How to Disconnect From a Wireless Network on a Mac

Even though OS X has made great strides in recent years against Windows, there are still a few things that are way more difficult than they really should be. One of those items is simply trying to disconnect from a wireless network.

In Windows, you just click on the wireless icon in the taskbar, select the wireless network you are currently connected to and then just click on the Disconnect button! Very simply and intuitive!

disconnect wireless

In OS X, that is not the case. I think the main reason I never used OS X back in the 90’s and early 2000’s was because I couldn’t figure out how to do simple stuff like right-click or access the computer settings. Most of those issues no longer exist, but this one remains!

It’s not a major issue and I’ve actually never cared to disconnect from a wireless network before, but recently I had to change my MAC address and this required first disconnecting the Mac from the wireless network.

If you simply click on the wireless icon in the Apple taskbar, you’ll just get a list of wireless networks with a checkmark next to the one you are connected to.

wireless networks mac

If you try to click on the connected network, absolutely nothing happens and the pop up dialog just disappears. It would make a lot more sense if the connected network expanded giving you the option to disconnect from the wireless network.

In order to actually disconnect from a wireless network on a Mac, you have to press and hold the Option key and then click on the wireless network icon.

wireless network os x

When you do this, you’ll now see an option called Disconnect from WirelessNetworkName. Clicking on that will actually disconnect you from the wireless network. Whew! That’s totally unnecessary and very unintuitive.

You’ll also get a lot of info about the wireless network like the IP address of the computer, the router IP, whether the Internet is reachable, the security type, the channel, the transmission speed and a few¬†other technical details.

This is actually really useful info and way better than anything in Windows, so it would help if they made this information more easily accessible. If you have any questions, post a comment. Enjoy!

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