How to Set a Proxy Server on Mac

How to Set a Proxy Server on Mac
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There are two primary ways to set up a proxy server on Mac. One way is to use the Network Settings, which is easier for less tech-savvy users, but has some drawbacks. The other uses the Terminal, which is slightly more technically complicated but gives more proxy use flexibility.

Table of Contents

Using Network Settings for proxies

1. Open System Preferences

Our journey to setting up a proxy begins with opening the System Preferences tab. All it takes is to click the Apple icon and scroll down just a few notches to reach the System Preferences option.


Click on the setting.

System preferences

2. Select the Network Settings option

Once you open System Preferences, several rows of icons will appear. Find the third row or wherever else the “Network” icon appears. 


Click on it to proceed to the next step.

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3. Select the “Wi-Fi” option and click “Advanced”

After clicking the icon, your network settings will pop-up, displaying all of the ways you connect to the internet. Some of these may be managed by your network administrator. 


Yet, you should still be able to click on the Wi-Fi option and select “Advanced”.


4. Go to the proxies tab

Another menu will open up with many different selections. Click on the “Proxies” tab where you will be able to input proxy server settings.


5. Input proxy settings under “Web Proxy (HTTP)”

We’ve arrived at the final step. You’ll have to manually configure the proxy.


Start by ticking “Web Proxy (HTTP)”, which will open up a large number of additional options. Under “Web Proxy Server” input the IP address in the larger box and the port number in the smaller one.


Proxies might require authentication details. If the proxy provider has given you a login and password, tick “Proxy server requires password” and add in the details.


Finally, all you have to do is click “OK” at the bottom. After the first menu closes, click “Apply” on the following one and you’re done!

Web proxy server
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Using Terminal to set up a proxy

1. Open up the Terminal

Setting up through Terminal doesn’t require you to input new network settings, just a few lines of text. To get started, you need to open the application up, which is easiest to do by going to the Launchpad and typing in “Terminal”.


2. Enter commands

A black screen will pop up where you will be able to input commands. With them, you can create new network settings without worrying about going through all the screens.


Input the command: networksetup -setwebproxy wi-fi PROXYIP PORT



You don’t need to change anything in “networksetup” and “-setwebproxy” ever. 


You might need to change “wi-if” if your network is named differently.


You will have to change “PROXYIP” and “PORT” to the IP and port of your proxy.



After you press “enter”, input another command: networksetup -setwebproxystate wi-fi on


Again, you will only need to change “wi-fi” if your network is named differently.


That’s it! Your proxy is live and isn’t just used in the local network or temporarily. It will last for as long as you want it.


To disable the proxy, input the command: networksetup -setwebproxystate wi-fi off

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Frequently Asked Questions

A proxy is generally provided through a dedicated business that sells them. There are free proxies available, however, they are almost always low quality and some of them are used to collect user data.

Usually, the error is caused by incorrectly inputting the proxy settings. Check these details first. Additionally, it could also have nothing to do with proxy settings and be simply the IP address going offline. If that is the case, you will simply have to wait.

In most cases, you will get automatic proxy configuration. Many providers have some flexibility in their proxy settings, however, they are primarily for business use. The only proxy settings that matter for you are the IP, port, and authentication details. All other proxy settings are secondary.

There are two ways to turn off a proxy. You can reach the proxy settings through the Network route. To turn off a proxy that way, simply untick “Web Proxy (HTTP)”.

If you used the Terminal route, input the command: networksetup -setwebproxystate wi-fi off

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