AirPort wireless connection Drops on Leopard 10.5.2

Apple AirPort Wireless Logo


  • AirPort wireless connection randomly stops working, even though signal strength to base station is good.
  • Wireless connection strength drops, clicking on AirPort starts scanning, wireless strength returns to full, but Internet connection is lost.
  • Can’t create wireless connection to DLink DIR-625 wireless router after upgrading to 10.5.2.

Possible Causes

  • AirPort attempts to connect to stronger “Recent networks” listed in preferences file /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/
  • Apple has updated its AirPort wireless connectivity to a more recent draft of the “wireless n” proposed standard. This is a faster version of wifi than the previous 802.11 wireless g, b, and a standards. (References: Wikipedia 802.11, Discussions at
  • [Added 080618]: AirPort is finding neighboring wireless router base stations on the current wifi channel and is attempting to connect to them. (References: Gedblog,
  • [Added 080824]: AirPort attempts to connect to based stations listed in “Preferred networks”, listed in System Preferences => Network => Advanced => AirPort => Preferred Networks. See the fix for AirPort Preferred Networks problem.
  • [Added 090105]: Real Player Downloader.  Mechanics of problem unknown. See comment below by Jerry Zakariasen.



Please, before implementing any of these fixes, try them one at a time and wait to see if there is any improvement in the situation before trying the next. Keep track of which fixes you have tried and report back when one of them (or none of them) in particular solved your problem so that we know which solutions are useful and which are less likely to help, thus moving forward in our knowledge of how to diagnose and fix wireless dropouts on Apple AirPort connections. Many thanks. ~ Ben.

  • Backup /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/ file, then delete it. Reboot. Leopard will create a new AirPort preferences file with a single entry with your current wireless base station.
  • For D-Link DIR-625 wireless router (from
    1. Within Setup => Advanced => Advanced Wireless, change RTS Threshold to 2306
    2. Change Fragmentation Threshold to 2306
    3. Use “Mixed 802.11n, 802.11g, and 802.11b” within Setup => Wireless Settings
  • [Added 080618]: Change wireless channel on your wifi router (e.g. AirPort Extreme base station, NetGear, Linksys) from 6 (the default) to anything from 1-4 or 8 to 11. Please refer to your router’s instruction manual on how to do this. The reason for avoiding channels 5 and 7 is that wifi routers by design will automatically switch to one channel above or below their current channel when wifi signal noise passes a certain value. Thus, if you were having problems on channel 6, your router and AirPort have already tried channels 5 and 7 and you’re still experiencing problems.
  • [Added 080618]: If possible, use the 5Ghz transmission frequency/band for your wireless router. Most wireless devices (nearly all wireless routers and cordless telephones) in homes use the 2.4Ghz transmission band. Avoiding this band will result in much less radio noise. Again, this is a setting on your wireless access point rather than on your Mac. Please refer to your wireless base station’s instructions on how to change radio frequency (if possible).
  • [Added 080618]: Keychain Access is an Apple program that saves passwords to websites, to your Mac itself, to wireless base stations, etc. The keychain entries related to wireless base stations is a potential cause of wireless drops in Leopard 10.5.2 with the theory being that Keychain Access was modified in this release, breaking (somewhat) keychain items created in older versions (10.5.1 and prior). Deleting and recreating the keys in 10.5.2 and beyond may resolve this issue if you are affected.Launch Keychain Access within Finder: Applications => Utilities => Keychain Access. On the top left, select System, underneath login. Find the name of your wireless base station or router, often called an SSID in networking terms. For me it’s WANADOO-D310. Under the Kind column it should read AirPort network password. You may find multiple keychain entries for wireless base stations you’ve used in the past. We want to delete them all, but before doing that, save their passwords. You do this by right clicking on the item, for me WANADOO-D310, and choosing Copy Password to Clipboard. If you are asked to allow access to this item by kcproxy, click Allow.
    Then create a new text file somewhere on your mac and paste the password that’s been copied to your clipboard. This will make it easier when you have to reconnect to this base station. You might want to note which base station/wireless router this password is related to while doing this. I did this by simply writing the name of the wireless router beside the password. After backing up the passwords, delete all the keychain items of kind AirPort network password. Now turn off the AirPort connection by clicking on the AirPort menu bar icon (looks like the image at the top of this post) and selecting Turn AirPort Off. Open System Preferences => Network. You’ll notice that Network Name select list will no longer have your base station listed. Click Turn AirPort On. AirPort will search for wireless networks (takes about 30 seconds) and will eventually pop up with a window saying None of your preferred networks are available, but you should see your wireless base station listed as one of the networks.
    Select your network and click Join. You’ll be asked for your password. Hopefully you remembered to save that password somewhere and can simply copy and paste it back in. (Use right click => Paste rather than Apple Key + V, which won’t work for this password field). After this you should be reconnected to your wifi base station. If you return to your Keychain Access window, you should once again see your base station listed with the System Keychains. You can close the Keychain Access and Network preferences pane windows. If you have multiple wireless networks that you use often, you’ll have to search and reconnect to them with the passwords you’ve saved. Hopefully the recreated keychain items will keep you connected.
  • [Added 080624]: Remove Preferred Networks. From within System Preferences => Network => Advanced => AirPort, using the minus button, remove all preferred networks except for the current wireless access point you’re connected to.
  • [Added 090105]: Remove Real Player Downloader. Jerry Zakariasen mentions in the comments below that uninstalling Real Player Downloader for Mac has fixed wireless network drops on his mac.  See his comment below for more details. Thanks Jerry.


Just after upgrading to 10.5.2 I noticed that once in a while my AirPort wireless connection would drop to 2 or 3 bars, then return to full signal strength, but I couldn’t access the Internet after that. There didn’t seem to be any pattern to these dropouts of wireless connection. No interference from neighboring base stations either. Yet everything was ultra stable with 10.5 and the only change I made was upgrading (finally) to 10.5.2.

After doing some research, I had a theory that AirPort was searching through old wireless connections within /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/ constantly looking for a better signal. And whenever the current wireless connection suffered from minor transient interference (say cordless telephones), it would immediately try to connect to another base station or try to switch to a different channel. Have a look at your version of the airport preferences file by navigating to it in Finder, starting with Macintosh HD, then Library, Preferences, and finally within the SystemConfiguration folder. You can simply hit enter with the file highlighted to use Quick Look. You can also use Terminal to quickly print the file to the screen with the following command: cat /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/

Once the AirPort control software in 10.5.2 set about trying to find a better wireless connection, it would never successfully get back your original wireless connection which was really fine. Hence, from time to time, you would see a slight drop in wireless signal strength, then after clicking on the AirPort wireless icon, it would scan for networks for a few seconds, then return to full strength, yet you would have already lost Internet access.

The fix is simple:

  1. Drag the /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/ file to your desktop (as a backup),
  2. Delete the file within SystemConfiguration,
  3. Reboot and let Leopard create a new airport preferences file with only your current wireless connection listed within it.

With only one base station listed in “Recent Networks” within the file, AirPort won’t try scanning for other stronger networks and you’ll stay connected.

That’s the theory anyways. It’s worked for me so far. Hope it helps you too.

Leave a comment if you have questions or have tried the fix with success/failure.


150 responses to “AirPort wireless connection Drops on Leopard 10.5.2”

  1. […] Subscribe to feed ‹  •  AirPort wireless connection Drops on Leopard 10.5.2 › […]

  2. Tricia Avatar

    I actually can’t even find this preferences file anywhere.

  3. Ben Lam Avatar
    Ben Lam

    Hi Tricia,

    The directory /Library/Preferences/ is found within the “root” of your Macintosh HD, i.e. just “/”, not underneath your “home” directory which is actually /home/tricia for example.

    When you open Finder, you’re automatically placed within your “home” directory. The directories underneath your “home” directory look nearly exactly the same as the “root” directory so it’s very confusing.

    Double check that you’re clicking on the disk drive looking icon named Macintosh HD (usually the top drive) within Finder and navigating to /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration directory from there.


  4. Nancy Avatar

    So far so good! Thank you! I will update if the slowdown starts happening again.

  5. Jon Wallace Avatar
    Jon Wallace

    Hi Ben, Thanks for the suggestion – though it still hasnt made a difference! The /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/ is now cleaner and just contains my network, however when i click on the wireless signal strength in the top toolbar on my desktop it always shows the Airport Scanning icon… it never seems to stop scanning? I assume this is why it kills my wireless connection? This doesnt happen on the machine i have running Tiger, 1 meter away!!!!

    Do you have any other ideas? Cheers


  6. Luca Avatar

    Unfortunately it did not work for me. I have also deleted the list of APs in the System preferences->Network-> Airport->preferred networks apart from my current one but the problem is still appearing every now and then 🙁

  7. Ben Lam Avatar
    Ben Lam

    Hmm, looks like I’ll have to do more research on this airport disconnection problem. I too just experienced a dropout after about two weeks of no dropped connections. I’ll update the page once I get some information compiled.

  8. Ben Lam Avatar
    Ben Lam

    Ok guys, after some more searching I’ve updated the article with diagnostics and fixes for wireless radio interference causing dropped AirPort wireless connections. There’s more issues related to keychains dealing with wireless security, but I haven’t done enough research nor understand the issues enough to report on it with confidence just yet.

    Let me know if the new information on wireless interference is of any help.

  9. Jon Wallace Avatar
    Jon Wallace

    Thanks Ben, can you post a link to the new information on wireless interference? or is it the bits at the top about not using channel 6 etx?



  10. Ben Lam Avatar
    Ben Lam

    Hi Jon,

    Yup, it’s the bits added 080618 above about wireless channels and frequencies.

    With AP Grapher (linked above under Diagnostics) it’s pretty easy to tell whether you’re experiencing a lot of radio noise in your local area. For those with pretty nasty signal to noise ratio, they’ll likely see benefits from changing wireless channels and frequency.

    I’m investigating another angle as well: wireless encryption keys. If I remember correctly, WPA based wifi encryption switches the keys at regular intervals. This may be a source of trouble if the renegotiation of keys does not complete successfully.

    Will report back again soon with what I find out.

  11. Jon Wallace Avatar
    Jon Wallace

    Cheers Ben,

    Yeh i use iStumbler to check my noise on the connection, and its usualy not bad – e.g. its now on channel 1 with only 11% noise!

    I do have WAP encryption – so maybe it is this – be great to get it fixed somehow!



  12. Ben Lam Avatar
    Ben Lam

    Another update for you. This time with instructions on deleting and recreating Keychain Access items for AirPort network passwords.

    Some forum posts have suggested that Leopard 10.5.2 changed keychain access files/items in such a way that keychain items from older versions are not working right in the latest OS X. Deleting and recreating these saved keychain items within 10.5.2/10.5.3 may help.

