OS X Lion: Serious Wi-Fi Disconnect Problems for Macs, And Solutions? | iLounge Backstage


OS X Lion: Serious Wi-Fi Disconnect Problems for Macs, And Solutions?

We began to track reports of Wi-Fi disconnection issues back when we upgraded one of our iMacs to a brand new 2011 model and started to experience daily Wi-Fi signal drop-offs—across-the-board disconnections of everything from iChat to Twitter and Safari. It wasn’t an isolated issue: plenty of people on Apple’s Discussion Forums were having the same problem, and hoping that 10.6.8 would fix it. When that didn’t happen, the hopes shifted to Lion. UPDATED: Originally posted on July 21, 2011, this article has been updated with the latest information from Apple as of February, 2012.

Now that Lion’s out, it’s clear that the problem wasn’t fixed—it’s actually become even worse on our iMac, which has started to lose its Wi-Fi connection multiple times a day. The same problem is being reported by numerous Apple Discussions users, in threads such as Wifi Constantly Dropping in Lion, Wifi Problems After Installing Lion, Lion WiFi Connection Problem, and New MacBook Pro 2011 weak and dropping wireless connection.

Based on testing, we get the impression that the issues stem (at least in part) from some mismatched or messed up settings saved by the Mac relating to specific wireless networks it has connected to before. Some people believe that there are wireless network settings with incorrect disk permissions; others think that there are corrupted files. Solutions that have been offered include:

(1) Deleting a system preferences file called com.apple.aif.plist, then restarting the machine to rebuild it. This is inside Macintosh HD > Library > Preferences, which is now harder to find in Lion’s Finder because Apple has hidden your hard drive by default in the Sidebar’s list of Devices. You can use Finder’s Preferences to add Hard Drives back to the Sidebar, but based on our experiences, deleting this file doesn’t work to fix the problem.

(2) Reset your Mac’s PRAM and NVAM. This was suggested by an Apple Discussions user, and is explained in this Apple Knowledgebase document. Most reports do not suggest that this works.

(3) Reset your Mac’s System Management Controller Another suggestion from an Apple Discussions user, explained here. Again, most reports do not suggest that this works.

Based on past experiences in trying to fix major issues such as this one, we know that it’s rare that one solution works for everyone, and that readers often come up with great ideas for how to get things working again. We’re going to keep hunting for answers to this, and will update this article when we have one that works for us—did one of these ideas, or something else, work for you? Post in the comments section below.

Updated September 8, 2011: After trying many different fixes, none of which worked for any extended period of time, we tested something new. After changing the passwords on both of our wireless networks, then setting the iMac up with the new passwords, the disconnect issue appeared to go away. Hopefully this or one of the other solutions recommended below will help you.

Updated February 22, 2012: Users—including one of our editors—have continued to experience problems at least intermittently despite several point releases of OS X 10.7, and Apple has posted an updated solutions page here. The company’s recommended solution (click “Solution” under “Symptom: The network connection drops unexpectedly”) is to use Network Preferences to delete all of your computer’s remembered wireless networks, then use Keychain Access to delete all of your wireless passwords from Login and System, and finally to restart your Mac and re-join your network of choice. For full details, see Apple’s link. We hope it helps!

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Not recommending this to all users but for iLounge. Why not try doing a complete system restore of Lion (clean install) and see if the issue is present. This will help find out if it’s an issue with old preferences or a system issue. You can do a restore from Lions new restore partition.

Posted by Chris on July 21, 2011 at 1:37 PM (CDT)


Whoopee! New OS, new bag of problems!...

Posted by Bob Levens in UK on July 21, 2011 at 4:29 PM (CDT)


I am having this problem really bad.  Every time I leave my iMac for a bit, my whole connection goes down.  I have to restart my router every time.

Posted by Julian Brown on July 21, 2011 at 5:58 PM (CDT)


#1: No interest in going through all that, particularly as the issue appeared to be related to corrupted settings or permissions. Also, we think we may have found a solution: going into Network Preferences, turning off Wi-Fi, deleting the Wi-Fi service, deleting the Automatic location, using the + button to create Wi-Fi again, and then rejoining the network. Also, under the settings gear icon, choosing Set Service Order and moving Wi-Fi upwards.

This collectively appears to have fixed the issue, but we haven’t had enough days to test it to be sure. Mac system logs appeared to be showing errors relating to the OS’s failed attempt to auto-join the network we were already on, but it’s unclear as to whether that was the cause or not.

In any case, if this worked, it’s definitely better (and more efficient) than wiping the computer to try and fix the issue.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on July 21, 2011 at 9:48 PM (CDT)


I did come across one ‘solution’ by a user in the Apple forums.. This is how he overcame the problem. It worked for me too. I have a 2008 Macbook Alum.

1. Open the system preferences panel.
2. Select Network under the Internet and Wireless category.
3. Select ‘Edit Location’ in the ‘Locations’ drop-down menu.
4. Add a new location and name it as you wish it.
5. Delete the Bluetooth DUN and Bluetooth PAN *(Not sure if this is necessary)
6. In the left panel showing the available network devices, select the option ‘set service order’ and rearrange so that Wifi is at the top of the list.
7. In the Wifi preferences, select your preferred network.
8. If this doesn’t solve the problem, click on ‘Advanced’ in the Wifi preferences
9. Navigate to the DNS option and add the DNS servers ‘’ and ‘’. The first is the public google DNS. I am not sure what the second is.

After these steps, I haven’t had any issues of dropping wifi connections. My laptop has been running for the past 4hrs without any issues. I am thankful to the person who suggested this in the Apple discussion forums. BTW, I wish Apple had addressed such a major problem before releasing Lion!

