I have a MacBook Pro that is not connecting to a Wifi Hotspot - namely, Google Starbucks.

The problem is that the login page will not pop up when I connect to the network as it does with every other device I have used.

I have looked up this problem extensively, and I have narrowed my issue down to a very specific problem: the computer is unable to connect to the router. It says that it has indeed connected to Google Starbucks, but this is the only verification that it has made contact with the router.

When I ping the router IPV4 address (multiple different addresses, in fact, copied from other devices), it is unable to reach the address, the same result occurring when I copy/paste the address directly into the web browser search bar to force the login page. I have also ensured that there are no security measures or settings (firewalls, for instance) that might be inhibiting network connectivity of any kind, but yet the problem still persists.

Does anyone know what might be causing this inability to communicate with the router and how to solve it?


The point on the Wifi connectivity issue in the captive portal Mac login process is that if the process is not successful, either by lack of login, or some other technical problem in the Apple Captive Network Assistant (CNA), it will lose Wifi connectivity.

So, the lack of ping connectivity is a symptom and not a cause.

As it is a fairly common problem with some captive portals, depending on their configuration, I would venture to say you need to take out the hardcoded DNS servers of your DNS configuration.

After you taking them out, it will allow the DHCP request to get Starbuck's own captive DNS portal servers, which will allow the login to proceed.

PS. FON captive portals from at least of our Telecom operators (NÓS) used to have the very same problem - and behaviour - for years, now they seem to have catch on and just probably inserted firewall rules in the new firmware versions to intercept any non-encrypted DNS requests coming from clients connected via Wifi.

PS2. If you disable the CNA, you will be able to get away at least with pinging the gateway /wifi AP address.

However for opening the authentication portal before authenticating, you will still need to take out your hardcoded DNS addresses first.

See Disabling CNA in MacOS

PPS for future visitors using either Mac or Linux: Firefox is capable of dealing with captive portals in it's own. However, some older captive portals will force you to get the DNS servers from their DHCP e.g. won't work with fixed DNS servers/DNS over TLS on your configuration.

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