AirPort 3.4: "Error joining the selected Airport network"

Sometimes when you try to join a visible AirPort network, you may see this message:

"There was an error joining the selected AirPort network."

This message can occur due to several different scenarios. AirPort 3.4 software provides a solution for one possible cause of the issue. To update to AirPort 3.4 software, you must have Mac OS X 10.3.
This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
If you see the message after updating to AirPort 3.4, try these steps:

  1. Dismiss the message after it appears.
  2. Press and hold the Control key.
  3. While holding it, reselect the network from the AirPort menu.

This causes AirPort to use an alternate connection method that may succeed. If it does not, try general Airport troubleshooting.

Additional information

The alternate connection method addresses a scenario in which the wireless network is not Wi-Fi compliant. The issue occurs when a Wi-Fi compliant 802.11g client tries to communicate at speeds that the non-compliant network does not support. The steps above will force the AirPort Extreme (802.11g) card to communicate in 802.11b mode, which may allow access to the non-compliant network.

When the issue occurs, the Console log may contain a message such as "WirelessJoin unexpected status: 4".

Administrators of non-compliant networks might consider updating their wireless hardware to allow better access for 802.11g clients. A firmware update often resolves the issue.
Published Date: Oct 7, 2016