Connect to Wi-Fi
You can use the Wi-Fi menu to quickly connect to a nearby wireless network.
- Click the Wi-Fi icon ( or ) in the menu bar.
- If Wi-Fi is off, choose 'Turn Wi-Fi on.'
- Select a nearby Wi-Fi network from the list.
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If you don't see your network listed, make sure it's nearby and that others can connect to it. It could also be a 'hidden' network. You can connect to a hidden network by choosing 'Join other network' and entering the name of the network you're trying to use.
The strength of each nearby network is shown next to its name. More darkened bars indicate a stronger network connection.
Enter your password
Networks that have a lock icon next to their name require a password. After you select your network, enter the network password when you're prompted. If you don't know the network password, check with the owner of the Wi-Fi network you're trying to join.
Use a cellular device as your Wi-Fi connection
Depending on your cellular plan, your iPhone or iPad with cellular can share its Internet connection with your Mac. When your iOS device is configured properly and is near your Mac, it appears in the Wi-Fi menu as an available connection.
When you select a cellular device as your Internet connection, the menu icon changes to indicate your Mac is currently linked to the device ( ).
Turn Wi-Fi on or off
If you're in an environment where Wi-Fi isn't permitted (like on some airline flights) you can quickly turn off Wi-Fi from this menu.
- Click the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar.
- Choose 'Turn Wi-Fi off.'
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When Wi-Fi is turned off, the menu icon changes to and empty indicator ( ). When you're ready to use Wi-Fi again, click the menu icon and choose 'Turn Wi-Fi on.' Then connect to the network you want to join if your Mac doesn't join it automatically.
If you don't see the Wi-Fi menu
You can enable and disable the Wi-Fi menu from the Network pane of System Preferences.
- From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
- Click Network in the System Preferences window.
- Select Wi-Fi in the list of available network connections.
- Select (check) the option to 'Show Wi-Fi status in menu bar.'
Create a network
If you want to create a temporary Wi-Fi connection between your Mac and another device, you can create your own network from the Wi-Fi menu.
- Click the Wi-Fi menu and choose Create Network.
- Enter the details for your network, such as a network name and channel
When you create a computer-to-computer network, the menu icon changes to show a computer (). When you're done, click the Wi-Fi menu again and choose Disconnect to close the network you created.
Circle with a line through it
Learn what to do if your Mac starts up to a circle with a line through it (prohibitory symbol).
Learn what to do if your Mac starts up to a question mark.
Blank (empty) screen
Learn what to do if your Mac starts up to a blank screen.
Learn what to do if your Mac starts up to an Apple logo or progress bar.
Globe with alert symbol
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A globe with an exclamation point means that your Mac tried to start up from macOS Recovery over the Internet, but couldn't. Learn what to do if your Mac can't start up from macOS Recovery.
If your Mac is using a firmware password, the lock icon appears when you try to start up from another disk or volume, such as an external drive or macOS Recovery. Enter the firmware password to continue.
System lock PIN code
Your Mac asks for a PIN code when it has been remotely locked using Find My. Enter the four-digit or six-digit passcode to continue.
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At the login window, enter your user account password to log in to your Mac. If FileVault is turned on, this also unlocks your disk. You might see a default desktop picture in the background, which might change to your chosen desktop picture when you select your account.
Thunderbolt, USB, or FireWire symbol
A large Thunderbolt , USB , or FireWire symbol against a dark background means that your Mac is in target disk mode.
- Learn what to do if your Mac displays a message that it restarted because of a problem.
- Learn what do do if your Mac continuously restarts.
- When starting up from Windows using Boot Camp, your Mac doesn't show an Apple logo or the other macOS screens in this article.