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I would like to disconnect from my WiFi network on OS X Lion without having the computer to forget the network. So basically I'm looking for a way to just disconnect and connect to a specific WiFi network at will.

How do I do this?

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You can disconnect from the current wireless network without turning wireless off by running the following command on the command line:

sudo /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/Current/Resources/airport -z
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Thanks very much --- but is there seriously no way to do this from the GUI? – David Given Aug 5 '14 at 19:04

Would setting up different locations under Network preferences, each having different way out settings be an option? You'd 'sort of' be disconnecting.

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We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

I know that it's old question but maybe someone is looking for better solution.

I've just found that you can detach from a WiFi network by Opt/Alt-clicking on the Wifi icon and then selecting the appropriate option in the dropdown.

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That Alt key hides all kinds of suprises in OSX – Aran Mulholland Dec 16 '15 at 4:14

Your router may also offer a user interface which offers a way to disconnect from the wifi network. I just tested it out with mine and it worked fine. I also tested the command line prompt described above, and that worked, too.

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