Black and white Macbook
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The Mac’s been around so long that there are some features many have forgotten about, or never knew existed in the first place. Network locations are a great example, but they can be super useful. Here’s why.

Network locations have been part of macOS for years, but it’s a real shame how often they go unused. If you’re someone who regularly uses your Mac in multiple locations and connects to different networks both wired and wireless, then using multiple network locations can be a lifesaver.

What are Network Locations?

The best way to think of network locations is as a collection of saved preferences. If you like to have your Ethernet connection set up one way at home but want to have different settings at the office, then a pair of network locations is perfect because it saves you from diving into System Preferences every time you work from a different place. You might also want to have different service orders set up depending on where you are, for example.

How to Set Up a Network Location

To get started, open the Apple menu and click “System Preferences.”

Mac system preferences menu

Next, click “Network.”

At the top of the window, click the “Location” drop-down menu and then click “Edit Locations.”

select Edit Locations on the Location drop-down menu

Click the “+” button to add a new location and then enter the name you want. You can also remove locations by clicking the “-“ button once they are no longer required.

add a new network and give it a name

Click the “Done” button. Your new location will now be selectable in the Location drop-down we saw earlier. Select it and then make any changes you require. Any changes you make will be saved for that specific location once you click the “Apply” button.

How to Switch Locations

When you need to select a new location, the quickest way to do so is to click the Apple logo, select “Location,” and then chose the location that you want to become active.

Switching network locations on Mac

Profile Photo for Oliver Haslam Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam is a professional freelance writer with nearly ten years of experience. His work has been published on Macworld, PCMag, 1Password's blog, and other websites. He writes about all things Apple.
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