Cannot Add Wireless Network on Mac using System Preferences

Wifi Network in System Preference on Mac

Wifi Network in System Preference on Mac

I had this issue. I accidentally deleted my wireless network from my mac (I was trying to delete a VPN Connection to fix another issue), what happened aft wards were 4 hours of troubleshooting trying to add the wireless network back (but it won’t). Every time I selected to add the wireless network, the dialog popups up, I select WIFI and click ok and nothing happens. The wifi icon in top bar had a cross on it. I could not connect to my WIFI and could not work. I tried quite a number of solution that were listed on other sites but there was no solid help. Finally I found the solution, which is really easy and might save someone day and even mine (if I forget).


The solution is a little bit hidden. The problem lies in the fact that one of your device in the left column has wifi interface selected which in fact is not a wifi device (thunderbolt e.g).

To fix,  start with the top most in the list and see which one is the culprit. Select the gear icon at the bottom.

Gear Icon

Gear Icon

Scroll down in the popup list where it says “Manager Virtual Interfaces”. Select this, this will popup another dialog.




Screenshot 2014-06-12 21.38.51

In this dialog select the *Pen* icon next to + and -.

Screenshot 2014-06-12 21.39.07

In the next dialog (and final one), you will see a list of interfaces such as Wifi, Ethernet and thunderbolt.
Screenshot 2014-06-12 21.39.20

In my case Wifi and Thunderbolt both were selected for the Thunderbolt connection which caused the problem. Simply de-select the wifi icon if it is not Wifi connection and click ok. Now Add the Wifi Network, it should work fine.

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7 Responses to Cannot Add Wireless Network on Mac using System Preferences

  1. abcabcabc says:

    Thanks! This helped me a lot! 😀

  2. Chevy says:

    Thank you so much I’ve been trying to figure this out for a month!!! Worked perfect your amazing!

  3. Carrie says:

    Thank you so much for this! That’ll teach me to fool around with my wifi settings! Drove me crazy for two days.

  4. Jitesh says:

    Hey I tried the instructions but no wifi option available on my Mac … Can you plz help me ?

  5. Shur says:

    Thank you! I deleted networkinterfaces.plist from my system configuration and ever since i could not connect to wifi. I could not add wifi interface but you solved my problem. Thank you again!

  6. habon says:

    Honesty great help! my wifi worked in seconds, i was on the phone to mac and they could not even help! u r a god send

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