I have a Macbook Pro with Snow Leopard, any way to do this?

3 Answers 3


Depending on your reason for turning off the Airport card (as in use the wired connection instead of the wireless when it's plugged in) you may not even need to turn off the Airport card.

If you go to the Network Preference Pane in System Preferences it's possible to set a Service Order so that when one is active it takes precedence over others. For example in the following screenshot I always use a wired connection first if it's available otherwise it would then fall back to my Airport network. My iPhone is the last on the list for the connections (Bluetooth DUN and FireWire aren't used in my case).

Service Order

  • Very cool. Now I can just leave tethering on all the time.
    – mmacaulay
    Apr 8, 2010 at 17:01
  • Thank you for solving the problem instead of just answering the question. Nov 15, 2012 at 8:30
  • 3
    Btw, "Set Service Order" is hidden underneath the "gear" icon on the lower left (I know I didn't find it right away).
    – Jaime Cham
    Apr 15, 2013 at 2:40
  • 1
    this does not turn off the wifi. is there a way to turn it off and on depending on ethernet connection?
    – shorif2000
    Mar 12, 2014 at 15:02
  • @sharif You might want to look at the other answers for this question: crankd, ControlPlane and NetworkLocation are all things worth looking at.
    – Chealion
    Mar 13, 2014 at 16:06

Maybe too much overhead, but Marco Polo is a nice application that lets you turn off/on various settings/devices depending on various factors (context aware). I have not tested it, but maybe you can create a rule that turns off the AirPort when an Ethernet cable is connected.

However, it is no longer supported by the author. As of August 2013, the author recommends looking into ControlPlane

  • This is just perfect, does exactly what I wanted, and much more powerful then NetworkLocation. And yes, you can create a rule that turns off airport when ethernet is connected - I even narrowed it down to ethernet + specific IP range in use. Apr 20, 2010 at 9:37
  • Another vote for ControlPlane
    – cavalcade
    Feb 26, 2015 at 4:43

Within the OS you can create multiple locations in Network System Preferences, one with Airport enabled and one with it disabled. In Keyboard and Mouse you can then assign keyboard shortcuts based on the location names, as they are found under Apple menu --> Location.

NetworkLocation should be able to automate this.


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