Clearing Up Connections: How to Forget a Wi-Fi Network on Your Mac

Clearing Up Connections: How to Forget a Wi-Fi Network on Your Mac

The tendency of your Apple devices, e.g., Mac, to remember every Wi-Fi network you’ve ever connected to can also be useful and a curse. While it’s convenient to automatically connect to familiar networks and remember the password, there are instances where you might want to forget a network on your Mac. Whether it’s due to network redundancy, security concerns over public networks, or a simple desire to tidy your list of networks, knowing how to manage your network preferences is essential. This guide will cover all the steps to remove the Wi-Fi network or the steps you need to take to forget a Wi-Fi network on a Mac and why it’s a good idea to know how to do so.

Mac connected to network

Why Would You Want to Forget a Wi-Fi Network on Your Mac?

There are numerous reasons why you might want to forget a Wi-Fi network on your Mac. For instance, if you’ve previously connected to a public network, forgetting the network ensures your Mac won’t automatically connect to such networks every time you’re in range, protecting your data. This will prevent you from connecting to the wrong network each time. If you’ve changed your Wi-Fi password, your Mac may have trouble connecting to the networks every time using the old, remembered password, requiring you to forget the network and its password to enter the new one.

How to Access Network Preferences on MacOS?

To forget a Wi-Fi network on your Mac, you’ll need to access your Network Preferences via System Preferences. To do so, click on the Apple logo in the top left of your screen, choose “System Preferences”, then “Network”. The list of networks you have previously connected to, known as your “Preferred Networks”, will appear in this panel.

How to Forget a Wi-Fi Network on Your Mac?

After accessing Network Preferences, find the network you want to remove, select forget, and click the minus button next to the list. This will remove the network from your preferred networks. Keep in mind your Mac must not be currently connected to the network in question to forget it.

How to Stop Your Mac from Automatically Joining a Network?

If you don’t want your Mac to automatically connect to a network or you want the Mac to forget a wifi network, you can turn off the Auto-Join feature. Again, access Network Preferences and find the connected network you wish to remove. Click on the “Advanced” button and untick the “Automatically join this network” box next to the network’s name. This turns off Auto-join and will stop your Mac from automatically joining such networks the next time your Apple device, e.g., Mac, encounters one.

Can You Rejoin a Network You’ve Forgotten on Your Mac?

The short answer is yes, you can rejoin a wireless network you’ve forgotten. However, you’ll need to enter the Wi-Fi password again, as forgetting a network on your Apple device, such as Mac, means it will also forget the password associated with it, and you will not be able to login the next time you’re trying to do so. You now need to reassign a different password to it and reenter it on your Apple device, such as your Mac computer, to login.

How to Forget a Network on Your iPhone or iPad?

If you’re using a supervised iPhone or iPad, you can also remove any network you want to forget. Open Settings, select Wi-Fi, find the network you’re currently using, then select the information button (i) next to the network name. Then, click “Forget This Network”.


How to Remove Redundant Networks from Your Mac?

Over time, you may have connected to various networks that are now redundant or one you no longer need. To remove them, go through your preferred networks list and remove the ones you don’t need, following the steps described earlier in this guide. This will tidy up your list of networks.

How to Configure Your Mac to Auto-Join New Networks?

If you’d like your Mac to automatically join new networks, head to System Preferences, then Network, and click the “Ask to join new networks” checkbox. This will prompt a notification asking whether you want your Mac to join new networks it encounters.  In this way, you will be able to set up new wifi networks.

What Happens When You Forget a Network on Mac?

When you forget a wifi network on a Mac, it will remove all details of that network from your system, including the password. This means your Mac will no longer automatically connect to and remember the network, and you’ll need to manually select and enter the password to reconnect to the network automatically.


In conclusion, managing your Mac’s Wi-Fi network connections plays a crucial role in optimizing performance, enhancing security, and maintaining a tidy digital workspace. Whether it’s to forget a Wi-Fi network, prevent automatic connections, or configure your system to join new networks, understanding the ins and outs of your Network Preferences can greatly improve your Mac user experience. As technology continues to evolve, so should your knowledge and control over your digital environment. Now that you know how to forget a Wi-Fi network on your Mac, you’re one step closer to mastering your MacOS experience.

Also, remember that it is so incredibly important to have a secure wireless network at home, and you can always turn to us to help you with the installation from the beginning!

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