Posted by ellankavi on July 21, 2011 at 10:37 PM (CDT)


I’ve not had any problems so far with Lion but I had problems a while back when switching ISP. Manually specifying the ISPs DNS in network preferences sorted it out so that when I did experience a brief drop out, it didn’t lose the DNS.

Posted by James Mullan on July 22, 2011 at 10:47 AM (CDT)


I am just having this problem exactly as you described. After installing Mac OS Lion my iMac disconnects from my wi-fi-Network permanently.

Just contacted the Apple-support and they told me to try the three solutions you mentioned. I did so - but the problem still exists :( By the way: I asked them if there are any known Wi-Fi-bugs in Mac OS Lion and if there is an update to come. Of course there is no relevant problems they know about ^^

At the same time no wi-fi-problems with my iPhone. Quite a clear thing I guess: Hoping for an update…

By the way: Seems to me that the problem always appears when I`m watching youtube-videos, pause them and then start them again after a little while…

Posted by Olaf on July 22, 2011 at 12:15 PM (CDT)


I tried your fix and unfortunately it didn’t work.

I tried unplugging my computers power source after a shutdown and am waiting to see if that does anything.

Posted by Julian Brown on July 22, 2011 at 12:51 PM (CDT)


I just tried your workaround (comment 4) aaaand: IT WORKS :) Have a stable wifi-connection for almost two hours now!


Posted by Olaf on July 22, 2011 at 3:16 PM (CDT)


Hej! I was trying everything and nothing works but when I turn off Adium wifi connection is working perfect.
Are You using Adium?

Posted by Astropata on July 22, 2011 at 3:47 PM (CDT)


GRRRRRRRR - had a stable wfi-connection for hours but now the problem appears again :(

This time I had a look at the system.log right when the connection went away: “The BSSID changed to XXX…” May that be the problem and what to do against it?

Posted by Olaf on July 23, 2011 at 2:45 AM (CDT)


I solved by selecting the option ‘set service order’ and rearrange so that Wifi was at the top of the list. Didn’t have to do the other steps.

Good luck.


Posted by Isabelle on July 24, 2011 at 1:35 PM (CDT)


i had the same issue, i did what “ellankavi” suggested and worked. thanks!

Posted by rob on July 24, 2011 at 9:26 PM (CDT)


I`ve realy tried everything (deleting the preference-files an rebooting the machine, reseting pram and nvram, reseting the smc, reseting the wi-fi-connection etc.) in any thinkable order. It alwas helps temporarily only - the wi-fi-connection-problems always come back in my case (sometimes after some minutes - sometimes after some hours)!!!

Same ISP (Germany/1&1) and router (FritzBox 7220) with an actual firmware and with the same settings as with Snow Leopard where I never had any problems…

In the kernel.log it alway starts with “The BSSID changed to XXX…” and at the same time the router`s log says “The device (iMac) logged off from the WLAN…”...

This MUST result from changes in the implementation of the relevant WLAN-protocols in airport!!!

So there is just a small set of real options from my point of view:

- going back to Snow Leopard

- using a WLAN-USB-Stick instead of airport temporarily

- hoping for an update

Posted by Olaf on July 25, 2011 at 6:42 AM (CDT)


@14: Same here (first generation Mini).
Wifi was rock-solid on Snow, is completely useless on Lion. Tried everything suggested and I installed Lion clean to start with. Sometimes its stable for 2-3 hours and then it disconnects every 10-20 seconds again.
As far as I can tell from the logs Lion tries to roam to another Wifi network for no reason at all (there isn’t even another WLAN in range of my Mac) which causes the connection to drop briefly. The ip-address is not even released. The hiccup is just at the L2 (ethernet) layer, but it is enough to kill a streaming video connection or, in my case, a RDP session to a Windows box.

Posted by Tonny on July 25, 2011 at 11:40 AM (CDT)


I find that simply turning wifi off then straight back on resolves the problem instantly!

Posted by john on July 25, 2011 at 4:10 PM (CDT)


I’ve got this same problem on my 2008 white Macbook. Connectivity keeps dropping (although the wifi indicator in the toolbar/taskbar stays at “connected”). It also seems like there is partial connectivity loss - I can access new stories on the BBC websites at times when I can’t open links in Google search results.

Posted by Sam on July 25, 2011 at 5:41 PM (CDT)


@Sam (16): Sure, that works for me too. But is this really an option? I find this very annoying.

Two days ago i talked to someone from Apple support. Nice person, tried everything with me to fix this issue….but I have it still.

What I’ve tried so far: SMC reset, PRAM reset, delete Wifi and setup again, change position in service list to top, delete all other saved networks…. Now I tried ellankavis method…last hope right now.

Maybe we just have to wait for 10.7.1

Posted by Dennis on July 25, 2011 at 6:51 PM (CDT)


What do you know…. Solved in the stupidest way possible…
I posted before (comment 15). Found out after all there was another access-point to which my Mini tried to roam….
My own Netgear in fact. It is dual-band (2.4G and 5G) and the SSID was set to the same on both bands. This causes Lion to ping-pong between the 2. (Snow didn’t mind this setup though.)
I changed the 5G to a different SSID and told my Mini to consider that the preffered LAN and everything is fine now. I kept a RDP session to a Windows box open for over 24 hours straight and that is still running.