    Jon, I added iStumbler to the list of diagnostic tools. Thanks.

  13. […] of the reason why maintaining a solid AirPort wireless connection is so difficult is the different number of wireless encryption protocols available […]

  14. sOwL Avatar

    Nice work there ben, this is the first complete tutorial adressing the most causes and possible fixes. I have to say that i had many problems with my wifi, but happilly none in the last month. Ok, im not sure if what i say will help coz i still run tiger, but i mostly think its a combination of steps.

    Firstly, i deleted (and kept deleting every once in a while) the .plist file in the SystemConfiguration folder. I think that slightly made my connection more stable.

    Then i changed my channel to 11 (i keep changing it sometimes coz i think few neighbors change their own channels too and sometimes they interfere with me). That last step surprisingly gave me full signal, unlinke before (default channel 6) which was really bad even if the router is just a wall away.

    Anyway, connection still “hanged” from time to time, and connection drops of like 5 secs were enough to get my brother out of an online game, which made him cursing apple (couldnt stand that :P). So those 2 steps improved it, but not there yet.

    Then i found that guide which reverts the airport settings to 10.4.9 settings, which seemed to work flawless. Heres the link if your interested (and run tiger, although not sure, it might work on leopard too, if they use the same architecture):

    CAUTION: if you follow that guide, make a backup just to be sure your system will be fine.

    Hope i helped

  15. Jon Wallace Avatar
    Jon Wallace

    Thanks Ben, I have been through they keychain elimination process before, and this doesn’t seem to have helped either – the only password item i have in there is for the wireless i am using – so there is no old data in there….


  16. Nancy Avatar

    These fixes worked for a short while, and then the connection reverted back to its old ways. Unclear on what exactly prompts the slowdown…

  17. Matt Avatar

    I deleted the file in library folder, and for right now it is working well. No problems. I will report back if there is a change. and WONT do ANYTHING else until it gets worse again. Haha

  18. Matt Avatar

    I spoke waayyy too quick… It just cut out for about ten seconds. then came back on… Thank you for what you are doing though. This is my first mac, and i got it about a week ago. I am super angry…

  19. Jon Wallace Avatar
    Jon Wallace

    I have basically given up on it now!!! I have a 10 meter Ethernet cable running from my lounge to the bedroom to put this mac on the internet… sucks really considering how much the mac costs! Have no idea why Apple can not sort this out…

  20. Fais21 Avatar

    There is a problem with 10.5.2 and 10.5.3 Airport – it corrupts your system.
    I have a Macbook and iphone. I can run Vista on the Macbook. My troubles started 6 weeks ago and after trying everything and speaking to Apple, I did an Archive and Install – worked like a charm. I now have my super fast wi-fi connection back – its flawless.

    My Archive and Install means I’m back to running 10.5. Its clearly a Leopard problem. My Vista (on the same Mac) and iphone worked perfectly throughout my troubled time. Tried 3 routers and various other devices. After 6 weeks of experimentation, I realised – Leopard’s updates had corrupted my system. Apple said the Archive and Install was the last option. Once you’ve done it you need to delete that System Preferences file (mentioned above) from your computer altogether, then restart and then create a new Location in Network. Apple will talk you through it if you’re a bit nervous.

    I’m very annoyed by the whole thing – I’ve wasted days over this but finally I have a solution. I am not upgrading anymore – I’m sticking with 10.5 – I have superfast wifi and NO dropouts at all – its perfect.

    Considering how few Mac users there are in the world compared to PC users – the internet is flooded with complaints about this – I find new ones everyday. Most people did the A&I as a last option and it also worked for them. Other things appear only to be 24 hour/48 hour fixes. Apple need to acknowledge this and sort it instead of playing with iphones and making more money out of us. FIX IT APPLE AND FIX IT FAST.

    Remember to back up all your files – just in case (mine were all fine) and as soon as you’re done – delete the System Preferences folder from your Library then restart. Upon restart, create a new Location and you’re done. I hope it works for you, I really do coz I know how frustrating this thing is. Good Luck…Happy to answer questions on the Forum if I can….

  21. Fais21 Avatar

    Sorry – I just realised I typed something incorrect above – its the System Configuration folder not System Preferences!

  22. Ben Lam Avatar
    Ben Lam

    Fais, I agree that 10.5 was ultra stable. I saw very few problems with that version of Leopard, in general.

    The only reason I upgraded to 10.5.2 was to fix problems with Adobe Photoshop and get support for Apple Aperture.

    I’m still seriously considering downgrading back to Leopard 10.5 though, if the connection issues get unbearable.

    Luckily I took a snapshot of my OS X system under 10.5 and I can revert back to that without great pains (using SuperDuper).

  23. Ben Lam Avatar
    Ben Lam

    Jon, I’m not sure if this is still an option for you, and I know it’s a huge hassle, but can you return to using Leopard 10.5 on your Macbook?

    Seems like I’m not the only one who saw 10.5 as being very stable, wireless connection wise.

    Without a snapshot of 10.5 taken using a backup tool and without having upgraded any firmware, it would be possible to reinstall under 10.5.

    If I were to do this myself, I’d purchase a second laptop hard drive, replace my current drive with the new blank one and install 10.5. I would keep the 10.5.2/.3 drive until I had my 10.5 version running smoothly, knowing that I could simply plug my 10.5.2 drive into a external disk drive caddy/enclosure and boot/run from it. Hardcore, I realize, but something I’ll eventually end up doing since my original Macbook HD is a bit small for my ever-growing disk usage.

  24. Jon Wallace Avatar
    Jon Wallace

    Hi Fais and Ben,

    Thanks for the notes – i am an iMac user not a macbook user so i dont think new harddrives etx are suitable. I back up all my work using time machine at moment so that should be ok.

    So basically what you are saying is for me to stick in the leopard CD and reinstall 10.5? will this work? and just replace all the 10.5.3 stuff? Does anyone know if this will mess anything up on my Mac by doing this? Seems like the only option to me!

    I agree – Apple should leave the iPhone alone for 3 seconds and sort out this bug!

    Cheers guys.


  25. Ben Lam Avatar
    Ben Lam

    Hang on Jon,

    I would not recommend doing a reinstall of 10.5 without having a perfect, ready-to-use backup of your current 10.5.3 system. Time Machine backups are not bootable images of your current system… they only save your general working/operating files. A SuperDuper backup on the other hand, is a bootable backup, which I can simply install into my Mac and run from without any hassles. To do the same from Time Machine would require a complete Leopard fresh install and then a restore from Time Machine.

    Whether you use an iMac or MacBook, you can boot from an external drive connected via USB. With the USB drive attached, reboot, and then simply hold down the alt/option key after hearing the boot-up “chime” until you see the drive options appear on the screen. After that, select the drive you wish to boot from.

    An external drive enclosure (caddy) is pretty inexpensive, anywhere from $25 to $50 and you simply slip-in/connect a regular desktop drive (or laptop if you’re using the small caddies) then connect it to your Mac via USB or FireWire. Not all FireWire drives are bootable though, so be careful with that.

    Going back to 10.5 is only a hypothetical solution. And only one that I would try with my 10.5.2 system backed up and ready to use in a snap.

  26. Jon Wallace Avatar
    Jon Wallace

    Thanks for your notes Ben, i am reluctant to downgrade to 10.5 in all honesty as dont want to in any way mess up my system as it works fine, other than the wireliess of course! i am at the moment using a 10 meter ethernet cable from my router to the iMac to get on the web… this is acceptable… just about at the moment…. does anyone have any idea when Apple might fix this MASSIVE problem?


  27. Andy Avatar

    Hi Ben,
    I have had this problem with Leopard not being able to stay connected to my airport express. I would drop out and have to be reconnected and or Airport Express rebooted to fix it. Each time that the reboot was necessary I noticed that although I could not even see the AE, I could still see other networks around me.

    Then yesterday it dropped out again and even after restarting I could not even see the AE. What was weird was that my wife’s old Powerbook G4 running Tiger was having no such problems.

    I restarted everything a dozen time, tried the Airport utility etc. but nothing.

    Then I started searching the web (with the old powerbook) and found your article and a number of others. I tried two things.

    1. I changed the channel in the airport utility(Wireless tab) from automatic to 8. I had read that this could help.

    2. I cleaned up the list of previous networks I had joined, there were quite a few. (Under advanced in the Airport System Preference pane). I also noticed that I had selected the option to “Remember and network this computer has joined”. I deselected this.

    More or less immediately my MacBook recognised the AE and we were up and running.

    I was then puzzled to know which of the above solutions had actually fixed the problem. I therefore changed the Channel back to Automatic, the AE was lost again.

    I used my wife’s Powerbook to change the port back to 8 again and all was well again.

    I hope this helps any other readers who have similar problems.

    Clearly a bug that apple needs to fix.

    Macbook 10.5.3
    Powerbook G4 10.4.11

  28. BK Avatar

    Try the June 8th Airport Utility 5.3.2 software update for Leopard.

  29. Ben Lam Avatar
    Ben Lam

    Jon and others,

    On June 24 I remove all other AirPort “Preferred Networks” besides my current base station. Since then I haven’t had AirPort drop the wireless connection. It’s still too early to say if this is the final solution for me.

    Note that the solutions I tried, were (in order):
    1) Remove airport.plist file
    2) Remove Keychain Access “system” keys related to routers
    3) Remove all AirPort Preferred networks except my current base station.

    My AirPort connection continued to drop until applying the 3rd fix: removing preferred networks from the AirPort list. Whether those previous changes are necessary or not to keep AirPort wireless connections from dropping, I am not certain.

    I’ll report back after another week on whether my AirPort connection has remained stable or not.


  30. Jon Wallace Avatar
    Jon Wallace


    I have an internal Airport within my iMac – just wanted to make sure this was the same case for others having issues, as a lot of people seem to refer to their Airports as base stations….

    Can you elaborate on part 3 of your suggestion? i will try this today and see…. I just installed the latest patch for 10.5.3 (released july 2nd) and its done nothing to help out! damn you apple!!!!



  31. Ben Lam Avatar
    Ben Lam

    Hi Jon,

    I agree that the marketing names of Apple AirPort and AirPort base station are pretty poor.

    In my understanding, “AirPort”, used in a sentence alone, means the wireless network card located within your Mac (iMac, Mac Pro, Macbook, etc.) and its controlling software (usually accessed via System Preferences => Network => AirPort tab).

    Airport Base Station, refers to a wireless access point, or wireless router, also produced by Apple, which can be connected to a DSL modem from your Internet service provider. Thus making your DSL Internet service available to any computer with a wireless card (such as an Apple AirPort card within a Mac).

    Part of the difficulty in fixing wireless dropouts with an Apple computer (or any computer for that matter), is the vast number of different wireless access points a user could be connecting to. I’d guess there are several hundred different wireless access points (also known as wifi routers) that are/were available on the market and in use across homes and offices everywhere.

