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How to Forget a Network on Mac

Are you having trouble removing old networks from your Mac? Don’t worry – we’ll teach you how to hit the reset button and move on with your life. Here at our blog, we understand that sometimes old connections can linger and take up precious network memory. So, without further ado – let’s learn how to forget a network on Mac in just a few easy steps!


Forgetting a Wi-Fi network on your Mac computer can be helpful if your network isn’t providing you with a good connection, or if you have recently changed information about the network. Doing so removes the stored Wi-Fi connection profile from your Mac, allowing you to connect to the same or a different Wi-Fi network. Here’s how you can forget a network on Mac in a few simple steps.

Understanding the Basics of Network Settings

Properly configuring your Mac’s network settings is essential for getting the most out of your device. Whether you’re using Wi-Fi, Shared Network Computer (SNC) or Local Area Network (LAN) connections to access the Internet, understanding how to configure these settings can be helpful.

In order to forget a network on your Mac, you will first need to understand the basic principles behind Mac networking. Wi-Fi connections are typically secured by passwords and require authentication before they can be used. Similarly, SNC and LAN connections may require authentication as well as advanced settings such as proxy servers and IP address settings in order to access certain types of content or services. By understanding these basic concepts, you can easily forget a network on Mac if it does not meet your needs or if you want to switch networks without having to manually re-enter all settings again.

Once you have an understanding of the different types of networks and their associated settings, forgetting a network is fast and easy on Mac. To forget a Wi-Fi or SNC connection, simply open the Network Preferences pane from System Preferences in the Apple Menu bar and select “Forget” next to the connection that you want to forget. The selected connection should now be erased from your device’s list of known networks so that you can safely switch networks without having to manually reconfigure them every time.

Identifying the Network You Wish to Forget

When attempting to forget a network on your Mac, it is important that you identify the network you wish to forget. To view the list of available networks, open up the Apple menu located in the top left corner of the screen and click “System Preferences.” In this window, click “Network” and then select Wi-Fi from the list of choices on the left hand side. Now you will see a list of networks that your Mac has connected to in the past.

Identifying which network belongs to which connection can be difficult depending on what type of device is broadcasting each network. You may need to look at your router or look for other clues about what type of device is connected or communicating over each network for easier identification. Be sure you note each networks’s name, name of security type (ex: WEP, WPA2) and password since these will be needed if you ever wish to rejoin this particular wireless network in the future.

Using the Network Preferences Menu to Forget a Network

If you need to delete a wireless network from your Mac, the simplest way is to use the Network Preferences menu. This will ensure that your Mac won’t automatically connect to a certain wireless network after forgetting it.

To delete a Wi-Fi network, open the System Preferences app on your Mac and then click ‘Network’. Then, select Wi-Fi in the left column and choose your current network by looking at the list of known networks or by selecting it from available networks if it’s in range. Then, click on ‘Advanced’ in the lower right corner of this window.

In the Advanced window, you’ll see a list of networks below which includes all of the Wi-Fi networks that you have added to your Mac so far. Find and select the network that you want to remove and then click on ‘-’ at the bottom of this window. After clicking on this button, a pop up menu will ask for confirmation before removing it from your Mac. Choose confirm and wait for few seconds until it is removed from there permanently.

Using Terminal to Forget a Network

To use Terminal to forget a network on Mac, you will first need to open the Terminal app. To open Terminal, you can search for it in the macOS Spotlight search or go to Applications > Utilities and double-click “Terminal”.

Once the Terminal window opens, type the following command and hit Enter:
“`sudo /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Resources/airport -z“`

This command will reset your network settings and it will cause your Mac to forget all past network configurations, including any configured networks which are no longer accessible or have been deleted. Additionally, any saved passwords you have stored in Keychain Access related to your networks may be deleted or become inaccessible due to this command.

After entering this command into Terminal, a prompt may appear asking for your password. This is because the command requires administrator privileges on your Mac in order to reset your network settings. Enter your administrator password when prompted and hit Enter again. Your Mac should now be able to forget a given wireless network by forgetting all of its associated configurations and passwords.

Using Keychain Access to Forget a Network

Using Keychain Access is the traditional way of forgetting a wireless network on macOS. It is a powerful tool that comes pre-installed in your Mac and provides access tologin passwords and other credentials stored by the computer. To forget a network using Keychain Access, follow these steps:

  1. Click the magnifying glass icon or press Command-Space to open Spotlight Search and type “Keychain Access”.
  2. Press Return to open the app.
  3. Select “login” from the list of keychains on the left side.
  4. Now, locate and select the desired wireless network from the All Items list on the right side of the window, then press Delete or Command-delete to remove it from Keychain Access in your Mac.

Troubleshooting Tips

If you’ve forgotten the password for a Wi-Fi network on your Mac, you can remove the network from your list of preferred networks. Here some troubleshooting tips to help you forget a network on Mac:

  1. Open System Preferences and select Network.
  2. Select Wi-Fi in the sidebar of the Network window then click Advanced.
  3. In the Preferred Networks list, select the one that is not working or not needed and click the Remove (-) button at the bottom of this window or press the delete key on your keyboard to delete it .
  4. Click OK and close System Preferences once done. Thenetwork should now be removed from your list of preferred networks.
  5. If needed, you can also reset all Network settings by clicking on “Reset” at the bottom left corner under TCP/IP tab and confirm when prompted with message: “Are you sure you want to reset TCP/IP configuration?”


Finally, after you have disconnected and forgotten the network, it’s important to make sure other users on your Mac are disconnected from the same network. If you are the only person using your computer, then this step is unnecessary. However, if other users on your Mac use the same username, or if multiple devices connect to your Wi-Fi network, you will need to take additional steps to ensure that they are disconnected as well.

To check if all connected users and devices are forgotten from a network:
Open System Preferences → Network → Airport and then click Advanced. If there are any networks listed in here that you wish to disconnect from or forget, select them and click Remove or Forgetnetwork as needed.

That’s all there is to properly forgetting a Wi-Fi network on Mac OS X! You can now securely disconnect and forget any unwanted networks with little effort.

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