How I fixed my dropping wireless Airport connection problem in Snow Leopard

Sep 1, 2009 - 141 Comments

snow leopard wireless I don’t know why but when I upgraded to Snow Leopard my wireless internet got all wonky, connections were dropping left and right and I couldn’t maintain any worthwhile airport connection for longer than a few minutes. DHCP was behaving particularly strange and the automatic settings pulled from my router were dropping every few seconds. I’m reposting this here not only as some sort of catharsis but also in the event that it helps someone else troubleshoot their wireless problems in 10.6.

Here’s what I did to fix my Airport wireless connection from dropping in Snow Leopard. There was no silver bullet, but each setting allowed my airport connection to become more stable, and the combination of all of these changes has sustained a connection without dropping:

* Changed DHCP auto settings to manual – now I manually set my IP address on the network, I just set something high so it wouldn’t interfere with other DHCP machines. As long as you have the subnet mask, router, and DNS settings configured manually as well, this shouldn’t be a problem.

* Change Wireless Channels – I noticed that a neighbor recently changed their wireless channel to the same one I was on, it’s a weak signal but can still cause interference. I logged into my wireless router and changed the wireless channel to a more obscure and unique one.

* Disabled “Wireless G only” Mode – what seems to have finally sealed the deal was disabling ‘Wireless G Only’ mode that I had set on my router, yea things could theoretically be a little slower but I haven’t noticed, and I’ll wait an extra millisecond or two for a webpage to load if it means I can use my MacBook wirelessly at home as intended.

Interestingly enough, I tried doing each of these things entirely on it’s own and it did not resolve the problem, it was the combination of everything that seems to have ‘fixed’ my airport connection problems. I know my wireless connection issues with Snow Leopard are a fluke here, I imagine it’s something unique to my network and router that only a few other users will encounter. Anyway, if you’re having any wireless connection problems in Snow Leopard 10.6 too, try these things out and see if it works for you as well.

Update: Mac OS X 10.6.3 has been released and contains a few Airport bug fixes, it would be wise to install that software update in addition to trying these tips.

Some more Wireless connection troubleshooting tips:
* Update to the latest version of Mac OS X (10.6.3 includes numerous Airport fixes)
* Reset your router
* Reset your cable modem/DSL
* Disable WPA/WEP protection
* Change security protocol from WEP to WPA/WPA2
* Switch wireless channels – pick a channel no neighbor is using.
* Turn Airport on & off (via menu or Network preferences)
* Delete and then recreate/reestablish wireless network connection
* Create a new Network Location
* Make sure your router firmware and Airport card firmware is up to date
* Zap the PRAM on your Mac (hold Command+Option+P+R on restart)
* Flush the DNS cache using the Terminal command: dscacheutil -flushcache
* Delete the and files from ~/Library/Preferences
* Trash your home directories SystemConfiguration folder and reboot – Remove all files within ~/Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/ and reboot your machine. Make sure you delete the proper folder, this is in your home directory.

If all else fails, try this, which has worked for some individuals:
* Reset your Mac’s System Management Controller (SMC) : Shutdown the MacBook/Pro, remove the battery, disconnect the power, hold the Power Key for 15 seconds. Replace the battery, reconnect power, and zap PRAM and wait for 2 chimes before letting the keys go. Check out more information on when and how to reset your SMC.

-David Mendez


Related articles:

Posted by: David Mendez in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting


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  1. madeline says:

    Five years later and this post is STILL enormously helpful to those of us still on MacBooks running 10.6. It took me hours of trying everything listed on Apple and MacForum but this fixed me immediately. Easily. YAY!!

  2. hello says:

    Had unusual network issues with 10.6.8, Macbook Pro. I think the battery drained while buffering video. Zapping the P-RAM fixed my issue. Thanks for the tip in the article.

  3. SushiLover says:

    Its Apr of 2014 and I have sames issues with an iMac Mini running 10.6.8.
    It seems loses connection on and off. Sometimes looses the DNS address which is the same as the wifi router.
    Other times i cant ping the wifi router or outside public ip.
    Strangely enough, I use Synergy to share mouse/keyboard with my windows notebook and its service works over the wifi network on the mac mini.

    Other computer devices (Win7, android, etc) have no problem with the router.

    Not sure what to do. i dont want to reinstall from scratch, i have done this once already for another issue. and dont think it prevents an problem from reoccuring.

  4. Duncan says:

    I had the same problem with my new AE. I tried the following and it has since helped, not more dropping out.

    What I did was, I went into the Airport Utility manager and disabled all the internet connectivity settings (ie: time sync, auto update etc.). Since I have done this it solved my drop out issues.

    My AE is connected as “Join Network”, and all is running fine, even Remote on my iPhone 4 not does not crash like it used to.

  5. Loller says:

    Hi guys i have The same problem with an iMac bought 4 years ago…I can connect to the router but in wifi preferences I see that the voice “Internet” and “server” doesen’t works…somebody can help me?i’m using 10.6 installed from the cd

  6. Mike says:

    I am having this problem since a Lion upgrade… although I have also upgraded the memory, painstakingly, in my Mac Mini, so I am wondering whether I have damaged the antenna in some way.

    I will try the IPv6 OFF setting, and see what happens.


  7. Ceasar K says:

    I had a similar problem and this is how i solved it:

    Speed was normal on all my wireless devices connected to the same router except for my Mac Mini on which the speed was very bad.

    I tried changing some settings on the router and changing the channel but it didn’t do the trick.

    I finally was able to fix it by going to the Airport settings on my Mac Mini and DISABLING IPv6!!

    Works like a charm now and i have full speed..

    Thought i’d share this solution with all of you since i spent quite some time on this today and it was very frustrating.

    Hope this helps.


  8. BAT says:

    Just added a Verizon MIFI 4G hotspot so that my wife and I can use our Macs when we travel. We are still using Snow Leopard because we have some old Mac applications that won’t run under Lion. We couldn’t get either of our MacBook Pros to connect to to the WIFI hotspot. We spent a couple of hours on the phone with Verizon tech support; they were nice but couldn’t fix the problem.

    After a lot of poking around I found that there was a conflict between the channel used by our Airport router, a neighbors router and the MIFI hotspot. The Airport selects the channel automatically and so does the MIFI; both were selecting channel 1. The Airport router wouldn’t allow me to change the channel selection(certainly couldn’t change our neighbors wireless router) but was able to manually configure the MIFI to use a different channel.

    There are about 7 wireless routers in the hood that we can see. Used the System Profiler to display details about all of these; had to select View->Refresh about 5 times before all of them displayed. After that I selected a channel that didn’t conflict with any nearby wireless router. Now both Mac’s connect and stay connected to the MIFI. We are getting really good download/upload speeds with the Verizon 4G MIFI hotspot.

  9. Krystle says:

    Help! My home network suddenly disappeared from my network list. However, my friends PC, my ipod, and my iphone all are using the home network just fine. Everytime I enter the information to join other network (my home network) it says “connection timeout.” I have no idea where to even begin to fix this…any help would be greatly appreciated. PS. I tried using wifi in other locations and it worked just fine!

  10. Bram says:

    Thanks! I had this problem after my IP installed a new wireless router. My Macbook1.1 from 2007 with 10.6.8 kept dropping internet after a few minutes of use. My iPhone and iPad did not have the same problem.

