How to Prioritize Ethernet Over Wi-Fi in macOS

Force your Mac to use the Ethernet/wired connection when it's connected.
Zach Zach (249)
1 minute

If your Mac is connected to both an Ethernet cable and Wi-Fi, you probably want to use Ethernet by default since it's generally faster. This short guide will teach you how to prioritize the wired (Ethernet) connection when your Mac is connected to both Ethernet and Wi-Fi.

This approach is better than toggling Wi-Fi off when you connect your Ethernet cable since Wi-Fi is needed for things like unlocking your Mac using your Apple Watch.

Posted in these interests:
h/mac88 guides
h/macos55 guides
h/networking26 guides
macOS network settings

Open the Network system preferences pane by navigating to Apple Icon > System Preferences > Network.

Setting Network Service Order in macOS

Click on the settings "gear" icon and select Set Service Order... from the dropdown menu.

Changing Wi-Fi priority in macOS

You'll see several network devices listed. I use a USB hub with tons of features, so your Ethernet connection might be aliased as "Thunderbolt Ethernet Slot 1" or "Thunderbolt Bridge".

Either way, drag the Wi-Fi item to the bottom of the list to prioritize it lower than whichever Ethernet device your computer is using.

When you're done, click OK and then the Apply button.

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