Clearing Out the Wireless Cobwebs

Wireless network connectivity is fabulous! I maintain that the invention of wireless communication is one of the greatest modern inventions (that and VPN... Virtual Private Networks). It's so easy now to check in to a hotel, unpack your bags and hop online to check email or watch a streaming movie. What you may not realize, however, is that every time you connect to a new wireless network, OS X is keeping track of that network and spending a little bit of it's processing time checking to see if that network is available. It isn' a huge drain on power and other resources, but it certainly doesn't help.

About every few months, I tend to go through my list of wireless networks and clean house. In other words, I remove those networks that I used once and don't really intend to use again. Not only can this help reduce battery usage and possibly improve wireless stability (this has never been proven, but a clean list always seems to play into my favor), but it does help to keep things tidy.

Cleaning up your list of wireless networks is simple and quick. Here's how to do it.

First, let's look at our list. To do this, we will go to System Preferences > Network. Next, we will select the "Wi-Fi" connection on the left side of the screen. On the right side, we will click "Advanced".

When the Advanced screen opens, it will default to the "Wi-Fi" tab. The list of previously-connected wireless networks can be found here.

Now that we can see the list of networks, it's time to go through the list and remove any unnecessary networks. To do this, simply highlight the network you wish to remove and click the [-].

Do you have a huge list of networks? Don't stress out too much. When I reviewed my list recently, I had nearly 100 networks, from GoGo in-flight WiFi to Marriott. It just means we're a mobile generation, always on the go!

Posted on November 19, 2014 and filed under How To, Mac, Opinion.