At university I added a few documents to my print queue. A few minutes after I got home with my laptop still in my backpack, my printer mysteriously printed exactly two pages of the document I added to the print queue.

I have power nap disabled.

  1. Why would my sleeping laptop connect to my home wifi? Does this mean my laptop is advertising my MAC address and connecting to familiar wifi networks as I walk around the city?

  2. Why would my sleeping laptop print with power nap disabled?

  3. Do I have any way of disabling wifi activity while my mac is sleeping?

I'm using Sierra OSX on a 2015 MacBook Pro with retina. Thanks for looking!

2 Answers 2


Sleep doesnt mean off. Its still connecting to familiar networks. I'd either turn off wifi while sleeping or power it off.

  • 1
    What was still connected in particular? The mac was disconnected for at least some time, because I was commuting.
    – atlex2
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 1:47
  • 2
    The wifi signal is still on, which means its still searching for a familiar connection. Its still connecting to familiar networks. Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 1:50

Not very cool I would say. I was recently travelling through LHR and never opened my laptop in transit. When I got to my destination, the LHR free wifi was shown in my list of nearby networks for a few seconds, when it was obviously no longer in range. That means that while sleeping, it is scanning for networks. Hence tracking where it goes while sleeping. Yay!

Yes, I have Power Nap off.

  • 1
    macOS doesn’t join unknown networks in sleep, so another device (possible iCloud sync) put that association if it did join.
    – bmike
    Commented Jun 19, 2019 at 1:29
  • 1
    @bmike - I think he meant that it didn't connect, but that it was scanning while asleep
    – atlex2
    Commented Jun 19, 2019 at 22:21
  • 1
    Sure it is possible that it was some sync, as I did connect to the LHR wifi on my iPhone. But it had long disconnected and been hours by the time I opened my laptop. I don't think it would show up in the network list because of some sync. A little eery to me that it scans while sleeping.
    – DaMan05
    Commented Jun 20, 2019 at 11:26

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