How to Install Network Card Drivers on MacBook iMac - MacOS

How to Install Network Card Drivers on MacBook iMac - MacOS

To install drivers for a network device on MacOS, the following steps must be taken:

  • Determine your network card's manufacturer and model. Typically, this information can be found on the card or in the accompanying documentation.
  • The most recent drivers for your network card can be found on the manufacturer's website. Make sure to obtain the drivers that are created specifically for your MacOS version.
  • Double-click the installer package once the driver has been downloaded to begin the installation procedure. Follow the installation instructions to finish the setup.
  • After the installation is finished, restart your Mac.
  • Click Network in System Preferences. Click the "Apply" button after choosing the network card from the list on the left. This should activate the driver and make the network card operational.

Note: If you are unable to locate the correct drivers or if the installation procedure fails, you may need to contact the network card's manufacturer for assistance.

What do I need to do before installing a network card driver on MacOS?

Before installing a network card driver on MacOS, you must satisfy the essential hardware and software prerequisites. You should take the following steps:

Check if your Mac has a network card: Some Mac models, such as the Mac mini and MacBook Air, do not include a network card, so you will need to use a USB-to-Ethernet adapter instead.

Verify that the network card is compatible with the Mac: Check that the network card is compatible with your Mac model and operating system version.

Check for the most recent version of MacOS: Before installing new software or hardware, it is always a good idea to ensure that the operating system is the most recent version. Software updates may be checked by selecting "Software Update" from the Apple menu.

Download the network adapter driver: Visit the manufacturer's website for your network card and download the latest driver for your Mac. Ensure that the driver is saved in an area that is easily accessible, such as the Downloads folder.

Before installing the driver: it is advisable to disconnect from the internet in order to prevent interruptions. You can accomplish this by disabling Wi-Fi or removing the Ethernet wire. See my blog post about installing WiFi drivers on a MacBook here.

Follow the installation instructions: Once the driver has been downloaded, follow the installation instructions supplied by the manufacturer. These instructions may differ based on the network card and driver you are using, so be sure to read them carefully.

After the installation is complete restart your Mac to implement the changes and confirm that the network card is functioning properly.

How can I determine which network card driver MacOS requires?

Follow these procedures to determine which driver is required for your network card on macOS:

  • Click on the Apple menu in the upper-left corner of the screen, then choose "About This Mac."
  • Click the "System Report" button in About This Mac's pane.
  • In the System Report window, navigate to the Hardware section and select the Network category.
  • You should find a list of your network adapters in the Network section. Locate the entry that corresponds to your network card and take note of its "Interface" field.

The "Interface" column indicates which driver your network card employs. For instance, if the "Interface" field reads "Ethernet," your network card utilises the macOS-installed Ethernet driver. If "Wi-Fi" appears in the "Interface" column, your network card employs the Wi-Fi driver that is built into the card.

Depending on what the "Interface" field displays, you may need to install a third-party driver for your network card. The manufacturer's website typically has drivers for network cards. Alternately, you can use a programme such as "Driver Genius" or "Driver Booster" to scan your system and automatically install the proper drivers for your hardware.

Can I use the MacOS-installed driver for my network device, or do I need to download a driver from the manufacturer's website?

In general, it is preferable to use the drivers that come with your operating system, as they have normally been tested and optimised for your particular operating system version. macOS contains a variety of built-in drivers for network cards that should support a broad range of hardware.

To determine whether your network card is utilising an internal driver, navigate to System Preferences and pick the "Network" option. From there, you can choose your network interface and view the "Hardware" section to view the driver that is being utilised. Apple or Built-in should be listed if a built-in driver is being used.

If you are encountering issues with your network card or the built-in driver, you may need to download a driver from the manufacturer's website. You should be able to locate this information on the manufacturer's website or by calling customer service.

Additionally, it is recommended to maintain your drivers up-to-date, as newer versions may bring bug fixes and performance enhancements. You can check for driver updates via System Preferences or by visiting the manufacturer's website.

How can I use the Terminal to install a network card driver on MacOS?

To install a driver for your network card on macOS using Terminal, you must complete the following steps:

Download the driver for your network card from the manufacturer's website or a reliable third party. Download the appropriate driver for your network card and macOS version.

Choose Applications > Utilities > Terminal to launch the Terminal.

Navigate to the directory in which you saved the driver. For example, if the driver was downloaded to the Downloads folder, the following command can be used:

cd Downloads/

If the driver package is compressed, such as or.tar file, extract its contents. If the driver package is file, for instance, you can extract it using the following command:

unzip driver

Change directory to the location where driver files were extracted. For instance, if the driver package extracted to a folder titled "driver," you can execute the following command:

cd driver

Using the chmod command, render the installation script executable. Case in point:

chmod +-x

The following command will execute the installation script:


The installation script will often assist you through the remainder of the installation procedure. Follow the installation instructions to finish the setup.

Some drivers may require additional steps or may be incompatible with Terminal installation. Consult the documentation or support resources given by the manufacturer of your network card if the instructions above do not work.

When installing a network card driver on MacOS, are there any potential concerns or compatibility issues I should be aware of?

When installing a network card driver on MacOS, there are a few potential compatibility issues that you should be aware of:

Compatibility: Ensure that both the network card and its driver are compatible with your MacOS version. If the driver is incompatible, it may fail to install or function appropriately.

There may be conflicting drivers if you have already installed a network card on your Mac and are attempting to install a new one. This may interfere with your network connection or cause your computer to crash.

Incorrect installation: If you do not follow the instructions for installing the network card driver correctly, the device may not install or function correctly. The driver installation process can be reversed.

Power management difficulties: Some network card drivers may have power management issues on MacOS, which may cause network connection issues or cause the computer to crash.

Installing a network card driver from an unreliable source may present security threats to your machine. Ensure that only drivers from reliable sources are installed.

Always create a backup of your Mac prior to installing new hardware or drivers, just in case something goes wrong.


  1. Wonderful article. Thank you for posting such an easy and in depth tutorial


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