I used a crummy AT&T (*coughAT&Tsymbollookslikedeathstarcough*) router to build a private LAN. It has no service/DSL connections, there for it detects no internet access (naturally) and will give me this pop-up on a Mac:

Pop-up on Mac

This, as you can see, seems to be a Safari window of sorts that is sourcing captive.apple.com. Because I have no DSL connection, all DNS resolutions get translated to the router's web host. This means that every 5 to 10 minutes I get this pop-up. The WiFi connection does work, but I get this annoying pop-up that interrupts my work.

On an iPhone, I have a similarish problem, although it is more consequential. In Settings --> Wireless it gives me this same page asking me to Log In. I assume that's the function of captive.apple.com. I know places like McDonalds or Starbucks will do this to make sure you come in and buy something before getting on their WiFi.

My Question is this: How do I disable this on a Mac so that I don't have to worry with this pop-up anymore? The iPhone is a secondary problem, but it would be nice to have a solution for it. Would a /etc/hosts entry fix it, or is it more complicated than that?

OS X version 10.11 El Capitan
2011 Mac Mini

1 Answer 1


There's 3 ways.

  1. sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/com.apple.captive.control Active -boolean false

  2. Just delete (or rename) /System/Library/CoreServices/Captive Network Assistant.app

  3. Add an entry in /etc/hosts containing captive.apple.com

  • And it should actually be captive.apple.com
    – Daniel
    Oct 19, 2015 at 1:44
  • 1
    And the /etc/hosts entry did not work
    – Daniel
    Oct 19, 2015 at 1:47
  • The defaults write didn't work
    – Daniel
    Oct 19, 2015 at 1:48
  • 2
    @Daniel Are you on El Capitan? If so, you'll need to disable System Integrity Protection before messing with the System files.
    – user24601
    Oct 19, 2015 at 2:20
  • 1
    Note that this will not address the iPhone at all.
    – samh
    Oct 19, 2015 at 14:49

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