How to Force Open a Public Wi-Fi Login Page (Captive Portal)
You may have visited somewhere in the past where in order to access the local internet hotspot, you connect to the router, and then a captive network portal page comes up where you typically agree to have access, or enter a room number, or something similar. But what if you want to join a local wi-fi network but the captive portal page is not showing up?
We’ll walk through some tips so that you can force open a captive portal wi-fi login page again, so that you can sign in and get access to the internet on your computer or device.
These tips apply for basically every device, whether it’s a Mac, iPhone, iPad, or even Windows PC.
Force Open a Captive Portal on Mac, iPhone, iPad
The simplest way to forcibly reopen a captive portal wi-fi login page is to go to the following URL in Safari on your device:
This should immediately find the captive portal and force it to open.
Thanks to our helpful readers who left this great tip in the comments!
If that doesn’t work, try the tips below as well.
1: Turn off and on Wi-Fi
Sometimes simply turning off wi-fi, waiting a few seconds, then turning it back on again is enough to trigger the captive portal page to show up again.
After you turn the wifi off and on on your device or computer, try re-joining the network, then wait a moment for the captive portal page to reappear.
2: Reboot the computer or device
If you turned off wi-fi and back on again, and attempted to rejoin the network to no success, try restarting your computer or device.
You can do this by simply turning your iPhone or iPad off and back on again, or restart your Mac (or Windows PC).
3: Clear DNS Cache
Open the Terminal application and enter the following command, then hit return:
sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder
This will flush the DNS cache on the Mac.
Wait a moment, then try to join the wi-fi network again, and the captive portal page should show up.
4: Mac users: Create a New Network Location
Mac users can typically get any captive portal page to load again by creating a new Network Location. The process to create a Network Location in MacOS Ventura is different from older MacOS versions, but here’s what you’ll need to do for the various Mac operating systems:
MacOS Ventura and newer: Apple menu > System Settings > Network > click “…” > Choose “Locations” > Edit Locations > click + to add a Network Location > Give the Network Location and name, and try reconnecting to the wi-fi to see the captive portal page
MacOS Monterey and older: Apple menu > System Preferences > Network > Locations > Edit Location > click + to add location > Name the network location > connect to wi-fi again to see the captive portal page
5: Mac users: Did the captive portal page open but get lost?
If you’re on a Mac and have a bunch of open windows and apps, the captive portal login page may have opened but become lost in the sea of open windows.
Turning to Mission Control to see all currently open windows on a Mac by swiping up on the trackpad with three or four fingers. This shows every window currently open on the Mac as a thumbnail, where you may be able to find the captive portal login page on the display.
Did the above tips work for you to relaunch the captive portal page on your device? Did you find another solution to get logged into a public wi-fi network, coffee shop wi-fi, or hotel wireless network? Let us know what worked for you in the comments below.