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MacBook Pro unable to connect to internet after waking from sleep

The Problem

I recently I’ve been having some problems with my MacBook Pro.  At first, I would seem to get disconnected from the internet randomly.  After a few weeks, I finally figured out what the pattern was to the problem.

One morning sat down on the couch, opened my MacBook, and as was becoming normal, I was unable to connect to the internet. The AirPort icon on the menu bar was fully black (meaning that the signal was good).

So I went into the browser and tried to to the router address.  To my surprise, I could fully connect to router. I mean fully. I could log in. I could change the settings. I could ping different websites. It all worked flawlessly. But as soon as I went back to my browser and attempted to connect to a website, any browser, it would complain that I wasn’t connected to the internet.

I would turn off the Wi-Fi a few times, and eventually it would connect fully. So then an idea came to me: Maybe it was related to the fact that I just woke it from sleep. I thought back. Every time I could remember, I had just opened the computer, and it would have difficulty connecting.

So I tried it. I made sure I could access different websites. All signs were a go. Then I closed the lid, and waited for the status light to start flashing. After it did, I would wait a few seconds, and then open the lid. I logged in, opened Chrome, and tried gmail. Gmail is currently unavailable it would tell me. So I opened Safari, and tried again. Same story. After going to the AirPort icon turning it off and on a few times, it came back. I decided to try it again. Sure enough same story. So I tried it a few more times.

After having successfully reproduced this exact approach 6 times, I decided it was time to call Apple. I talked to a rep one day, who walked me through a few steps, that failed to get any results, and before we could go through everything, I had to leave for a meeting. I called back a few days later, and got a Wonderful rep. named Ryan. After 17 minutes on the phone, my problem was solved. I was ecstatic.

The Solution

So the solution to the problem was actually pretty simple. I post it here, so that it might help others (or me if the problem recurs sometime). Remember to back up before hand, as it is possible that you might lose something.

I would also recommend storing your Wi-Fi password on your computer (especially if your password is as complex as mine is).

Here’s what worked for me:

  1. Open Finder.
  2. From the Menu at the top, choose ‘Go’ -> ‘Computer’.
  3. Open your hard drive (probably called ‘Macintosh HD’).
  4. Open the ‘Library’ folder.
  5. Open the ‘Preferences’ folder.
  6. Locate the ‘SystemConfiguration’ folder (likely at the bottom).
  7. Drag this folder to your desktop (as far as I can tell, this is to back it up incase something goes wrong)
  8. Once the copy is complete, drag the original to the trash.
  9. In Finder, open Applications (If you don’t have it on the sideback, use ‘Go’ -> ‘Applications’).
  10. Open the ‘Utilities’ folder.
  11. Open ‘Keychain Access’.
  12. Select ‘login’ from the list of Keychains.
  13. In the list to the right, locate an object with the name of your wireless network.
  14. Select it and press ‘delete’ on your keyboard.
  15. Select ‘System’ from the list of Keychains.
  16. Repeat steps 13 and 14 above.
  17. Restart your MacBook.
  18. Once your computer has restarted, connect to your wireless network.

With any luck your computer will now no longer have issues with your wireless network. This worked perfectly with my D-Link DIR-655 router, on which I could reproduce the wireless network issues flawlessly. Since I performed the steps above, my wireless connection has worked flawlessly.

Update: If this has worked successfully for you, you can go ahead and delete the SystemConfiguration folder that you copied to your desktop. It was designed as a backup, and is no longer needed.

40 comments

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  1. Walt Gastaldi

    Jamie thanks for the procedure. I have a macbook pro 13 with Lion and use the Airport Extreme router at home. It started not connecting after wake up when I was in Japan at the hotel. So maybe it was a problem with the wifi at the hotel. So when I got home, it did the same thing it would connect after a couple of minutes after wake up. So I found your post followed the procedures and bingo….it works great.

    Thanks for your time

    Walt

  2. Walt Gastaldi

    Hey Jamie sorry to bring this up but, I just installed the latest update 10.7.3 and have the same problem again. I followed your procedure and it works the first time but after it wakes up again, it takes a couple of minutes to get internt.
    thanks
    Walt

    1. Jamie Starke

      Hey Walt,

      I’m sorry to hear that it’s not working anymore. Unfortunately I don’t know what else could be causing the problem. If your MacBook is still under warranty, I would call Apple support. If not, this related thread on Apples Forums seems to have popped up recently: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2258749?start=105&tstart=0

  3. Kirk

    Hi Jamie,
    Thanks for publishing this fix. I had a similar problem (mine was all the time, not just after entering sleep mode), and this cleared it up immediately. Great when something works so easily.

    Kirk

  4. jennifer

    thank you so much for these instructions! I hate it when computers don’t work for me. you were extremely helpful thanks again

  5. Barbara

    Thank you so much for this, Jamie! It worked!

    5 minutes later, though, it happened again. So I went through your procedure again, but this time on reboot it’s *not* working. I’ve have no WiFi connection and my signal indicator says “no airport card installed” (again – it was saying this intermittently earlier)… Of course I do have an airport card installed. Are you familiar with this error message and its cause? Thanks for any insight!

    1. Jamie Starke

      Unfortunately I haven’t had that error myself. My best bet would be either drivers or the wireless hardware is failing. Sorry I can’t offer more help.

  6. Ant

    Thank you!! After hours of trying, this is the solution that works!!!!!

  7. Samuel

    thank you very much, this worked, i was on dis d whole night but nothing worked, your solution worked like 1234,, thanks very much

  8. Sara

    THANK-YOU SO MUCH! I was getting quite frustrated with my internet. Then, I found your solution – and it worked like a charm. Quick Question – what should I do with the system config folder on my desktop – put it back?
    Cheers!

