OS X 10.10.2 Wi-Fi Issues Continue for Some Mac Users
Some Mac users who have been experiencing longstanding wi-fi issues with OS X Yosemite have discovered that updating to OS X 10.10.2 does not resolve their networking difficulties. Perhaps more troubling, some Mac users who had functioning wi-fi previously have discovered that new wireless difficulties have appeared on their Macs after updating to the OS X 10.10.2 release of Yosemite.
These cases are likely outliers, as OS X 10.10.2 has resolved wi-fi difficulties for some users as well. Nonetheless, we have received numerous reports about wi-fi issues appearing or persisting with OS X 10.10.2, and the large Apple thread on the topic continues to grow with user feedback about the same problem persisting.
Typically, wi-fi issues with OS X 10.10.2 come in two varieties; sluggish transfer speeds relating to Bluetooth, or outright connection dropping and failing to establish a wireless connection at all. Sometimes, the troubleshooting steps offered here are sufficient to resolve the problem.
Issue 1: Slow Wi-Fi Performance with Bluetooth Enabled in OS X
One persistent wi-fi complaint with OS X Yosemite, even after OS X 10.10.2 appears to be abnormally sluggish wireless networking performance and slow transfer speeds when Bluetooth is enabled concurrently with a wi-fi connection.
For users who experience the Bluetooth related Wi-FI issues, disabling Bluetooth will return wireless speeds to their expected rate, however, given that Bluetooth is required to use an Apple Wireless Keyboard, Magic Mouse, or Magic Trackpad, amongst other third party accessories, disabling Bluetooth is an unacceptable situation for many of these Mac users.
Issue 2: Wi-Fi Drops Connection Frequently or Fails to Connect
Random connection dropping is another commonly observed issue, usually with a connection sustaining itself for anywhere from a few seconds to 10 minutes before dropping. Sometimes, the wireless connection fails to establish entirely, simply showing a yellow Wi-Fi icon in the Network menu.
This is the most difficult wi-fi issue to experience because for those impacted it essentially renders modern Macs that are equipped only with wireless cards to be complete unable to have an internet connection. Given the reliance on internet connectivity these days, that can be a very frustrating situation to experience and to troubleshoot.
Possible Solution to Wi-Fi Problems Post OS X 10.10.2
The very first thing you should do is add a new network location in OS X, set DNS manually, and then reboot the Mac. This resolves many network issues that Mac users experience with wi-fi and is an easy procedure:
After you have updated to OS X 10.10.2…
- Go to the Apple menu and System Preferences, then choose the “Network” preference panel
- Select Wi-Fi from the sidebar, then in the Location menu choose “Edit Locations”
- Click the [+] plus button to add a new location, name it something obvious like “OS X 10.10.2 Wi-Fi Fix” then choose “Done”
- Join your wi-fi network as usual by selecting it from the Network Name menu
- Now click the “Advanced” button
- Choose the “DNS” tab and manually add DNS servers that are appropriate for your location, these can the DNS from your ISP, or something like Google DNS service: 220.127.116.11
- Choose “OK” then click “Apply” to confirm the changes made
- Back at the Apple menu, choose ‘Restart…’ and reboot the Mac
For sluggish Bluetooth related Wi-Fi problems, switching the router to 5GHz is often sufficient to resolve any trouble. Disabling Bluetooth entirely also resolves the wifi-bluetooth conflict, but whether or not that is acceptable will be dependent on each user and their respective hardware.
If your wi-fi works at this point, you’re good to go and there’s nothing else to do. If you’re still having problems then you should start by following our wi-fi troubleshooting guide for OS X Yosemite here, it’s specifically aimed at wi-fi issues with OS X Yosemite and involves a multi-step process of removing preference files, adding a new network location (again), setting custom DNS, adjusting MTU size, resetting the SMC, and reloading discoveryd daemon.
It’s important to point out these wi-fi issues appear to be unusual, random, and are fairly rare, the majority of Mac users running OS X Yosemite are not experience networking difficulties. With that said, the apparent randomness of networking problems with some Macs running OS X Yosemite could suggest compatibility issues with particular routers, issues with some wireless networks, or issues related to various environmental conditions, making the problem increasingly difficult to narrow down and troubleshoot beyond the software approaches outlined above. One persistent theme has been that most of these users experiencing wi-fi trouble with OS X Yosemite did not report any similar issues with OS X Mavericks, and most that have trouble experienced problems immediately, with 10.10.1 too, and now the issue has carried forward to OS X 10.10.2. In that describes your situation, downgrading OS X Yosemite back to OS X Mavericks remains a viable resolution for some users who don’t mind losing out on the added features brought in OS X Yosemite, and who are comfortable with the downgrade process. Typically an OS change should considered a last resort, as downgrading OS X is a fairly time intensive procedure and it’s not well suited for users who are not at least moderately comfortable with backups, software reinstalls, and whatever hiccups could be encountered on the way.
If you are experiencing wi-fi improvements after the 10.10.2 update, new or persistent wi-fi problems after updating, or you have found a resolution to OS X Yosemite wireless networking difficulties, let us know in the comments!