Posted by Tonny on July 26, 2011 at 5:32 PM (CDT)


After hours of unsuccessful troubleshooting I just went “back to Mac (OS X Snow Leopard)” yesterday. Now everything works fine again and I`m just gonna wait for the first two or three Lion-Updates an then have a look at it again…

Posted by Olaf on July 27, 2011 at 2:38 AM (CDT)


I have a Macbook, and was experiencing the EXACT annoying problem. I called the apple support phone number and they gave me a solution to the problem and it finally works again!

1. Go to system preferences and open or click Network

2. On the Wifi tab, click on Advanced button near the lower right corner

3. On the Wi-Fi tab go to the Preferred Networks box where it lists the networks your computer knows to connect to

4. Now delete all of the networks that you do not recognize, especially ones that may be in your apartment building or that your computer may be in range of. Make sure that your network is at the top of the list. You can drag them. The tech person said it was ok to have a couple other ones, but to make sure that mine was at the top of the list.

5. CLick OK then apply. now try it out and see if it worked

At first Safari gave me the same error message but about 3-5 seconds later it automatically loaded up my homepage. Then after 2 more times of shutting or putting my computer to sleep to test it, it started loading my homepage like normal again. I really hope this works for you because I know how enraging the problem is !

Posted by jason0824 on July 28, 2011 at 2:46 PM (CDT)


I am having the same problem with lost wi-fi connection.  Talked to Apple support 3 times and still have the problem. All was fine till I loaded Os X Lion last week.  It!s a real nuisance.

Posted by Marty blue on July 28, 2011 at 5:04 PM (CDT)


I was having that problem. And still am. Let me explain:
I have two primary locations that i use my MBP from. One uses a netgear router and the other uses Airport.

When connected to the AirPort I have no problems (I have been internet connected since last evening 12+ hours now ) .

When connected to the netgear I am connected for about 10 min at a time. Under snow leopard I never had this issue.

One of the things I have noticed is that when I ran safari (on netgear) it would disconnect faster (ex. 5 as opposed to 10 min).

So, safari seems to make the problem worse, but i haven’t tested to see if it will kill the airport connection. I will try. If it does I will add a comment here.

Posted by Jay on July 29, 2011 at 12:28 PM (CDT)


Hey everyone,
I had been having a problem with the Wifi on my MBP dropping ever since I downloaded Lion last week. I tried several different suggestions and nothing worked. It just so happened that I had a satellite dish installed the other day and had to disconnect my cable from the wall, which in turn messed up my cable modem. I couldn’t get my wifi to work on any of my devices (HP laptop, iPhone, Kindle, or MBP) for hours and I ended up having to reset my router and reinstall it completely. I have not had my wifi on my MBP drop since. So if someone hasn’t already suggested this, try resetting and reinstalling your router.

Posted by Pinkie84 on July 31, 2011 at 11:03 PM (CDT)


Got this problem after “upgrading” to Lion, go an 10-month old 24” iMac. Considering the price of this gear, and the fact that apple touts itself as the company with stuff that “just works” (watch the PC vs Mac commercials and see if you feel the irony) I am *NOT* a happy camper. How the hell can they screw up something as simple and essential as a .11g WiFi connection in an operating system that is marketed as “rock stable” and better than all the competition? If this is not fixed in an update within a week, I will be rolling back to my previous OSX version and demand a refund from Apple. On top of this, they also totally busted whatever minuscule support that had for SMB network drives, and my entire Office pack (MS Office 2011) tilts three times a day. Argh! Wish Uncle steve would go kick someones butt in the OSX dept. And stop by QA on the way!

Posted by Jesper Sommer on August 1, 2011 at 12:38 PM (CDT)


I was having the problem whenever I was re-starting from Sleep mode.  Snow Leopard use to find the appropriate Network automatically, but not Lion.  I did the same thing that Jason0824 above did, and have not encountered the problem since.  Make sure your main wifi connection is listed at the top of the preferred networks, and erase all other extraneous networks. In the Advanced of the Wifi tab in Network settings.

Posted by Rboy on August 1, 2011 at 4:47 PM (CDT)


I finally got the ultimate solution from a senior Apple Support Technician.  He asked me how far my Mac was from the router.  When I told him it was on the same desk he told me to just plug my ethernet cable in.  Can you believe this?  I told him I expected the $1,200 Mac to work as it was supposed to and this was not an acceptable workaround.  Apple Support denies that they have an operating system problem even though the internet is covered up with this problem.  I feel like I’m dealing with the government.

Posted by marty blue on August 2, 2011 at 4:46 PM (CDT)


I have been trying to resolve this issue for 10 days now and have spent no less than 5 hours each day (I am retired, so I can afford the time). It has become an obsession and a challenge. I have read and tried every suggestion that has been published relative to this problem including reinstalling Lion, nothing worked. Needless to say that my Snow Leopard 10.6.8 (updated from 10.6.7, 10.6.6, 10.6.5, etc.) had no problem whatsoever with the WiFi, worked perfectly. Anyone who says it is NOT Lion has no clue (I have been working with computers since 1985). Apple, as usual, deny the problem, they have no shame nor they give a **** for its customers, what is new?

Posted by Mike Kubba on August 5, 2011 at 4:15 PM (CDT)


@ellankavi (post 5) thank you so much! your suggestions seem to have worked for me!!!

Posted by Judith on August 6, 2011 at 7:32 PM (CDT)


I had the wake from sleep no WiFi reconnect issue on several Macs I upgraded. I deleted all the saved entries in network location and restarted. One I had to run#3

Posted by burt on August 7, 2011 at 6:29 PM (CDT)


I too experienced wifi issues after upgrading to Lion.  After hours of scanning numerous forums and several calls w/ Apple support I think I discovered one possible cause/solution to the issue. 