    I then changed the wireless protocol from WirelessBGN to WirelessN only. This fixed the problem for me.

  11. Snt says:

    Mine is Macbook pro version 10.6.8

    I can’t connect with my existing internet.

    I am relief that i am not alone suffering this problem.

    Apple, this is your problem. Please fix it as soon as possible.

  12. Interesting. I ran into a similar problem with a customer. The problem was actually the type of security on the router. But I can see how these things could effect performance and sustenance in your connection.

  13. […] in the past and been resolved with future SW updates, there’s even an older post handling the same type of problem with Snow Leopard, that article has more tips that may work here too. If the problem is with OS X 10.7 itself we can […]

  14. […] How I fixed my dropping wireless Airport connection problem in Snow Leopard – Some good tips for fixing a dropping WiFi connection in Snow Leopard. Possibly Related Posts:Why I Bought a MacBook AirWiFi on the RoadLiving with Dial-Up NetworkingSnow on the MountainsWaiting for the Cable Guy This entry was posted in This just in… and tagged links, Macintosh troubleshooting Internet by Maria Langer. Bookmark the permalink. […]

  15. frakepe says:

    i tried all solutions above but still “connection time out”. anyone can help?

  16. Pedi says:

    Struggling with same issue. Does anybody have this issue whit Airport Extreme as well? I have benn advised to by Airport extreme to solve the problem. I am not sure if it works!

  17. newmacbookpro says:

    Ran into this same issue – at least I thought. Brand new MBP with OSX 10.6.7. Everything is working fine (with the exception of a weak signal every so often – but there is a lot of wireless interference in this building, so it’s expected) then a few days ago the wireless connection would just disconnect suddenly. The Airport status icon would pulsate and indicate “No networks selected,” although it would still show my network (with a signal of about 3 bars) in the list below it. At first this would happen every 30 minutes or so, but a few days later it’s down to every 1-2 minutes. Every time this happens I have to Turn Airport Off & On to reconnect. Very annoying.

    Tried all the router steps: changing the wireless channel to various other channels (and even using System to see which channels all the other networks were on, so that mine wouldn’t interfere), changing the router’s transmission rate to 1-2MBPS, rebooting the router, renewing the IP address, and a few other tweaks. Nothing worked.

    Tried all the steps for MacBook Pro: clearing DNS cache, restarting computer, resetting PRAM, creating a new Network location, disabling IPV6 configuration, creating a new user account and testing, deleting the SystemConfiguration folder and restarting, etc.

    After about 2 hours of continuous troubleshooting – nothing worked.

    My last ray of hope: Guest Mode on the Linksys E100 router. I login to my router as a guest, and voila, it’s working perfectly – fast as ever, no connection dropping, full signal.

  18. […] Fixed dropping wireless Airport connection problem in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard […]

  19. Suresh says:

    Hello All,

    I had an experience with my MAC Book Pro where my airport connection with my home WIFI drops after few seconds. It pulled down the total internet connection of all the other connecting devices to my DLINK router. After trying out all the possible options, I figured out that it is a problem with my router settings. Hence i changed my Airport DNS to Google Public DNS After this I am able to connect my Mac Book as well my other devices like Dell laptop, iPod Touch and iPhone to my Home WIFI. Hope this helps someone.

    @yenkural in Twitter

  20. tonyw says:

    Ok, I’m really confused. My iMac is having all the broadband connection and thru-put problems described here. It’s running OX 10.6.8. The confusing part is that my MacBook running the same OS, iPhone, and iPad have no issues at all. It’s definitely not the cable modem or the wireless router. Anybody have any idea for a fix?

  21. Gman says:

    Omg I have the same problem! My wireless connection between my MBP 2011 model and modem drops every couple of minutes!!! I have tried so much to fix this thinking :( but I decided to see if it would drop when I installed windows 7 with BOOTCAMP…and guess what it hasn’t dropped once, but I’m still upset as I want to use osx snow leopard. any ideas when this will get fixed and why it only drops when using osx snow leopard?

  22. Praenubilus says:

    Jesus!!!!! I’m not alone. I have got this damn problem with my new iMac(2011) + 10.6.8. And I haven’t found a sound solution to resolve this. Each time I return from a shutdown or sleep, It will cost me almost 15min to make the wireless work…. Hope the Lion will solve this issue.

  23. E Galvan says:

    edit for above post…

    The setting I used was omitted from the previous post because of the brackets I used.

    The setting is “Join a Wireless Network” in the Airport Utility. This can be easily done with the auto setup.

  24. E Galvan says:

    I have had consistent connection drops with my Mac-mini (mid 2007) for well over a year now, and it got to the point where I would just use that computer for non-internet activities. (I have 3 other Macs in the house.) I tried and tried to fix the problem, trying most if not all the various configurations and equipment options. I even dumped my old router and went with the Airport Extreme, but no luck.

    …But now, I finally think I have found a very good and simple work around for the problem. …I obtained an Airport Express, a model which had worked for this Mac-mini in the past, with the intent to add it to my network with setting. I am elated to say it worked like a charm, and this Mac-mini’s Airport connection has worked perfectly for over a week now.

    I do have the Express located very nearby my Mac-mini since I am not a networking guru I was guessing, yet it occurred to me that the Mini might attempt to connect with the router showing the greatest signal strength. Additionally, I did not want for the routers to compete with one another in terms of this Mini.

    FYI, I did not opt to simply change over to the Express from the Extreme since I have really enjoyed the connection performance from my other Macs on the Extreme. Tailoring the Express just for my Mini seems to have done the trick…although it is another $99 for the extra hardware. I agree Apple should have a fix for this since its a known issue, but I’ll take this since I get to keep using this Mini for a while longer ($99 is much less than buying an iMac or new Mac-Mini).

  25. Mihai says:

    Hi , I have the same problem – MacBook Pro New, Mac OS X 10.6.7, the connection is dropped every 30min …. so stupid. Hey Apple! Do something I don’t like this. When the connection is dropped also you cannot see the AP for certain seconds. And also …. other issue, when the AirPort is ging down also the Magic Mouse from Apple is disconnecting from bluetooth. Again … BIG BUG!
    I hope description is clear.
    I didn’t try to troubleshoot this incident, I’m still waiting for updates.

  26. Michael says:

    I had a problem with my Core Duo Mac Book Pro dropping (or becoming very slow on) WiFi while on battery power. After trying everything I could find on the web, I decided to remove the widgets I had that listed the available networks or that measured signal strength of wireless networks. I’m not sure if it was one particular widget, but once I removed all the suspect widgets, my WiFi has been working perfectly on battery power.

  27. Dennis says:

    I had problems like this mostly since my router wasn’t updated in quite a while – try 2003. So update the router firmware – how? unknown. What I did was the following which should rectify most problems.

    Get the best newest router possible. I got the 1TB Time Capsule since I could use a new router and an easy roomy backup plan. Run update software.

