Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I connected to a public wifi hotspot with my MacBook AIr (Mavericks) and a login window appeared. I can't recall if I first tried to navigate to a website or not. I am familiar with logging into hotspots, where the login details appear in the browser itself. In this case, however, the login details appeared in a separate window (program?).

When I selected the browser, the global menu indicated "Firefox". When I selected the login window, the menu showed "Finder". Is this a (Apple?) captive portal program? It's the first time I've seen it on any OS platform.

share|improve this question
see this answer: – Buscar웃 Jul 2 '14 at 9:40
up vote 1 down vote accepted

It's something built in the system . Sometimes it's able to detect a captive portal and it displays it in a separate window.

As @George Garside pointed out, it's a separate program located at /System/Library/CoreServices/Captive Network

Also, if you have a iDevice you'll see a similar feature.

share|improve this answer
It is a separate program: /System/Library/CoreServices/Captive Network – grgarside Jul 2 '14 at 13:21

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.