Master the Art of Disconnecting: How to Forget Network on MacBook With Ease


Brief overview of the importance of forgetting networks on a MacBook

Forgetting networks on a MacBook is an important part of maintaining optimal security and connectivity. As we connect our MacBook to various Wi-Fi networks during the course of our digital lives, it stores the details of those networks for future reference. While this can be convenient, it also poses some security risks and may create connectivity issues.

Common reasons to forget a network

  1. Security concerns: Connecting to public networks or networks that may no longer be secure poses a risk to your data and personal information.
  2. Connectivity issues: Over time, stored Wi-Fi networks may begin conflicting with one another or causing awkward connection problems.
  3. Network no longer in use: Certain networks may no longer be necessary to connect to, cluttering up your MacBook's Wi-Fi settings.

Understanding Wi-Fi settings on your MacBook

The role of Wi-Fi settings in managing networks

Wi-Fi settings on your MacBook play a crucial role in managing and maintaining your network connections. Through these settings, users can connect to and disconnect from networks, update password and network security information, and manage stored networks for seamless access in the future.

Stored network information and passwords

As you connect to different Wi-Fi networks, your MacBook automatically stores the network's information, including its name (SSID) and password. This makes it easy to reconnect without having to enter the network password every time. However, it's essential to understand the implications of this feature from a security standpoint and take measures to ensure your computer remains safe and organized.

Steps to forget a network on a MacBook

Disconnecting from the network

If your MacBook is currently connected to the network you want to forget, begin by disconnecting from it. Click the Wi-Fi icon on your menu bar, select the network you're connected to, and click “Disconnect.”

Opening Wi-Fi settings

To access Wi-Fi settings, click on the Wi-Fi icon on your menu bar and then click on “Open Network Preferences.” Alternatively, open System Preferences and click on the “Network” option.

Accessing the Preferred Networks list

In the Network preferences window, ensure that “Wi-Fi” is selected in the left sidebar. Then, click on the “Advanced” button located in the bottom-right corner of the window.

Removing the desired network

In the Advanced settings window, you'll find a list of “Preferred Networks.” This is where your MacBook stores the information for each network you've connected to. Follow these steps to remove a network:

  1. Select the network you want to forget by clicking on its name in the list.
  2. Click on the minus (-) button located below the Preferred Networks list. A warning will appear asking you to confirm that you want to remove the network from the list.
  3. Click “Remove” to confirm that you want to forget the network. The network and its associated password will be deleted from your MacBook's memory.

Alternative methods for managing networks

Using Terminal to remove networks

For users comfortable with macOS's Terminal, you can also remove networks using the “networksetup” command:

  1. Open Terminal (usually found in Applications > Utilities).
  2. Run the following command to list all stored Wi-Fi networks: networksetup -listpreferredwirelessnetworks en0.
  3. Locate the desired network in the list.
  4. Forget the network by running the following command: networksetup -removepreferredwirelessnetwork en0 "NETWORK_NAME", replacing “NETWORK_NAME” with the name of the network you want to forget.

Using third-party for network management

Third-party apps can provide additional network management features beyond what macOS offers. When choosing a network management app, consider the following factors:

  1. Popularity and user reviews: Look for apps that have a solid user base and positive reviews, which likely indicate a good track record for effectiveness and support.
  2. Comparing features and ease of use: Some apps may have a more extensive feature set and user-friendly interfaces, making managing your networks more efficient.
  3. Security considerations: Always be cautious when using third-party apps, particularly those that request your network passwords. Research the app's security measures and use only trusted and vetted solutions.

Tips for maintaining a secure and organized network list

  1. Regularly review your list of connected networks and remove those that you no longer use or that may pose security risks.
  2. Use unique and strong passwords for each network to minimize the risk of unauthorized access.
  3. Disconnect from public networks when not in use to reduce your exposure to potential hackers.
  4. Keep your MacBook's up to date, including installing the latest security patches and macOS updates, to ensure maximum protection and performance.

Wrapping up: The benefits of a well-managed macOS network list

Taking the time to manage and maintain your MacBook's network list offers several benefits, including:

  • Reduced security risks: Regularly reviewing and deleting unneeded networks minimizes the chances of connecting to unsafe networks accidentally.
  • Improved Wi-Fi connectivity and performance: Removing conflicting or unused networks can help improve your MacBook's overall performance.
  • Easy access to frequently used networks: Keeping your network list organized and up to date ensures that your frequently used networks remain easily accessible.


1. How can I tell which networks I've connected to on my MacBook?

In the Network preferences window, click on the “Advanced” button to access the list of Preferred Networks. This list shows all the networks you have connected to previously.

2. How do I find the password for a saved network on my MacBook?

Open the “Keychain Access” app (found in Applications > Utilities), search for the network name under “Login,” and double-click the corresponding entry. Check the “Show password” box and enter your MacBook's administrator password when prompted.

3. Does forgetting a network on my MacBook also remove the password?

Yes, when you forget a network through the Network preferences window or Terminal, the network's password is also removed from your MacBook's stored data.

4. Can I forget a network on my or iPad in the same way as on my MacBook?

The steps for forgetting a network on iPhone and iPad are different. Navigate to Settings > Wi-Fi, find the network you want to forget, and tap the “i” icon. From the network's settings screen, tap “Forget This Network” and confirm.

5. How can I prevent my MacBook from automatically connecting to a certain network without forgetting it entirely?

In the Preferred Networks list in Network preferences, you can uncheck the “Automatically join this network” option to prevent your MacBook from connecting to the network without removing it from the list altogether.

6. Is there a way to prioritize which networks my MacBook connects to first?

Yes, in the Preferred Networks list in Network preferences, simply drag and drop the networks into your desired priority order.

7. How can I quickly reconnect to a forgotten network?

To reconnect to a forgotten network, click the Wi-Fi icon on your menu bar and then click on “Join Other Network.” This will prompt you to enter the network's name (SSID) and password.

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Tracy C.
Tracy C.

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