The Apple support rep asked me a question about WIFI security as part of the standard troubleshooting questions; when I responded w/ WEP the rep was quick to point out that WEP is ‘old’ technology and I’d be better off to use WPA/WPA2. 

At first I thought this was a bit of a red herring however after trying every other suggestion I reconfigured my network to use WPA (i.e., had to change my WAP to use WPA instead of WEP…)  and since then have had no issues.

This may be a bit of a red herring and Apple may be holding back on some info regarding the quality of their support for WEP (they seemed to be quite animated in terms of expressing that WEP is outdated) but for what it’s worth it worked for me.


Posted by David Levine on August 8, 2011 at 10:47 AM (CDT)


After update to Lion I had the same weird, ugly issue!
After a few Days the WiFi connection was lost and it was unable to make a reconnect.
(Shame on you Apple!)

I’ve deleted the according WiFi interface in networks.
After rebooting and adding a new WiFi interface (in System Preferences - Network) everything is working fine!



Posted by Sagitarius on August 8, 2011 at 11:37 AM (CDT)


For whatever it’s worth, this is how I got lion installed without the problem:

Boot from an external hard drive, and copy personal files to it from the internal drive.  Use disk utility to re-partition and erase the internal drive.  Run 10.7 setup on the internal drive.  Reboot and copy the backed up files back to the internal drive.

Sure, it takes a few minutes to re-install.  I’d much rather do that than monkey with a system that isn’t working right, although some of these suggestions here seem pretty simple.  I suppose I really like the way a fresh install runs.  “The Soul of a New Machine.”

20” iMac C2D 2.4ghx, 4gb, 1T

Posted by Erick Harrienger on August 14, 2011 at 4:27 AM (CDT)


Hi guys, I can confirm having just the same issue as described above.
iMac i7 after upgrade to OSX Lion, the problem re-occures in almost exact intervals. I have applied the suggested steps from #4 and will post update tomorrow.
WiFi is WPA protected AP is Fritz!Box 7170.

Posted by nonix on August 16, 2011 at 12:55 PM (CDT)


Have just installed the new OSX 10.7.1 update which should fix some Wi-Fi instability issue. I believe this will fix the problem.

Posted by nonix on August 17, 2011 at 4:02 PM (CDT)


I have two late-2009 iMac which I use for work.  Same problems since installing Lion in both.  10.7.1 does not fix the problem, at least in my case.  After trying the most sensible solutions above I spoke at lenght to mac support over the phone.  Their suggestion: 1/ buy a 30ft ethernet cable 2/ wait for 10.7.2 update which should fix the ugly problem.

Posted by Gianluca Latini on August 18, 2011 at 3:53 PM (CDT)


Same here, no luck with the new 10.7.1

Posted by nonix on August 18, 2011 at 4:35 PM (CDT)


nothing has been changed.
After 10.7.1, still wifi connection down after using about one hour

Posted by furifuri on August 18, 2011 at 5:35 PM (CDT)


Got a new Mac mini last week, and it just killed our network.Any wi fi connection would cause the Mediacom cable modem to drop its connection. Even wiring the Mac mini straight to the cable modem led to problems. However, the 10.7.1 update looks to have cured everything—have had a fast, stable connection for over a day now.

If the update did not cure your problems, try power cycling your cable modem, all routers, and restarting the computer several times. On our second restart, everything fell into place.

Posted by Doctor Bart on August 18, 2011 at 9:11 PM (CDT)


I have it even worse. I installed Lion on an iMac (3 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM, Lion 10.7.1) a couple days ago.

Right off the bat, WiFi didn’t work—the Airport icon dropdown said no WiFi hardware is installed.

So I did the obvious—shut down and restarted.

WiFi then worked great for the next day.

This morning, dead again.  System information says WiFi is installed, but the icon dropdown once again says no hardware is installed.  WiFi shows up on the Network preference panel, but there is no response when I try to turn it on from there.

Posted by Jeff Guinn on August 19, 2011 at 1:41 PM (CDT)


Comment #4 Fixed the auto-join problem for me.

Just removed the Wifi (applied) then clicked + and added it again.

No issues on first start-up or wake now.

Cheers Jeremy

Posted by Chris on August 21, 2011 at 5:36 AM (CDT)


WIFI disconnect and time out problem OS X Lion. I have had a lot of problems. Tried all the usual but none worked for me. So I changed the channel on my Netgear from the default 11 to 5 and created a new Network on my MBA using the same channel 5.  It is now ok. Even working after a restart and reboot. Fingers crossed.

Posted by Mike on August 21, 2011 at 2:46 PM (CDT)


Re Wifi problem in OS X Lion re my previous post on Netgear channel change. If any other find this resloves the problem, let us know

Mike Munn

Posted by Mike on August 21, 2011 at 2:47 PM (CDT)


Mac OS X Lion 10.7 nor 10.7.1 fixed this issue—10.7.1 seems to have introduced new WiFi random disconnect issues.

My mew MacBook Pro worked perfectly on 10.7 before updating to Lion 10.7.1 and now it won’t stay connected for more than 30 mins - 2 hours. Apple Support had me do all the network changes described above, yet it still randomly disconnects.

Posted by neog8r on August 22, 2011 at 1:46 PM (CDT)


Like #44, I was having no issues until I installed the patch that was intended to fix wifi issues…

Posted by Blake on August 23, 2011 at 8:44 AM (CDT)


I experienced the same issue with a brand new iMac Mid 2011 pre-installed with Lion and still had the issue with the 10.7.1 update.

