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Automatically disable Wifi when an Ethernet connection (cable) is plugged in on a Mac
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "">
<plist version="1.0">


This is a bash script that will automatically turn your wifi off if you connect your computer to an ethernet connection and turn wifi back on when you unplug your ethernet cable/adapter. If you decide to turn wifi on for whatever reason, it will remember that choice. This was improvised from this mac hint to work with Yosemite, and without hard-coding the adapter names. It's supposed to support growl, but I didn't check that part. I did, however, add OSX notification center support. Feel free to fork and fix any issues you encounter.

Most the credit for these changes go to Dave Holland.


  • Mac OSX 10+
  • Administrator privileges

Installation Instructions

  • Copy to /Library/Scripts/
  • Run chmod 755 /Library/Scripts/
  • Copy com.mine.toggleairport.plist to /Library/LaunchAgents/
  • Run chmod 600 /Library/LaunchAgents/com.mine.toggleairport.plist
  • Run sudo launchctl load /Library/LaunchAgents/com.mine.toggleairport.plist to start the watcher

Uninstall Instructions

  • Run sudo launchctl unload /Library/LaunchAgents/com.mine.toggleairport.plist to stop the watcher
  • Delete /Library/Scripts/
  • Delete /Library/LaunchAgents/com.mine.toggleairport.plist
  • Delete /private/var/tmp/prev_eth_on
  • Delete /private/var/tmp/prev_air_on


To debug, just run: sudo /Library/Scripts/ and add echo's wherever you'd like

function set_airport {
if [ $new_status = "On" ]; then
/usr/sbin/networksetup -setairportpower $air_name on
touch /var/tmp/prev_air_on
/usr/sbin/networksetup -setairportpower $air_name off
if [ -f "/var/tmp/prev_air_on" ]; then
rm /var/tmp/prev_air_on
function growl {
# Checks whether Growl is installed
if [ -f "/usr/local/bin/growlnotify" ]; then
/usr/local/bin/growlnotify -m "$1" -a "AirPort"
osascript -e "display notification \"$1\" with title \"Wifi Toggle\" sound name \"Hero\""
# Set default values
# Grab the names of the adapters. We assume here that any ethernet connection name ends in "Ethernet"
eth_names=`networksetup -listnetworkserviceorder | sed -En 's|^\(Hardware Port: .*Ethernet, Device: (en.)\)$|\1|p'`
air_name=`networksetup -listnetworkserviceorder | sed -En 's/^\(Hardware Port: (Wi-Fi|AirPort), Device: (en.)\)$/\2/p'`
# Determine previous ethernet status
# If file prev_eth_on exists, ethernet was active last time we checked
if [ -f "/var/tmp/prev_eth_on" ]; then
# Determine same for AirPort status
# File is prev_air_on
if [ -f "/var/tmp/prev_air_on" ]; then
# Check actual current ethernet status
for eth_name in ${eth_names}; do
if ([ "$eth_name" != "" ] && [ "`ifconfig $eth_name | grep "status: active"`" != "" ]); then
# And actual current AirPort status
air_status=`/usr/sbin/networksetup -getairportpower $air_name | awk '{ print $4 }'`
# If any change has occured. Run external script (if it exists)
if [ "$prev_air_status" != "$air_status" ] || [ "$prev_eth_status" != "$eth_status" ]; then
if [ -f "./" ]; then
"./" "$eth_status" "$air_status" &
# Determine whether ethernet status changed
if [ "$prev_eth_status" != "$eth_status" ]; then
if [ "$eth_status" = "On" ]; then
set_airport "Off"
growl "Wired network detected. Turning AirPort off."
set_airport "On"
growl "No wired network detected. Turning AirPort on."
# If ethernet did not change
# Check whether AirPort status changed
# If so it was done manually by user
if [ "$prev_air_status" != "$air_status" ]; then
set_airport $air_status
if [ "$air_status" = "On" ]; then
growl "AirPort manually turned on."
growl "AirPort manually turned off."
# Update ethernet status
if [ "$eth_status" == "On" ]; then
touch /var/tmp/prev_eth_on
if [ -f "/var/tmp/prev_eth_on" ]; then
rm /var/tmp/prev_eth_on
exit 0
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arquer commented Nov 16, 2022

Had to tweak the regular expression a bit (in my case I use an external Lenovo docking station) but after that it worked perfectly.
Maybe you could explain a little better how to debug though? for example, this is my first time using a script like that on Mac and I have no idea where the echos from that script are supposed to appear, so in my case not seeing them could either mean that the script was never running or I was looking in the wrong place...