    Then do a whole disconnect and reconnect of your computer network system from computers to the internet as follows: Turn airport off (or unplug ethernet if that’s what you are doing) from all computers/ipads/ipod touches, etc.. Shut down/turn off and disconnect the computers and all peripherals. Disconnect the router from the internet box you might have, like the cable modem I use from Comcast. Why not disconnect all the wires coming to and from it? Go ahead. Then disconnect the cable modem (what ever the internet comes into your house to) from the router. Again, disconnect anything to and from it. I suggest that if a battery is in the modem that you should also remove it (should be easy).

    Keep it all in this disconnected state for 5 minutes. So make it 10.

    Reconnect in reverse.

    All should be reset and work better. Does for me every time. I may overdo the disconnecting. The basic idea is disconnect and shutdown from the outside of the internet path to the source. Then reconnect in reverse.

  28. Tim says:

    I have come across a bizarre solution that has worked for the past three evenings. Sorry, no technical data for this but I am curious to know if it may work for some.
    Using a MacBP 15″ purchased new December 2010 I was having the same wifi disconnect problems that so many others have. Every few minutes a disconnect would occur, opening network diagnostics shows Internet and Server ports would be inactive. Hugely frustrating. I have been a Mac user since the early 90s. This is just not how a Mac works. They are just supposed to work, right? Changed router settings, created new network profile, etc. Nothing worked except to turn Airport off and back on again.

    One evening a few weeks ago my wife made mention that the entire day she had worked on the laptop with no disconnect. Strange. She completed her work and I took the laptop, opened Safari in hopes that maybe the problem somehow fixed itself. Nope, disconnected in 5 minutes.

    Three nights ago and the wife is checking Facebook, youtube, all the while, no problems. She hands me the MBP, opened Safari, dead Airport connection in minutes. She uses Firefox, I have used Safari for years. No disconnect in Firefox, constant in Safari. I download Chrome, install it, import my Safari settings and have not disconnected yet.

    Try it, let me know what results you have. I have been reluctant to post this because I have no explanation for it. It may be a fluke.. I am still experimenting and it may drop connection any minute now but so far I am a little more happy with my purchase and hope Apple fixes this soon.

  29. blueoctgal says:

    Nice to know that I am not alone with this problem!

  30. Ron says:

    Dit was voor mij de enige methode dat het gewenste effect gaf…GEEN DROPS MEER!

    Here some brief instructions

    you may have to add/edit your sysctl settings:
    $ sudo touch /etc/sysctl.conf
    $ nano /etc/sysctl.conf
    Copy the settings into the file and save changes (just press CRTL+X and confirm with Y)



    You have to reboot to make the changes affetive


    wifi, drops, osx, snow, airport, upgrade

  31. Monique Finkel says:

    I am also having the same experience as Jules. problems with 10.6.6–constant dropping of airport connection, being dropped from my office network. Never happened until this update. Very frustrating.

  32. Robert Whyte says:

    I had the same problem with 10.6.6 and after trying everything else finally reestablished normal life after I deleted all my keychain items except necessary certificates and keys and logged Into the airport afresh.

    • Peej says:

      Same for me – the annoying thing is that I have to do it everytime the damn thing goes to sleep or is restarted.

      Works every time though.

      • Peej says:

        Update: I seem to have fixed it by removing ‘Airport’ and ‘airportd’ from the list of applications allowed access to my wireless network password in Keychain Access (Get Info on the relevant password within the “System” keychain).

        They appeared again afterwards, bu tit does seem to have done the trick – I just put my MacBook to sleep and woke it up twice, and Airport hooked up to my wireless network both times.

        Fingers crossed it’s going to keep doing it….

  33. Jules says:

    I have only had problems with my airport connection since upgrading my iMac to Snow Leopard and software updating it to 10.6.6. I noticed that every now and again, while using my MacBook Pro, that it fails to load webpages every once in a while even though the airport bars show full reception. I haven’t had this problem before (when my iMac was using Leopard), but I will try the suggestions noted here by other users and will update accordingly. Most of the times the internet works fine, but those annoying connection drop-offs are getting to me. Definitely an OS X issue. As a note, when I use my iphone, the airport connection never drops off.

  34. Turner says:

    Snow Leopard running along smoothly for several months (ever since first install), until I hit Software Update in December. Never an issue before, and always a good idea- right? Not this time.
    I noticed during the download (Safari, Security Update, Airport) that the Airport pkg had broken; no big- no install now. Proceeded with the update (it was huge, over 500 Megs). Now I cannot keep a connection for more than a few minutes. An Airport on-off cycle reconnects, but only for that few minutes.
    I’m currently piggybacking a friend’s signal, so full t-shooting will resume when a new modem arrives. But even with all the usual steps, and finally Apple Support- I still cannot keep a wireless connex. Using backup computer now- it’s just fine (no update here).
    Whatever it is, there’s little doubt that the Software Update made it happen. Hoping for a patch from Apple. Thanks all for the tips and notes here.

  35. Nicholas Newman says:

    And then after about an hour of inactivity, I came back to my (still open and awake) machine to find the Wifi connection gone again – could the fact I had re-plugged in my Ethernet cable have anythging to do with it?

  36. Nicholas Newman says:

    Since my post of 21 November on this issue, I’ve changed my WEP password to WAP on all our machines, and tried all sorts of other things, all to no avail, but as my Wifi works OK on the Windows XP-Bootcamp of my machine and on our PowerBook G4 under Leopard, my iPod Touch 3 and my son’s iPhone, the Airport card on this machine and the router are both eliminated as causes, leaving only the Mac OS X update 10.6.5 as a possible cause.

    BUT THEN I saw somewhere (probably on one of the Apple forums) that someone with this problem, but who had a Windows system with Bootcamp on his machine, on which his WiFi worked properly, found that after re-starting from the Bootcamp side, but in the Mac OS X side of his machine, his Wifi worked again straight away.

    I have just tried this AND IT WORKS!!!

    Total mystery.

    I have yet to try Todd’s recipe of turning off the IPV6.

  37. Todd says:

    NOTE:after posting the advice on turning off IPv6- my connection STILL DROPPED OUT. Oh well, at least it comes back up by cycling the Airport on and off-and to think I was so happy with my first MAC purchase after numerous PC failures…….

  38. Todd says:

    Go to Network in system preferences. Go to ADVANCED. Click TCP/IP button and go to Configure IPv6 select OFF from the sliding menu. Click apply. Why, I don’t know-but it has resolved the issue on my 2010 MBP 13″.

    • Kelly says:

      I have tried everything. My iMac would loss connection every time I turned on my iPad. This finally worked:

      Go to Network in system preferences. Go to ADVANCED. Click TCP/IP button and go to Configure IPv6 select OFF from the sliding menu. Click apply. Why, I don’t know-but it has resolved the issue on my 2010 MBP 13″.

  39. Mike says:

    I have a Windows 7 PC that can find my internet sharing connection of my iMac Air Port feature. It connects fine if I keep the Mac Air port connection with no password. Anytime I try to put a password either on 40 WEP or 120 WEP, the PC finds it but it will not connect to the internet sharing signal from the Mac. Is there anything I can do to make the PC connect with the Mac when I secure the connection?

    • Davoos says:

      You should use WPA2 and then just be sure that Windows knows the password it will connect and share fine.

      Ideally You will just share the Wireless from a router and not through a computer, this makes it the easiest to troubleshoot and then you don’t need both computers on to just use one computer with the internet.