After a lot of unsuccessful research, I digged into the Wifi advanced preference and saw that Lion was also using IPv6 DNS entries (DNS tab). Although I like having IPv6 enabled, I’m not sure about my ISP IPv6 support capability (COX) and my router IPv6 capability (netGear WNDR3700).

I went to the TCP/IP tab and set IPv6 to local link only. This keeps IPv6 enabled only within the LAN (no routing). The IPv6 DNS entry disappeared and the problem with it.

Posted by mindtec on August 24, 2011 at 2:28 PM (CDT)


Upgraded to Lion but I have yet to encounter a Wi-Fi signal issue.

Posted by Nico Nicomedes on August 24, 2011 at 4:18 PM (CDT)


after having still issues with WiFi after upgrade to 10.7.1, I have looked into settings of my router (AVM FritzBox).
1. Downgrade from WPA2 to WPA
2. Switch off automatic channel search
3. Advise DHCP to assign the same IP address to this MAC address
4. Downgrade from 11g to 11b and switch off 11g++
5.  apply/reboot router
6. On Mac in prefs remove stored preferred network
7. switch off/on WiFi,

Since then, the connection seems to be stable for more then two days no drop outs.

Posted by nonix on August 25, 2011 at 1:45 AM (CDT)


My issue is different a little from that one on post. I’ve realized when I connect my laptop to any different network than my home access, when I come back home my MBP simply doesn’t recognize the password and can’t connect to my home wifi network.

I deleted the saved home network on System Preferences and add it back, but doesn’t work even. Only when I restart my modem and wifi router the MBP get able to connect again.

Isn’t it stupid at all?

[sorry my bad english]

Posted by Pablo on August 25, 2011 at 7:58 PM (CDT)


hey guys what’s this yar. after buying iphone, ipad, having already issues on wifi on these devices, since my laptop stopped working, thought of buying iMac, now, every 2min wifi gets disconnected. it’s a OS X snow 10.6.8. is this a known isue in Mac’s. pls suggest. Ive only 7days to return it in bestbuy. ill buy another win 7 laptop instead. i can’t use this unnoying 2min disconnect issue. somewhow 3G saving my life in iphone/ipad, but in iMac i can’t. pls suggest ASAP. honest oppinion.

Posted by First time MS fan bought iMac but thinking of retu on September 25, 2011 at 3:01 AM (CDT)


Hello, I have read nearly all the comments on this list. I also do have the same problem with Lion. Not only that my network does nothing at all, but all of the normal icons that are normally in the top taskbar does not exist anymore. Also when i move the mouse to the upper right cormer i see the collard wheel turning all the time. So my computer try’s to go further with something but can not succeed.
It is totally clear to me without any doubt that the problem in within Lion and that Apple does have to fix this with an update that solves all our problems.

Posted by wim on September 26, 2011 at 6:09 PM (CDT)


I never had any problems with mij Wifi or other network problems. I work with Mac Book Pro with leopard with latest updates. All problems with Wife and network began after installing Lion 10.7.2. I have been busy for many hours with is. Had help from support site and did uninstall and reinstall twice but the problems are still the same. So Leopard is allright buy Lion does not work at all!!!!!!!!

Posted by wim on September 27, 2011 at 4:00 AM (CDT)


Guys, I think this could be a help to some of you, who has Atheros WiFi card and experiencing random Airport connection drop outs after have upgraded to OSX Lion.
Effectively this is downgrade of Atheros WiFi driver which seems to be ill on Lion to the version provided with Snow Leopard.

Read carefully!

using terminal type:

1. kextstat | grep -i atheros
  if a line was returned, you are most likely using Atheros WiFi card and the related kext
2. In your home folder create two directories: cd && mkdir New Old
3. If you have a copy (time machine backup) or other system installed with Snow Leopard (as latest as possible), take a copy of /System/Library/Extensions/IO80211Family.kext and put it into ~/Old/ directory
4. (Back on to your main system) gain root access: sudo -s
5. Move: mv /System/Library/Extensions/IO80211Family.kext ~/New/
6. Move cache file: mv /System/Library/Caches/com.apple.kext.caches/Startup/kernelcache ~/New/
7. copy old kext: cp -r ~/Old/IO80211Family.kext /System/Library/Extensions/
8. go to: cd /System/Library/Caches/com.apple.kext.caches/Startup/
9. rebuild cache: kextcache -v 1 -a i386 -a x86_64 -mkext kernelcache /System/Library/Extensions
10. Using GUI Utilities->Disk Utility->Macintosh HD->Repair permissions
11. :-) pray and reboot

IMPORTANT: Do this at your own risk, if you have no experience with command line and have at least some basic knowledge of Unix, I would suggest ask a friend. I am not responsible if you Mac will stop working after following this steps.

For the brave harts: Let me know if this was a help to you.

Good luck!

Posted by nonix on September 28, 2011 at 9:16 AM (CDT)


nonix YOU ARE A GENIUS!!!!!!!!

I’m asking myself why i did not think about it before. Now it’s clear the issue is strictly connected to the driver: APPLE DO SOMETHING!
I’ve tried every proposed solution around on the web with no success but this time….

Thanks for the wonderful hint.

(I’m pinging google with no loss of packets since 2 hours…)

Posted by AleDegreg on September 30, 2011 at 2:07 PM (CDT)


Is anybody else running SugarSync? I shut it down for a few days and did not notice any wifi problems. Can anybody else check this out and report back?

