Con­nec­tiv­ity prob­lems

Solve some typ­i­cal con­nec­tion co­nun­drums

Mac|Life - - FEATURE -

11 Mail can’t send or re­ceive emails

There are a num­ber of rea­sons why Mail may not be able to send or re­ceive mes­sages. If this hap­pens, try to check your email on an­other de­vice. Sign in to your email provider’s web­mail ser­vice to ver­ify ev­ery­thing is okay at that end. Next, open Mail and choose Win­dow > Con­nec­tion Doc­tor. This tool tells you whether Mail is able to con­nect to the in­ter­net, and then to your mail server(s). Check your provider’s pub­lished set­tings match yours in Mail > Pref­er­ences > Ac­counts > Server Set­tings.

12 Your Mac uses the wrong Wi-Fi net­work

If your Mac is near open Wi-Fi net­works, it may con­nect to th­ese rather than the one in your home/of­fice. To pre­vent this, go to > Sys­tem Pref­er­ences > Net­work. Click Wi-Fi in the left-hand pane, then Ad­vanced. Move your pre­ferred wire­less net­works to the top of the list. High­light any un­wanted net­work and click the – (mi­nus) but­ton to remove it.

13 Cer­tain apps can’t get on­line

If spe­cific apps on your Mac are hav­ing trou­ble con­nect­ing to the in­ter­net, or others are hav­ing trou­ble con­nect­ing to you, you may need to mod­ify your fire­wall set­tings. Your Mac’s ap­pli­ca­tion fire­wall is switched off by de­fault, al­low­ing all in­com­ing con­nec­tions.

First, turn on the fire­wall in Sys­tem Pref­er­ences > Se­cu­rity and Pri­vacy > Fire­wall. Sec­ond, click Fire­wall Op­tions in that tab, then check whether the un­com­mu­nica­tive app is listed and that it isn’t er­ro­neously set to be blocked.

14Your Mac doesn’t rec­og­nize its Magic Key­board or Magic Mouse

If your Mac isn’t con­nect­ing to its Magic Key­board, Magic Mouse 2, or Magic Track­pad 2, con­nect the de­vice to your Mac us­ing a Light­ning ca­ble. Go to Sys­tem Pref­er­ences > Blue­tooth, where you can check the de­vice is charged and that it’s au­to­mat­i­cally paired. For an older in­put de­vice, hold its power but­ton un­til the LED starts to blink. It should ap­pear in Sys­tem Pref­er­ences > Blue­tooth. Se­lect it and click Pair. If the LED is steady, the de­vice is paired.

15 Do­ing things on­line has be­come slow

If brows­ing has slowed to a crawl, make sure that your Mac isn’t just gen­er­ally slow (see tip 16). Try ac­cess­ing the in­ter­net from an­other de­vice to de­ter­mine whether it’s an iso­lated is­sue. If the other de­vice is equally slow, you may be ex­pe­ri­enc­ing wire­less in­ter­fer­ence. Look through your router’s doc­u­men­ta­tion to find out how to check and change the chan­nel set­ting. If only the Mac is slow, start up in macOS Re­cov­ery (see­cos­rec) and choose Get Help On­line to test your con­nec­tion in the browser there, then con­tact Ap­ple Sup­port for help.

16 Trou­bleshoot in­ter­net con­nec­tions

If you can’t con­nect to the in­ter­net at all, first check to see if other de­vices on the same net­work are hav­ing the same is­sue. If you con­nect di­rectly to your router us­ing an Eth­er­net ca­ble, try re­seat­ing it. For Wi‑Fi, click the cor­re­spond­ing menu bar icon at the top right to make sure it’s en­abled and that there’s a check mark next to your pre­ferred Wi-Fi net­work. If you’re con­nected to your own Wi‑Fi net­work, run Wire­less Di­ag­nos­tics for fur­ther help (see ap­

17 Your ISP is block­ing a web­site

If a web­site is un­reach­able us­ing your ISP, you may be able to by­pass this by us­ing a dif­fer­ent DNS (Do­main Name Sys­tem) server to that of­fered by your In­ter­net Ser­vice Provider. Go to Sys­tem Pref­er­ences > Net­work and click your con­nec­tion. Choose Ad­vanced and go to the DNS tab. Click the + but­ton to add new DNS servers such as Google’s ( and, and click on the old DNS servers then press the – but­ton.

18 Get su­per-fast Wi-Fi

If you’ve found that chang­ing your ag­ing router’s Wi-Fi chan­nel doesn’t im­prove the speed of your net­work, and if you’ve al­ready tried Ap­ple’s rec­om­mended set­tings (see, con­sider us­ing a Time Cap­sule or Air­Port Ex­treme Base Sta­tion, or a mesh net­work­ing sys­tem such as the Net­gear Orbi. A Wi-Fi net­work in the 5GHz fre­quency band is much less prone to in­ter­fer­ence.

19 You can’t con­nect to a hid­den Wi-Fi net­work

If your router/base sta­tion broad­casts a hid­den Wi-Fi net­work, you may see an er­ror when try­ing to join it, even if you’re us­ing the cor­rect pass­word. This is usu­ally be­cause the other net­work set­tings have been en­tered in­cor­rectly. Dou­ble-check both the SSID (net­work name) and the pass­word se­cu­rity type – WPA/WPA2 Per­sonal, for ex­am­ple. If you’re un­sure about th­ese, con­tact your net­work ad­min­is­tra­tor. Both cap­i­tal­iza­tion and spa­ces mat­ter, so make sure th­ese are en­tered cor­rectly.

20 AirPlay Mir­ror­ing to Ap­ple TV stut­ters

If you find that AirPlay Mir­ror­ing to an Ap­ple TV is slow, make sure your router matches Ap­ple’s rec­om­mended set­tings ( Go to the Mac App Store’s Up­dates tab to ensure macOS is up to date, then do the same on your Ap­ple TV in Set­tings > Sys­tem > Soft­ware Up­dates > Up­date Soft­ware. If pos­si­ble, try to con­nect your Mac and Ap­ple TV to your router us­ing Eth­er­net ca­bles to see if that helps.

Check your fire­wall (be­low) or try dif­fer­ent DNS servers (right).

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