Troubleshooting OS X 10.10.1 Wi-Fi Connection Issues
A number of Mac users who were experiencing wi-fi connection difficulties with OS X Yosemite have found the problems continue to persist after updating to OS X 10.10.1. The reasons for this are not entirely clear given that OS X 10.10.1 has aimed specifically at improving wi-fi reliability, but some of the traditional troubleshooting steps still apply and may help alleviate the issue.
If you’re experiencing a dropping wi-fi connection in OS X Yosemite after updating to 10.10.1, we recommend following the steps outlined below, as well as wi-fi troubleshooting tricks detailed here. Let us know in the comments what solution has worked for you.
Wait, are you sure the Mac updated to 10.10.1?
Are you positive you updated to OS X 10.10.1, and rebooted to complete the installation? The easiest way to check if you’re actively on OS X 10.10.1 is to go to the Apple menu and choose “About This Mac” to discover the version of OS X you’re running. If it’s not shown as OS X 10.10.1, you need to download and install the update from the Mac App Store, and reboot the Mac as instructed to complete the process.
This may sound absurd and I’m sure it will offend a few advanced users, but the complete update process is fairly easy to overlook, especially if you’re in the habit of dismissing or putting off notifications. I’ve seen this apply to at least one user, and their Mac never actually installed the update as a result. If there’s a doubt, or you’re troubleshooting someone else’s Mac, just double-check the system version and update if necessary so you can rule this out.
Create a New Network Location & Reboot
A few users have discovered that simply creating a new network location after updating to OS X 10.10.1 has been sufficient to resolve their wi-fi troubles post-update. Do this even if you created a new network location in previous troubleshooting efforts. It’s straightforward and easy to do:
- Go to the Apple menu and choose “System Preferences”, then select the “Network” panel
- Choose the “Locations” menu near the top of the network panel, and select “Edit Locations” from the list
- Click on the [+] plus button, provide a new network location name like “OS X 10.10.1 Wi-Fi” then click Done to create the network location
- Next to “Network Name”, select the desired wi-fi network and join it as usual
- Click on “Apply” and close out of System Preferences
- Reboot the Mac
You can also try using the custom DNS method mentioned in our prior Yosemite wi-fi troubleshooting guide. Setting manual DNS is particularly effective if your wi-fi difficulties are manifested as abnormally slow DNS lookups in web browsers, domain name resolution failures, especially while something like ping continues to work to reach an outside IP address.
Perform an SMC Reset on the Mac
Resetting the SMC has been noted to work for some users who experience wi-fi issues. Other than dumping power specific settings (like time to sleep, etc), there is little harm to trying this as a troubleshooting step.
You’ll need to shut down your Mac to do this, if you’re unfamiliar with the process you can follow Apple’s guide here or use our own walkthrough on resetting Mac SMC, which varies per Mac model. Because the Mac will be turned off, you’d likely want to load the appropriate instructions onto another computer or your iPhone so that you can be sure you properly reset the SMC.
Wi-Fi Connection Drops from Inactivity? Try a Simple ping Keepalive
Some users have discovered Console.app reports their wireless connection has dropped due to inactivity. This is obviously not normal behavior, but a ping workaround that has been effective for prior versions of OS X can still work here too. Essentially you will leave ping running in the background as it pings your own wireless router (you can also ping an outside world IP, but note that many online services are almost certain to eventually reject your pings).
Open Terminal (found in /Applicaitons/Utilities/) and use the following syntax:
ping -i 5 -n IP
Most home router IP addresses are 192.168.0.1 and 192.168.1.1, you can double-check yours through the Network preference panel. Here’s an example of what such a ping command would look like in the former IP:
ping -i 5 -n 192.168.0.1
Hit return and leave Terminal open, then try to use the internet as normal. If you discover that your wi-fi connection no longer drops, you can make a very simple keepalive bash script using this guide that will run in the background and maintain the ping. Otherwise, just leave the Terminal window open with ping running. You will need to repeat this process every time you reboot the Mac.
Wi-Fi Works But Has Slow Speeds with Bluetooth? Use 5GHz WLAN
Some users continue to experience dramatically slow and erratic speeds when their Mac is using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Typically these users are on a 2.4GHz wireless connection, which can interfere with Bluetooth. A workaround is to join a 5GHz network, or to change the broadcast of the connected Wi-Fi router to 5GHz. This is going to vary per router, thus there is no reasonable way to walk through this for all users in all scenarios.
Another option is to disable Bluetooth, but that is hardly appropriate for users who have a wireless Apple keyboard, Trackpad, Magic Mouse, or other Bluetooth hardware.
Further Troubleshooting & Help
- Follow additional wi-fi troubleshooting steps outlined here if you haven’t done so already
- Backup and clean install OS X Yosemite and start from scratch
- Contact official Apple Support directly or visit a Genius Bar
There is no single specific cause found or resolution that works for all users, which makes this a challenging problem to address. Many reports left by users in our comments, MacRumors Forums, and on Apple Discussion boards indicate the randomness of the issue persisting after updating to the latest version of OS X available.
Whether you have found a solution for your wi-fi woes or not, let us know your experience in the comments!