Solve some typical connection conundrums
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 (see
bit.ly/macosrec) 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 apple.co/29KoHJV).
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 (188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206), 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
bit.ly/wifirecs), 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 ( bit.ly/wifirecs). 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).