Preferred Wi-Fi Networks

Even though I work from home on my iMac on an Ethernet connection most of the time, I still use Wi-Fi occasionally. For some reason, when I installed macOS Big Sur my Wi-Fi network defaulted to xfinity Wi-Fi instead of my home Wi-Fi network. This involves the Preferred Networks setting in the Network Preference Pane. If you use one Wi-Fi network most of the time, then you might want to set a “Preferred Network”.1

Preferred Networks

You setup or change a Preferred Network in the Network System Preference Pane.

Network Pref Pane

Once in this area click on Wi-Fi and then “Advanced”.

Select Wi-Fi

When I first entered this screen, my network was defaulted to xfinity Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi Network

That meant every time I booted up my iMac the Wi-Fi was set to xfinity and not my normal Wi-Fi setting. You can uncheck anything in this window if you wish. The thing to do is to drag the network you prefer to be the default to the top of the list.

Selection

If you are using a Mac laptop, you may have several networks listed here. When you have set your Preferred Network, just click “OK”. In the next window be sure to click “Apply” and your default network is set up.

Conclusion

If your Mac is defaulting to the wrong Wi-Fi network, you can change it to the network you prefer.

  1. This may be especially useful if you are using a Mac laptop.