    The fixes I discuss above include some changes to your AirPort card/software on your Mac computer and some on your wireless access point, which may or may not be an AirPort / AirPort Extreme Base Station.

    Part 3 of my comment from June 28, removing preferred networks is explained in detail within the body of the article, so please refer to the instructions there.

    Let me know if it helps.

    ~ Ben

  32. […] Resources A very exhaustive and detailed guide on other possibilities here: Dailytech has a slightly dated method, quick and easy to try: […]

  33. Enrico Avatar

    I’ve been reading around the various forums with suggested fixes to this problem since 10.5.3 came and ruined my WiFi a little over a month ago now.

    My solution back then (after trying the various voodoo fixes) was to do a clean install of 10.5.2, which worked beautifully. After the release of 10.5.4 I sat on the fence, before throwing the dice and “upgrading”. I couldn’t have made a bigger mistake. My wireless dropouts returned instantly : ( To make matters worse, when I gave up and did a clean install of 10.5.2 I still have wireless dropouts!!!

    So I’m left here with faulty wifi, no solution, and no idea what could be causing the problem!
    My last option is to buy a newer wireless router. Any suggestions?

  34. Westy Avatar

    Enrico – I’ve just done the same thing. Everything works fine on my laptop. Not on my Imac. This sucks. What’s the problem!!!!! sort it out apple!

  35. stevep Avatar

    I removed the preferred networks, but this did not solve the problem on my new MBA 10.5.2. Thanks for your collective thinking on this miserable problem that Apple does not recognize.

  36. stevep Avatar

    And apparently 10.5.4 does not fix the scanning problem either….

  37. Dan Almasy Avatar

    Hi there. I really have to applaud you for single-handedly taking on this issue. Apple Support and other boards seem to not really be working on it, and I’m very thankful for your time and effort into this.

    That said, I’m really disappointed in Apple lately. It seems like ever since Intel, and then Leopard there have been a TON more bugs and weird things happening than ever. I’ve been a life-long Mac user, and I after a brief stint with Windows, I’ve been back on Macs since 2003… and these sorts of issues just NEVER came up.

    I’m sure that many folks can agree, but I’m totally filled with anxiety any time there’s a new software update because while Apple says “fixes” I only see “breaks” and this Airport issues is pretty huge, especially for us MacBook(Pro) users who depend on a stable wi-fi environment to get work done.

    Apple really needs to get their game face on and start tackling these issues. As much as I hate to admit this, I think Windows is doing a better job right now making sure laptops can connect to the internet… why is Apple having a hard time with their Airport stuff?

    I spent an hour on the phone with Apple Support this week, with the guy having me try all the usual BS with “power cycling” etc. – only to be transferred to a specialist who suggested I change the channel, and had me back online in 5 minutes. While that solution didn’t work permanently, it helped, but I really want to know why not even Apple’s Support team are aware of this issue or offering a fix?

    Again – broken wi-fi on a laptop due to software is a pretty BIG deal. They need to fix this, and quick.

  38. Ben Lam Avatar
    Ben Lam

    I completely understand the hesitancy to install updates for fear of breaking something and rightfully so it seems.

    I personally don’t install any Apple update unless it specifically fixes an issue I’m experiencing.

    I finally updated to 10.5.2 to fix problems with Photoshop and to get Aperture support. And I was rewarded with numerous new bugs, none of which were present in 10.5.0, the worst being the dropping wireless connections (leading to this article). Also started seeing random key presses being repeated ddddddddddddddddd and desktop/wallpaper resetting to default on secondary display.

    Currently waiting in my Apple Update Queue:
    – Airport Utility update
    – Front Row update
    – iLife Support
    – iTunes update
    – Java for Mac 10.5 update 1
    – Keyboard firmware update
    – Mac OS X update (10.5.3)
    – Mac OS X update (10.5.4)
    – Macbook Pro EFI Firmware update
    – Quicktime update
    – Remote desktop client

    When am I going to install those? Never… if I can avoid it. I’m not having an issue with any of that hardware/software so I have very little incentive to install them. Especially when folks on apple discussion boards are claiming that the firmware updates have made their keyboard problems worse, rather than solving them.

  39. Ian Avatar

    Ben I’ve tried all of the above to hold an internet connection on my Macbook Pro. The connection just keeps dropping

    Have you any new information on possible fixes?

    Also any idea when Apple is going to address this issue?

  40. Beth Avatar

    I have a week old MacBook Pro, which out of the box came with
    just about every connectivity problem I’ve read about. Updated
    with 10.5.4 combo and nothing improved.

    Downloads are painfully slow, with Adium being one hour to complete.

    I had read that Firefox gave a better performance, so I downloaded
    Camino (which I like better) and it doesn’t drop off. Can get slow,
    but it’s better than Safari, which may help Ian.

    Any suggestions of what to try first would be greatly appreciated. Tried
    Apple Discussions and only heard from a woman with identical problems!

    Thanks for your diligence on this subject Ben.

  41. Jason Avatar

    I’ve tried everything as well, except downgrading to 802.11g on my router. I did the removing preferred networks thing, but the one I use was the only one on there.

    I’d been a Windows user for 17 years and “upgraded” to Mac, only to have this problem. Usually, it’s not a big issue, but if I try to use Skype, it dies in minutes whereas I can use it two feet away on my little Eee PC for hours on end.

    Pretty ridiculous, especially considering how long this problem has been going on.

  42. […] back in October 2007, more and more complaints about wireless connectivity have been leveled on message boards across the Internet, with a host of potential fixes being proffered. Some claim the fixes work, others have not met […]

  43. OSW Avatar

    1. Recent Networks: I can’t connect to any other Wireless Station except for mine. All the other Wireless Access points are secure.
    (Note: doesn’t exist on my Leopard, can’t find it manually, can’t find it on Spotlight. Search says no result.)

    2. My router only has g&b available. Cannot update to N standard without buying a new router. I’m not gonna do it for Leopard though since I truly consider this a software problem.

    3. I downloaded AirTraffic Control to see the nearby stations channel and avoided them. (currently channels occupied: 11,1,1. My router set on Channel 8)
    Did not improve.

    4. Downloaded AP Grapher. Noise level is low. Signal and Common level is normal. TX Rate often jumps up and down during dropouts. As expected. Constant scanning didn’t improve dropout situation.

    5. iStumbler did the same as AP Grapher. No improvement.

    6. /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/ doesn’t exist on my drive. The Folder “SystemConfiguration” doesn’t exist, rather.

    I’m currently using 10.5.4. Leopard.
    Some facts.

    1. New 24 inch iMac. This is the third day I’m using this new iMac.
    2. Before updating from 10.5.2. There wasn’t any dropout for me. Since I was able to download Adium, NeoOffice and other programs online smoothly.

    Basically I tried ALL of the methods above. (except for the plist one which I’d love some help with finding that folder).

    Depressed, Frustrated, I will keep on reading on posts to find a solution.

  44. OSW Avatar

    Above post:
    Channel 8

  45. OSW Avatar

    Also, 2 other methods found on other boards.

    1. Switching my router to “g only” from G&B – didn’t improve.
    2. Supposedly Leopard “hates” WEP security. so:
    – I tried to make my NetGear Router open. No improvement.
    – use WPA security. No improvement.

    Many of the above methods seemed to work for others. ): Not for me though.

  46. Edward Targonski Avatar
    Edward Targonski

    My completely unelegant (is that word??) solution to this has been to start a ping in the back ground to my wireless router. Not a great solution but it keeps the connection stable and active.

  47. Sharon Avatar


    I was dismayed a few weeks ago when airport kept falling offline, even though the signal strength was strong… it got progressively worse and finally just stopped working altogether on our recently updated 10.5.4 Mac Pro.

    Airport was working great on our PowerMac G5 with 10.4.11 so I quickly perused the ‘net for answers and learned this problem with Leopard was widespread. I tried some of the suggestions offered on various sites to no avail and had given up and settled for using just my Tiger G5 for online work.

    Then one day my husband walked into the room, reset our router and the 10.5.4 machine connected to the internet and has worked perfectly since (it’s been about a week now) with no dropped connection.

    I realize this may not be the fix for everyone, but it was so simple and worked for us, so give it a try before you do the complicated stuff. I wish I had!

  48. Mike Barnkob Avatar

    Hi Ben, thanks for a great site!

    I’m having the same problem as everybody else it seems, though it didn’t kick in before I updated to 10.5.4 – after that my imac simply wouldnt stay connected to my router (which by the way is a Linksys wrt160n).

    None of the solutions here have worked completely, but I got the best result from changing the router signal from mixed to g and pinging the router as suggested above. Best result meaning I’ll only experience random, slow connection and complete drops once every 10 or so minutes.

    Of course this is very annoying, and I’m pretty close to re-installing leopard as others have done.

  49. Impreza Avatar

    I ran verify permissions and many airport permissions were wrong. I ran Repair Permissions and now I am connecting immediately like I was in Tiger.

  50. Mike Barnkob Avatar

    Impreza, I think your solution might have worked for me as well – I’ve been playing around with this for some time though, so I’m not completely sure.

    Here’s what I did:

    1. Ran control / repair permissions as suggested (a lot of airport files showed up)
    2. Rebooted, while holding down shift
    3. Rebooted again
    4. Changed my router settings to mixed

    Voila! I’ve havn’t had a drop for an entire day, which is quit impressive from where I’m at 🙂

    Before that I applied the settings suggested by Ben.

    Hope this continues !


  51. Niels Avatar

    Ben, thanks a lot for your complete guide to fixing this annoying problem. Your help together with Mike’s (in the comment above), helped me fix it.


  52. Jon Wallace Avatar
    Jon Wallace

    Hi all,

    Where is the Repair Permissions application on the mac? Cant seem to find it and would love to see if this fix works for me too!


    Jon Wallace

  53. Robin Koenig Avatar
    Robin Koenig

    I find it amazing that I can talk to several Apple Care reps on the phone and they claim this wifi connectivity problem isn’t widespread. They also say they don’t read the forums on the internet. I can “google” this issue and it’s all over the internet. I have posted many of my observations on the Apple discussion forums if anyone cares to peruse there. Bottom line is that no “real” fix is available yet from Apple. I had some luck changing from channel 1 to 10 and am now on 11. The progress bar still hangs up for a while when I attempt to load a new web page. I also have Windows Vista loaded on this new 24″ iMac using bootcamp and Windows works fine with no connection issues. I also have several other Windows based notebooks and 1 other desktop PC connecting through the same Time Capsule with no issues. This all started about 3 days after I got my new iMac when I allowed the iMac to do the software updates. My iMac arrived on July 18th so I’ve had it about a month.

