A VPN is an essential tool for protecting yourself on the Internet. But this may not be enough. IPv6 can betray you. Here’s how to disable it on macOS.

A well-known and recognized virtual private network is an indispensable tool for the protection and security of many users on the web, regardless of your device. While there are plenty of VPNs on the market today, even the best ones struggle to address one of the biggest weaknesses in protecting your privacy: your address. IPv6.

IPv6 is the successor to traditional IPv4. But IPv6 can also potentially reveal personally identifiable data about your location. This is why the best VPNs all offer IPv6 leak protection. Sometimes, however, if another software or device configuration conflicts with your VPN, you can no longer take full advantage of this IPv6 protection.

Disabling IPv6 on Windows is done in a few clicks, finding a tutorial on the internet to do so is very simple. It’s a bit more complex on a macOS device. And the method depends on your device configuration.

Below are the two most popular methods for disabling IPv6 on macOS, along with steps to re-enable the protocol should the need arise.

1. From the Apple menu, open System Preferences.

2. Click the globe-shaped Network icon. A new window appears. On the left side, you’ll see a list of networks you’ve connected to before, including the one you’re currently on, with a green dot. Click on it to highlight it.

3. Click the Advanced button at the bottom of the window. A new window opens with several tabs. Choose TCP/IP.

4. In the TCP/IP tab, two drop-down lists. Click the one under Configure IPv6 and select Disable.

5. In the lower right corner of the window, click OK. Once the window is closed and back on the Network window, click on Apply at the bottom right of the screen and close the window.

If your version of macOS doesn’t have a Disable option in the menu, you can disable it through Terminal.

These steps allow you to disable IPv6, but also re-enable it if needed.

1. Open a Finder window and click Applications.

2. Scroll down to the Utilities folder, click to open it and select Terminal.

3. Once the Terminal is open with the black window displayed, type the command below to see the list of current networks:

sudo networksetup -listallnetworkservices

Terminal may ask you to enter your password. It’s the one you type in every time you wake up your machine.

4. Find the network you are on. So we’re going to tell the computer to disable IPv6 on that particular connection.

If you are connected via Wi-Fi, type the command below:

sudo networksetup -setv6off Wi-Fi

5. You won’t get any confirmation that you have disabled IPv6, but the Terminal may ask you for your password again. Once entered, IPv6 can be disabled. You can close the Terminal and you’re done.

If you change your mind for some reason and need to re-enable IPv6 on your macOS, you can perform the same steps with a small change in the command. Open Terminal and enter the command below:

sudo networksetup -setv6automaticWi-Fi

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