Apple How to

How to Fix WiFi no Hardware Installed Error

wifi no hardware installed
Written by Hassan Abbas

Most of the Mac users may encounter a stranger wi-fi issue where the wireless menu icon has an “X” in it. And the wi-fi dropdown menu actually says “Wi-Fi: No Hardware Installed”. Since we are all dependent on wireless networking these days, so having no functioning wi-fi connection can be very frustrating. However, fortunately this is mostly a really simple fix. In this article, we are going to talk about How to Fix WiFi no Hardware Installed Error. Let’s began!

Typically if you experience this problem, then you will see the ‘Wi-Fi: No hardware installed’ message after waking a Mac from sleep. Rebooting the Mac, or most the time after installing a system software update. It can also happen on any MacBook, MacBook Pro, Air, iMac, Mac Mini, Mac Pro, and virtually any other hardware as well. Although MacBook users are mostly the first to notice it given the propensity for wireless networking usage with Mac laptops.

NVRAM & SMC Resetting | WiFi no Hardware Installed

The trick to resolving the wi-fi hardware not installed error is mostly of two parts. You will reset the SMC and reset the NVRAM as well on whatever Mac that is showing the problem message in the wireless menu. This two-part troubleshooting method works on each and every Mac and every version of Mac OS X. So it actually doesn’t matter which model or OS version you are experiencing then trouble with.

Since resetting SMC is slightly different on each Mac, first we will cover resetting the NVRAM that is the same on every Mac model.

NVRAM: Wi-Fi No Hardware Installed Error – All Mac Model

  • Reboot the Mac and then immediately hold down Command + Option + P + R keys together.
  • Then continue holding all Command+Option+P+R keys unless you hear the Mac reboot sound again. Then release all keys concurrently as well

When the Mac boots back up, then pull down the wi-fi menu again. Is it working now? Is the wi-fi menu no longer showing the “X” and “No hardware installed” error message as well? Also is it looking for networks or not? Then you are good to go now.

wifi no hardware installed

If you still have problems and still see that error message, then you will want to continue on with resetting the SMC in the next step.

SMC: Newer MacBook, MacBook Pro models with internal batteries

If you have any newer model MacBook along with a non-removable battery (basically anything post-2010 model year). Then this is how you reset the SMC:

  • First, shut down the Mac
  • Connect the MacBook to the MagSafe power cable and also an outlet so it is charging
  • Hold Shift + Control + Option + Power buttons concurrently for almost five seconds, then release all keys together
  • Then boot up the Mac as usual

When the Mac boots up you should no longer see the “X” in the wi-fi icon and wi-fi should work as usual on the Mac now.

SMC: For older MacBook models along with removable batteries

If you can take out the battery on the MacBook yourself, then resetting SMC is kind of different:

  • Shut down the MacBook and then take out the battery
  • Disconnect the power cable, then hold the Power button for almost 5 seconds, then release the button
  • Connect the battery again and then boot up as usual

If the wi-fi works, join wifi as usual and you are good to go now.

SMC: For iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini

  • Shut down the Mac and then disconnect its the power cable
  • Press and hold down on the Mac power button for almost 5 seconds
  • Release the power button, then re-attach the power cable, and also boot the Mac as usual

Wi-fi working now or not? Good!

Still, see the “Wi-Fi: no hardware installed” error on the Mac?

If you guys reset the Mac NVRAM and SMC. And you guys still encounter the “Wi-Fi: no hardware installed” message in the dropdown menu in Mac OS X. Then you may have a physical hardware problem along with the computer in question. Mostly this means the network card has failed, has become disconnected, does not exist (as in, it was manually removed).

It is a third party external wi-fi NIC model that wants different drivers. Or maybe even the Mac had liquid contact and has suffered some form of damage. In any event, if it still can’t be resolved with the methods outlined above and it’s not a software wi-fi issue. Then you will likely want to make a trip to the Apple genius bar or official call center.


Alright, That was all Folks! I hope you guys like this wifi no hardware installed article and also find it helpful to you. Give us your feedback on it. Also if you guys have further queries and issues related to this article. Then let us know in the comments section below. We will get back to you shortly.

Have a Great Day!

Also See: How to Find WiFi Password on Mac

About the author

Hassan Abbas

Tech enthusiast with too many items on his wish-list and not nearly enough money! Specializing in all things tech, with a slight Apple bent he has been writing for various blogs for the best part of (too many) years

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