  54. Paul Hacker Avatar
    Paul Hacker

    Jut wanted to add the ONLY solution that worked for me was the reinstall to Lep 10.5, my problems started very soon after upgrading to 10.5.4. WiFI would only operate for a few seconds.

    Unfortunately for me it coincided with my purchase of a Time Capsule so it took two trips back to the store with a “faulty” TC before I firmly isolated the issue to my mac book.

    This is poor, come on apple with your unique control of the hardware and software selling point this really shouldn’t happen and smells very Windoze like.

  55. Paul Claude Avatar
    Paul Claude

    Only a suggestion for all.

    Some of your problems may be caused by a strange communication behavior of macboock. My problem was that my speed is very high in DL, but when browse internet (no matter if with Safari or Firefox), I can’t load pages with many images.

    After trying many methods, I’ve connected directly the modem (USR) with ethernet cable, and the problem still stands, so it’s not an airport problem but some macbook problem (this problem does’nt affect other Windoze PC connected with my modem in wireless).

  56. Christopher Hayen Avatar

    These settings on my WRT160N seem to be working:

    I also set the Fragmentation and RTS Thresholds to 2306

    I’ll let you know how it works out.

  57. Christopher Hayen Avatar

    Oh and I forgot to mention that when setting my router to Wide 40MHZ instead of Standard 20 MHZ pretty much killed my signal

  58. luca Avatar

    If the issue is really related to incorrect permissions then the incorrect files should be these:
    in the Applications/Utilities/AirPort folder

    According to Disk Utility the permissions for those files should be
    but they actually are

    I am now amending the incorrect permissions and then I’ll run some more tests.
    I’ll post an update soon.

  59. atalanta Avatar

    I am so glad to be here. I started having this problem a few weeks ago but it was our ISP and they set us up with a new router. Now I am really having this issue. The weird thing is, it’s really been happening since we added a new mac mini to the network. Before the mini goes on, I can connect. Once it connects, I start having a on-and-off (more off as the day goes on).

    My airport status shows 3 bars (the mini shows 4). We’re both connected to the same network, but I’m not really connected (the clicking gets the status which quickly changes to ON as though I caught it doing something naughty).

    I have gone through EVERYTHING on this page so far. Not much luck. Though my IMs just flashed back on, we’ll see how much longer it lasts. (I asked the mini user what he did and he just shrugged – he was trying to access the airport utility which was saying no airport found though he was connected).

    I’ll be back, hopefully we’ll come up with something soon!

  60. atalanta Avatar

    Oh, I should add, when he scanned with the “newer” utility (10.5) it couldn’t find the base station. When he used the older utility (10.4) it found the base station.

  61. prof.gak Avatar

    Hi all !

    Just stumbled upon this invaluable resource and can say I’ve been having the same issue with my 24″ 2.8GHz iMac.

    However (& this is only related to my experience – I appreciate other’s circumstances may be different) I have only experienced the connection drop-outs AFTER installing Airport Utility 5.3.2. I first experienced the phenomenon back when AU 5.3.2 was released and I installed. Solution was to roll back to 10.5 (clean install and restore files from Time Machine) which worked. Installing subsequent OS updates was Ok, provided I EXCLUDED the AU 5.3.2 update. Then last week, in a momentary lapse of reason, I foolishly installed the Airport Utility 5.3.2 update, assuming that with OSX 10.5.4, the issue would have been dealt with – how wrong!

    I now have tried rolling back to 10.5 again as per above but the problem persists – doh!

    I intend to try Ben’s comprehensive fix and if unsuccessful, another re-install followed by the fixes. I shall report back.

    In summary, my conclusion is that the problem lies with Airport Utility 5.3.2.

    Hope this helps inform the debate!

  62. Jake Avatar

    My internet is two to three times faster than it was before I did the following instructions but it isn’t quite yet where it should be. My airport reception still keeps fluctuating randomly too.

    When Ben had said get rid of the keychain preferences, I had gotten rid of any networks/passwords stored by clicking “open network preferences” in the drop down that comes when you click on the airport reception meter on the top bar on my powerbook. That was last week. Today I tried the following instructions and had decent results:

    1. Navigate to LibraryPreferencesSystemConfiguration

    2. Locate

    3. Drag it to trash

    4. Hit the spotlight, type in “Keychain Access”
    a) Remove all passwords to every network
    *now I don’t know if that’s necessary, but I did it, and it worked*

    5. Restart Leopard

    6. Connect to a network and you should be problem free

    By deleting and restarting your system, you are allowing Leopard to create the new 10.5.2 file.

    (instructions copied from )


  63. luca Avatar

    As promised I tested the incorrect permissions change but it did not fix my problem. I am now back to my RJ45 connection 🙁

  64. prof.gak Avatar

    As promised, my update.

    Did all of the above fixes but problem persisted.

    Then did a complete erase and install with Leopard install DVD back to 10.5. Restored all files and applications etc except for network connections from Time Machine backup. Connection worked perfectly.

    Have now applied all OS and App updates (QT, iTunes 8 etc) EXCEPT for Airport Utility 5.3.2 and restarted both Airport Extreme Base Station and my Airport Express. Vonnection has been perfectly stable for 4 days now. Airport utility version installed is 5.2.2 and I’m sticking with that. Have not had any need to apply the fixes supplied by Ben etc.

    Hope this helps.

  65. Mark Avatar

    I have had a stable wireless connection since updating to Leopard 10.5.5 yesterday. I had tried pretty much everything suggested in this thread without any joy. Thankfully, it appears that Leopard 10.5.5 has done the trick.

  66. Kelly Avatar

    Hello everyone, This is a lengthy post, but could be very, very helpful. I had the same problems as many of you. I have three computers at my house: 1 iMac running Tiger (and connected to the wireless router) 1 older PC laptop and a newly purchased 24″ iMac with 3.06 GHz and I was experiencing slow page loading, dropped connections, and dropped downloads on my new iMac, even though my PC had full signal strength.

    Below I’ve written the steps I went through to fix the problem. Do them all of them in order and then check how your connection behaves. I now have fast page loading speeds and streaming audio/video seems to be pretty normal. I haven’t been on the Internet for an extended time since updating the changes, so I don’t know if the connection will slow down again or drop while I’m downloading, but so far, I do have normal Web page loading and browsing. When I called Apple’s technical support, the guy suggested that I upgrade my wireless router (an ancient D-Link DI-614+ which runs on 2.4 GHz and 802.11b) to a new wireless router that runs at 802.11n. (I’ve checked online and Apple’s AirPort Extreme runs for about $100, and Linksys has one for about $80. If you have an extended 3-year warranty on your Mac like I do, he says the Apple wireless router will be covered under the same warranty. Not bad, considering the AirPort Extreme has some nice extra features and backwards compatibility. I think the Linksys is also backwards compatible — good to know if you have an older computer that only runs 802.11a/bg).

    Anyhow, try the following steps and let me know if it works for you. I’m also seriously considering upgrading to a new 802.11n wireless router so that I can have even faster downloads, etc. The Apple guy says that upgrading will definitely allow this to happen. In the meantime, these steps should help you stop pulling out your hair and cursing the fact that you dropped a load of money on a new Mac only to have it perform like a dial-up dinosaur. =)

    STEP A: Test the Hardware on your Mac. (optional — but if you call tech support, they’ll probably have you do this anyway). The following is how it’s done on the new iMacs (I’m not sure about the older models or laptops).

    1. Disconnect all external devices (printer, speakers, etc) including ethernet cable (except the keyboard and mouse) from your Mac.
    2. Restart your computer while pressing the D key.
    3. Wait a few seconds for the Apple Test Hardware Chooser screen to appear.
    4. Choose English and then press the return key.
    5. When the Hardware Test Screen appears (may take up to one minute), follow the onscreen instructions.
    6. The screen will display an error code if there is one. If not, click OK (or whatever gets you back to normal operating mode).

    STEP B: Set up a new location.

    1. Click the Apple icon in the upper toolbar and choose System Preferences (or go to Applications > System Preferences) and then click on Network.
    2. Under the Location pull-down list, choose Edit Locations.
    3. Click on the + button and enter a name for the new location (I chose “home”).
    4. Make sure your new location name is highlighted and then click Done.
    5. In the Network window, click Apply. In a few seconds, the AirPort Status should be connected (if not, try clicking on the Airport icon in the left-hand side of the window). Also make sure you are connected to your network. (In the Network Name pull-down list, you may need to select your network and enter your password, if necessary.).
    6. Make sure AirPort is at the top of the list on the left-hand side of the Network window. If so, go on to Step B, below. If not, continue with the steps 8 and 9 before going to Step B.
    7. Click the little gear icon on the left side of the Network window (just above the lock icon).
    8. From the list, select Set Service Order.
    9. Drag the word AirPort to the top of the list and then click OK.
    10. close the Network window.

    STEP C: Update your firmware, change the channel, and change the protection method on your wireless router.

    Note: most wireless routers have a default channel setting of 6. If you have neighbors whose networks are also running on channel 6, this could cause the turtle-like slowness that we’ve been experiencing.

    1. Go to the computer where your wireless router is connected and open a Web browser (Safari, Firefox, etc). Don’t worry, you don’t need internet connection for these steps, as you are actually going to be connecting to your router’s internal goings-on.
    2. Type in your router’s location in the address bar of the browser (most are either” or
    3. Your router’s “page” will appear. Since everyone’s router varies, you may need to click things to figure out where everything is located to change the following settings.
    4. Update the firmware on the router, if necessary (most likely, you do. Even though my router was issued an end-of-life status, D-Link still has firmware and FAQs regarding my model). There might be a link from the set up page you’re looking at (you might have to click a “Firmware” tab, etc.), or you can go to the company’s web site and search the knowledge base for your model # and look for firmware updates.
    5. Change the channel that your router is currently set to. (example: change from 6 to 11. don’t use 5 or 7, as many routers try using these automatically when they are trying to get a good signal). You may need to go back and do this step again if things are still slow after you’ve finished everything. Just keep trying channels (1-11, but not 5-7) and 99 percent of the time, this will work. Hooray!
    5. If you’re currently using a WEP encryption for your network passcode, now is a good time to change it to WPA or WPA-PSK. better security. read more on the Internet. It might even help your computer (for some reason, it helped mine. weird. I chose WPA-PSK).
    6. Save/Apply all these settings.

    STEP D: Connect to your Network

    1. Click Wireless icon in the upper toolbar of your Mac choose your network.
    2. Enter your passcode to connect to your network.
    3. Open your browser (Safari, Firefox, etc) and try going to a couple of Web sites. You should be experiencing normal connectivity! =)
    4. If not, call Apple’s technical support and ask to speak to someone in the Wireless technical support. Maybe they can help. Keep calling — maybe you’ll find someone who can help.

