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Old Jan 22, 2013, 03:53 PM   #1
tekno
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Why don't Macs join wifi networks when they find them?

I have a MiFi dongle. If my MacBook Air is already running when I turn on my dongle, the Mac won't connect to it. To make it connect I need to manually select it from the list of available networks. Why is this?!

My phone and my tablet both connect to it when it appears, but my Mac needs me to hold its hand.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 03:55 PM   #2
GGJstudios
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I have a MiFi dongle. If my MacBook Air is already running when I turn on my dongle, the Mac won't connect to it. To make it connect I need to manually select it from the list of available networks. Why is this?!

My phone and my tablet both connect to it when it appears, but my Mac needs me to hold its hand.
If you add the network to your list of preferred networks, it should automatically join whenever it detects the network.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 03:55 PM   #3
Intell
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It will automatically connect. However in your case you may have set it to not automatically join that network.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 03:57 PM   #4
Nermal
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This annoys me too; I set my iPhone to tether but need to manually select the network from the list because it doesn't automatically connect despite being a preferred network. It only auto-connects when waking from sleep.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 03:58 PM   #5
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This annoys me too; I set my iPhone to tether but need to manually select the network from the list because it doesn't automatically connect despite being a preferred network. It only auto-connects when waking from sleep.
Have you have checked "Ask to join new networks" in System Preferences > Network > AirPort ?
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 04:00 PM   #6
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I'm not sure; I'm at work right now so I can't check at the moment. I'm mostly likely using whatever the default is.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 04:06 PM   #7
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I'm not sure; I'm at work right now so I can't check at the moment. I'm mostly likely using whatever the default is.
After checking that, you might try removing the network from your preferred list, then re-adding it, if you haven't tried that already.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 04:22 PM   #8
tekno
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If you add the network to your list of preferred networks, it should automatically join whenever it detects the network.
I've just been trying it with my home network (Airport Extreme) and the same is true:

If the network is available when my MacBook Air wakes/boots, it'll see and join any known networks.

But if the network only becomes available after the Mac has woken, it'll see it but won't join it. When opening the list of available networks, I can see both my networks (dongle and Airport) but it won't join either of them until I select it.

Both my Samsung S3 and Nexus 7 will see and then join, without my input. Why can't the Mac do the same?!
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 04:25 PM   #9
Intell
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My Mac's don't need to be told to join the network. They automatically do it. Your setup might be configured differently or your version of Mac OS X has a few bugs left in it.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 04:54 PM   #10
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After checking that, you might try removing the network from your preferred list, then re-adding it, if you haven't tried that already.
It was the same behaviour on my old machine too so I don't think that's the issue (although I'll try it).
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 07:18 PM   #11
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Sorry I didn't reply sooner; I forgot all about this!

I have "Ask to join new networks" and "Remember networks this computer has joined" turned on and have removed and re-added my hotspot to the Preferred Networks list. When I enable my hotspot it shows up in the AirPort menu almost immediately but still doesn't auto-connect. The only time it connects automatically is if the hotspot is already enabled when I wake the computer from sleep.
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