Posted by Kornelis on October 1, 2011 at 2:43 PM (CDT)


I kept losing connection too. It seemed as if my IMAC kept trying to switch between the two routers I have in the house with the same SSID and password. The second router is an air express with an ethernet connection to the main router The second router was set up as bridge to boost the signal to far corners of the house.

It seems like I may have fixed the problem. I updated security to WPA2 on both routers - all our Macs seemed to expect WPA2 instead of the WEP that was the default on the main VIOS router. I then fixed the channel on the main router to channel 1 . There do not seem to be any interuptions anymore. Hope this helps someone else.  We got Macs because they are supposed to be easy!

Posted by oreow on October 16, 2011 at 6:19 PM (CDT)



Thanks, but what if I don’t have a copy (or time machine backup) of another system installed with Snow Leopard? can you make available that old driver file somewhere online pls?

Posted by mikele on October 18, 2011 at 5:55 AM (CDT)



Posted by Harold Briley on October 25, 2011 at 12:32 PM (CDT)


Believe it or not, if you plug an ethernet cable in the back of the Mac - (it doesnt have to be connected to anything else) then wireless works fine. Well mine has ever since i did that and the dropping was driving me insane before that. Hope it works for everyone.

Posted by supersonic76 on November 10, 2011 at 10:18 AM (CST)


I too have had the problem since upgrading to Lion. I think I have just fixed it, but I could be a) lucky, or b) merely hopeful!

Under my wireless network name, it has always been ‘none’. I’ve now added the security protocol I am using in, and how it seems to work. No disconnection, and it automatically picks up my wireless network when it wakes up.

I’ll update should anything change.

Posted by Mat on December 11, 2011 at 12:12 AM (CST)


I have the best solution, I dumped LION and reinstalled Snow Leopard. Now if I could only get my $30.00 back.

Posted by BobCanDo on December 24, 2011 at 11:19 AM (CST)


Well I have the lion upgrade and can no longer get on my WIFI at home.  My ipod touch and daughters iPad2 work just fine.  Am typing this on my $240.00 netbook and not the $2400 MBPrp.  Did not have this particular problem with the earlier MAC snow leopard OS but, did have some VPN issues which is why I switched.  I would return the whole deal if Apple does not improve the drivers soon.  I could get a faster refurbished ASUS i5 for $630 that would be faster and I bet the WIFI would work out the box.  Just read these forums.  I need this for work and cant beta test for these folks much longer.  Will try plugging in the ethernet into the air as a last gasp effort.  Not too happy.

Posted by dave on December 30, 2011 at 3:53 AM (CST)


Hi everyone, i’m not as tech savvy as a lot of you are so i don’t really understand most of the tricks you’re using, but i JUST bought my new iMac today and the connection is dropping out like CRAZY, UGH, it’s terribly frustrating! (and i was so happy to get it out of the box too >.>)
ANYWAY. This computer CAME with Lion, so does that mean i’m doomed since i have no other install for it? i really need this to work, i saved up lots of money for this computer so i could have a decent machine to do my art on. Here’s hoping we see changes soon </3

Posted by Katch on December 31, 2011 at 1:13 AM (CST)


i’ve been having exatcly the same problem! i got my new 21.5” imac on the 23rd of decemeber and every since the wifi kieeps dropping with a message ‘no hardware installed’ i tried everything apple told me to do even going to get a replacement and the problem is still happening very fustrating indeed

Posted by josh on January 9, 2012 at 9:55 AM (CST)


i have came across this issue on multiple macs
I have found if you boot to the recovery HD
by holding down cmd & opt when you
first turn on your Mac and you connect to
your wifi network from there then press the
power button for 2 seconds no longer to put
the Mac to sleep then press the power button
again for 2 second to turn it back on and
wifi reconnects with no issue that it is a settings
issue with the current Os configuration which
can be generally be fixed by clicking the apple in
the upper left selecting restart
then opening finder then clicking
in the go from the menu bar
then open computer then
open Macintosh Hd then
open library then open preferences
then open system configuration
then click on edit then
click on select all then click on file then
click on move to trash then
restart your Mac then select the wifi symbol
in the upper right hand corner and select your
network from the drop down menu basically
this troubleshooting step removes all your
network settings and forces the Mac to reload
a fresh set of all your network settings
ps if you are unable to connect in the recovery
environment you may need to connect
via Ethernet and install the recovery environment
update reset the PRAM reset the SMC try a different
network make sure you are WPA network
(Mac does not work well with WEP)
encryption or worst case Senario
have an authorized technician
check for harware faults

Posted by knoddix on January 10, 2012 at 7:41 AM (CST)


just to correct mistake from previous post its
cmd & r when you start your Mac to boot to the
recovery HD

Posted by knoddix on January 10, 2012 at 7:46 AM (CST)


Nonix (#53) is correct. This is all tied to driver issue. This also affects some Broadcom version of drivers (especially when upgraded to 10.7 and up. Apple says there is no issue but there is. The issue comes around when connecting to a WPA2 or WPA2Enterprise connection. Change the drivers back down and you’ll be alright.

Posted by Daveo on January 10, 2012 at 11:02 AM (CST)


Is there a fix for the Broadcom version? I have a Mid2010 macbook pro.

