How To Use Location Services On Your Mac Without Wi-Fi

If you want to use Location Services on your Mac in the Maps app, web pages and elsewhere, you need to have Wi-Fi turned on. But if you use a wire connection, you may not want to have Wi-Fi enabled. You can, however, turn on Wi-Fi and tell your Mac not to connect to your home network. This leaves Wi-Fi on, but not connected, which is just fine for using Location Services.

Comments: 11 Responses to “How To Use Location Services On Your Mac Without Wi-Fi”

    mvignola
    10 months ago

    Does it cause any problems with having wifi connected to my internet provider as well as cable connection both turn on?

    10 months ago

    mvignola: that’s no problem, as it will use the first one for your connection.

    Terry
    10 months ago

    Thanks – that explains why my wife’s Mac always has both on.
    What about sharing Itunes ? Can you still share Itunes and hard drives from that Mac without the wifi on ?

    Bruce Mann
    10 months ago

    Thanks! Great tip. FWIW, on MBP 2016/Retina/Touchbar with macOS 10.13.6, when I left click (without Opt) on the WiFi logo in menu bar, I see a “disconnect” option right under the current network. Opt-click also has disconnect, but adds a ton of tech specs about the network like IP address, signal/noise ratio, etc.

    Edward Moroch
    10 months ago

    Thanks, great tip! Will this technique allow me to unlock my iMac with my Apple Watch?

    10 months ago

    Terry: For iTunes sharing, File sharing or anything like that it doesn’t matter if you use Wi-Fi or ethernet, as long as you are on the same network as the other device. One device can be wired and the other wireless.

    10 months ago

    Edward: Good question. You do need to be using Wi-Fi to use the feature that allows you to unlock your Mac with your Apple Watch. But I’m not sure if simply having it on, without it being your network connection, will be enough. Apple has a page about it here, but I’m not sure this will help: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT206995

    Larry
    10 months ago

    Will AirDrop still work using this idea (WiFi on but not connected to home network?)

    10 months ago

    Larry: Yes, I believe so. Try it.

    nick
    10 months ago

    Gary: is there a similar option in iOS? – thx

    10 months ago

    nick: iOS is completely different, First, you have real GPS (receives data from satellites), and then you have mobile phone towers (triangulation to determine location). Wi-Fi is a third source to determine location. But there is no WIRED connection option, normally. So I’m not sure what you are asking.

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