Can't use Wi-Fi at all. What gives????

Discussion in 'macOS' started by d_gomaiste, Nov 17, 2016.

  1. d_gomaiste, Nov 17, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016

    d_gomaiste macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2016
    Hey guys,

    Around February/March of this year, I started having trouble connecting to Wi-Fi on my 2012 iMac (OS X 10.10.5). It started out as occasional dropouts, and eventually progressed into me being thoroughly unable to use the Internet without tethering to my iPhone (and even then, I couldn't use the iPhone's Wi-Fi connection — I had to use LTE/4G over USB). I started a thread about it, which you can check out here: Wi-Fi network cannot be joined in El Capitan (or Yosemite)

    I pretty much exhausted all possible options outside of taking it to a Genius Bar, and nothing seemed to work. One user even suggested I might have a broken Wi-Fi card.

    I sincerely doubt this to be the case, because out of nowhere, Wi-Fi started working properly again around June of this year, and it worked without issue for several months.

    Then, around September/October, I started experiencing the same problem, except this time, I took note of any events that seemed to correlate. Again, it started out as simple Wi-Fi dropouts, and connectivity would usually return after shutting down and restarting. It seemed to be triggered by watching long YouTube videos on Safari (usually 10 or more minutes). Not sure why, but this was the one common factor almost every time I got a dropout.

    Now, I'm back to the point where I simply cannot use Wi-Fi at all — the icon is greyed out in the menu bar, and I cannot connect to any available networks (my Macbook and iPhone both have no problems connecting to my home network).

    Interestingly enough, I was able to briefly get connectivity back last night. I turned Wi-Fi off, then turned Bluetooth off, turned Wi-Fi back on, and it connected to my home network instantly. The connection was fine for the remainder of the evening. Unfortunately, after booting up this morning, it looks like I'm back to square one — last night's solution is no longer working.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

    EDIT: Just tried turning off Bluetooth again (for probably the 10th time today), and it's working for now. Is this possibly a Bluetooth interference issue? The only BT device I use is an Apple keyboard. BT is disabled on my iPhone.
  2. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Oct 25, 2015
    Try this:

    1Open Macintosh HD > Open Library > Click Preferences > Find the file called "".

    2. Move it to your desktop > Remove it from the Preferences folder by dragging it into the Trash. The Mac will tell you that Finder wants to make changes. Type your password to allow this.

  3. d_gomaiste thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2016
    Hi John, thanks for the tip! This worked last night, BUT only after I got Wi-Fi working via turning BT off/on. When it went out again, I deleted the .plist file and rebooted, and the Wi-Fi worked for the rest of the evening.

    However, after booting up this morning, Wi-Fi was back to being completely unresponsive. Neither deleting the .plist nor turning off BT seemed to elicit any effect, until this afternoon when I closed Safari — after doing that, turning off Bluetooth produced an almost instantaneous Wi-Fi connection.

    It seems that Safari has something to do with this, and possibly YouTube (being a videographer, I almost always have several YouTube videos open in multiple tabs at once), although I can't imagine how either of those two would have any connection to Bluetooth being implicated as well.

    Any ideas?
  4. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Oct 25, 2015
    When you get these wifi dropouts, does the wifi item in the menubar still show you as having a wifi connection?
  5. d_gomaiste thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2016
    No, the Wi-Fi icon is greyed out. If I turn it off and back on again, it looks like it's attempting to establish a connection, but then goes back to being greyed out. When the dropouts occur, my home network will intermittently appear in and disappear from the list of available networks. Any time I try to connect, I get an error message.

    However, on the few occasions where turning off BT has worked, the Wi-Fi connection occurs instantaneously.
  6. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Oct 25, 2015
    Maybe it is your wifi router or internet connection. Do you have any other devices that can connect to the internet through your router when your Mac can't.
  7. d_gomaiste thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2016
    Yes, there are four other iPhones, two tablets, a Macbook Air, and a Windows laptop that are all able to connect to my home network without issue. I've tried restarting the router a few times, but it unfortunately didn't help.
  8. d_gomaiste thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2016
    Hey John — thanks so much for all the info! I ran the AHT, and it detected no issues.

    I wish it were easier for me to investigate the possibility of a faulty network card or cable, but I have a 2012 iMac that basically requires a special kit to open up. I've watched videos on how to do this (I was, at one point, considering a DIY RAM upgrade) and it seems pretty risky. :(

    The USB network adapter used in that video may be something to look into, though...

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