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kMikaZu commented Jan 24, 2023

What if the Ethernet port belongs to a USB-adapter that is disconnected? Then the port disappears and it's impossible to check the status. How to solve this?

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kMikaZu commented Jan 24, 2023

How did you tweak it @arquer ?

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kMikaZu commented Jan 24, 2023

I found a different solution that I can confirm is working on macOS 12.4 Monterey. The script will enable or disable Wi-Fi depending on the status of the Ethernet port.

A few things to note…

  • Modify the ETHERNET_DEVICE with your respective device found in ifconfig. Mine happens to be en7, which is the Belkin USB-C LAN connection to my 2021 MBP.
  • Save the script to the ~/.local/bin folder and make it executable.
  • The script will not run automatically by default. I have it running every minute with crontab (crontab -e), but it can be adjusted accordingly depending on your needs. I'll include my crontab job below.



WiFi=$($NETWORKSETUP -listallhardwareports | grep -A1 "Wi-Fi" | grep Device | cut -f2 -d' ')

echo "Run $0"
echo "Wifi interface $WiFi"
echo "Ethernet interface $ETHERNET_DEVICE"

EthernetStatus=$($IFCONFIG | grep -A5 $ETHERNET_DEVICE | grep status | cut -f2 -d' ')
echo "Ethernet is currently $EthernetStatus"

if [ "$EthernetStatus" != "active" ]; 
	$NETWORKSETUP -setairportpower $WiFi on
	echo "Wi-Fi set on"
	$NETWORKSETUP -setairportpower $WiFi off
	echo "Wi-Fi set off"

Crontab is below…

* * * * * ~/.local/bin/ >/dev/null 2>&1

Doesn't seem to work when the USB adapter is being removed @davelevine

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kMikaZu commented Jan 25, 2023

Found it, changed: sed -En 's/^\(Hardware Port: (.*Ethernet|USB 10.*), Device: (en.)\)$/\2/p'

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lxy1992 commented Feb 20, 2023

Base on this script, I fix those problems and build a command tool to setup this function in one command. It works on Macbook Pro 14. Welcome to use it:

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nilsou commented Feb 21, 2023

When I try to install this script on macOS 12.3.1 I get the following error. Can someone tell me how to resolve this the right way?

$ sudo launchctl load /Library/LaunchAgents/com.mine.toggleairport.plist

Warning: Expecting a LaunchDaemons path since the command was ran as root. Got LaunchAgents instead.
`launchctl bootstrap` is a recommended alternative.
/Library/LaunchAgents/com.mine.toggleairport.plist: Path had bad ownership/permissions
Load failed: 122: Path had bad ownership/permissions

Changing the folder did not resolve the issue. launchctl bootstrap load /Library/LaunchAgents/com.mine.toggleairport.plist did also not work...

Reading the error message i think you still need to do:

chmod 600 /Library/LaunchAgents/com.mine.toggleairport.plist

I have the same problem, and the problem is not solved after entering CHMOD 600. But after I typed launchctl load /Library/LaunchAgents/com.mine.toggleairport.plist, I was notified by the script editor that it had been run. But after I disconnected and reconnected the Ethernet, it didn't work...

After thoroughly reading through this I have successfully ran this command to get this to work on any macOS 12.3.x or higher systems
sudo launchctl bootout system /Library/LaunchAgents/com.mine.toggleairport.plist; sudo launchctl bootstrap system /Library/LaunchAgents/com.mine.toggleairport.plist; sudo ifconfig en0 down; sudo ifconfig en0 up; sudo sleep 15;

I'm on 12.6 macOS and not getting the above change to launchctl to work. I run the following: sudo launchctl bootout system /Library/LaunchAgents/com.mine.toggleairport.plist sudo launchctl bootstrap system /Library/LaunchAgents/com.mine.toggleairport.plist sudo ifconfig en0 down sudo ifconfig en0 up

I don't see any errors, but if I do a launchctl list|grep -i 'com.mine' nothing shows. I am assuming that means it isn't running. Any suggestions on what I'm missing here?