  40. Sir Lorad says:

    I´ll try changing the network type to G only. Mine is set to G and N.
    Having increasingly stable problems.

  41. Knox says:

    Today’s the first time i experienced this. What i did was restart. Turn airport off and turn it back on. Still doesn’t work.

    Then turn it off again and turn it back on and leave it on without connecting to any network. Then i tried connecting to my network and now it works.

    I hope this doesn’t happen again. By the way im using Mac OSX 10.5.5. So Apple definitely hasn’t solved this issue, so don’t even bother posting it on their forums hoping to get it fixed. They will fix it whenever they feel like it.

  42. Mark Reed says:

    In an unfortunate way, I’m glad to see I’m not alone in having lousy wireless connectivity. I just moved from a basement suite where I experienced occasional drop-out, suspecting everything but the computer itself to be the problem. Now, I’m in another basement suite where there transmitter is about 25′ from where I keep my MacBook 10.6.5 and there are PCs upstairs. The PCs get problem-free reception while my fancy Mac only sometimes hooks up and frequently drops out when hooked up. The MacBook is hooked up to an Acer 21″ monitor. I discovered that I get connectivity only when the MacBook is open. Hello Apple. If the fix is coming, when? How many years? This is pathetic.

  43. Patrick says:

    I’m only having this issue with my Mac Pro on my home network. I tried several things and it’s just plain annoying.

    My Macbook and Macbook Air are working just fine.

    I hope all you guys post your problems on the APPLE DISCUSSION BOARD as well, since this is the board where Apple ought to notice that there is still a problem.


    • Brian says:

      I’m having a similar issue with my Mac Pro 3.1 running 10.5.8 which won’t connect to my new Netgear WNR2000 router. My network is listed but each time I try to join it asks for WPA password and then get a “connection timeout’ message after 5 seconds or so. I’ve tried all the turn on / off solutions, changing channel, changing security to WEP or none, resetting PRAM etc as suggested but to no avail. This has been driving me nuts for the past 24 hours. Any robust solutions appreciated.

      • Sergio Villa says:

        I have the same problem with a Netgear DGND3300 ADSL+2 Modem & Router. A Mac Book Pro works with N channel just fine! perfect, no issues at all. but with the Mac mini It´s a nightmare, I´ve tried everything, re-install differents OS. Just 2 times got connected and after 2 or 3 hrs. no connection with N channel. it´s the same error “Connection Timeout” Any Robust Solution? Help!

  44. Nicholas Newman says:

    Same problems of wireless link dropping, but also almost impossible to connect, irrespective of mixed b/g or just g set on my Belkin router. I THINK the problems started with Mac OS X 10.6.4, but certainly since 10.6.5. This is a 2006 white Intel Macbook. On my wireless lan I also have a PowerBook G5 under Leopard, no problem, likewise no problem with an iPod touch.
    I have WEP 40/128 bit hex password but in the list of known networks it appears as merely “WEP password” with no option for correcting it to “WEP 40/128 bit hex”.
    On other networks, in hotels etc., with either no security or genuine “WEP password” security, I have reliable networking.
    So the problem seems to be recognition of “WEP 40/128 bit hex” but INTERMITTENTLY by Snow Leopard. As sometimes it just works for a while, all by itself without any prompting. If I try to connect it generally says “Connection failed” or “Connection timeout”.
    Basically, as all the rest works and this works intermittently, it is obviously either a hardware problem (but are so many of us having hardware problems at the same time?) or a Snow Leopard version problem. This is by far the most likely, and I do not see why I should have to reconfigure my entire network setup just for an Apple problem, when the rest works.
    Apple, please fix this! It’s obviously your problem, not ours.

  45. Macbkrob says:

    I started consistently losing my connection when i upgraded to 10.6.4 … every few minutes, even though my wireless connection looked like it was connected, my connection would either hang or slow to a crawl. i was constantly stopping and starting Airport to reset my wireless connection. i’ve tried lots of different things like manually setting my ip address as suggested by others but that didn’t help either. when i connect directly using an ethernet cable, the problem goes away, so it seems like it’s only a wireless connectivity problem for me.

    here’s what worked for me: i open up a terminal window, and simply start pinging my router. so i run the command “ping” (where is my router ip) and i just leave the terminal window open while i’m on the computer. when the computer goes to sleep, the pinging stops, and then it starts back up again when the computer wakes out of sleep mode. so far so good. my wireless connection has not slowed or gotten hung in over 5 days. (my wireless connection used to slow or just hang every 3-5 minutes.)

    so you guys can try that out and see if it works for you.

  46. Steve says:

    Hi all,

    I’m running Leapord 10.5.8.
    I have a D-link Dl-524.

    I bought this macbook pro in Aug 2009 and NEVER had any wireless connectivity problems until about a month ago I think (so it was good for a year). There must have been an update that screwed everything up. I started losing wireless connectivity every 5 minutes or so. I would have to turn airport off/on to get the connection back.

    What I did, about 8 hrs ago, was make the following changes in my router config:

    1. Changed from ‘mixed mode’ to ‘G mode’
    2. Changed from channel 6 (default, which three other people in the neighbourhood were using), to channel 11 (which only one other person is using)

    So far it’s been stable. I wonder what update messed this everything up…

  47. gusman says:

    found out tonight:

    1. deactivate “wake on lan” in “system settings > energy saver”
    2. sleep and wake up working like a charm!!!

    think some macbook variants do not like this new snow leopard feature.

    Please give me a poke, if it worked for you too!

    Good luck

  48. cybercap says:

    hi guys,

    same problem here with an airport card, when the computer gets back from sleep airport is no more detected, empty triangle. seems broken. i cannot even reactivate it, frozen.
    only solution is to reboot to get connexion again

    tried everything : manual ip, set airport first in connexion list, way

  49. vr says:

    I had the same issue, iPhone, 2 windows laptops and Wii were working without any issues but my newly purchased mini keeps dropping the wireless every now and then.. reconnect will give connection timed out message on the wireless connecting window..
    even after changing the channel on router, G only mode, etc didnt help..

    but mine got resolved when I moved my logitech wireless mouse receiver under the table while i had my mini on top of the table..

  50. annoyed says:

    I’m running 10.6.4 on a Macbook Pro. 3 weeks old maybe, and having the same problem, and it’s not going away. Tonight I’ll bring it to an apple store, but I’ve been speaking to the senior airport guys at applecare over the phone for days, and nothing they suggest works aside from ‘use an ethernet cable.’
    This is ridiculous. This computer costs an arm and a leg and I can barely use it.

    @Thomas, in case you haven’t found this elsewhere, the sleep problem is an easy fix. In network preferences, click the gear on the left side and click ‘set service order.’ Change airport to the first thing in the order and you’ll stop losing connection when the computer sleeps, though I can’t guarantee you won’t keep having random drops like I have.

  51. 4merhuey says:

    I just changed my DHCP auto settings to manual….that’s all I did and it appears to have fixed my intermittent connection issues…yay!! Thanks so much….so much happier now as I am a new Mac user and was getting very frustrated with my new MacBook Pro purchase. Hopefully, this fixes the problem for good.

