You see a mysterious message in a window in your Mac’s display screen when making an attempt to hook up with Wi-Fi: “Paused” with a giant blue Pause button. Extra textual content reads, “Your machine has been paused.” On the backside of the window, you see a site, captive.apple.com, and a Cancel button. The same window seems in a view on an iPad or iPhone. The message is obvious: you’ll be able to’t entry the web by way of this connection.
What’s creating this dialog, and why does captive.apple.com seem on a Mac in a window that exhibits it? A Wi-Fi router has produced the message, and Apple’s not concerned besides in displaying it.
A number of years in the past, Apple added a intelligent methodology (first to Macs and later to iPhones and iPads) to allow them to work successfully at Wi-Fi hotspots that required accessing a portal web page. These hotspot portals hijack DNS (area naming system), the system that turns human-readable domains (like www.macworld.com) into computer-manageable Web Protocol (IP) addresses (like 126.96.36.199).
Earlier than Apple added its trick, you would have connectivity hassle after you related to a Wi-Fi community and earlier than the community portal allow you to hook up with the web. For those who tried to browse a web site, the hotspot redirected you to the native portal. A portal internet server shows a login web page or different info on the redirection web page: you might need to pay, click on an Settle for Phrases button, or log in with an present account to proceed.
This course of is messy as a result of it’s successfully a hack of DNS, which wasn’t supposed for such a function. If you related to the community, the portal DNS direct may break all of your different web connections. Your e mail app would report errors. Favicons (the tiny web site icons that seem in browser tab bars) may be proven as a damaged picture or, worse, change to the portal’s. It was ugly.
Apple interposed itself. If you first hook up with a Wi-Fi community, Apple tries to hook up with captive.apple.com. It checks the response. If the working system can’t attain that area, it interprets that as there being a portal in place, and brings up a dialog in iOS, iPadOS, or macOS that’s like an embedded browser. It allows you to navigate the portal login like an online web page, however tells the remainder of your apps you’re not related to a community but.
Within the case of this Pause message, a neighborhood router has prevented your machine from connecting to the web. The “portal” web page it shows is the one which incorporates the message and graphic—Apple isn’t producing that in any of its working methods.
On analyzing one reader’s display screen seize, it’s clear that their house Amazon Eero router had “paused” entry. That’s an Eero characteristic that can be utilized to regulate scheduled entry to the web on a device-by-device foundation. It’s potential that the reader or their house IT skilled by chance enabled this pause mode within the profile.
Different routers have comparable options: they will block particular units by their community IDs or block units that aren’t on an authorised entry listing.
The answer for the Eero or an analogous state of affairs is to use to your community administrator—which can be you or a member of the family—to hook up with the router and verify a field or approve a connection to “unpause.”
This Mac 911 article is in response to a query submitted by Macworld reader Gail.
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