    TroubleShooting if you still have problems:

    1. If you have a cordless phone running on 2.4GHz (or identical to the GHz that your wireless modem is, you may have interference). Try unplugging the phone from the outlet and see if anything improves.
    2. Other electronic interference (televisions, radios, microwaves). Turn off/unplug any of these near your computer and see if anything improves.

    I really hope this helps some people!!


  67. Kelly Avatar

    Ah, disregard my previous post. The “fix” only lasted one day. Gee, thanks Apple. Blah.

    By the way, the tech support guy at Apple claimed that my call was the first he’s had regarding Wireless/Internet connectivity issues. Really?

  68. prof.gak Avatar

    Created a bootable backup of my working setup (Leopard 10.5.5 + Airport Utility 5.2.2) as a failsafe and then installed the ‘dreaded’ AU 5.3.2 update.

    All has been working fine and no dropouts for three days now…

    …fingers crossed!

    Seems the 10.5.5 fix has worked for me.

  69. luca Avatar

    The 10.5.5 upgrade did NOT fix my problem 🙁

  70. prof.gak Avatar

    All has been hunky dory since my last post.

  71. ffar Avatar

    I’ve posted this on apple boards as well but I thought it might help you guys, so here is a copy (by the way I’m using MacBook with Leopard 10.5.5):

    After lots of trial and errors I found the way around the problem of dropped or very poor wireless connection after you put your mac to sleep.
    I have no idea what the problem really is but this procedure has stopped me from throwing my brand new MacBook through the window.

    1) Go to System Preferences -> Network -> Advanced
    2) Remove any network you have there memorized
    3) uncheck option ‘Remember any network this computer has joined’ (leave the other options also unchecked)
    4) press ok and switch AirPort off … then on (make sure you have ‘Show AirPort status in menu bar’ checked)

    Now the only real change we’ve made is to stop Mac memorizing our network – but here lies the solution.
    Put your MacBook to sleep and than wake it up. It will not connect to the network (none are memorized) but all you have to do is choose your network name from the list on the menu bar. It might ask you for the key but in my case it simply asks for permission to use my KeyChain (memorized WPA2 password).
    Once I press ‘Allow’ …. it works as it should! eureka! 😉

    Do not check ‘Remember this network’ when asked for password.
    As long as Mac does not store your network details it reconnects without problems, once you allow it to store these details, re-connection after sleep goes pear-shape…. figure it out Apple!

    I hope this might help you (as it most certainly works for me) 😉

    best regards

  72. Steve Avatar

    I am pleased to find this forum. We have had a similar problem for 3 months but unable to resolve it and been given the run around by Apple (surprise, surprise). We are starting to seriously loose the will to live with it but feel better we are not alone in this problem.

    When my iMac is running by itself the connection to airport/internet is superb. However, my partner has a MacBook and I have a separate MacBookPro. When either the MacBook or MacBookPro is connected to the airport this sends the iMac into a the constant scanning pickle.

    The iMac has 10.5.5, the MacBook’s have 10.4.11. When the MacBook’s are sharing the airport no problem at all. The iMac is the equation we can’t resolve. No doubt due to software problems that Apple don’t seem to want to address or recognise.

    We have tried everything stated here, and thanks for everyone for the great advice, but nothing works for us. Have spent 4 hours on the phone with Apple today, and with 3 different people, all who state the same thing. We’ve updated the firmware to 7.3.2, started from scratch with the airport setup, changed to various channels (after installing iStumble). Tonight I have gone through the steps stated above as well.

    Having just bought this iMac I completely regret the decision, especially as I was really looking forward to the larger screen rather than working from a laptop all the time. I just feel like selling it and buying a good PC.

    Any advice on how to resolve this would be gratefully received.

  73. Ben Lam Avatar
    Ben Lam


    Sorry to hear about your headaches with the iMac/Macbooks + Airport.

    This isn’t a solution to your problem, but a workaround. Since the iMac is a non-portable computer, purchase ethernet cable (CAT 5) and connect it to your Airport Base Station’s ethernet port. The connection will be rock solid and your Macbooks can continue to roam wireless around your abode.

    It’s not a clean solution. It’s not pretty. But it avoids spending countless hours attempting to fix something that may be near impossible to figure out given our knowledge of the internal workings of Apple networking software/hardware.

    Best regards,


  74. Steve Avatar

    Thanks Ben,

    Hadn’t thought of this and it seems the most common sense solution.

    The only problem is the modem is two rooms away due to where the cable company could place their devices, so looks like we will have to drill through two walls in order to feed the ethernet cable through (at probably great expense and with a possible wait time for planning permission).

    I think it might be easier to sell the iMac and get a decent PC with the money. With this and other problems we are experiencing with Apple I have just had enough of them.

    Thanks anyway,
    Take care,

  75. Steve Avatar

    I found a resolution to my problem…just when I was about to dump the mac on the scrap heap!

    I disabled the Real Player Downloader. Then clicked on the wireless icon, join other network, and chose my own network. I needed to repeat the join other network bit after rebooting once but since then it has worked 100%…and will keep my fingers crossed that this has done the trick.

    Not sure if this is helpful to anyone else since my situation might have been slightly different.

    Take care,

  76. Seabees4 Avatar

    Thank you! That’s been bothering me for so long, I can’t even remember. I deleted that .plist and the problem went away. It’s been working for almost 3 days. (It used to drop like every 3 minutes, and I had to use diagnostics.)

    Thanks a bunch,

  77. Franz Baur Avatar
    Franz Baur

    Thanks for the very interesting comments. I had the same kind of problems but they disapeared by chanching the chanel. but now I found another phenomen. my ibook from time to time does not automatically go into sleep modus. in this cases I have the following messages in the system log
    09.10.08 08:20:17 kernel AirPort: Roam (Beacons Lost)
    any idea how to overcome this problem
    Franz (sorry for my poor english)

  78. Jon Wallace Avatar
    Jon Wallace

    Does anyone have the definitive fix for this yet? been without wireless on my iMac for months now…. Tried loads of ideas but none have worked to date…

  79. brfisher Avatar

    erasing all memorized basestations worked for me, but it means that secure access is a problem— we use 802x here at the university for many things. Normally you can preprogram it to handle all the specifics. it would be a pain to re enter all the data each time

  80. B9T Avatar

    still need a definitive fix!

  81. Lauren Avatar

    My MacBook Pro has just started doing this in the past few days. I’ve got 10.5.5. I can connect wirelessly without problem at work, at the bookstore, etc. But at home, with my Time Capsule, I’m getting dropped frequently now. Our Windows laptop works just fine, no drops, using the same Time Capsule.

    Those of you who are getting dropped, does this happen when you connect to other routers? Or just the one at home?

    I called Apple; they had my restart my modem, and that worked for the rest of the day. Next day — back to square one. It also seems to be worse if the other laptop connects.

    This is most irritating.

  82. Lauren Avatar

    I’ve narrowed the problem down to just when my husband is on his (Windows) laptop. Otherwise, my MacBook Pro works fine.

  83. Alex Avatar


    Running a Macbook Pro. Having the same problems on my airport and sometimes on other networks.

    I don’t seem to have the .pllst file to delete heh.

    I tried deleting all the older previous networks. That kinda worked. Though I only get a strong signal when I’m within 6 feet of my airport. Even then its not very good.

    Problems started when I started running OS X leopard. What sucks is that the only reason I ever installed the operating system was to run a gaming program that “required” it. The signal strength will remain at one bar for quite sometime, then it will finally give out. After that, airport can’t even find the signal.

    I’m having my parents send me the original operating system install CD’s that came with my laptop two years ago. The plan is to reinstall those… Thoughts? Will this work? Is it going to be a pain?


  84. Ben Lam Avatar
    Ben Lam


    As long as you haven’t installed firmware updates to your MacBook Pro, you can still go back to Tiger (such as a Keyboard firmware update). Firmware updates are unfortunately unreversible (without major tweaking) and will prevent “reverting” to older version of OS X which expects certain hardware & firmware.

    Best of luck,


  85. Mich Avatar

    thank you to Steve who mentionned disabling Realplayer downloader

    on the 5th of October Steve said: “I disabled the Real Player Downloader. Then clicked on the wireless icon, join other network, and chose my own network. I needed to repeat the join other network bit after rebooting once but since then it has worked 100%…and will keep my fingers crossed that this has done the trick.”

    it did the trick for me today! so I want to tell everybody try that also before going into downgrading installs
    My chronology : 2 or 3 weeks ago without even any update, suddenly airport started drop off my network. I am on Leopard 10.5.5 while my kids at the same time on Tiger 10.4 were surfing without any problems. I shut down and restarted everything, reintalled the airport soft + firmware update + some updates , in between checking if it improved or not. nothing worked more than a couple of minutes or hours. I went to several forums, tried the delete plist stuff which seemed to improve a bit, but problem was back. then I could narrow the problem: when other computers were connected in addition to mine, I lost the network. each time I was alone connected no problem. as soon as kids turned on their airport I lost the network. So I kept going like that waiting for a fix. Yesterday my software update downloaded an update for Airport from apple AirPortExtremeUpdate2008004 to improve drop off issues for airport with 10.5.5 Was happy and installed it: soon to be regreted: it was worse , even with no other computer connected , I couldn’t even join the Internet through Airport. had to end up with the Ethernet connection , so the other computers were even more forbidden of the Internet. this morning I was again on this forum (with wired ethernet connection) and I read Steve’s intervention. I rang a bell , I remember I downloaded a few weeks ago real player to listen to some Internet radio shows. it never really work fine and I forgot about it. I know I know… should have thought of that bec was the only new install. but I didn’t even use it nor open at startup. This morning I noticed event though I never used it, Real Player downloader was open (against my back sort of) !!! SO it may have been the cause of my problem. I quit it , trashed it, emptied the trash, turned off airport (which still worked for my printer BTW) and shut down everything as a matter of precaution. And restarted again computer, airport and modem then once everything had the right lights showing up and running, turned on my airport again and miracle : connection to Internet was now possible. Have not tried yet to turn on the other computers, but that’s a good step. so I kept the Airport update and take back my bad words against it!
    Hope this help: get rid of stupide useless Realplayer (it was the first time even in 25-year computer life that I installed it! now I know, could live without it for 25 years and will continue for the next 25!
    Thank you steve for this casual comment about RealPlayer downloader!

  86. timgo Avatar

    I tried this sites various recommendations for my Intel MacBook with 10.5.5. None solved the frequent Airport connection drops. But I did find one solution that’s been permanent.

    On Ebay I purchased a Hawking HWL2A USB directional wlan antenna for $17. I downloaded the ZyDas driver (google zydas driver OS X). I installed driver, then plugged in the external flip-phone-like antenna.

    For days now the signal is strong and consistent. This works with my Linksys wrt54g router.

