Forget already!
September 15, 2013 8:29 AM   Subscribe

I have accepted an offer on a MacBook air I sold on Craiglist. I am ready to take this to the buyer. I can't get the damn thing to forget my network password. Need to do this ASAP so I can hand it over.

I have tried going into Network settings, and using the minus sign, plus telling it not to remember Networks. I have also tried deleting every Keychain I could find. I would rather not reinstall the OS *again* since I've already done that once, and I need to deliver soon. I would also rather not change our network password, since we have more gadgets than is probably wise hooked up to it.

Mountain Lion, 10.8.5, updated last night.

It seems like it should be easier than this -- what obvious thing am I missing?
posted by instead of three wishes to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Why don't you just block the MAC address from connecting on your network?
posted by oceanjesse at 8:33 AM on September 15, 2013

It's not pulling the network password from your iCloud account is it?
posted by pharm at 8:39 AM on September 15, 2013

Make a new user account, delete the current one(s). That's proably the least you should do before handing over a computer. (I'd do a secure HD wipe and reinstall, myself.) It should get rid of any passwords.
posted by supercres at 9:06 AM on September 15, 2013 [3 favorites]

(If you want to make the quick solution a little more secure, go into Disk Utility and find the option to securely wipe all disk free space. It actually deletes everything that you think you've deleted for good past the point of recovery, more or less.)
posted by supercres at 9:10 AM on September 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: A few things to update:

-Can't be an iCloud issue, i reinstalled the OS, wiped all previous accounts, unassociated it with everything.
-This is a brand new account -- that I foolishly got on the wifi with to make sure everything was working after I reinstalled everything. But creating a new account is now on my list of things to try, thanks!
posted by instead of three wishes at 9:34 AM on September 15, 2013

Are you not wiping the thing entirely back to factory settings?
posted by radioamy at 10:24 AM on September 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: You should delete it in the "Keychain Access" app.
posted by Good Brain at 11:52 AM on September 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Could you try changing the network password and making sure the Air doesn't get access to it before you hand it over?
posted by firstdrop at 12:26 PM on September 15, 2013

At the risk of stating the obvious, did you click on "System" in Keychain Access? That seems to be where all the wifi passwords are stored.
posted by O9scar at 12:59 PM on September 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Make a new admin account for the new owner. Log into it. Delete your account.
posted by w0mbat at 2:24 PM on September 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Change your network password on your router (if all else fails)?
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 3:13 PM on September 15, 2013

If you forget the network and it still has the password... then who cares? they'd have to specifically bump in to your network and try to connect to realize it has the password.

What's the actual security concern here? It's not like you work at the FBI and it's remembering the password of some internal network. Will they ever even be near your house to attempt to connect?

I've played around with this before, and i'd like to note that deleting the account like w0mbat says won't erase the password. The passwords are stored in some account-independent location.
posted by emptythought at 3:27 PM on September 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

- Go to the Network section of System Preferences
- Select your wireless connection on the left
- Click the "Advanced..." button in the lower right
- Click on any existing network name in the "Preferred Networks" list
- Press Command-A to select all of the networks in the list
- Click on the "-" button below the list.

It may ask for your account password.
posted by tomierna at 8:46 PM on September 15, 2013

You really should be selling this thing with a fresh OS install. IMHO
posted by humboldt32 at 5:13 AM on September 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Quick follow up, a month or so later -- Guys, I had re-installed the OS from scratch (as mentioned in the original question). And I also deleted the keychain app, four times before I wrote this post.

But the fifth time was what did it.
posted by instead of three wishes at 6:47 AM on October 17, 2013

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