Wi-Fi breaks—MacBook Pro dying?

mid-2012 MBPro running Catalina - Every 1 or 2 days, the WiFi breaks. “Turn WiFi On” command goes through a brief process, with bars greyed out in the menu icon, but then the status returns to Off, with an empty icon. Rebooting fixes it, but I need to find a real cure that doesn’t force me to close everything. Sometimes the same thing happens to Bluetooth. Simply won’t turn on.

Does this sound like an OS issue, or hardware?


Try an SMC or PRAM reset. Instructions are on the Apple Support website. However it does sound like a hardware issue.

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Other potential items:

  1. Electrical interference, perhaps from a new piece of electrical equipment. It’s less common than it was in the early days of Wi-Fi, but people do still run into issues now and then.

  2. A problem with the wireless router/access point. Do you notice any problems connecting other computers or devices to your Wi-Fi network?

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Step by step…

Just reset NVRAM (PRAM). Upon reboot all is working as expected. Whether this is the temporary cure (reboot), or actually fixed by the reset should make itself apparent in the coming days.

Not likely to be electrical interference, as there’s nothing added or changed recently, and my other devices are acting normally.

Interestingly enough, the access point has been a bit flaky lately, but other devices are having no trouble finding it. Besides, the problem in this case is the MBP itself shutting down its own WiFi. There are plenty of other (password protected) signals around that it should display.

Thanks for the ideas.