    Earlier I took my Macbook to the Applestore to initiate a repair on this. Of course, their internal store network never exhibited the problem. This made me think the problem was actually with wlan (airport) drivers in OS X. By trying the ZyDas driver and the Hawking USB antenna I would be able to test the driver theory. So far, so good.

  87. BlacksheepRecon Avatar

    I have a MacBook Pro running OS X 10.5.5.

    I selected “Ask to join new networks” under System Preferences => Network.

    I de-selected “Remember any network this computer has joined” under System Preferences => Network => Advanced…..

    Further, I deleted all networks listed in the Preferred Networks pane.

    All seems to be functioning well, as my connection has not dropped for over an hour now.

    Hope this helps.

  88. emmakerf Avatar

    Hey there,

    Just wanted to say how great this article is, I’ve tinkered with a few things after a month or so of having a badly hanging connection.

    It seems that changing to the 5Ghz (only and 802.11a compatible) radio band solved all my problems and I was overjoyed (especially as I play my entire music collection wirelessly from my external). Then my flatmate got back from London and found she couldn’t see the network on her windows laptop. Is there something I can do to get her laptop to recognise networks on this radio band or is it possible her PC in incompatible with this?

  89. Alex Avatar

    Oh crap.

    How do I know whether or not I’ve installed a firmware update? More than likely, I have. I pretty much install any update that mac puts out.

    So, assuming have HAVE installed some firmware, what are my options? I still have the old CD’s that my computer came with. Considering how much Leopard has royally screwed my computer, I would think taking the original CD’s to the Mac store, and asking them to reinstall the original UI would be an option, no?

    The internet DOES work if I am within 6 feet or so of my airport router. It sometimes dips a bit, but it never completely goes out. Beyond that distance however (i.e. in another room), kiss the internet goodbye.

    I can’t find the file mentioned way above in this thread that I should try deleting. I cleared all my previously joined networks, and that seemed to work for a bit, and at least it works when I’m close to my router now. The problem isn’t just my Airport. Currently I’m on my university’s campus in the library and their signal is pretty low on my computer. In the past it has always been 4/4 bars.

  90. Larry Avatar

    Similar problem to what others have described. I had thought that channel-changing, deleting plist file, and so on, would help but just noticed tonight that I still get the “drop” when my older laptop is working perfectly. -Much worse, in fact. This would seem to eliminate many of the responses I’ve come across on this page…

  91. Juliana Gallin Avatar
    Juliana Gallin

    I haven’t scrolled through all the comments to see if anyone else has reported this fix, but here is my experience. I have a PowerBook G4 currently running on OS 10.5.5. Ever since I upgraded from Tiger to Leopard a few weeks ago I’ve had horrible problems with my Airport connection. Although the Airport icon in the menu bar always shows a strong connection, and the Network Diagnostics utility reports that I am successfully connected to the internet, my connection was dropping dozens of times day. It’s been incredibly frustrating. Today I found myself on the phone with my service provider’s tech support (AT&T) and after an hour of troubleshooting, the guy did something that so far seems to have been the miracle cure. Apparently Leopard is most compatible with the wireless signal “N.” And my several-year-old 2WIRE router was giving a signal compatible with both “B” and “G.” N is the most recent protocol, and G is the second most recent. So he isolated my router, from his end, to give off a G signal only. No more outdated B. (Since my router is older, setting it to give off the N signal was not an option.) I hope I am not speaking too soon, but my connection has not dropped since… and considering how bad it was, this is really significant. I hope this helps others out there who are having the same maddening problem.

  92. Neil deMause Avatar
    Neil deMause

    Thanks for all the helpful posts here – I’ve spent the last 24 hours trying to troubleshoot this problem on my new MacBook (running 10.5.5), and this is by far the most useful forum I’ve found so far.

    Things that have not worked for me at all: Deleting the .plist, deleting other networks from System Preferences, changing router channels. My modem is older, so I’m going to try a newer one (want to get a new one anyway); if that fails, looks like I’ll need to scrounge up a 10.5.0 install disc. (My MacBook came with 10.5.4.)

    Apple really needs to be raked over the coals for this. Just inexcusable.

  93. Neil deMause Avatar
    Neil deMause

    Okay, I seem to have found a possible fix, though it’s not free. I purchased a copy of Little Snitch ($30), and followed the directions here:

    Since then my net connection problems have mostly disappeared – there are occasional glitches, but they mostly seem to be when I wander far from my router, which is to be expected. Keeping my fingers crossed.

    If anyone else wants to try this, Little Snitch offers a demo version that expires after three hours, but that should be enough to see whether it works for you.

  94. some dude Avatar
    some dude

    I’ve tried absolutely everything for my iMac, and not only does nothing work, it’s getting worse, as it can’t hold a connection for more than a minute or so without dropping. This is an absolute debacle, and at this point I wouldn’t trust Apple enough to buy another computer from them, which breaks my heart as I loathe PCs.

  95. Neil deMause Avatar
    Neil deMause

    Yeah, neither Little Snitch nor a new router has entirely solved my problems, though at least the glitches generally don’t last more than a few seconds now. Still, maddening. When does Snow Leopard come out again?

  96. David Gable Avatar
    David Gable

    I have the same problem, the joke is the chap on the Genius Bar in Regent Street, London said the same thing happens to him at home but it can’t be the equipment because it works OK in a hotel room. Mine worked OK in the Apple Store. I have now done an Archive and Install back to 10.5, as suggested above, and Hey Presto the wireless link from my Imac to Airport Express is rock solid. Thank you.
    How can we get Apple to accept there is a problem with their updates???
    Incidentally, because my Imac was purchased pre leopard with a drop in disc, there is a password problem after doing an Archive and Install, which will not let you log back in. Apple know about this and were happy to reboot it for me. If they know about this problem – why don’t they fix it?

  97. Marc Buren Avatar
    Marc Buren

    Hello everyone. I’ve been having problems with my wireless connection for about a week or two now. However, my problem seems a bit different from everyone else’s. I live in an apartment building right next to a big biomedical research building at a major university. I’m so close to the research building that I can see the schools network and for YEARS I’ve been using the schools public network. However, lately I’ve run into trouble. When I first open up my computer I can see about a dozen networks, those of people living in my building and the schools public network. I can even connect to the public network and get online, everything works fine for about 2 minutes. Then I get disconnected and when I go to the airport menu bar it scans, but doesn’t find any networks, which is really weird since it obviously was able to detect about a dozen of them 2 minutes before. I’m on a macbook pro running 10.5.6, although I also had the problem while running 10.5.5. I’m going crazy not having internet. I’ve tried running hardware diagnostics, but it didn’t find any problems, I’ve tried resetting my PRAM with no effect. Any suggestions would be GREATLY APPRECIATED. Thanks.

  98. Christos Avatar

    Hey all,

    i’ve been having this problem for a while now. I’ve tried most of the suggested fixes but nothing really seems to work. Just to give you my two cents:

    it seems that it is a OSX environment thing. I have a macbook pro 10.5.6 and a macbook 10.4.11 and regardless of the system, the internet drops out while the wifi for all intents and purposes is still working. I’ve got an airport express and the green light happily drums along through all of this. was about to send my router back but it seems that i’m not alone! The only thing that fixes it for me is a power cycle on router computers….


  99. Doug Avatar

    This happens continuously with my Mac Book Pro. However, I have an iMac and two Mac Minis as well as several PC’s. It did happen for several weeks with my iMac but that has now seemed to stop on the iMac. Why? I’m not sure. My Mac Book Pro continues to have the problem. First observations is that it seems to affect the mac that is used most in the building.

    I originally had a DLink router and thought it was the culprit. I bought a Linksys router, to replace it with, thinking this would help. The same problem persisted. I was on the phone with Apple for over 4 hours, being handed from low level to higher level reps and they all said that they have never heard of such a problem before. However one of the reps insisted that if I bought an AirPort Express or Time Capsule with wifi that all my problems should go away. I did buy a 1 terabyte Time Capsule. Well, my problems didn’t go away.

    One thing I found is that it is worse in different locations of my house.

    If I leave and go to may fathers place, I have no problems with running my MacBook Pro their. If I go to my sisters, I have no problems their either.

    I’ve tried turning off all other electronics in the home, have rebooted my router many times and still no success.

    I’ve tried all of the suggestions from this very informative forum but nothing seems to work.

    One thing is for certain. It now only happens on my MacBook Pro, even with OSX 10.5.6.

    I’m starting to think that it may be that someone has hacked/infected my neighbors router and is attempting to use it to collect wifi packets. Is that possible? Do some wifi experts out their know how to steal data via a hacked neighboring wifi?

    Who knows, maybe it could be someone playing games with a radio frequency scanner or scrambler. I’m running out of idea’s.

  100. Ben Lam Avatar
    Ben Lam


    I know this problem is frustrating beyond most can comprehend. The worst part of this issue is how unclear the cause of the problem is and the lack of a surefire solution.

    From my experience, removal of unused or unnecessary Keychains from Keychain Access plus removal of all unused favorite networks solved my Airport wireless network connection drops in Leopard 10.5.2.

    I have heard from many that this solution does not solve their disconnection issues. Why this works for some and not others, I cannot explain. There are often too many different variables to definitively point to a cause.

  101. Peter Avatar

    Thanks, Ben, for hosting this discussion, and thanks, Steve, for solving our issue (so far). I have a MacBook Pro running 10.4.11—never had a problem connecting to our Time Capsule. But whenever I connected, I’d kick my wife off—she has a six-month-old MacBook running the latest version of Leopard (now 10.5.6). I would kick her off even with the iPod touch. She had installed Real Player for a project; it never worked, but she never gave it a second thought. Now, after trashing everything with Real Player in the name and rebooting, we’ve both been surfing the Web in harmony. Going on five days now.

    It seems silly that the problem could have been that simple, and maybe it wasn’t. But I’m not going to argue with success at fixing a long, irritating problem.

  102. Ian Avatar

    Some interesting reads on this forum. I too have this problem with my wife’s MacBook purchased only a few months ago. Running 10.5.6 and yes, the wireless drops out plenty.

    Having had at least 3 routers (D-Link, Netgear, Belkin) all with different capabilities (currently using a Pre-N Belkin) the Mac seems to like a router for a while and then develop an allergy to it. Things I find in regards to the solutions I have seen here:

    1. Preferences file deletion. Does work, but will quickly stop working.
    2. PRAM Reset. Again, does work but quickly stopped working.
    3. Change channel on router. Does help, and if anything, using APGrapher to find out what channel your neighbour is on is good simply so you can get the best connection possible.

    I am about to try little Snitch, but I have one question for everyone. Where is your router & modem? Mine sits very close to my TV and I wandered about where other people kept their? I have heard of interference from wireless phones etc, but just be interesting to see if there is a common link…

  103. Cyber Buddhah Avatar
    Cyber Buddhah

    Avoid Airport Utility 5.3.2 like “Leper” (nothing personal here)! I think this update is only for those with Time Capsule or Airport Express Router. If you use mainstream Router, this update probably is the culprit to all headache.

