Mac Wi-Fi Scanner in OS X Mavericks

I don’t know why they make it so mysterious to find, but there is a really nifty wi-fi scanner built into Mac since (as I recall) Mountain Lion that will let you easily scan the wifi spectra for what is in your area. This is mostly useful as a way to maximize the perf of your wireless network by getting on channels not used by your neighbors. Personally, I haven’t had great luck using the “auto” setting for that.

Anyways, if you search, you’ll find a lot of articles on how to get to it, saying to open Wireless Diagnostics (Option-Click on the Wi-Fi icon in your menu bar; it’s at the bottom).  Then, the articles say, ignore the wizard and press CMD+N to open the cool scanner tool.  Well, good luck with that on Mavericks. 🙂  And good luck finding anything telling you to do anything different.

That’s why I’m writing this article, because you might otherwise think the Wi-Fi scanner had been removed from Mac, but no, they just changed how you get to it. A little menu spelunking reveals under the Window menu that there is an “Assistant” and a “Utilities” window. If you click Utilities, you will find what you are looking for.


You can also press CMD+2 to open it.


Wi-Fi Scanner for Mac OS X Mavericks

What is even cooler is that after you click Scan Now, it does the analysis for ya and recommends channels for the different bands. Nice.

Anyhoo, I always forget this stuff in between uses, so I wanted to write it down. Maybe others will find it useful, too. No need to buy any special apps–just use the built-in one.  If you can find it!

15 thoughts on “Mac Wi-Fi Scanner in OS X Mavericks

  1. Thanks for sharing this, saved me a few hours of tinkering in Mavericks. Should be good enough for diagnosing any wireless issues. Wifi Scanner on the app store is useful as it shows more information and presents it nicely.

  2. For what it’s worth for anyone, I had to search for it in Spotlight. It found it, but I prefer to know where to look. It was in /System/Library/CoreServices/Applications

    Thanks for this article!!

  3. Hey – thanks bunches for providing this info. Annoying that Apple decided to make it so obscure. I appreciate your effort!

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