Soaring Through the Skies: A Step-by-Step Guide to Turning on Airplane Mode on Your MacBook

Table of Contents


Airplane mode is a crucial feature in today’s digital devices that enables users to limit their device’s network connections and ensure safe and distraction-free travel experiences. This article will discuss the importance of airplane mode, its benefits on a MacBook, and offer a comprehensive guide on how to turn on airplane mode on a MacBook.

Understanding Airplane Mode

What is Airplane Mode?

Airplane mode, also known as flight mode, is a setting that disables a device’s wireless communication capabilities, including mobile data, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS. Airplane mode is typically used during flights, as it helps to eliminate any potential interference with the aircraft’s communication and navigation systems.

Main Functions of Airplane Mode

The primary function of airplane mode is to ensure safe and seamless communication during a flight. In addition to disabling network connections, airplane mode also conserves battery life, as it reduces the energy consumed by continuously searching for a network signal.

Devices That Support Airplane Mode

Airplane mode is available on various devices, from mobile phones and tablets to laptops, like MacBooks.

Turning on Airplane Mode on a MacBook Using Network Preferences

Accessing System Preferences

To enable airplane mode on a MacBook, first, click on the Apple logo in the upper-left corner of the screen and select System Preferences from the dropdown menu.

Navigating to Network Preferences

Once within System Preferences, click on the Network icon to access the Network Preferences window.

Disabling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

In the Network Preferences window, select Wi-Fi from the left sidebar and click on the Turn Wi-Fi Off button. Additionally, turn off Bluetooth by clicking on the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar and selecting Turn Bluetooth Off.

Downgrading And Ensuring Wi-Fi And Bluetooth are both disabled, your MacBook should now be in airplane mode.

Turning on Airplane Mode with the Help of Third-Party Applications

Available Applications for Enabling Airplane Mode on a MacBook

Although native support for airplane mode is not available on MacBooks, several third-party applications allow users to activate the feature easily. Some popular options include One Switch, Radio Silence, and TripMode.

Installing the Selected Application

Choose an application that best suits your needs and follow the installation instructions provided by its developer. In most cases, you will download the application, open the downloaded file, and drag the application icon to your Applications folder.

Activating Airplane Mode Through the Application

Once installed, launch the application and follow the on-screen instructions or consult the application’s user guide to enable airplane mode.

Turning on Airplane Mode Using Hotkey

The Importance of Hotkeys

Hotkeys, or keyboard shortcuts, allow users to perform various actions quickly, such as turning Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on or off.

Assigning Hotkeys for Enabling/Disabling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

To create custom Hotkeys, users may need a third-party application like BetterTouchTool or Keyboard Maestro.

Once installed, assign Hotkeys for enabling/disabling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in the application settings, ensuring quick access to airplane mode on your MacBook.

Manual Disabling of Internet Connections

Turning Off Wi-Fi Connections

To manually disable internet connections, click on the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar and select Turn Wi-Fi Off.

Unplugging Ethernet Cables (if applicable)

If your MacBook is connected to the internet via Ethernet, unplug the cable to disable the connection and enable airplane mode.

Tips for Using Airplane Mode Effectively

When to Use Airplane Mode

While airplane mode is primarily tailored for flights, it can also be useful in other situations, such as conserving battery life, increasing focus during work, or improving sleep by eliminating electronic distractions at night.

Maximizing Battery Life During Airplane Mode

To further conserve battery life, adjust your MacBook’s screen brightness, close unnecessary applications, and disengage resource-intensive features or settings.

Accessibility Features During Airplane Mode

While in airplane mode, users can still access offline files, create and edit documents, and receive text messages through macOS’s iMessage system.

Troubleshooting Issues with Airplane Mode on a MacBook

Common Problems and Solutions

If you experience issues with airplane mode on your MacBook, consider restarting your device, resetting network settings, or removing and reconnecting Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices.

Contacting Apple Support for Assistance

If the solutions mentioned above do not resolve the issue, contact Apple Support for further guidance.


In conclusion, while enabling airplane mode on a MacBook may appear to be a daunting task, understanding its importance and following the provided methods will allow users to activate it with ease. Airplane mode offers various benefits such as improved device performance, longer battery life, and a distraction-free user experience, making it highly advantageous for MacBook users.


Can a MacBook still charge in airplane mode?

Yes, a MacBook can still charge while in airplane mode.

Is it safe to use a MacBook during a flight?

Yes, as long as the MacBook is in airplane mode, it is safe to use during a flight.

How do I reconnect my MacBook to Wi-Fi after using airplane mode?

To reconnect to Wi-Fi, click on the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar and select Turn Wi-Fi On.

Can airplane mode improve my MacBook’s performance?

Yes, by disabling unnecessary background processes and connections, airplane mode can improve your MacBook’s performance.

Does using airplane mode help my MacBook’s battery last longer?

Yes, since airplane mode disables network connections and conserves battery life, your MacBook’s battery will likely last longer.

Will I still receive iMessages on my MacBook while in airplane mode?

Yes, as long as your MacBook is connected to Wi-Fi or an Ethernet connection, you will still receive iMessages.

Can I use Bluetooth devices while my MacBook is in airplane mode?

No, airplane mode disables Bluetooth functionalities, so connecting to Bluetooth devices will not be possible.