Fixing Wi-Fi “Connection Timeout Occurred” Errors on Mac OS

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Connecting to wireless networks is pretty much mandatory these days, especially now that most Macs only have Wi-Fi cards and no built-in ethernet, so it can be incredibly frustrating not being able to connect to a Wi-Fi network. When you can’t connect to a particular Wi-Fi router on a Mac, you see the error message ‘A connection timeout has occurred’ or ‘Cannot connect to the network – it has timed out’ when you try connecting to a network or when the Mac tries to automatically join a Wi-Fi router and fails.

If you see that error message then you should be able to resolve the connection timeout issue by following the steps below.

The troubleshooting steps discussed here apply to all Macs running almost any version of Mac OS X, be it on a MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Mini, Air, or whatever you’re using. Note that you’re going to be removing wireless network preferences as part of this suite, which alone can reliably fix stubbornly problematic Wi-Fi issues, but as a side effect, you’ll lose wireless settings adjustments in the process. So if you’re setting custom DNS or specific DHCP or TCP / IP settings, be prepared to make those changes again.

How to Fix Mac “Connection Timeout” error messages with Wi-Fi networks

Before everything else, you have to restart the wifi router which is struggling to connect. Sometimes turning a router off and back on is enough to fix connection issues.

  1. Turn off Wi-Fi on the Mac by going to the Wireless menu and choosing Turn Off Wi-Fi
  2. Turn off WiFi

  3. Remove and unplug any Thunderbolt or USB drives or disk peripherals attached to the computer (I know this sounds weird, just do it)
  4. Temporarily disconnect any external hard drives

  5. In addition to the Finder in Mac OS X and create a new folder, name it something like ‘Wi-Fi files backup’ so you can easily identify it and put it on the desktop or other easily accessible location
  6. Open a new Finder window and hit Command + Shift + G to bring up “Go to Folder” (you can also access this from the Go menu) by entering the following path:
  7. Go to the Wi-Fi settings folder on the Mac/ Library / Preferences / System Configuration /

  8. Select the following files in this folder and copy them to the folder “backup Wi-Fi files” created in the third step by drag and drop:
  9. com.apple.airport.preferences.plistcom.apple.airport.preferences.plist -new com.apple.network.identification.plist NetworkInterfaces.plist preferences.plistCopy the wifi files to a backup location

  10. Back in the “SystemConfiguration” folder with the aforementioned files selected, delete those files by dragging them to the trash (you must authenticate to make this change)
  11. Now reboot the Mac as usual by going to the  Apple menu and choosing “Restart”
  12. Restart a Mac

  13. When the Mac starts up again up, go to  Apple menu and choose “System Preferences” and select the “Network” preference pane
  14. Choose ‘Wi-Fi’ from the side menu and click on ‘Enable Wi-Fi’ button, then open the Locations menu and choose Edit Locations
  15. Click on the + plus button to create a new network location, name it something obvious, then click “Done” and use the Network Name menu item to join the Wi-Fi network as usual
  16. Create a new network location

  17. Authenticate and login to the router as usual, the WiFi network connection should be established without incident and without connection timeout error
  18. Close System Preferences (choose Apply when prompted for network settings) and enjoy your Wi-Fi connection

Wi-Fi connection timeout error has been fixed and working on Mac again

Once you’ve established a Wi-Fi connection, you can reconnect any USB drives, Thunderbolt drives, USB flash disks, or other peripherals to the Mac – why this sometimes affects Wi-Fi connections is unclear, but for what reason therefore, perhaps due to a bug, disconnecting it as part of the sequence usually fixes connection failure and timeout issues.

After the wireless connection is shown to be working as intended, you can delete the ‘backupup Discard Wi-Fi files’ created during this process – the reason we kept these is that if there is a problem and things are somehow worse (which is incredibly unlikely) you can quickly swap the files back into place and at least return to the previous point. Of course if you come back regularly up your Mac like you should with Time Machine, that’s less necessary, but it’s still good practice.

Did this fix the Mac connection timeout issues? Do you have another trick to solve the problem? Let us know in the comments below.

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Fixing Wi-Fi “Connection Timeout Occurred” Errors on Mac OS X: FAQ

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What is actual time in which this method complete?

The time to complete the Fixing Wi-Fi “Connection Timeout Occurred” Errors on Mac OS X tutorial is 10+ minutes.

What are the supported Device?

Apple

What are the supported Operating system?

mac OS


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