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

Sometimes on my macbook my wireless icon looks like this. enter image description here

In the past I've only seen this when connecting to my iphone's hotspot, and I pressumed it was something along the lines of "we're using bluetooth as well" but when I took the screenshot I was connected to a normal everyday wireless access point. What causes the change?

share|improve this question

That's clearly a tethering icon, so you have three options:

  • your Mac OS is interpreting things incorrectly from the WiFi chipset (either due to needing a reboot or some systematic error)
  • the router is sending mixed signals
  • the hardware is detecting something that is not being sent (error or failure)
share|improve this answer

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.