Apple May Have Killed Your Mac’s Ethernet, Here’s the Fix

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Some Mac users who use wired network connections got an unwelcome surprise recently when Apple accidentally disabled their built-in Ethernet port. In some cases, that also led to Mac App Store connection issues, but there is a fix.

The problem is that Apple tagged the Ethernet kernel extension as invalid. If WiFi is turned on and your Mac has previously joined your wireless network, it's possible your Ethernet port is inactive and you don't even know.

Apple's accidental kernel extension issue disables your Mac's Ethernet portApple's accidental kernel extension issue disables your Mac's Ethernet port

You'll need to check your Ethernet kernel extension version to see it's time to do a little under the hood fix. Here's how:

  • Option-click the Apple menu, then choose System Information
  • Click Software in the left column to expand its view
  • Select Installations
  • Find Incompatible Kernel Extension Configuration Data in the list on the right
  • What you don't want to see is version 3.28.1

If your Mac shows version 3.28.1, here's what to do:

  • Launch Terminal. It's in Applications > Utilities
  • Copy and paste this command into Terminal: sudo softwareupdate --background

You can fix the problem with a single Terminal commandYou can fix the problem with a single Terminal command

  • Press Return, then enter your administrator account password when prompted
  • Restart your Mac

After a little Terminal trickery, your Mac's Ethernet port is up and running againAfter a little Terminal trickery, your Mac's Ethernet port is up and running again

That's it. Your Ethernet port should be working just fine again. Apple fixed the problem for most people quick enough that they didn't even notice there was a problem—assuming they had WiFi Internet access. If your Mac's only available Internet connection is Ethernet, you can still fix the issue, but the steps are a bit more involved. You can check them out in the related knowledge base article.

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Johnny Getz

So I followed the instruction, pasted the sudo command in the Terminal box, got a request for my password but would not let me type in that box.  I did a control-c option and got out.  Any clues???


The update that broke things was pushed automatically. The update that fixes things similarly gets pushed automatically.  As long as you’re attached via WiFi, the update will download to your Mac in the background—maybe in 10 minutes, maybe an hour, maybe a few hours.

Using the terminal command forces the update immediately. The restart afterward will run it, and is needed even if your Mac auto-loads the fix.

If you’re using the Terminal command to force it, it will ask for your admin password. Your typing on this line will not show up. (it’s a security feature!) If you get it wrong, the command asks you up to three times before it quits.

Johnny Getz

Hagen, Thank you I will try again.  Good day.

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