After a reboot I tried the following again from above: sudo launchctl bootout system /Library/LaunchAgents/com.mine.toggleairport.plist; sudo launchctl bootstrap system /Library/LaunchAgents/com.mine.toggleairport.plist; sudo ifconfig en0 down; sudo ifconfig en0 up; sudo sleep 15;

Here is what I'm getting: % sudo launchctl bootout system /Library/LaunchAgents/com.mine.toggleairport.plist; sudo launchctl bootstrap system /Library/LaunchAgents/com.mine.toggleairport.plist; sudo ifconfig en0 down; sudo ifconfig en0 up; sudo sleep 15; /Library/LaunchAgents/com.mine.toggleairport.plist: Could not find specified service Boot-out failed: 113: Unknown error: 113 Could not find service.

When it says could not find specified service is the the script listed in the .plist file or something else?

I was able to fix this issue by making the .plist owned by root and wheel:
sudo chown root:wheel /Library/LaunchAgents/com.mine.toggleairport.plist

and then running sudo launchctl load /Library/LaunchAgents/com.mine.toggleairport.plist again.

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bouzou4 commented Jun 27, 2023

@albertbori I've fake-forked this into a repo with some small modifications for Ventura support and a simple automation script for install. Thanks for this awesome script!

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ezekiel747 commented Feb 2, 2024

i recommend this repo, which seems to have been inspired by this gist:
I can confirm it works ok on Sonoma.
Great work, many thanks!

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adamshand commented Feb 7, 2024

Thanks to this thread for the ideas. I've just created a new version of this in case anyone is interested. Tested on macOS 14.3.

Download and save in your path as (any name will work).

You need to open the script and change the ETHERNET_REGEX variable to match the name of your ethernet device. You can find the name of your device by running networksetup -listnetworkserviceorder. Your ethernet device name is the text after number in parenthesis (eg. (2) CalDigit TS3).

Run on and it will install a launchd service in ~/Library/LaunchAgents.

Now ...

  • If your ethernet is active, your wifi will automatically turn off
  • If your ethernet is inactive, your wifi will automatically turn on.

If you want to stop the automatic toggle, run off.

❯ help
Automatically toggle macOS Wi-Fi based on ethernet status (uses launchd)

Usage: [ on | off | help ]
   on - start automatically toggling Wi-Fi (install launchd service)
  off - stop automatically toggling Wi-Fi (uninstall launchd service)
  run - Toggle Wi-Fi status (run by launchd)

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Thanks @adamshand , that worked perfectly on MacOS 14.3.1. I love that it waits until both the ethernet AND the wifi is up. It's been bugging me for ages that sometimes the network doesn't switch properly, and this solves it!

Fantastic combined effort, love gists sometimes, was really hoping I didn't have to kludge with grep matching interfaces today :).

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Nice, glad it's working!

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kMikaZu commented Mar 7, 2024

@adamshand I will give it a try and have no doubt it will work. In that case, I think it deserves it proper repo or own page :-)

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kMikaZu commented Apr 16, 2024

@adamshand , what is the recommended path to put this script in? Certainly when using an MDM? What is your experience?

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@kMikaZu doesn't really matter where you put it. I put it in ~/bin/noarch on my laptop, if I was deploying via MDM I'd probably use /usr/local/bin.

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kMikaZu commented Apr 17, 2024

I used the original script and I get the following errors:

DEBUG: is_launchd_loaded(): nz.haume.wifi-toggle not loaded
Creating launchd service: /var/root/Library/LaunchAgents/nz.haume.wifi-toggle.plist
/usr/local/bin/ line 53: /var/root/Library/LaunchAgents/nz.haume.wifi-toggle.plist: No such file or directory
Enabling launchd service: nz.haume.wifi-toggle
Bootstrap failed: 125: Domain does not support specified action

Script is installed via Kandji with a Post Install script. The Bootstrap failed: 125 error has something to do with the fact that is has to be run as the current user. I tried some things but no luck so far.

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I don't know anything about Kandji sorry, I can help with that.

However it looks like you are installing it as root. I haven't tested that at all, it's designed to be installed by a normal user account.

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kMikaZu commented Apr 18, 2024

You have experience with adapting the code so it runs as the current user?

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The script is written and tested running as the normal user (not root). If you follow the instructions and install the script as normal user, it should (hopefully) work as intended. If you want it to run as root or to be installed by MDM you will need to test that and possibly make changes to the code.

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