Wireless Connection Does Not Connect Automatically After Sleep or Restart


After booting Mac OS X and/or after resuming from Sleep mode your wireless network connection does not connect automatically to your base station.

Your network is listed as a preferred network and is set to connect automatically.



  • Wireless network remains disconnected even though all required configuration is correct
  • Automatic connection to preferred wireless network does not occur after resuming from sleep mode
  • Automatic connection to preferred wireless network does not occur after restarting or clean booting your Mac
  • Clicking the Wireless icon in the Finder Menu and selecting your wireless network manually will allow you to connect successfully



This problem can occur when the System Preferences application is moved out of the Applications folder. Console/Event Viewer:

  • airportd[17]Error: _ACKeychainCopyPassword() expected password for “networkname” not found: -25300 (The specified item could not be found in the keychain.)
  • airportd[17]Expected password for “networkname” not found; skipping..


Solution – Fix the Keychain

Step 1 – Delete the offending wireless network from network preferences

  • Click the wireless network icon in your menu and select your network
  • When prompted, enter the password for the network and place a check mark in ‘Remember this network’.
  • Click OK
  • Restart your computer to verify that this solution worked


Step 2 – Delete any references to the offending network connection from keychain

  • Applications > Utilities > Keychain Access
  • Select ‘login’ from the list of Keychains on the left
  • On the right panel, sort the list by name and locate the name of the offending wireless network.
  • Highlight all items relating to the offending wireless network, right click (CTRL+CLICK) and select ‘Delete X items’
  • Click ‘Delete’ in the confirmation dialog prompt and close Keychain Access.


Step 3 – Move ‘System Preferences.app’ to ‘/Applications’

  • Locate System Preferences on your system. You can do this by browsing to it through Finder or using Spotlight.
  • When you locate it, simply drag it to the Applications folder in the sidebar of your Finder


Step 4 – Re-join the offending network

  • Applications > System Preferences > Network > Unlock
  • Select your network from the list on the left (Airport if your using an Apple Airport Extreme card)
  • Click ‘Advanced…’
  • Select the offending wireless network from the list of ‘Preferred Networks’ and click the minus (-) button
  • Click OK, enter your password if requested and then click Apply

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  1. hello, i have a question: The “System Prefferences.app” is already in my Applications folder. I did all the steps you’ve indicated and the problem is not fixed. Any advice?

    The problem is: The wireless network is in my preferred networks, the password is correct, on reboot or when out of sleep the computer has trouble finding it/connecting to it, unless i do it manually. The OS is Snow Leopard. I have another computer on the same desk, with the same OS and settings and it doesn’t have trouble connecting to my wireless.

    Thank you!

  2. Hi Stefan,

    Has this ever worked or is only recently not working? Does the same problem occur with other wireless networks?

    Have you check the Console? Are there any error messages relating to the wireless network as per examples in this article?


  3. Hey Rosco, thanks for your quick reply.

    The problem has occurred after i’ve updated the OS to Snow Leopard, but it’s weird because my other laptop does not have this problem, on the same OS & same wireless. I haven’t tried on other networks because this is the only one available (it’s the home network, the others are password-protected as well). So this is the only network that the laptops connect to.

    So, after i’ve checked again, the wireless network is saved in the network setting, also, the password for the wireless network is saved in the login list in the keychains. It just seems that the network isn’t ‘available’ or found after boot/reboot/out-of-sleep but just after I press the Airpot icon to refresh the list of available networks, and it connects without any problems.

    Thank you,

    • Ok Stefan…just so I’m clear –

      1. You have tried STEP 1 (removed the wireless network, rebooted and added it again) and this didn’t resolve
      2. You have tried STEP 2 (removed ALL references to this wireless network from Keychain Access and tried reconnecting) and this has not resolved it
      3. You have tried STEP 3 (ensured System Preferences is in your /Applications folder) and this did not resolve

      You did not say if you are getting any errors in the Console?

      All failing, try changing your wireless network SSID to a new name and also try changing the security encryption.

      You may also try removing the security (TEMPORARILY!!) just to test that too.


  4. Hi Rosco,

    Not sure if you can help me. I’m having problems similar to those above.

    I’m using a Mac OS X 10.5.8 with snow leopard and my wireless has always been working fine until last week.

    As soon as I turn my mac on the wireless tries to connect to the network but then comes up with an error “An error occurred while trying to join “xxxx” please try again.”

    If I go into Network Preferences > Assist Me > Diagnostics and go through the necessary steps, then my internet will work. But as soon as the mac goes to sleep or the airport is turned off then back on again i have to do the same thing all over again.

    I’ve tried deleting the network to set it up again but it still appears in the ‘Airport’ Tab in ‘Advanced’. Even after deleting it out and deleting all references to it in Keychain.

    I’ve also tried taking off the security to see if this helped but i still get the “An error occurred while trying to join “xxxx” please try again.” message.

    I thought that if i deleted all existence of the network and set it up again this might work but like i said above the darn thing just won’t delete for me to be able to set it up again!

    I’ve tried all the steps in your original article but nothing seems to work. I really need to get this fixed as i’m leaving the company soon and i need to get the wireless back in working order for the person who is replacing me…

    Any advice?


    • Hi Emily,
      Do you have any other networks saved in Airport > Advanced > Preferred Networks?

      If so, remove them all and remove all references to them in Keychain.

      Now, change your wireless network’s SSID in your router’s configuration page to a new SSID of your choice. Also try to change the security on your wireless network to WPA.


    • Hi Fran…the three ways listed above are the ‘easy’ ways to fix this…I presume you’ve tried them all?

      Any further info about your problem Fran?