  52. sixty12 says:

    I’m running 10.6.3 on a 13″ MBPro and Like a lot of you I’ve had the worst time with my connection lately. My partner also. The connection would only last 3 minutes then just die, even though the airport was was running fine. When I run network diagnostics the lights were all green, everything fine except for the internet light which glows an annoying orange.

    But the fix. This worked for me and I’ve had no hang ups at all.
    Under advance settings for your network, renew the lease as DCHP, just the standard one. If your IP is make your DNS the same. Ours was set to 192.168.1.*. I just deleted it and replaced with
    Bingo. I did a restart just to be sure, and its all good.

  53. HappyCamper says:

    Tried all steps as suggested in the article. Mac airport is no longer experiencing wireless dropouts. The problem seemed to be the wireless g option of the router. Set it to b, works no problem.

  54. Ash Nagar says:


    sub – trouble with airport showing no airport card installed in macbook 10.6.3

    i jus read through this as im currently having troubles with my airport…but i dint find or may b i jus didnt get if there was any solution to the problem im facing ….

    it shows that the airport card is not installed…that really weird…and plus when i restart my laptop i have to restart it 3 or more times to get the airport working again…and sill it works only for about 30 mins…the last ting i got to know was restarting the laptop while holding ‘Cmd+opt+P+R’ but its still the same.

    plzz….plzzz help…i cant find any solution anywhere


  55. Oceanborn says:

    Hi all, guess I’m part of a large happy Mac family with crappy internet stability.

    What I just don’t get is the fact that you get more than 250.000 google hits on this subject, but I’ve yet to see a single official statement from Apple….anywhere…

    Many thanks guys for the tips and advice on how to solve this… The struggle continues.

  56. thomax says:

    I had problems similar to the one you describe. Both an iMac and a MacBookPro running 10.6.4. Neither could get an IP address from my D-Link DIR-655.

    What finally solved my problem, was changing the channel from 6 to 9. I guess since 6 is default, chances are that wireless routers in the neighborhood will interfere and somehow mess things up.

    Strange thing, though, because both my iPhone, iPod and Nokia phone did get an IP address when the router was running on channel 6.

  57. paikan07 says:

    It drives me crazy: I just updated to 10.6.4 and it’s actually worst than before…. It loses the signal every 4-5 minutes…

    Tonight I’ll format and downgrade to the old Leopard… I’m fed up

    I feel like in the old times with Win95 and the recurring format c:
    …Thanks stevie..

    • Manish says:

      paikan07, I would highly recommend checking out our guide to troubleshooting Mac wireless problems. More often than not there is a solution to problems like these, particularly with dropped connections.

      • paikan07 says:

        Hi there

        Thanks for the tip: I actually already went through it and did all the macbook-tips without success. I didn’t try the router-tips as I’m most of the time on routers where I’m not the admin :-/

        I was hoping to get a solution I could apply on my own computer. It doesn’t seem to exist: I’ll probably install Leopard.

        Thanks again for the help


  58. We think we have finally licked our Mac mini wifi problem:

    We think ours is temperature related. The experiments we did with FanControl was pretty conclusive. Your mileage may vary.

  59. Andrew says:

    Mac OS X is just useless for reliable wireless connections.
    I have had three Mac’s Imac, Macbook Pro and a Mac Mini.

    On all of them, in the middle of a browsing session just stop responding and eventually time out. To fix it you need to turn airport on and off.

    On the same machines running any Microsoft OS using Bootcamp, the wireless connection NEVER drops.

    I have installed every update and firmware upgrade going, the ‘solutions’ regarding changing settings on the router are all poor fixes, the OS should get fixed.

    I’m slowly going back to using Windows (7 is immense in all aspects), I only got Mac because Vista was so crap and I refused to pay for XP 64-bit.

    Mac tech support sucks ass and there is no equivalent to technet’s glorious knowledgebase.

    Bye Bye Mac, waste of money and waste of time!

  60. corvin says:

    How weird! A simple device that is supposed to just work actually needs one to have a degree in computers in order to use it. Typical Mac. Design with white simple lines only to hide the most complicated system ever. I needed mine only to play music on the loudspeakers in the other corner of the room. Guess what: impossible. (It would never find the device except when I did not need it). They should just pull it out of the market. As someone has put it: with Mac it is 90% marketing and only 10% the product.

  61. Thomas Lee says:

    As an update, after I rebooted the router, I went for a bit less than 5 hours yesterday without any disconnects before I had to go. Rebooting the router appears to have fixed things — probably only temporarily, though. At least I’m back up and running and know what to do if this happens again. But signs really point to something wrong with the router — I consider a firmware bug the most likely problem. And what a bug — one that only happens after the device has been online for several days, and then it only affects certain Apple devices that connect via wi-fi, and even then it’s intermittent. That doesn’t sound fun to diagnose.

  62. Thomas Lee says:

    I have a MacBook Pro (“MacBookPro5,4”) running Snow Leopard, and it was working fine with the Netgear wireless router that I used to use. But I recently switched to AT&T UVerse and now have the 2Wire router that they use. The MacBook was working fine with it at first, but then there was a software update (it may have been the April 12 update), and ever since then it’s been randomly disconnecting every 10-30 minutes. The console message every time is:

    AirPort: Link Down on en1. Reason 4 (Disassociated due to inactivity).

    It doesn’t matter how active or inactive my network usage is, though.

    I’ve read several threads online about this. One of them suggested that I switch from using WEP to WPA security. Now, I was using WEP because my Nintendo DS can’t use anything more sophisticated, but if it’s that or my laptop, I can live with it, so I switched to the router’s WPA/WPA2 mode. But this didn’t solve the problem; the disconnects continued.

    Then I guessed that it might be interference from something else — I was using channel 1, so I changed the router to channel 11 instead. This didn’t solve the problem either; it has disconnected twice while I’ve been typing this.

    All I can say is that I’m getting really tired of this. And it seemed to work fine before Apple put out an update that supposedly improved wireless performance. I do have AppleCare support, so I will probably be calling them, and if that reveals anything useful, I’ll post about it.

    • Thomas Lee says:

      Replying to my own post here — I tried the /etc/sysctl.conf change suggested by Will Efiong above, but that had no effect. I also tried changing the router from 802.11b/g to just 802.11b … no change. I set it to 802.11g too … no change.

      Then I read something on the AT&T forum …

      Lots of suggestions that I’ve seen before and tried to no avail, but I tried rebooting the router, and so far no disconnects (knock on wood). It’s possible that my problems weren’t due to an Apple software update at all, but due to the fact that the router starts to act funky 5 days or so after it’s rebooted, which, if true, would explain why my MacBook worked fine with it for the first few days.

      I haven’t had any disconnects while writing this (and I even got a phone call in the middle of it), so maybe that’s a good sign.

  63. Lazerrr says:

    There is no possible way that Apple would release a ‘corrupted’ updated on the public, they go through massive testing. Can it be buggy? Sure of course it could be. 10.6.3 actually resolves a fair amount of Airport problems, and if I recall correctly there was a post on this site a few days ago with a simple fix if it caused any additional problems. I don’t know who you spoke to on the phone but it’s highly unlikely it was any official Apple rep.

