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I have been wondering for long (and being troubled by this too), that why don't MacBook (like most other laptops), don't connect automatically to the available Wi-Fi like iPhone (and most other phones) do.

E.g. if my Wi-Fi router goes off for 1-2 minutes, both iPhone and MacBook Pro disconnect from it (obviously), however when the network is back, after a few seconds, iPhone is back on network, while MacBook isn't (even after long!).

So I want to know why is it so? And more importantly, how to change that behaviour and make it auto-connect?

  • Please edit your answer (or add a comment) to include the model of MacBook Pro and the version of macOS running on it. At my institution, certain early versions of High Sierra (and Sierra before it) had exactly this problem. You should also add whether or not you use iCloud Keychain. – IconDaemon Jun 6 '18 at 10:06
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You should check System Preferences > Network and click the Advanced... button to pull up the list of saved Preferred Networks. There is an option to drag networks in a preferred order. If your home network is not at the top of the list, drag it up. If your home network is the only network in this list, select it and hit the negative button to delete it, then recreate a new Wi-Fi connection.

Sidenote: If you are using iCloud Keychain, Wi-Fi networks you have connected to on any device also using iCloud Keychain will show up on your Mac and visa versa. This can cause a proliferation of Wi-Fi networks in this list.

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  • this was not the question... – Nabeel Khan Jun 6 '18 at 3:27
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    I beg to disagree. I have solved many Wi-Fi connection problems, for myself and my clients, with the steps in my answer. Have you tried any of the steps here to see if this fixes the problem? – IconDaemon Jun 6 '18 at 10:01
  • ok sure I would try them today, however question was "why"? why don't i need to do this on my iphone? but always with laptops? – Nabeel Khan Jun 6 '18 at 15:30
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    Sometimes there is no useful answer. The Wi-Fi connection problems at my institution literally disappeared with a point update. Not everybody was affected. It was probably a combination of hardware and software. We weren't able to come to any satisfactory conclusion as to why. The problem went away, and we were happy. :-) – IconDaemon Jun 6 '18 at 15:51

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