    Somewhere along, I have updated this package b mistake.

    What I did today is re-install Leopard from the DVD install disk then updated straight to Combo 10.5.6 update package. Babing! My connection is rock solid!

  104. Cyber Buddhah Avatar
    Cyber Buddhah

    One more thing,

    That explains why, when you bring your MBP to the Genius Bar, the connection works because you connect to Apple’s Router while at home this Airport Utility things keep looking for Apple’s Airport station and demend that you spend soe more chaching to buy Apple’s hardware (router). Doh.

  105. Alex SF Avatar
    Alex SF

    Disabling Real Player Downloader per Steve’s suggest works for me so far (three days). Fingers crossed.

  106. Jerry Zakariasen Avatar

    Lauren stated that the only time her connection dropped was when her husband was on his Windows laptop. I have found the exact same thing only I have narrowed it down further to Windows VISTA as I have another computer on the wireless network running Windows XP that does not cause conflicts.

    Most importantly after trying to tweak the VISTA settings without success I decided to try Steve’s advise and took Real Player Downloader off of my MacBook Pro by taking it out of the list of startup programs. After doing this, and rebooting my MacBook Pro, low and behold my VISTA laptop and my MacBook Pro can now co-exist happily on the same WIFI network. I now have great speed and no connection drops. Yipee, Yaahoo!!!!!! Finally something that seems to help. I too have my fingers crossed!

    For reference, my wireless network was set up using a MAC Time Capsule.

    May I express my profound thanks to Lauren, Steve, Ben Lam, and all the others who took the time to make posts and help others to solve this problem!!! You are all wonderful, giving people who I can’t praise enough.

    As for Apple, Real Player, and Microsoft I suggest that they get together to resolve this problem as I have found Real Player Downloader to be a useful utility in spite of all the problems it has caused me.

  107. David M Avatar
    David M

    Hi Everyone,

    I am not running Real Player, am running a D-Link 802.11b router and have all of the latest patches.

    Still, the network connection goes up and down like a toilet sit at a mixed party.

    Has anyone tried upgrading to the 802.11n standard to see if that works?


  108. David M Avatar
    David M

    I finally broke down after months of this and bought an Airport Express for $100 bucks.

    It took 10 mins to setup (literally!) and my network is REAL FAST with zero drops thus far.

    I will check back in a couple of days to report if this has worked or not.


  109. Ben Lam Avatar
    Ben Lam

    Hi David,

    I’m curious to know whether you have lots of neighouring wireless routers available (i.e. interfering signals) that are working on the “b” wireless standard.

    Perhaps moving to the Apple Airport Express router and using 802.11″g” or “n” has separated you from the crowd of wifi noise.



  110. David M Avatar
    David M

    Hi Everyone,

    After a night of blazing fast YouTube’ing and uninterrupted iTunes streaming to my stereo, I am back to the drawing board.

    I left the computer on all night (did not put it to sleep or shut down). When I woke up this morning all of the problems have returned.

    Will update if anything changes.


  111. David M Avatar
    David M

    Noticed something while streaming music to my TV. The network became interrupted – and the music stopped – when my baby monitor went off. Not with it in ‘wait’ mode, but when it went off and activated the remote.

    He calmed down, and the monitor went into ‘wait’ mode again, and the music came back.

    I went upstairs to see if this was happening with all wireless activity. Sure enough, the next time he stirred and the baby monitor turned ‘on’, the network connection dropped.

    Will try the baby monitor on a different channel to see if it makes a difference. Stay tuned.


  112. David M Avatar
    David M

    Baby monitor went off again, but this time it dropped my connection and could not find the Apple device to automatically reconnect. I had to manually pick my network from the list of available networks. It asked me again to allow it access to the keychain. I again clicked Always allow. It then connected and found device, network, etc.

    Working again, full strength, baby quiet.

    I also noticed that I didn’t add my network or click “remember network this computer has joined.” I have added the network to my preferred list and have checked off “remember…”

    Stay tuned.


  113. David M Avatar
    David M


    It is definitely the baby monitor.

    It is an AngelCare model # AC301R. Every time the computer was dropping in the past was at bedtime (stirring) or in the morning (after he had woken up).

    Late at night – when he was sleeping soundly – there was NO problem.

    Now I know “what”, I need to know how to fix it.

    Anyone else have baby monitors around?


  114. Ben Lam Avatar
    Ben Lam

    Hi David,

    You’re running into an interference problem.

    Your baby monitor, your MacBook and your Apple Airport Express are all using the same frequency band of radio communications. My guess is it’s in the 2.4Ghz range which is the most popular amongst cordless telephones, wireless routers, and… well, high-tech baby monitors.

    If you have a Macbook with a wireless card capable of “n” and can learn how to switch your Apple Express to using the “n” range of 802.11 wifi (and to make sure it’s using the 5Ghz band), you might be able to solve this interference problem.

    Check out the Wikipedia article on 802.11 wireless communications for more information on this.



  115. Neil deMause Avatar
    Neil deMause

    Getting an Airport Extreme and setting it to n and 5Ghz finally did the trick for me, after much agita. Same router on n and 2.4Ghz still drops connection like crazy, so it’s definitely an interference issue. (Other networks for me, not baby monitors or cordless phones.)

    That said, it’s still Leopard’s fault – the same Macbook running Windows connects fine regardless of the frequency used. But at least I have a solution now. Of course, to allow the other computers in the house without n cards to connect I had to daisy-chain my old b/g router to the Airport Extreme and set up two subnets, but that’s another story…

  116. Wilkoa Avatar

    Thank you very much

    after much frustration a combination of changing the wireless channel and replacing the file seems to have done the trick. I am using Imac intel leopard 10.5.5

  117. Matt Avatar

    Great thread, guys.

    My wife and I recently upgraded to a MacBook and Macbook Pro, respectively. They both came with 10.5.6 pre-installed.

    We’ve both been having the same wireless wonkiness, that many of you are experiencing, from our home network (Belkin 54g wireless router) .

    We have no baby monitors, no RealPlayer, and no competing networks (we live a very rural area).

    None of the above remedies have fixed our problem. Does anyone have anything new to report on this issue?


  118. Matt S Avatar
    Matt S

    Here’s something that may be useful…

    I was told by an Apple rep (networking product specialist) that the MacBook’s n-capable wifi card, when using a g network, is prone to interference, because it can see more of the available g networks. This translates into packet loss and slow connections which many of us have been wrestling with.

    This would become an issue in an area with a high concentration of g networks.

    In my case, iStumbler found 33 networks, with 8-10 networks on each of the popular channels (1,6,11).

    Under these particular conditions, you have a couple options, both of which are described elsewhere in this blog: One is to put your “g” network on a non-standard channel; that’s what worked for me.

    Another is to put your network on the n band (5 Ghz only). I’ll just add that if you have g-only devices, this requires two routers: One to run the n-only network for your MacBook, and one to run the g-only network for your g devices.

  119. Matt Avatar

    Matt S,

    Thanks for the input.

    Unfortunately, that info doesn’t address the problem for those of us who don’t have competing networks around.

    But I’m willing to try anything. Forgive me if I missed this above, but exactly how does one know if their router uses the g or n band? And how do I switch the channel of the router? Please be specific for us tech laymen.



  120. Dan Avatar

    Hi all!

    It’s only been 48 hours, but I was messing with my settings and I seem to have resolved the issue, as airport is now reconnecting after any drop outs, which it has never done since one of the mac os x updates!

    First of all, I renamed my airport connection on my router from a title with spaces in it to a full word, just incase the spaces did anything! There is no evidence for this, but it was worth the shot!

    I followed the above method of removing the following preference files..


    The second in the list will restore your entire network settings in the system config to the default sertup, so backup both files incase you may need them again..

    I then deleted any sign of passwords for the old network in Keychain Access.

    I then downloaded the free app AppleJack @, installed it and restarted the computer and did an ‘auto pilot’ clean.

    I then restarted the computer, and entered the new info for the wifi network, and connected it up. It’s been pretty good ever since!

    Hope it works for all you guys!

  121. Geoff Avatar

    I’ve suffered long and hard with wireless connectivity issues under OSX 10.5. I’ve been using Apple machines exclusively since 2001, and Apple’s response to this issue has been so poor – no acknowledgement, no official advice, nothing – I’m at the point where I am seriously considering switching my entire setup to Linux. No widespread problem would persist in a opensource os for well over a year.

    Anyway, I don’t have a solution, but I do have an observation. My wireless dropouts tends to occur most frequently when my machine is making a secure connection to the internet. For example, I use git over ssh, and this almost always causes my wireless to hang. A second example, when I use SSL over the internet, for example, when I access secure websites over https, that always seems to knockout my wireless connection.

    So, I’m wondering whether there might be a link. Can anyone else confirm/disprove a link between secure internet usage and wireless dropouts? And if so, could SSH/SSL be involved in the problem?

  122. Katherine Avatar

    Thanks for this. I’ve had the most hideous time-but Airport Utility, Manual changes, and changing the wireless channel seems to have fixed my problem. Thanks also for the suggestions on intereference, APGrapher helped. So thanks much!

  123. Josh Avatar

    There might be a solution!

    AirPort Client Update 2009-001

  124. Ben Avatar

    Thanks for this! Deleting ‘’ seems to have fixed my regular wifi hangs…

  125. Pat Confalone Avatar
    Pat Confalone

    I’ve had this problem for the last FIVE months and I believe I may have finally found a solution. I have tried ALL the “fixes” in this and many other threads. My answer is to go to an earlier version of the Airport Extreme firmware. Somewhere along the several updates since I got my iMac, the dropping signals began. I kept wishing I could get things back to the first four months of flawless and speedy > 12 Mbps Download. This is what I did to get “back there”
    1. Launch Airport Utility
    2. From Airport Utility pull down menu, hold option key and select Check for Updates
    3. Select earlier version http://I picked Version 7.2
    4. Download
    5. From Base Station pull down menu select your base station
    6. Choose Manual Setup
    7. From Base Station menu choose Upload Firmware
    8. Select earlier version http://7.2 worked for me
    9. Click OK

  126. TTWL Avatar

    Just wanted to update the link to my solution for this issue. Used a number of different resources to get it working but in the end it’s solid. Could help you? Fixes a few other OS X networking things as well.

  127. TTWL Avatar

    Just wanted to update the link to my solution for this issue as I’ve recently changed domains. Used a number of different resources to get it working but in the end it’s solid. Could help you? Fixes a few other OS X networking things as well.

  128. Darren Avatar

    Had similiar issues with OSX 10.5.6 and frequent disconnects – had to turn airport off and then on to reconnect which gets tiresome after the 10th time in an hour.