    1. Jamie Starke

      Glad I could help.

      Great question. If the solution above worked, you can feel free to delete the SystemConfiguration folder you copied to your desktop. It was really just there as a backup, incase something went wrong. But if this worked successfully, it is no longer needed.

  9. Ruben

    Thanks much for sharing – this fixed the problem.

  10. Chew Keng Sheng

    Hry thanks. It works! I’ve got this problem since returning back to Malaysia from Singapore. My MacBook kept refusing connection but following the steps suggested, it works fine now! Thanks

  11. Oumar

    This was helpful thanks à lot.

  12. AK

    Worked like a charm. (MBP on OS X 10.6)

    Thanks a ton!!

  13. Eric

    Thanks so much!
    It works perfectly.
    Much regards,
    -Eric

    .

  14. John-PVAZ

    Thanks. I have fought a very similar problem with my 2011 MBP and my new Airport Extreme. In following these directions, I found that I had multiple keychain entries for my network SSID, some going back a couple of years. When my MBP would hang up, it would usually do so coming out of sleep but sometimes on initial start. I could still see the Airport with Airport Utility and a restart of the router would put things right. i can only conclude that some of the time, the Mac was going back to the old set of settings for the old Extreme and there was some kind of hardware mismatch. Thanks for the detailed procedure. Hopefully my notes here will add to the knowledge base on this issue.

  15. The Bunk

    Thank sweetheart, worked fine.

  16. The Bunk

    PS: MacBook Pro 5,5 OS 10.6.8

  17. eleni

    Well this didnt work for me.I have a Mac Book pro and yesterday while i was connected to internet suddenly a message appeared that iam out of network.I tried to connect to to internet many times , i restarted the modem for several times, i did the procedure you suggest and still…. nothing. i have 2 more computers at the house and 2 mobile phones that are connected to internet and have no problem with the wireless connection . it really drives me crazy…

  18. 5everthankful to you

    This worked and I’m really happy. Followed all the steps and everything’s back to normal, although I am interested in why this happened in the first place… Thanks for posting the solution(:

  19. 5everthankful to you

    This worked and I’m really happy. Followed all the steps and everything’s back to normal, although I am interested in why this happened in the first place… Thanks for posting the solution(:

  20. Jim

    Hey Jamie… It took me several tries, but it finally worked! Thanks man.

  21. Smita

    Thanks a lot. worked like a charm :)

  22. Barbara

    I cannot believe of all of the things I have tried before this actually works perfectly!

    Thanks so much-it was a great step by step instruction and very easy.

  23. Tabb

    omg!!! this worked! Thank you so much!!

    5.18.2013
    MacBook Pro 15

  24. Anita

    I was going crazy, until I found your post. Thank you so, so much for sharing! Many blessings! :-)

  25. Sander

    This worked perfectly, thank you so much! Question: I have the same problem with my Iphone, do you have a similar solution for that as well? Thanks in advance!

  26. Hal

    Thank you Jamie, the clearest instructions I’ve ever seen and they worked beautifully. My problem seemed to be caused or aggravated after installing IPVanish v.1.2 VPN software. The failure to connect to the internet (even though the MacBook was showing connection to WiFi) progressed from:
    (1) having to restart each time I changed WiFi connection, to
    (2) each time I woke the MacBook from sleep, to
    (3) only connecting through IPVanish, to
    (4) the IPVanish v.1.3 update not downloading fully, to
    (5) not being able to connect at all (fortunately I have a second MacBook with which I was able to connect and find your solution before it too reached the terminal stage).
    Now, with IPVanish v.1.3 installed everything is fine, whether I am using it or not.

  27. Mark

    Thanks for this info Jamie.
    Question:
    Will deleting those suggested files affect hard wired network access, which likely relies on keychain authentication?

    Your thoughts …

  28. VisionMaker

    This was amazingly simple, amazingly helpful. Thanks for sharing with all of us.

  29. Maxwell

    It worked. I just was to know if i have to move the “SystemConfiguration” folder back to where i moved it from. Thank you.

    1. Jamie Starke

      Don’t more the system configuration folder back. What you’ve essentially just did is resent the networking configuration. If you move the folder back, the original problem will come back with it.

  30. Brian

    After a year of searching for a solution I came across your website. You are a saviour. No more trailing ethernet cable – wonderful.

  31. Brian

    Just to add to my comment. I am using OSX 10.9 (Mavericks)

    In “Keychain Access” the files for my wireless were in the folder “Local” and not “login”

    They were also in “System” in “Keychains Access”

    Otherwise everything else was the same

  32. Adriano Matos

    In the first, second or third try, not work.
    But some minuts after, looking sad for the screen… The connection is back !
    Is strange because others computers and smartphone in the same wi-fi was working fine.

    I dont know exactly whats happening but how cares, is working ! Thanks Jamie !

    Oh ! Only one thing that you don´t comment : To empty trash after delete the SystemConfigurations folder ! ;)

  33. Roy

    Wow this worked! I have an early 2008 white macbook running lion 10.7.5.
    Today is the second time my macbook would only connect to certain websites after I noticed it did this only after waking it from sleep mode.
    The first time I reset my wireless router (comcast router) to default which worked for 2 days. Then today I had the problem again and found your solution which worked!

    I will keep this link on my iPhone home screen should this problem arise again.
    Thank you!

  34. Anas A

    Thanks Jamie.

    It’s working .

  35. The snake man

    Thank you it works like a charm! Big up!

  36. James

    Thank you mate, I was pulling my hair out!!!

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