Strange Situation - Launching Browser turns off WiFi


Sep 16, 2008
Reaction score
I ran into the strangest situation yesterday with a 2017 MacBook air running ElCapitan - Launching a browser turned off WiFi on that Mac.
Made absolute no sense to me.
But here is what actually happened:
WiFi is provide by an HH3000 (frm Virgin)
2012 Mac Mini was connected to HH3000 WiFi 24/7 and stayed up fine
2017 MBa had WiFi turned off for te night;WiFi was turned on in the morning, fine as well
Launched Firefox on 2017 MBa and WiFi signal on MBa disappeared
Quit Firefox, WiFi indicator on MBa comes back right away
Tried the same with Chrome on MBa - same results, launching Chrome kills Wifi on that Mac, quitting Chrome brings it back.
WiFi on 2012 Mini is not affected and is always connected to internet
Third Mac user with an older MBa can't connect to the net either.

I decide that maybe the power connection to the HH3000 has become intermittent - no, solid as a rock.
So I log into the HH3000 from the Mini - I see two devices connected, the Mini an one more
Everything looks good - no error messages.
I was just about to close the HH3000 window when my eye alls on the Primary WiFi icon with the number 100 below it - 100 devices?
Turns out there were 2 active devies and 98 disconnected devices for a total of 100.
The "disconnected devices" were still in memory of the HH3000 and were people's omputers and cellphones that had used the HH3000 over the years. I assume what happened is when FF was launched on the MBa this morning, it became device 101 and the HH30000 didn't like that and disabled WiFi to that device - same for the third Mac user.
The 2012 Mini was not affected since it was already connected and was not looking for an internet connection.
For all the disconnected devices, there is a "forget" option, so I stepped through 98 of them and "forgot" all of them.

Now everything is working perfectly with all the MBa's
There are currently 5 active devices shown on the HH3000

I posted this in case anyone else runs into this - launching a browser turning off WiFi on that Mac.
Maybe it prevents someone from calling in an Exorcist for their Mac
May 21, 2012
Reaction score
Rhode Island
Your Mac's Specs
iPhone 13 Pro Max, Watch Series 7 (Cellular), Mac Mini (Late 2014). All have current OS.
I wonder if doing a power cycle through all devices would have corrected that as well?

Shop Amazon

Shop for your Apple, Mac, iPhone and other computer products on Amazon.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.