Every time I go to the local coffee shop or public library, my MacBook Air immediately connects to the ‘xfinitywifi’ Wi-Fi network. Problem is, half the time it doesn’t actually work. How can I stop my Mac system from automatically connecting or just remove xfinitywifi as a known network entirely?
It’s usually the case that your Mac system does the right thing without any fuss or hassle, like magic. You open up your computer in a known wifi zone and it automatically connects so you can get back to your online tasks without even thinking about it. With spots like Starbucks, it can almost instantly pop up the confirmation window, so one click and you’re ready to go there too.
But behind the scenes, your computer is hunting through a list of known networks and comparing them to the wifi networks that are visible to the device at that particular moment. Not only that, but there’s an ordered list you’ve built that tells your MacOS system which one to use if multiple are matched. All behind the scenes, without any dialog box or confirmation. Get a backup network like xfinitywifi at the top of that list and it’s madness and mayhem!
Fortunately, it’s fixable. Let’s check it out…
MACOS AUTOMATICALLY CONNECTED TO THE WRONG WIFI NETWORK
I wrote this article while at one of my favorite indie coffee shops, Amante Coffee, based in Boulder, Colorado. They have good, reliable wireless Internet access and I prefer to use it if I’m in the café enjoying a beverage. But when I checked which wifi network I was utilizing, the news wasn’t good:
You can see that AmanteCoffee shows up, but it’s xfinitywifi that is supplying the connectivity, which is not what I want. This probably happened because either AmanteCoffee was slow in being recognized (which would result in xfinitywifi being chosen even if it’s not top of the priority list) or xfinitywifi being ahead of AmanteCoffee on that prioritization list.
I can manually choose the other network and be done with it, but that doesn’t fix the problem for my next visit. Instead, I’m going to choose “Network Preferences…” to get to the various connectivity settings and options.
This opens up System Preferences in the Network area:
Notice that it’s showing xfinitywifi as the “Network Name”. One way you can stop it from being chosen as the automatic network connection in any situation is to uncheck the box adjacent to “Automatically join this network“. That’s a preferred solution because you retain your login credentials for xfinitywifi if needed. You can also choose a different network – like AmanteCoffee – from that same pop-up menu, as desired.
But let’s just get rid of Xfinity’s network entirely.
HOW TO DELETE A SAVED WIFI NETWORK ON MACOS
The key to accessing that prioritized wifi network list is to click on “Advanced…” on the lower right.
Now you can see the list – with xfinitywifi at the very top! – and, frankly, some of the various coffee shops I frequent too. AmanteCoffee isn’t in the top half-dozen. You can click and drag the networks to reorder them, but it’s a rather clumsy interface (with a notable lack of a search feature too) so it’s no surprise if you just want to delete the network entirely.
That’s easy to do. Choose it by clicking once on it, then click on the “-” button:
When you go to close this window, you’ll get a pop-up window seeking confirmation that you want to change these MacOS Network settings:
A click on “Apply” and you’ll probably find that your Mac will instantly switch and choose the network you desire:
That’s it. Mission accomplished. Well done.
Pro Tip: I’ve been writing about MacOS since the first Mac was introduced. Please do check out my substantial Mac help library for hundreds of useful tutorials and how-to guides while you’re visiting. Thanks.