AirPort Quick Assist
With AirPort, you can connect wirelessly to the Internet, email, local servers, and shared printers via Wi-Fi. If your Mac has AirPort built in, or an AirPort card, it can access nearby Wi-Fi networks or hotspots.
Connecting to a Wi-Fi network via AirPort
If your Mac isn't already connected wirelessly, it may prompt you to join a wireless network once one is detected.
You can also select a Wi-Fi network manually. From the AirPort menu (), choose the network you want to connect to. If a lock icon appears next to the network name, you will be prompted to enter a username and password to join.
Note: The AirPort menu appears by default in Mac OS X v10.5 and later. If it is not on the menu bar, choose System Preferences from the Apple menu (), open Network preferences, click "AirPort", and check the option named "Show AirPort status in menu bar".
Top troubleshooting tips
- Make sure that AirPort is on
If you can't make a connection, check to make sure that AirPort is on. The AirPort menu bar icon () should be bold and should state "AirPort: On" at the top. If AirPort is off, turn it on from the AirPort menu.
- Check your location
The range of your wireless network can vary based on your environment. If your connection seems spotty, try moving closer to your base station. You can also check for potential sources of interference.
- Check your access privileges
If you enabled encryption on your network, make sure that you set up your base station or router properly. Consult the documentation that came with your product. Make sure you're using the correct settings and password. If you're joining a closed network, a network with its name hidden, make sure that you've entered the network name and password correctly. If the network is secured by access control, make sure that your MAC address is registered with the network administrator. Consult the network administrator for assistance with access.
- Verify that your ISP is working
If your Internet Service Provider's (ISP) servers are down, you won't be able to connect to the Internet. Use a web browser on any computer that's directly connected (by Ethernet) to make sure that your ISP is or is not responding. If you cannot connect, and have a separate broadband modem/router, try restarting it. If the issue persists, contact your ISP or wait for your service to be restored.
- Restart your Mac
Sometimes a simple restart can clear up issues. From the Apple () menu, choose Restart. Once it's finished starting up, try connecting to the network again.
- Restart your base station or router
Restart your home network router using the method recommended by its documentation. This may include disconnecting the power cord for 10 seconds or more. Note that any Internet services including a VoIP-based phone will not work until the router restarts.
- Update your firmware and software
If you use an AirPort base station, use Software Update to check for available updates. If you use a third-party wireless router, check the manufacturer's website for any firmware updates available for your model. Download and install the software using instructions they provide.
- For AirPort card only: Make sure that your AirPort card is installed correctly
If you installed a standalone AirPort card into your earlier model Mac but don't see AirPort in the Network pane of System Preferences (or Internet Connect in Mac OS X v10.4 or earlier), you may not have installed it properly. This doesn't apply to computers that came with AirPort preinstalled. Review the installation instructions that came with your card. To verify that your computer recognizes the card, choose About This Mac from the Apple () menu, and then click More Info to open System Profiler. You should see "AirPort Card" listed in the Contents list, either under Hardware or Network. If you don't, shut down your computer and reinstall the card.
Still having issues?
- See the AirPort troubleshooting guide for more troubleshooting steps.
- Check out the AirPort support site, and search for your specific issue.
- Visit Discussions and seek advice from others.
Additional AirPort information
For help setting up an AirPort Extreme or AirPort Express base station, use the AirPort Setup Assistant or the AirPort Utility (you can find it in /Applications/Utilities). For more information about using AirPort, choose Mac Help from the Help menu in the Finder and type "AirPort" in the search field.