3 Ways to Connect MacBook Pro to Ethernet (With Tips)

3 Ways to Connect MacBook Pro to Ethernet (With Tips)

3 Ways to Connect MacBook Pro to Ethernet (With Tips)

How to connect mac to lan

Connecting your MacBook Pro directly to your router with Ethernet gives you the fastest internet speeds possible. but all newer macbooks don’t even have an ethernet port, so are you stuck using wi-fi? you can connect your macbook to ethernet with a thunderbolt or usb-c to ethernet adapter. your macbook should it automatically connects to the network with the adapter, but sometimes it doesn’t.

hi i’m jon, an apple know-it-all and owner of a 2019 macbook pro. i use a usb-c to ethernet adapter almost every day.

I put together this article to guide you through connecting your macbook to ethernet. then read on to learn how!

3 ways to connect your macbook to ethernet

newer macbook pros don’t have an ethernet port, so the process can be tricky.

That said, the process is still simple and you can do it in a few minutes with the right equipment. These are the best ways to connect your MacBook Pro to Ethernet.

method 1: connect an ethernet cable

While newer modern Macs may not have an Ethernet port, their older counterparts often do. Many older MacBook Pros have an Ethernet port, which simplifies the process.

For example, my 2019 macbook pro doesn’t have an ethernet port. It only has four thunderbolt ports.

if you’re not sure if your macbook has an ethernet port, just check the side of the computer. Plug the ethernet cable into your router or other device, then plug the other end directly into the port on the MacBook.

method 2: use an adapter

You can use a lightning to ethernet adapter to connect your macbook pro to ethernet.

Simply plug the end of the thunderbolt adapter into any thunderbolt port on your macbook pro, then plug the ethernet cable into the other end of the adapter.

you can also use any usb-c to ethernet adapter for this to work. It doesn’t have to be the lightning to ethernet adapter made by apple.

method 3: use a docking station

Most usb-c docking stations have an ethernet port. Just like using a USB-C to Ethernet adapter, simply plug the Ethernet cable into the dock and the USB-C connector into your MacBook Pro.

The advantage of the usb-c docking station is ethernet connectivity and the ability to connect multiple peripherals at once.

I use an hp usb-c docking station with my 2019 macbook pro. It runs two displays, ethernet, and a backup ssd all through a single usb-c connection.

how to configure ethernet on your macbook pro

Usually your macbook pro will automatically connect to the internet after you connect the ethernet cable. however, you will need to modify your network settings in some cases.

If your mac did not automatically connect to ethernet, continue with the following steps.

step 1: open the apple menu

click the apple logo in the upper left corner of the screen. A drop-down menu will appear with several options: select system preferences.

once the window opens, click on the network option. the icon looks like a small globe.

step 2: select ethernet

after clicking the network option, look for “ethernet” in the list on the left. click it to open the tab.

step 3: choose the correct configuration method

In the ethernet window, click the ‘configure ipv4‘ dropdown menu.

then choose the configuration method recommended by your isp. In general, these recommendations are as follows:

  • using dhcp: If you automatically receive an ip address from your internet service provider (isp), choose this option.
  • using dhcp with manual address: If you have a specific ip address and your isp uses dhcp, choose this, then enter the ip address.
  • using bootp: If your isp uses bootp, choose this option.
  • manually: If you received a particular ip address, subnet mask, and router address from your isp address, choose this option. you will need to enter those values.

step 4: apply settings

Once you select the appropriate configuration method, enter any additional settings. This applies if you received additional settings such as an IPv6 address or DNS server address from your ISP or network administrator.

If so, click advanced to enter the necessary settings. after entering the settings, click ok.

then click apply to activate the adjusted settings.

troubleshooting ethernet connectivity on macbook pro

If your ethernet isn’t working on your macbook pro, some potential issues may be to blame. some of the more common causes include:

  • Mac won’t recognize cable: If your mac doesn’t recognize your ethernet cable, make sure you connect it securely to your computer and to the port on your device. then shut down your mac and turn off the ethernet device. wait a few minutes and then turn on the ethernet device again. once it reboots completely, reboot your mac.
  • Ethernet adapter not working: In some cases, your ethernet adapter may be the problem. If you’ve tried tinkering with the settings or your adapter used to work but suddenly fails, it may be time to replace the adapter.
  • Ethernet settings are incorrect: Make sure your ethernet settings are correct. open system preferences > network > the device name > advanced. check everything.
  • ethernet cable fails: sometimes your ethernet cable will fail for various reasons. If your connection abruptly stopped working, and the settings and cable are not the issues, the cable may be the issue.
  • Internet connection is down: In scenarios where everything else works outside, the internet itself may be down. check that your internet connection is active on other devices and that your router and modem are working. If your other devices can’t connect to the internet, it may be a problem with the connection.


Whether you’re connecting your macbook to ethernet to connect to another device or just establishing a wired connection, the process is pretty straightforward. Requires a Thunderbolt (or USB-C) to Ethernet adapter for newer MacBook Pros.

if your old macbook has an ethernet port, the process is even faster.

were you able to connect your macbook pro to ethernet? let us know in the comments below.

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