At the local bar I hop onto xfinitywifi to access the Web. Works great. But when I get home, my MacBook Air wants to jump right back onto it, even over my own wifi network! How do I fix this as it’s driving me crazy!?
I know exactly what you’re talking about because there’s something about how the xfinitywifi network works that makes it the fastest to become visible in a place where there are multiple wifi networks and so once you choose it the darn network becomes your default everywhere, whether you’re home, at the office or at somewhere like Starbucks that has its own – faster – wireless network. It can definitely be maddening and at home I usually don’t even notice until I go to print something: The printer is on my personal network not the public Xfinity network, so the printouts just don’t work.
Unfortunately, there really is no fix.
The problem is that once you connect to a network, it is added to your list of recent wifi networks and if it’s not already on the list, is added to the top of the list of known networks, making it the top choice next time you’re connecting and multiple networks are available. So there are a couple of workaround solutions that generally seem to work, but no official solution where you can specify that xfinitywifi is your choice but only if no other networks are available.
Here’s an example of my own wifi access menu:
What we’re interested in is at the bottom of the menu: “Open Network Preferences…“. Choose that [or if you don’t have the wifi network, just use Spotlight to search for “network preferences” to get there instead]:
You can see here that xfinitywifi is selected, so you can change your wifi network here, but that’s not any sort of fix at all. Before we go further, however, I do recommend you check “Show Wi-Fi status in menu bar” so that all of this is easily accessed in the future.
Click on then “Advanced…” button on the lower right once you ensure that on the left side you’ve selected “Wi-Fi”, as shown.
As you can see above, xfinitywifi has somehow managed to be the top choice on this list. Annoying!
One possible solution you can try that might or might not work is to simply click and drag xfinitywifi to be below your standard home and office networks. You can see that in process below:
I don’t find that it’s a very reliable solution, however, because it seems like the computer can find and connect with an open network much faster than a WPA2 protected wifi network, so even if you’ve moved it down to choice #2, #3 or lower, it still seems to often snag that connection when you have a different preferred connection.
So my solution: click once to select xfinitywifi, cringe and click on the “-” button just below the list box to remove xfinitywifi entirely. Now it’s gone and won’t auto connect until after the next time you manually choose it.
Note: You can also uncheck “remember networks this computer has joined” after you’ve connected at least once to all your main networks at home, work, local cafes, the bar, etc, but I find that generally I like the default behavior of only having to specify a wifi network once.
So that’s the deal with fast, widely available and open networks stealing your wifi connection on your Mac. No great solution, just workarounds of making sure you choose your desired one on connection, deleting the wifi network from your preferences, or never connecting in the first place. 🙂