    • Rosemary says:

      Hi I have an i7 and even though my wireless works (ie time capsule connects wirelessly) and internet works fine with my Netgear wireless router, I have no airport icon or airport listed in the network list. I have spent numerous hours on the phone with apple and actually I do not think I ever had the icon (i7 only 6 weeks old). I now have to post it 2000km away for an apple repairer to fix it. Any advice would be appreciated. I have reinstalled op system did not work, I started up with the os dvd and top right hand corner had the flag but no airport icon so senior advisor says the hardware is bad. However did a hardware check and all checked ok. Airport shows up in system profiler as being there??? Confused.

  64. Aanand KTM says:

    Hi guys! I called Apple and according to them, the OS 10.6.3 update is corrupted and new update will be available in the next quarter. Well, I did have the same stupid issue, Airport keeps on dropping. What I did was I erased everything and reinstalled the OS. Do not update the latest Combo yet. Ever since then, i have no airport issues! Cheers!

    Aanand KTM

  65. Keith McBeath says:

    Just started to have wireless issues yesterday running 10.6.2. The problem was, firstly I booted my macbookpro and wireless connectivity started fine as usual. It then dropped the connection. On polling the network I can see no wireless connections at all. I can always see my own router and usually some neighbours ones too. Tried the usual airport on/off but still nothing. Updated to 10.6.3 this morning and it started working for about 5 minutes then dropped again. I have tried most of the fixes above including terminal fix, SMC, renewing network connection and location. I have not changed DHCP to manual as I am getting the same issue at home and t work. Could this be hardware related? Any help would be much appreciated.

  66. […] that have had various problems with Snow Leopard and wireless connectivity. I’m hoping these will help fix the dropped wireless connection problems in Snow Leopard […]

  67. […] shortcut to retrieve closed tabsInstant Handbrake – A quick and easy DVD to iPod conversion utility How I fixed my dropping wireless Airport connection problem in Snow Leopardairport – the Little Known Command Line Wireless UtilityWhat happens in the Mac OS X boot […]

  68. Will Effiong says:

    You all are not alone. My company bought a huge amount of Mac Pros & MacBook Pros and realized the network intermittent issue while testing the image. The only workaround was to setup static IP. This does the trick but was a pain because we have to worry about managing static IP.

    I have been working with Apple on this for about 4 months and they’ve finally discovered whats causing the problem. Below is a workaround. According to Apple, a permanent fix will be on the next software update release.

    1. Open terminal
    2. sudo vi /etc/sysctl.conf
    3. Insert “”
    4. Reboot computer

    You can check if the setting holds by running this command ->> sudo sysctl Your output should be 0.

    Hope this does it for you!

  69. mayank says:

    i am having a problem with my macbook airport. it cannot open most of the sites, the reason always shown is “you are not connected to the internet”, which is not the same when i connect it through ethernet. also in network setings option the ISP, INTERNET & SERVER lights appear red, which was not the same, when there was no such problem. i m facing difficulty. plz help as soon as possible.

  70. slatapolsky says:

    I should have updated this earlier, but I went ahead and upgraded from our old Netgear router (G) to a new wireless-N Netgear router (WNR2000). I’ve had it for almost 2 months, and the connection hasn’t dropped even once. So, the problem is solved. The Apple Care folks actually recommended Netgear. They said they’ve seen the most problems with Linksys, if that helps.

  71. K Joseph says:

    I got the airport card changed at the apple store through apple care. all problems fixed

  72. Pedro I. says:

    It worked for me after changing channel number, but I can’t explain it: other devices worked fine with old channel but Imac doesn’t. Now all devices connect ok.

    Thanks a lot …

  73. ian says:

    hi guys, wonder if anyone can help,
    i have a different problem in that my macpro doesn’t connect to any website…i can access the router page which tells me its connected but when i type in an url it just says ”
    now i also have a wired windows laptop and often connect wirelessly via my phone, none of these devices are able to connect,

    i’ve already reset the router but to no avail.

    Anybody have any ideas of what the problem might be and how to resolve.

    Most grateful for any info imparted!!!

  74. Roch says:

    My Mac Mini dropped the connection after a few minutes when connected to a D-Link DI-524 Wireless Lan box. I resolved the issue by limiting the WLAN speed on the D-Link box from 54MBits/s to 11MBits/s to accomodate for the slowest device on the net (an old PC). The issue therefore seems to be related to the Mixed mode operaiotn of the D-Link Box.

  75. Slatapolsky says:


    Thanks for the info.

    Above, the author of the article says, “As long as you have the subnet mask, router, and DNS settings configured manually as well, this shouldn’t be a problem.” What addresses should I enter for those? Do I do the same thing as Bromana mentioned (i.e., just change the last number to a higher number)? Or do I enter the same numbers as the ones that appear now, before changing to manual? Also, currently, the address for the “router” and the “DNS server” are identical. Should it always be that way?

    Thanks again.

  76. Bromana says:


    you want to pick a manual DHCP address that is in line with what your router assigns, but somewhere outside the likely automatic range. so if your router assigns .2 .3 .4 .5 etc, pick something higher like that way it won’t conflict

  77. Slatapolsky says:

    I’m a total novice to this kind of thing, so bear with me. So, I know where to the DHCP to manual, but what do I set it *to*? Just make up random numbers? I didn’t think that was the way IP addresses worked. I could be wrong.

    If anyone could help, that would be great.

  78. Austin says:

    you COULD.. smash the computer…?

  79. FCWC says:

    So it has something to do with Security and packets. I borrowed a Linksys WRT54GS wireless. I have it set it up as a switch. Mac is running just fine now.
    I set it to G only
    WPA Personal
    7200 second interval
    Even though I could set the DLink to WPA. I didn’t see anywhere I could set the interval time.
    So the ONLY thing different is the interval time on the Security.
    When I have more time I will reset it to something like 1 minute and test to see it happens again.

  80. enrekan says:

    Some more Wireless connection troubleshooting tips:

    * Delete the and files from ~/Library/Preferences
    * Trash your home directories SystemConfiguration folder and reboot – Remove all files within ~/Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/ and reboot your machine. Make sure you delete the proper folder, this is in your home directory.

    it’s worked for my macbook pro 2.33 Ghz. TQ so much..

    • mamatech says:

      Im running 10.5.8 I couldnt find or

      However just by TRASHING. Home directories SystemConfiguration folder and reboot – Remove all files within ~/Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/ and reboot your machine. Make sure you delete the proper folder, this is in your home directory.

      Then restarting, opening network preferences & hey presto it worked

      Much appreciated enrekan.

  81. FCWC says:

    So far nothing I have tried (all the above) fixes my Macbook.
    It doesn’t just loose connectivity to the router. It also boots the router offline and I have to reset router (power off/on).

    Router – Netgear WGR614v3
    (with latest firmware as of 12/31/09)
    Macbook OS X 10.5.8 1.83 Core 2 Duo.
    (latest updates as of 12/31/09)

    Problems only exist when using Airport.
    So far the only thing that seems to make a difference is the throughput. Though I have changed MTU numerous times. It doesn’t make a difference. As soon as I look at something like Netflix’s page or other page with decent amount of info. That is it.

    This makes this laptop useless.

  82. Almea says:

    Disabling G mode and setting DNS manually have proved successful so far! Previously attempted fix only lasted for 1 session. Thanks!

