macOS Wifi Woes

I spent a large part of the past year being annoyed at the Wifi connection of my MacBook: Every once in a while it would clearly drop all traffic for a few seconds while reporting that everything is fine. This is particular annoying when being on audio or video calls. It occurred once or twice a week but I couldn’t reproduce it at will. So I set out on a pretty long troubleshooting journey that got me a few times on the brink of reinstalling macOS from a clean slate. In the end the fix turned out pretty straightforward and by writing this post, I hope to remember it the next time macOS has such hiccups.

The Solution

  1. Open Network Preferences
  2. Create a new Network Location and switch to it
  3. Reboot
  4. Connect to your network
  5. Profit!

Having done this a few month ago I never ran into the wifi drops ever since. 🤞

Other failed attempts

As mentioned, it was a pretty long time I endured this situation, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying to fix it. Here a list of things that didn’t work for me:

  • NVRAM / PRAM reset: All time classic when dealing with issues on a Mac, sadly didn’t bring any salvation this time.
  • Changing Wifi Routers: Both at work and at home I was connected to Ubiquiti access points, so I assumed that maybe there is something afoul with this connection. But nobody else at work was affected, nor did changing back to an older Wifi-Router at home help.(And yes, I even fiddled with the MTU sizes, which brought back memories from LAN parties in the early 2000s)
  • Removing the plist files: Nope, no improvements either.
  • Running Wifi Diagnostics: Even when I was lucky enough to catch a dropout when running the wireless diagnostics, it wouldn’t list any issues.