WiFi Settings: can we force 5ghz?



our office has 1 SSID for the 2.4 and 5ghz bands. Without making two SSID's does anyone know how to hard set or force OS X's wifi interface to use the 5GHz band?


Valued Contributor II

Was just presented this same question from my Boss's Boss's Boss. Make any progress on this?

Valued Contributor II

From my earlier checking you cannot without splitting the SSIDs, I think partly because apple uses the cheap broadcom chipset which lets the bluetooth steal bandwidth from Wi-Fi and it may not have such a setting, nicer intel wireless cards have this setting on PCs. But I may not fully understand it either.


It is not possible to force this on apple hardware. According to apple, the network should be configured correctly and hard setting that on the client computer is not a good solution/option.

New Contributor

Do your wireless access points have a band steering feature? We've got Meraki APs and they will guide 5GHz capable clients to that band without having to configure separate SSIDs.


I too use band steering on Aruba to force onto 5GHz. Next year i'm contemplating turning off 2.4 on 99% of our AP's.

New Contributor

We were having with our Meraki's and ran into similar issues.

We made our guest network 2.4 & 5, and made our internal network 5ghz only.

Bandwidth steering isn't foolproof as we found so we did some digging and came across a command that does something similar to Intel/Windows setting for handoffs.

sudo /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/A/Resources/airport prefs joinMode=Strongest

We've been testing it and it seems to handoff much faster in our env. It's not one of those officially supported features, but it's close to the setting in Windows that forces a client to connect to the stronger AP vs holding onto the old one and gradually moving to the next strongest one.

Give it a try. YMMV

Valued Contributor

What OS did you test that with? Thank you

Valued Contributor II

Following up on this, our TAM at Apple let me know the following: Yosemite 10.10.2 contains fixes that will make roaming a bit less aggressive. Yosemite in general should be better about choosing a 5 GHz network over a 2.4 GHz network.

Nothing concrete or forced, but a defaulted preference should help.

Contributor II

Hi all,

A quite old thread but i ran into the same question.
Is it possible already to tell the MacBook to choose 5GHz over 2,4GHz? All guides i found are talking about separating the SSID's, that is not an option for us.

Thank you