  83. […] of these tips are from our fixing dropped wireless airport connection problems in Snow Leopard […]

  84. […] You have probably seen this already, but I post it just in case. It does make mention of disabling the "G" side of […]

  85. Marcello says:

    Hi Faiq,

    does your suggestion only applies to MacBook? I have this slopply wireless connection with my iMac (please note my MS Window Vista laptop works fine). Thanks a lot.
    (PS – I’ve tried almost everything suggested in this blog and nothing seems to work)

  86. osinh says:

    My problem is when I boot to 64bit in Snow Leopard, my airport card become missing (airport card not installed). But in system profiler the airport card is detected. When i boot into 32bit Snow leopard, it works fine. Any suggestion?

  87. Faiq Elahi says:

    Hello, I have found the final fix for this problem. This fix is the only one that worked and gave me a working connection all the time.

    Initial Problem:
    Macbook Pro was dropping connection of wireless networks after waking up from sleep mode. It would also drop the connection without notice. Airport bars keep going up and down.

    What you need:
    Macbook Pro

    1. Install all updates mentioned to usb stick.
    2. Boot-Up Mac to desktop.
    3. Open USB key folder
    4. Run 10.6.2 Snow Leopard Update
    5. Computer will restart to complete installation
    6. After Mac boots up to desktop, open usb folder
    7. Install Airport Client Update
    8. Computer will restart to complete installation

    Hope this helps. I am very new to Apple and upgraded without a second thought. I paid a repair centre $20 to resolve this issue. The guy was nice and wrote me up a document explaining everything. Please DIY this problem to save money. Unless, you have applecare Its funny how the apple geniuses don’t know how to resolve the issue and replace your macbook.

  88. Jason says:

    I had the same disconnect issue with 10.6.2 on MBP5,1 when using wireless N that started after I installed a new Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH. I fixed the disconnect issue by disabling encryption rekey on the router. The rekey interval was set to 60 minutes, so I set to 0 to disable. I’ve gone from losing the wireless connection every 60 minutes to having a steady connection for over 24 hours and the connection is very fast and solid. FWIW, my former router was a D-Link DGL-4500 with encryption disabled and the disconnect never occurred.

  89. Chris says:


    I’ve got the same problem running 10.6 on my MBP. Even Windows 7 on the same machine is blazing fast with no issues on the same wireless network. However, I’m limited with the troubleshooting that I can do because the router is not mine (landlord’s). Vista and Ubuntu on my Lenovo laptop also have no issues with the connection.

  90. Winni says:

    Just for the record, none of the tips solved the wireless issues of my Mac Pro1,1. It doesn’t matter if I use WPA, WPA2 or no encryption at all. It also does not make a difference whether I use DHCP or a fixed IP address. No matter what I do, after a few minutes my wireless connection becomes unresponsive and my only option is to turn off Airport and turn it back on. On bad days, I have to do this every five minutes or so.

    Also for the record, neither Ubuntu 9.10 64-Bit nor Windows Vista Ultimate 64-Bit produce this sort of problem on said Mac Pro. And both Ubuntu and Vista have much faster network stacks in general than OS X.

  91. Christine says:

    Thank you so much!! The switching to manual did the trick for me! Finally! :)

  92. I have a netgear wireless-N router and was actually having the same issues after upgrading to snow leopard. After searching through several sites, and wondering if perhaps it was the old “interference robustness” thing kicking in again, I found this article. The first step did the trick for me.

    Currently, I have my router reserve addresses for the different computers here in my apartment, but even before I did this, I still had the issue. As soon as I had my laptop set the ip address manually, it worked perfectly, never dropped again.

    Thanks for the tips!

  93. J Saper says:

    Thank you for posting this. Same deal, since switching to SL random dropping of wi-fi connection – affecting internet, airtunes and wireless printing. Like Thomas, running through network diagnostics would re-start the connection, but not solve the problem. Switched ‘g only’ and channel from automatic. Seems to have ‘fixed’ the issue for me. Thanks again!

  94. goodnessme says:

    Finally fixed this – set router to wireless “n” only mode rather than combined a/b/g/n, and changed from WPA to WPA2 (PSK) – all working fine now. This is Snow Leopard’s fault not the router’s fault (upgrade to SL is the only thing that has changed) but twiddling with router settings worked in this case. Apple still need to fix it as your MacBook should be able to access whatever router configuration it comes across (as was the case for my previous Leopard system)

    I seem to remember I had trouble with wifi with Leopard too at some point in the past… seems to take them a while to work through it.

  95. studentrights says:

    Disable “Back-To-My-Mac”.

  96. […] I love Snow Leopard and the only issues I’ve had are problems with Snow Leopard wireless […]

  97. Bob Dea says:

    I tried all the above and my Mac Mini still had problems connecting. I found this support article. “AirPort: Potential sources of interference” – If an AirPort network is out of range or often interrupted, it may be due to interference. I moved my Mac Mini about 4 feet from our home cordless phone and it solved my connection problems. Looks like devices that operate in the 2.4 GHz or 5 Ghz can cause connection problems.

  98. Thomas says:

    I’ve tried just about all these ideas. I have found that running the network diagnostics (from the Network system utility) will force my MacBook back onto my wireless without having to reboot the router or change any router settings. It’s not a router issue, it’s an OS issue. It happens when the Mac goes to sleep. I hope Apple fixes it soon, because it drives me crazy (crazier??)!

  99. Maggie says:

    Can’t believe it, thought the resetting and changing the channel had fixed my problem but it seems every time I close the lid on my Macbook I loose my wireless signal and I have to keep resetting the router. I think I’ve done everything suggested above and it still not solving my problem so if there are any more suggestions out there I’d be really grateful to have them.

  100. Maggie says:

    Maurice, you’re a gem. I just changed the channel and it worked!! Have been trying to get this working for hours. Thanks

  101. Maurice says:

    Hi, I do not know if this is a solution for everyone. My problem was that my wireless connection did not show up in the Airport-menu in Snow Leopard. I changed the wireless channel number (e.g. from 11 to 6) in my router settings and this worked! I really do not know how this worked, I tried several solutions which were suggested at forums but only the channel number change did work. Maybe this is a solution for some..

  102. Maggie says:

    I seem to be having the same problems, except bear with me I’m not as fluent with the jargon or technology that some of you guys use. I now have Snow Leopard and my wireless was doing the same going off and on for seemingly no reason. I have done as much as I can switching things off and on and trying the network assistant etc. I also reset the router (NetgearDG834G) but I now have no signal and my router is not recognised in networks available, in fact there aren’t any and there is usually 2 or 3. In Sys Pref/network/airport/TCPIP there is no information and I don’t know what to put in it if I were to add it manually. Sorry to be a wuss but would really appreciate it if anyone could help. I have been standing in my utility room next to my router trying to sort this nearly all day.

  103. Michael says:

    @Lisa Neff

    Try manually assigning an IP address and setting your own DNS servers, it sounds like your Airport router is trying to dish the same IP to multiple machines and that causes a conflict. Mine has been doing the exact same thing since upgrading to Snow Leopard and it is really frustrating but I went to a manually assigned IP (I picked an obscure number so not to conflict, highly recommended) and I have been able to maintain connections as a result. I think Snow Leopard has some serious DNS & Wireless driver problems which makes it look like it’s a router, but my Windows PC’s connect just fine it is only Mac OS X Snow Leopard that have the crappy connections

  104. Lisa Neff says:

    I too am still having difficulties. After about five hours of talking to cable technicians and an hour with Apple help it is still unresolved. A “fix” seems to work for as little as a minute or as long as an hour, but as soon as another computer user in the house gets on the router my Internet connection goes down. Never a problem before. I get two basic error messages: Airport self-assigned an IP address. Another device is using this IP address.