Posted by tony850 on January 10, 2012 at 1:31 PM (CST)


Tried number 5. Seemed to work, but then left computer alone for a bit and put it to sleep. Upon awakening problem returned. I installed Lino on my November ‘10 27” mac about 3 months ago, but the problem is only recently occurring, and it is getting worse. Why might this be the case? (iTouch and new Macbook Air with Lion not affected) So frustrating on my most expensive machine :(

Posted by David on January 17, 2012 at 4:01 PM (CST)


Finally got this solved! My problem was the DNS settings for my at&t u-verse modem (Motorola NVG510). I spent an hour and 45 minutes on the phone with various people at u-verse support to convince them to give me an alternate address, and the Tier II tech finally admitted it was a known issue with them and OSX. It’s been about 22 hours, and Safari has not timed out once, all my images load, and my Internet seems faster than ever. So if at&t is your ISP, and you’re having connection issues with your Mac using Lion, call at&t and get a new DNS address.

Posted by Alicia on January 18, 2012 at 4:34 PM (CST)


Same here on my iMac late 2010. After the upgrade from SL to Lion 10.7.2 my Wi-Fi connection keeps dropping.

I’ve tried clearing the list of Wi-Fi hotspots and also changing the router password with no success. Apple please fix it!!

Posted by Benny on February 4, 2012 at 4:49 PM (CST)


Had the same problem. The problem is not the OS, the problem is the router probably has old firmware.

Click the antenna symbol.
Open Network Preferences.
Select your wi fi connection then click Advanced (lower right).
Select TCP/IP from the list at the top.
Under Configure IPv6.
Change from Automatic to Link-Local only.
Click Ok.
Then click Apply.

Done. Enjoy!

Posted by basilmir on February 5, 2012 at 4:36 PM (CST)


@72 Tried it. No Joy.

Posted by Lance Cheung on February 5, 2012 at 10:59 PM (CST)


Post #5 worked for me.

Posted by Shane on February 16, 2012 at 5:56 PM (CST)


Most recent suggestion did not work:-( But thanks.

Candidly, between this issue and the nuking of the Office apps support, I can’t think of anything nice to say about Apple. I can think about a whole lot of expletives, though. A return to the arrogance of the First Jobs Regime?

Posted by Joe Rouse on February 17, 2012 at 11:08 PM (CST)


Had similar disconnect problems which Apple Support couldn’t solve. Finally I solved by going to System Preferences and opened Energy Saver and moved the sleep cursor for pc from 15 minutesto 1 hour. No problems since

Posted by ham shields on February 22, 2012 at 5:47 AM (CST)


Update Mac OS X 10.7.3 - Still with same problem. I did everything but my wifi remains drop down. None of those solutions works to me.

Posted by will on February 23, 2012 at 10:39 AM (CST)


I have this too, on two computers both with lion. My wife still uses snow leopard. No problem at all. This started immediately after installing lion but does not affect other devices, just lion. What a rip off.

Posted by Austin Smith on March 4, 2012 at 2:10 AM (CST)


I’ve been having the “no hardware installed” issue with my wifi since snow leopard, and though that going to lion would solve my problems. What happens is, sometimes my mbp crashes and the internet stops working, so I try to reboot it a few times and just leave it for a few hours, or sometimes days. It comes back working by itself, so I never take it to the store. The only problem is when I am in a middle of something important, as a conference meeting yesterday. Could not get back. My boss is very pissed. Any solutions for reinstalling the wifi hardware, please contatc.thank you

Posted by Mathias on March 8, 2012 at 9:51 AM (CST)


I had a new mac mini i5 and after about a week began experiencing the wifi and connection timeout issues we’re all far too familiar with! Solution? I’ ve consulted with apple geniuses, spent 10s of hours on forums and online resources desperately trying to find a solution, I’ve also tried all of those sites that claim to be a wonder fix and I can conclude right now that none of it seems fruitful! I was advised by apple to wait for future updates to see if they may rectify the problem! So hence my mac went back for refund!
Apple this is pathetic! A computer with practically non existent wifi is like a car with no wheels! And to think that you both design and build, thereabouts, your software and hardware and you still can’t, given that, get your products to work synergistically! This is simple stuff that other manufacturers and OS’s perform relatively reliably. Calm down the development of the bells and whistles and start with a coherent and FUNCTIONAL foundation! ‘MOST ADVANCED OS IN THE WORLD’ you may want to reconsider your tag line too . . . .
I’m not an apple troll before the accusations come flying; in the event that these issues are completely rectified I will happily purchase a new mac mini, I just wish apple would take responsibility and present to us those premium products that their advertising and prices imply! They’ve certainly got the service right, apple staff are a great bunch of people!

Posted by Sam on March 13, 2012 at 6:37 PM (CDT)


Out of Curiosity, how many of you having this issue are in a multi AP environment. Just asking as since 10.6 on I am no longer able to specify a BSSID or bind it to a SSID and I have been having similar issues anytime I am in a multi AP area to include WDS extended networks.

Posted by W Pitt on March 18, 2012 at 12:51 AM (CDT)


Open up terminal.

Type:  ping facebook.

This works because keeps trying to find the best router and subsequently drops the signal finding new ones. Having terminal constantly ping a website prevents this.

Posted by Marie on March 27, 2012 at 12:29 PM (CDT)


Switching to WPA security from WEP solved this for me, atleast for last couple of hours.
(I reset my router as well and made the channel static to 11). I am not sure which one of these was more reliable but I think WEP is the main culprit.

Posted by nyrulez on April 4, 2012 at 12:21 AM (CDT)


Try unplugging your airport (express), wait 30 seconds then plug it back in.  Cured my dropoffs!

Posted by Phil George on April 18, 2012 at 11:33 PM (CDT)


The first option, deleting com.apple.aif.plist, worked for me like a charm.

