I have multiple wifi connections in my campus (XYZ-Open, XYZ-Secure and XYZ-Guest) where XYZ-Secure is a secure connection and asks for authentication. Students use the secure connection which has a better bandwidth than the rest.

The issue is this: When my mac returns from a sleep mode or powers up, it chooses the XYZ-Open all the time by default and I need to manually switch to the secure connection each time. Is there an option to make XYZ-Secure the default connection which my mac should connect?



You can change the preferred network simply by dragging it to the top of the list.

Lion: System Preferences -> Network -> Wi-Fi -> Advanced

Older OS: System Preferences -> Network -> Airport -> Advanced

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  • 1
    I was completely unaware you could re-order that list. How obvious it seems now... – Jason Salaz Aug 29 '11 at 3:31
  • The "Drag networks into the order you prefer" kinda gives it away ;-) – Ingmar Hupp Aug 29 '11 at 3:32
  • I hope no one minds I stole @VxJasonxV's great picture (hilighted the key phrase that's so easy to miss) and added it to Ingmar Hupp's great answer. – bmike Aug 29 '11 at 4:43
  • Ingmar, The text is too small! ... >_>. I really have just never had a need to change the order. bmike, Great idea, good work. I'm 100% ok with that. – Jason Salaz Aug 29 '11 at 15:57

You should be able to "forget" the XYZ-Open network in order to never automatically connect to it again.

Wifi connections are connected to based off the strongest remembered one first, if I recall correctly.

Open your Network pane in System Preferences.


Click Advanced there in the bottom right when the Wifi adapter is selected.

Advanced Dialog

Then click the XYZ-Open network and delete it, it should never be automatically joined again.

Since it is an Open Network, there should be no concern in deleting it, as you can always simply rejoin it. What I don't know is how to select it, but doing so without remembering it. That's easy to do when you have to type in a password, but that dialog never appears on an Open network.

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