  105. Jaydu says:

    Adding a New location and deleting the and files from ~/Library/Preferences worked for me! Thank you so much, I was really regretting the update.

  106. Snow Reotard says:

    I had DNS problems too with Snow Leopard and this is what I used to fix it:

    sudo networksetup -setdnsservers “AirPort”

    with the IP being my router, I got the idea from this site

  107. Jay Robinson says:

    Mac OS X 10.6.1 seemed to solve this problem for me.

  108. jshray says:

    I’ve been having this problem ever since I got my new Mac Book Pro with Leopard. I was hoping upgrading to Snow Leopard would solve the problem, but after reading this I see that it will not and may make it worse. Did anyone on here have connectivity issues before you upgraded to Snow Leopard?

  109. Zack Stuck says:

    Same problem…Anyone found any real way to solve the issue yet? I installed 10.6 yesterday around 3pm with no real issues, and right around 2am (3 hours into using it after the install) I closed the lid for just a few minutes, and immediately upon opening it up the airport would not reconnect…This too, is why I came here, hoping to find answers, or directions to answers…

    After work, I went back to my room eager to see if maybe it were just a fluke. Sure enough, there was no signal strength to any nearby network source – including my TC not but 15 feet from me.

    I then continued to run through settings and diagnostics, hoping maybe there were some setting somewhere. I opened up Network Assistant and saw no IP address assigned, then tried the Network prefs, and then finally the Airport Assistant. There, I was finally able to connect (after a bazillion other attempts and ways) the second after I selected my TC in the Airport Assistant. I then checked the Network Ass. and watched the status change on my IP address and other info instantly…

    Not sure what is going on, but I’m hoping this will be solved soon…I share merely to help us come to a resolution a faster. Thanks All!

  110. John Karabaic says:

    I had a different version of a wireless problem: I had to manually configure my IP address because my MBP would not be able to wireless dhcp an address. That is, it would always get the self-assigned IP address. My wired ethernet worked fine, and my wife’s earlier-model MBP works fine on wireless and wired. I have a setup where my dhcp is assigned from a local server, not from the wireless access point.

    I was able to fix it by going into the local server and clearing the MBP’s previously acquired address from the cache. Now everything seems to work fine.

    Not sure why this worked; wish I had some verbose logging turned on.

  111. felix says:

    deleting the…. files worked for me. thanks!

  112. imarcw says:

    Of all the steps here, the clincher for me was deleting internetconfigprivs and restarting (I didn’t find the other pref file mentioned). Glad I found this site!

  113. Erich Hanel says:

    Same thing with the drops here either:

    1. Prolonged connection with no usage, then start up again get a few pages worth then drop.
    2. Any time VMWare is opened up, which also uses the airport.

    Enough to make you have early upgrade regret

  114. Jonathan Machen says:

    I have the same intermittent connection via wireless issues after upgrading to snow leopard. I have tried all the above, plus I spent several hours yesterday with Apple reps and reps for quest, through whom I have a Motorola dsl router.

    My macbook pro still drops the wireless connection – occasionally in the network pane of system prefs I will see the green wireless connection signal switch to orange, and a brief message saying ‘ip address could not be found’.

    I hope the engineers look into this! currently tethered to an ethernet cable!

  115. David Mendez says:


    If you are connecting to the Airport Express router OK and maintaining a connection to it, but unable to access the internet, try checking your DNS settings.

    You can manually set DNS servers to use in System Preferences -> Networks -> Airport -> Advanced -> DNS

    From there you can put in your routers IP address, and either use the DNS servers provided by your ISP, or something like OpenDNS (or all of the above in whatever order preference you want)

    hope that helps!

    • Rob V. says:


      Thanks for posting this. I connect to the internet using Airport wireless to a Verizon DSL Modem/Router (Westell modem). When I drop the connection, I go into Network Preferences, Assist Me, Diagnostics, and the graphic displays that the ISP, Internet, and Server connections have failed. If I re-select my wireless network, the connection is restored until the next failure and then I have to repeat the process. Is this similar to what you were experiencing? How do I identify the DNS settings for my ISP? Thanks so much for your help.

  116. Rik says:

    I am having wireless issues as well, but mine sound different. I have an Airport Express at home and at work, and my Snow Leopard MacBook can connect to both, but cannot get to the Internet on either. My iPhone, Leopard, and Tiger Macs can all still see and converse with the Internet through the same home network. AND, the Snow Leopard MacBook could see the Internet right after the initial installation; it was only after I installed the optional printer drivers that it stopped working. Any thoughts?

  117. Mark H says:

    Same exact problem here. Upgraded to Snow Leapard on my wifes laptop and suddenly Im being told that I “broke it” as it would no longer connect to the Internet via airport. The clue came up when it reported an IP address conflict (which didn’t exist). DHCP was unable to obtain a lease even though I was able to connect to the router. I put in a manual IP and presto, my wife is giving me accolades for “fixing it.” A pretty major problem that Apple should be aware about.

  118. Michael says:

    I’m having the same problem after upgrading to Snow Leopard. I have tried all the steps listed above but no success with maintaining a connection after boot or waking up my Mac Book Pro. I did find one step that will consistently reestablishes my wireless connection. If I log in to my router and click save (without making any changes) it will reconnect every time.

  119. jimbo says:

    Thanks a bundle, seems to have resolved my Airport MacBookPro bouncing like a yoyo all day, after upgrading to Snow Leopard yesterday. Didn’t need the ‘wireless G’ step, looks like the switch to manual was the killer. I was on the same wavelength just before I found your post and already changed Router channels in my diagnostics (doesn’t help that I have a new neighbour wanting to share the same channel!!)

    Anyway looks stable (and stronger signal than 10.5) …for now;-)

  120. Adam Hall says:

    Your not alone, same problem here. But mine is still dropping connections after about an hour or two. Only with Snow Leopard, Leopard (10.5) works fine.

  121. Danny says:

    I saw this happen too, but with 802.11n networks. Somebody upgraded to 10.6 on his MacBook Pro, and could no longer resolve the SSID of his 5 GHz band, but could still see the 2.4 GHz band just fine. So he reverted to 10.5.7, and there was no longer a problem. Then when he applied the 10.5.8 update, the same thing happened. The 5 GHz band disappeared. His Mac Mini, which was in the same room, had no similar problem. That was particularly odd, since the Mac Mini is much like a rearranged MacBook Pro without the display. The solution? Eh, we didn’t find a good one.

    • Jake says:

      I found a solution to wireless connection problems. I backed up everything on time machine, then reinstalled the operating system with the disks that came with my macbook. When it asks you what you want to keep from your time machine, reinstall everything except network connections you previously had. When its finished, set up your internet connection again, run update on everything (remember all your previous updates are probably gone).
      Worked perfectly for me, not a single hitch since then ( 2 months or so so far)

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