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[Archive] [WLC] How to perform a wireless packet capture in Mac OS(X) Yosemite and higher versions



Article ID: KB31653 KB Last Updated: 10 Oct 2020Version: 2.0

Wireless packet captures may be needed for troubleshooting wireless network issues.

This article explains how to to sniff packets with Wireless Diagnostics in OS X.

  1. Login to your Mac with an administrator account.

  2. Option+Click on the Wi-Fi menu item in the OS X menu bar​.

  3. Click Open Wireless Diagnostics from the list to open the wi-fi utility​.

  4. Ignore the splash screen and pull down the Window menu. Select Sniffer.

  5. Select the Wi-Fi Channel and channel Width to sniff and capture packets for, then click Start.

  6. Now try to connect your wireless device and reproduce the issue.​

  7. Run the Wireshark simultaneously. When satisfied with the length of the packet capture, or when sufficient network traffic has been sniffed, click "Stop" to end the packet trace and save the captured packet file to the Desktop of OS X​​

    The captured packet file will appear on the desktop with a .wcap extension and include the time of the packet capture. The name should look something like "2017.11.20_10-05-00-PDT.wcap"

Modification History:
2020-10-10: Archived article.
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