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If you attend our WLAN Operations course, one of the things we discuss is Active Scanning.  Your system uses your saved Wi-Fi networks to actively scan for those networks (probing).  There are potential security risks in this, especially with free networks.  Most students conclude they should not remember networks in this way. 

The burning question that remains is: How can I view the list of saved networks easily on my Windows or MAC OSx system?

And perhaps more crucially: How can I delete these remembered networks?

It is actually not very hard.  Let's start with WIndows.


Below I have started Windows Powershell: Start> Powershell will cause Windows to search for the program.  You could use the Windows CMD as well, but I have been trying to train myself to use Powershell instead.

Then I have entered the following command:

netsh wlan show profiles

Here is the result:


Look at all those saved Wi-Fi profiles.  The list was truncated BTW.  This means I am probing for all these!

OK - so I now want to clear them ALL out.  Here is the command:

netsh wlan delete profile *

Again here is a screen shot:


Now if I rerun the show profiles they are all empty:




Open Terminal from your launcher.

In the terminal, enter the following command:

networksetup -listpreferredwirelessnetworks en0

You will get a list of the saved Wireless networks.  Here is a truncated example:

Screen Shot 2017 11 25 at 10.43.38 AM

To delete them all, use the following command:

networksetup -removeallpreferredwirelessnetworks en0

You should see something like this:

Screen Shot 2017 11 25 at 10.47.12 AM

And now you can verify the list is not there:

Screen Shot 2017 11 25 at 10.49.10 AM

You can also verify this by going to Settings> Network> Advanced to see the list is empty:

Screen Shot 2017 11 25 at 10.51.02 AM


If anyone knows how to do this on Linux, please comment and I will add!

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