do you reset network settings on a Mac?

You have two options for resetting network settings on your Mac.

The first way is to find and remove network configuration files manually by following these steps:

  1. Turn off your Wi-Fi network.
  2. Open Finder and press the Cmd+Shift+G shortcut.
  3. In the search field of the window that appears, type /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/ and press Enter. go to folder search field
  4. In this location, select and remove the following files:

    • or
    • NetworkInterfaces.plist
    • preferences.plist
    Library folder showing network configuration files
  5. Once you remove all these files, empty your Trash.

Don’t worry about the service files because your macOS automatically creates new support files when you turn on Wi-Fi.

Another way of resetting a network on a Mac is to remove and add it again.

  1. Click the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar.
  2. In the drop-down menu, click Network Preferences.
  3. Select Wi-Fi in the sidebar and click the Minus (-) icon at the bottom.
  4. Click Apply.
wifi network preferences window


We hope this article helped you understand how to configure Wi-Fi on your Mac and forget networks when necessary. We also provided the steps to stop your Mac from automatically joining a Wi-Fi network. If you still have questions, write to us in the discussion section below. We also want to remind you that it’s a good idea to periodically clean your Mac of junk files, like caches, app support files, broken service files, and others, as this prevents any system issues, including errors with a network. You can do this with MacCleaner Pro from Nektony.


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