How to Fix macOS Big Sur Wi-Fi Issues

BY Parth Shah

Published 11 Apr 2021

Fix Wi-Fi issues on macOS Big Sur

macOS Big Sur introduced a design makeover throughout the Mac Operating System. The update is full of useful functions such as widgets, a control center, and better aesthetics. However, it’s not devoid of issues either. We have seen reports of users having problems with Wi-Fi connection after the macOS Big Sur update.

If you are facing constant Wi-Fi dropouts on Mac, then read along to troubleshoot the problem on the go.

If you are facing other issues on your Mac, here are the top macOS Big Sur issues and how to fix them.

Fix macOS Big Sur Wi-Fi Issues

In the list below, we will go through some of the basic steps and advanced tricks to fix the Wi-Fi issues on Mac. Let’s get started.

1. Use Ethernet Connection

First, you need to make sure that if the problem is with Wi-Fi or the router. If you have an ethernet adapter for your MacBook, you need to switch off Wi-Fi and connect Ethernet directly to your Mac. If the problem is still present even when using an ethernet connection, then it may be a configuration issue with the router since this eliminates Wi-Fi as a factor.

ethernet on mac

If not, then you can skip the next part and jump to point number 3 directly.

2. Restart Router

If your Wi-Fi router is acting up, then you will face Wi-Fi connection dropout across all your connected devices. In such cases, you can go ahead and restart your router and check if the Wi-Fi connection is acting stable or not.

reset router to fix wi-fi issue

If there are any updates available for your router, then download the latest firmware and try your luck with Wi-Fi again.

3. Use Wireless Diagnostics Tool

Let me refresh your memory with this one. Wireless Diagnostics is a built-in Mac tool that detects common problems with your wireless connection. It can also monitor your wireless connection for intermittent connectivity failures.

Simply open the Spotlight Search using Command + Space keys, type Wireless Diagnostics and open the tool. Hit continue, and it will start running tests to find any issues with your Wi-Fi network.

wireless connection issue on mac

If the tool finds something systematic, it will list the issue, and you can look them up specifically. If the problem is intermittent, you may find that the diagnostic tool won’t find anything.

Do keep in mind that Wireless Diagnostics may temporarily change your network settings when running tests.

4. Disconnect All USB Devices from Mac

There’s always a possibility that your Wi-Fi connectivity issues are due to hardware interference with certain connected devices that emit radio frequency. Many Mac users have reported that disconnecting certain USB 3.0 and USB-C devices have solved their Mac’s Wi-Fi problems.

Also, if you’re connected to a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi network, try switching to a 5 GHz network as it may have less interference than the lower frequency band.

5. Reconfigure the DNS

Power users, this one is for you. You can reconfigure the DNS on Mac to fix the Wi-Fi issues. Still, confused? Let me elaborate for you.

DNS stands for Domain Name Server, which essentially changes web addresses that we can read (e.g., to IP addresses that the server can understand. Go through the steps below.

Step 1: Open the Network Preferences menu on Mac.

Step 2: Select Advanced and navigate to the DNS menu.

Step 3: Click the “+” icon.

Step 4: Type or into the box and press Enter (these are Google’s DNS options).

change dns servers

Step 5: Click Ok.

6. Reset NVRAM on Mac

Resetting NVRAM on your Mac is an effective way to troubleshoot misbehaves on Mac. For those who are unaware, NVRAM (Non-Volatile Random Access Memory) is a small amount of memory utilized by your Mac to sore system settings food quick access.

To Reset NVRAM, you need to shut down the Mac and quickly turn it back on. In the process, simply press and hold Option + Command + P + R on your keyboard for about 20 seconds. The action will reset both the NVRAM and PRAM.

7. Reset SMC on Mac

Your Mac’s SMC (System Management Controller) is directly connected to the device’s Wi-Fi, power, battery, and other features.

Sometimes it’s necessary to restore normal lower-level system functionality to your Mac, especially when you’re facing hardware-related problems.

The steps to reset SMC on Mac varies from model to model. MacBooks with Apple’s T2 Security Chip, press and hold Control + Option + Shift on your keyboard for 7 seconds and then press and hold the power button as well. If your Mac is on, it will turn off as you hold the keys, but keep pressing all four keys together for another 7 seconds and then release them.

Those without the T2 chip should press and hold Control + Option + Shift keys while pressing the power button for about 10 seconds.

8. Update to the Latest macOS

The Wi-Fi disconnection issue might be due to a software glitch on macOS. Apple is usually quick to fix such annoyance with a software patch. Go to the System Preferences menu and update your device to the latest macOS version.

update to macOS software

If you have just upgraded your Mac to Big Sur, check out some of the best macOS Big Sur tips and tricks for it.

It can be really frustrating when you continue to face Wi-Fi dropouts in a middle of a Zoom meeting or any important work. Go through the mentioned tricks above and troubleshoot the Wi-Fi annoyances on your Mac. While you are at it, let us know which trick worked for you in the comments section below.