Posted by Murtaza Jafferji on April 21, 2012 at 6:17 PM (CDT)


Has anyone tried installing windows 7 with bootcamp and confirmed same thing doesn´t happens with same atheros adapter?
I did that today as a last resource as i´ve tried everything above but the drivers thing as i don´t have snow leopard files required, however i haven´t had the chance to test out if that made any difference, it is a brand new imac 21.5 2011

Posted by Nixio on May 1, 2012 at 6:23 PM (CDT)


Hello guys, I’m experimenting this problem for some months, I tried the last solution by apple but the wifi continues dropping down. I don’t know if it can help, but the first wifi failure appeared after some changing of permissions (in particular after activating root user). I have deactivated it, but wifi problems are still there. I made some capture with Wireshark and noticed that every time connection fall the last packet is an ICMPv6 (Multicast Listener Report) from :: to ff02::16, can this give some additional informations or help anybody?

Posted by eferre on May 3, 2012 at 12:29 PM (CDT)


Hello everyone,
I purchased a new mac mini with osx lion in Dec/11.
It worked find up until about 2 months ago, this issue where out of the blue the internet connection would drop, I would reconnect and everything went ok, but this became a frequent problem, and it never happened on somewhat of a schedule, sometimes I would reconnect a couple of times a day, others 10 times a day.
After reading several forums, I decided a few days ago that reformatting would fix things, IT DID NOT, after half a day spent on reinstalling everything, I came upon this one, and read the 3 options, went with option #1, and 2 days later, all is well again, no issues.
I wish I had found this before, it would’ve made my life much easier.

Posted by Gabriel S. on May 11, 2012 at 4:04 PM (CDT)


I recently download the latest Mac OS X Lion 10.7.4 (11E53) on my 27-inch Mid 2011 iMac and so far I have not experienced any more Wifi drops as I normally experienced.

Posted by Scott H. on May 17, 2012 at 10:36 PM (CDT)


I am using Lion 10.7.3. Deleting /Library/Preferences/com.apple.alf.plist and /Library/Preferences/com.apple.alf.plist.lockfile works for me.

Two more things:
1. You probably made a typo in “com.apple.aif.plist”, which is actually “com.apple.alf.plist”
2. Before the fix, I have unstable pings to my router, the time varies from 40ms to 300ms. But after I delete the file and restart, the ping time is around 1ms

Posted by RockU on May 19, 2012 at 1:12 AM (CDT)


Hey, I used to have the same problem, it was driving me mental, then i realised that if i wasn’t running iTunes it was not happening. Give it a go, until the problem it is fixed, it might work.


Posted by marco venzon on May 27, 2012 at 5:58 AM (CDT)


I re-configured the wireless router to work on b+g instead of g+n and this solved my problem. Choose also a free channel to avoid interference.

Posted by Valentin on May 29, 2012 at 4:41 PM (CDT)


Let’s face it, Mac’s are beginning to behave like PC’s

Posted by Mark Lowe on June 23, 2012 at 7:18 AM (CDT)


I was having the problem after upgrading, and followed the February update solution- deleted all network passwords in keychain, restarted, etc.

Seems to work great now.

Posted by Bob W on June 25, 2012 at 1:29 PM (CDT)


“Updated February 22, 2012: Users—including one of our editors—have continued to experience problems at least intermittently despite several point releases of OS X 10.7, and Apple has posted an updated solutions page here. The company’s recommended solution (click “Solution” under “Symptom: The network connection drops unexpectedly”) is to use Network Preferences to delete all of your computer’s remembered wireless networks, then use Keychain Access to delete all of your wireless passwords from Login and System, and finally to restart your Mac and re-join your network of choice. For full details, see Apple’s link. We hope it helps!”

These steps temporarily resolved the issue but the problem reappeared by the next day. Back to square one.

Posted by Walter on July 5, 2012 at 8:34 AM (CDT)


even taking my imac 3 times to the Apple Store (not easy, it’s heavy!)
And of course those dorks couldn’t see _anything_ wrong because their WIFI inside the apple store has no security and the problem with the wifi disconnect is when there is security enabled (in my experience).

I just updated to Mountain Lion and the problem is gone! So it was definitely a bug in Lion.

Posted by Carolina on August 1, 2012 at 11:41 PM (CDT)


I had same problems with my Mac, late model 2009, running 10.7.4

I tried most of the fixes described, and some worked for a short time. What seems to have eventually fixed it (been 3 days now OK), was a link I found, cant find it now, but seemed a good one, because it described the problem in OSX.

The fix is to make sure you have software updates. Then add a new location in your network, setup, this causes it to bring in new code from Lion (i had upgraded to Lion in past), connect to wifi, renew DHCP lease (under advanced/TCP) reboot router and everything is cool.

Hope it works for you guys still struggling out there, for a minute I thought I was going back to WIndows…..

Posted by Pete M on August 7, 2012 at 8:00 AM (CDT)


Can someone please describe, in detail, exactly how to configure this problem…please? I’m a noob when it comes to mac’s but this has been my problem for the past month in a half even after upgrading to the new mountain lion software. :/

Posted by Ismael on August 21, 2012 at 4:41 AM (CDT)


nothing work for me,, so i disabled the iMac wifi and bought a new USB wifi dongle.. and now everything works perfect. thank you apple

Posted by quinsy on August 21, 2012 at 9:34 AM (CDT)


I found out that my Android device which was also conntected to the WIfi was a type 11g and that whenever it used that wireless it made the laptop, which are type 11n, drop. Now I have stopped using the Wifi on my phone and the issue has stopped.

Posted by Benjamin Cerigo on September 27, 2012 at 5:25 AM (CDT)

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