How to connect to the Internet with your Mac

Learn how to use Wi-Fi, Personal Hotspot, and Ethernet to connect to the Internet.

Use Wi-Fi

Learn how to connect to an open, secure, or hidden Wi-Fi network. You can also create a new Wi-Fi network.

Wi-Fi network list      

Connect to a Wi-Fi network

Click Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar, then choose a network. If Wi-Fi is off, click Wi-Fi off icon, then select Turn Wi-Fi On.*

If you connect to a public Wi-Fi network, a window might appear with terms and conditions you're asked to agree to before you can connect.

Connect to a secure Wi-Fi network

Secure Wi-Fi networks are password-protected and have Lock icon by their names. 

  1. Click Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar. If Wi-Fi is off, click Wi-Fi off icon, then choose Turn Wi-Fi On.*
  2. Choose a network.
  3. Enter the password, then click Join. If you don't know the password to the Wi-Fi network, contact the network administrator.

Connect to a hidden network

  1. Click Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar. If Wi-Fi is off, choose Wi-Fi off icon, then choose Turn Wi-Fi On.*
  2. Choose Join Other Network. 
  3. Enter the network name. Make sure you enter the network name correctly.
  4. If the network is secure, choose the Security type, then enter the password.
  5. Click Join.

Learn what to do if you can't connect to a hidden network.

Create a Wi-Fi network

If you have Internet service at your location, you can connect an AirPort base station or a third-party router to your modem to create a Wi-Fi network. Use the setup guide for your AirPort base station, or check your third-party router's manual for help.

* If you don't see the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar, you can add it back. Choose Apple () menu > System Preferences, click Network, click Wi-Fi, then select "Show Wi-Fi status in menu bar".

Use Personal Hotspot

With most carrier plans, you can share the cellular data connection of your iPhone or iPad (Wi-Fi + Cellular) with your Mac.

Learn how to set up Personal Hotspot.

Use Ethernet

To connect to the Internet over a wired connection, connect an Ethernet cable between your router or modem and the Ethernet Ethernet icon port on your Mac.

Some Macs require an Ethernet adapter like the Belkin USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter, or the Apple Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter.

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