Mac Won’t Remember a Wireless Network Password? Here’s How to Fix It

Feb 22, 2012 - 8 Comments

Mac won't remember WiFi Password fix

We recently covered how to resolve an issue when Mac OS X doesn’t remember a wireless network, password protected or not, and since then several readers have notified us of another separate issue: Mac OS X won’t remember a wireless network password. The networks are remembered, but each time the network is found the password is forgotten and has to be reentered. This annoyance is fairly easy to resolve, as shown below.

Using Keychain First Aid

  1. Hit Command+Spacebar to bring up Spotlight, launch “Keychain Access”
  2. Pull down the “Keychain Access” menu and select “Keychain First Aid”
  3. Enter the password accompanying the given user name
  4. Repair Keychain Access

  5. Check “Repair” and click on “Start”

Sometimes repairing the keychain can be enough to resolve issues with passwords being remembered by OS X, but if not carry on with a solution that definitely works below:

Remove Wireless Networks from Keychain

  1. Hit Command+Spacebar for Spotlight and search for “Keychain Access”, launch the app
  2. Using Keychain Access search box in the upper right corner, search for “Airport network password”
  3. Find Airport in Keychain Access

  4. Locate and select the name of the problematic router, if there are multiple entries for a single router select them all
  5. Right-click on the router name and choose “Delete RouterName”
  6. Delete Airport Keychains

  7. Authenticate the removal, then close out of Keychain Access
  8. Reboot the Mac and re-join the wireless network

Mac OS X should now remember the wifi password without incident.

If you’re having broader problems with Mac OS X Wi-Fi where it doesn’t work at all or doesn’t work after waking from sleep, try the above methods in combination with removing the network and renewing the DHCP lease.

If you’re still out of luck, don’t miss our guide on fixing wi-fi problems in OS X Lion.

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Posted by: William Pearson in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting

8 Comments

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  1. Brian says:

    Saw this earlier today on WiFi dropping the connection even though it has nothing to with Password it might be of some interest to people that have their WiFi dropped by Airport.

    Troubleshooting Wi-Fi issues in OS X Lion and Mac OS X v10.6 { http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4628?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US }

  2. eefek says:

    Sometimes deleting com.apple.airport.preferences.plist from /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/ will do the trick too

  3. Mat says:

    I find simply turning wi-fi off then back on fixes the problem when this happens…

  4. […] can use the same fix when a Mac won’t remember wi-fi passwords, though forgetting networks is resolved through Repairing Permissions […]

  5. George says:

    thank you this solved my problem! much appreciated.

  6. Sean says:

    After much frustration this worked perfectly. Thank you!!

  7. Damien Theophano says:

    hope this works. I will find out soon. thanks in advance and no thanks to Apple for being a royal PITA for all the times I had to turn my router over to get the password that it wouldn’t remember.

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