    However the issue was also apparent on a Dell notebook running Vista and on Bootcamp where there were difficulties connecting to the wireless network on bootup.

    Tried various security methods (WEP, WPA, WPA2) and all had similiar issues. Suspecting that the issue now lies with the Belkin Wireless N Modem-Router and more specifically the algorithm used to authenticate, I turned off security and enabled filtering by MAC address (MacBook, Dell laptop, iPhone 3G and iPod touch) to only allow those devices to connnect.

    I was seeing authentication timeout messages on Vista that gave me a clue on the connectivity issues.

  129. Doug Avatar

    I’ve had this problem for months. I’ve tried all of the fixes on the web and nothing works. It will not stay connected to the internet via wireless network.

    If you are considering changing from a PC to an iMac, don’t do it. I had all of these great expectations and it’s all the same… It just does not work. And trust me, I am an electrical engineer and cannot get this to work.

    My imac was working fine and then I did an “upgrade” and everything broke. I cannot and will not run CAT5 cable from my router to my MAC. Nope… “Not gonna do it.” My mac worked great when I first got my imac Intel core duo. Now it does not work. I know I am not the only one. Do a google search on “imac wireless dropout”. Then you’ll see the pain an frustration.

    My next purchase… Dell PC. I had so much faith in the imac. I’ve done nothing out of the ordinary. I just did an upgrade… And my wireless network connection is gone. Strong signal… then just disappears. Don’t purchase this… You’ll go crazy like me….

    Sorry Apple. You lost my faith and trust. Right now…. zero bars. What the f!@#$.


  130. John Avatar

    I believe the recent updates have corrected this problem. My Mozy backup has been working fine since June 12th 2009. Before that I had to reboot or disconnect my wireless network and reconnect again just to get Mozy working. That used to be every single day.

  131. John Avatar

    Spoke too soon. Here I am July 6, 2009 and having the same problems again. Problem reared it’s ugly head about a week ago and so far everything I have tried will not get me more than 14 hours of internet uptime. Have to turn Airport off and then back on again to reconnect. Still looking for solution.

  132. Markus Avatar

    Well after reading this entire posting, i think i have my issues beat. i did most of the above: remove other locations, removed remembered networks, deleted ‘’. every thing short of stepping down from os x 10.5.7.

    i know this is totally dumb luck or prob has nothing to do with the prob, but i removed “hotspot shield” and have not had a dropped connection since.

    take this at face value, i was willing to try anything.

    luck all

  133. Tomas Avatar

    Hey Guys, spent hours now trying to understand what is making our iMac drop connection. It started just out of the blue a couple of weeks ago, as it seems, and ONLY when I have my Macbook Pro running. So out of five devices on the network regardless of combinations the single interference seems to be: MBP hurts the iMac.

    All devices plus airports are all Apple stuff. How can this happen?

    Airport connection LOOKS OK all the time. Five bars. You notice it when Safari tells you that you cannot load a page. Then it starts up fine again after closing and opening airport again.

    I have realized that there is no magic to solve this, just wanted to add to the different symptoms listed here, so someone might see a pattern one day and solve it.

  134. kristof Avatar

    Things had been fine and dandy. Had this MBP for over a year. At a location with AP Extreme (square) that had been working fine with default radio settings. Middle of nowhere, so no interference problems.

    Upgraded to 10.5.8 (from what was maybe 10.5.6?) and it all broke loose. Dropping connections all the time. Never lasting an hour, sometimes only lasting a minute. Tried all the pref deleting stuff. Tried every combination of radio settings on the base station that I could. Nothing worked.

    I had a strong suspicion that it’s all about the “n” networks, but you can’t turn off “n” on this base station. You can’t force your client to only use b or g, either. 🙁

    I took an older AP Express from my travel bag and plugged it in and made a “parallel” network (b/g only). I now connect just fine and have had no drops.

    So, it does seem to be a problem with “n” networks. I think Apple needs to put an option on the clients that allows you to force “g” connections. They obviously have issues with “n” networks that are not going to be fixed quickly. (These sorts of bugs can be very hard to squash.)

    I’m really ticked off by this. Flawless wireless has been an Apple trademark for many years. They got ahead of themselves with 802.11n, and don’t seem to be taking any actions to protect that reputation.

    Flakey network connections, in this day and age, are completely unacceptable. Apple needs to take the hit to their egos, admit that the “n” standard isn’t appropriate for everyone yet, and give us the option to operate on older, more stable standards. Immediately.

  135. Matt Pearce Avatar

    Just changed from PC to MAC having same problem as everyone else…£1000 for a big white elephant by the looks of it!

  136. jcantleb Avatar

    recently converted from PC to MacBook Pro, what a mistake. I had a new macbook pro that lost the drive controller and corrupted the hard drive. My replacement now will not stay connected to the wireless unless I am running windows. Given all the limitations to MAC’s and now the quality problem I will be returning to a stable and reliable PC.

  137. Kevin Lambert Avatar
    Kevin Lambert

    >> Airport connection LOOKS OK all the time. Five bars.
    >> You notice it when Safari tells you that you cannot
    >> load a page. Then it starts up fine again after closing
    >> and opening airport again.

    Exact symptom for me as well. (Linksys Router on channel 3 here). Doesn’t happen on my PC – only on Macbook with AirPort. Happens randomly (usually at least once per day or two), and shutting AirPort off and back on ALWAYS fixes it.

  138. Lee Ashmore Avatar
    Lee Ashmore

    I have been having this problem with my new 2TB time capsule too and have been trying everything to get it working with no success until today. What I did was drop the firmware back down to 7.4 and it seems to have done the trick.

    Hope this helps.

  139. Nick Avatar

    >> Airport connection LOOKS OK all the time. Five bars.
    >> You notice it when Safari tells you that you cannot
    >> load a page. Then it starts up fine again after closing
    >> and opening airport again.

    I get the same thing with my Mac Mini. I’ve tried various things, but nothing yet… While running iStumbler, at times it seems the noise level goes up, but it doesn’t always cut my connection. Regardless, the connection always shows very high strength but I can’t load any pages in Firefox, Safari, check Mail etc.

  140. dify Avatar

    “>> Airport connection LOOKS OK all the time. Five bars.
    >> You notice it when Safari tells you that you cannot
    >> load a page. Then it starts up fine again after closing
    >> and opening airport again.

    I get the same thing with my Mac Mini. I’ve tried various things, but nothing yet… While running iStumbler, at times it seems the noise level goes up, but it doesn’t always cut my connection. Regardless, the connection always shows very high strength but I can’t load any pages in Firefox, Safari, check Mail etc.”


    I have the exact same problem, and it really is getting on my nerves, I just don’t know what to do with this please help !!

  141. Sarah Avatar

    Ok my question relates to this, if anyone can help…

    I have a macbook with airport. I was ALWAYS able to connect wirelessly to public internets (library, cafe, etc) where no passport was recquired. Recently, my computer will not connect to them even when they are working fine for others. It will show full bars for signal strength, but my computer continues to say you are not connected to the internet. Apple wants to charge me $50 to troubleshoot and I can’t afford it… HELP!!!

  142. iamse7en Avatar

    I’ve had really weird problems, but they’re the same as others: every 10 minutes or so, my connection to the internet would go out. Other computers work fine (my iPhone, another MacBook Pro, and another MacBook). WiFi connection has all 4 bars, but it dropped connectivity. All I have to do is turn off airport, turn it back on, and it worked. What’s weird is, that I wasn’t having this problem until two days ago. What’s funny is, that my Dad’s MacBook Pro was having the same issue last week. I was having no problems, nobody else but him. We messed with some settings on our time capsule, then his problem went away. I thought we had solved the problem. No, it just got pushed onto me a few days later! I don’t get it. Now, as I have these problems, he doesn’t have the problem. SO WEIRD.

    So this is the set up – I have Verizon FiOS hooked up to a linksys router (wireless is disabled). Then I have a time capsule and two airport expresses hooked up to the router from far away via ethernet, in bridge mode of course, and on the same channel (each creating a network of the same name and channel – I tried WDS but it causes too many problems). I don’t see any other wireless networks in my area, and there’s no passwd on it (because neighbors are too far away.) I think the problem is only on the time capsule, because I’ve turned off the other airports, and whenever I have this issue, it’s when I’m connected to the time capsule.

    I’ve tried so many different things. (I don’t have real player installed anywhere.) Changing channels, enabling 5ghz network, change radio mode, adjusting multicast rate, disabling wide channels, use interference robustness, disabling my trendnet gaming router I have connected to a slingbox… everything. I’m still having this issue, and I have to turn off/on my airport about every 10 minutes. And it’s only happening to my MacBook at the moment. Everyone else is fine.

    My only other guess is to toss the thing out the window.

  143. iamse7en Avatar

    So it went away for a day, then is back again tonight. Cutting out every 5-10 minutes. I don’t get this stupid crap. No other computer is having problems. Just mine.

  144. Rodrigo Teixeira Avatar
    Rodrigo Teixeira


    I could finally sort this out by adding OpenDNS servers to the DNS server List!

    Keep the DNS that you already have as that is for your home/work network but add these 2 addresses:

    These are OpenDNS servers so you can monitor their DNS at their website!


  145. Teds Woodworking Avatar

    Thanks, this was exactly what I was looking for. Been trying to fix this on my MAC all weekend.

  146. […] OS X problema que genera mucha frustración y el debate es Aeropuerto de conexiones de red inalámbrica de desconectarlo de un router cada 15 minutos . Este es un muy común problema de la actualización Mac OS X que es increíblemente difícil de […]

  147. […] assume your on mac so maybe this link will help. Did a little searching.. AirPort wireless connection Drops on Leopard 10.5.2 | Mac OS X Leopard & Tiger Dual Boot __________________ ^^^Purchased from Hyorinmaru7 – Fucking epic SsotM #2 Entries thread – […]

  148. Hans Avatar

    I have a lot of trouble with my airport connection using my iMac G5. The signal dropped all the time. I tried to fix it. I placed my iMac on my table in front of the wall. I tried to change this position a little bit and increased the distance from the wall. And it was better but the signal still dropped. I placed some book under the imac to get a higher position. First I took only two book, then three books. Now my iMac is 16 centimeters higher on my table and the airport signal is full and the strength is very good. It works without any problem. I’m very happy. So I would say everybody should check different positions. You should have at least 20 centimeters distance from walls and you should try to change the position on your table. Try to move your iMac a little bit to the left and right and place some books under to get a higher position. You have to test it and make your own experiences because every house is different but if you find a good position you will have a good airport connection and less problems. Hope that can help you. Sorry my english is not the best. but I hope you can understand what I has written.

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  150. John Barban Avatar

    Thanks Ben,

    Hadn’t thought of this and it seems the most common sense solution.

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