How To Put Macbook in Airplane Mode

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Your MacBook has an “airplane mode,” what does it do? Would you need to put your laptop in airplane mode? Let’s find out. It doesn’t matter if your smartphone is running Android or iOS. You know what to do: toggle your airplane mode on. To board a flight, you must operate your laptop in airplane mode. What is your procedure?

A laptop in airplane mode is simple to set up before traveling and turns all the wireless radios off. The next time you use your laptop onboard a flight, make sure that your laptop adheres to these requirements because Airplane Mode is mandatory in many areas worldwide.

How To Put Macbook in Airplane Mode

You might be puzzled about using a MacBook on a plane because it’s an electronic device and is portable. In macOS, there is no airplane mode setting. Does this mean there is nothing for you to do? What is the procedure to turn the MacBook into an airplane?

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What Does Airplane Mode Do?

The airline mode should first be clarified and explained. As an example, an iPhone selected in airplane mode will disable the following services:

  • The towers on the ground cannot communicate with your phone.
  • This disables your device from searching for a Wi-Fi network and disconnects it from all Wi-Fi networks.
  • It would help if you disconnected any Bluetooth devices associated with your phone (such as AirPods). You can also stop the phone from searching for these products.
  • Your device won’t receive satellite signals when it is blocked from working with GPS.

This is since all of these services transmit or receive signals at various frequencies. In addition to the air, signals can potentially be interfered with by ground towers. There’s no evidence that electronic devices emit radio signals that pose a larger threat than a distracting aircraft radio signal. The noise could potentially distract or prevent the pilot from receiving critical information, however. In the Aviation Safety Reporting System, there are some incidents where passenger devices have caused radio interference and even compass malfunctions. This should be reason enough for the industry to adhere to the rules.

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Do You Need to Put Your MacBook in Airplane Mode?

You can, therefore, easily set your iPhone to airplane mode. You cannot do the same for Macs. A smartphone’s airplane mode turns off Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS. Apple MacBooks do the same; hence, there is a logical reasoning to assume that these devices may be dangerous. There is another possible interference cause, however: GSM/3G. 

This signal is much stronger than those emitted by Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and received by GPS. It simply isn’t available on MacBooks. It is safer and easier to disable all radios on your phone if you set your device to airplane mode instead of picking and choosing. You cannot get interfered with by your laptop because its radio waves are too weak.

Regulations on Airplane Mode and Laptops

In 2013, the Transportation Department approved Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in air travel if the carrier provided Wi-Fi. The EU’s ASP called smartphones, tablets, and readers “electronic devices” but not laptops. In other words, there seems to be no legal basis for putting your MacBook in airplane mode. In any case, setting Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to “off” can help conserve battery energy, which is important if your laptop needs to last the whole flight.

You don’t get GPS on MacBooks as you do on your phone. You are instead located by nearby Wi-Fi networks. Your battery is affected only when you are actively using an app. If your location is constantly detected, you may have to close the app to disable the location service.

Airplane Mode on Mac: Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

A MacBook allows you to turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with ease. Check out this image if you need more help:

  1. The Bluetooth icon is located on the top menu bar, where it can be turned off.
  2. By choosing Turn Wi-Fi Off, you can turn off the Wi-Fi icon.
  3. If you cannot find one or both of these icons, they have probably been hidden. Apple’s logo is located under its System Preferences icon. You can turn off Bluetooth or Network by selecting their respective options.

There you have it. As well as quitting any apps that appear in your menu bar, it would help if you also closed any other applications. They don’t use most system resources, but if you’d like to conserve energy, turn off everything you’re not using. You can shut down any opened application by clicking. This is usually available from the settings.

Disable Location Services

The following steps will show you how to disable location services:

  1. You can find it under System Preferences > Security & Privacy.
  2. There is a Location Services option on the left of the Privacy tab.
  3. The list of apps using your location is located here, along with a checkbox to enable location services. These are not accessible without authenticating.
  4. The lock can be found in the bottom left corner. If you find the lock unresponsive, click the Unlock button.
  5. This checkbox is not checked.
  6. The lock icon will appear when you have saved the changes.

To prevent apps from reading your location, turn off location services completely. This will stop your MacBook’s location functionality from receiving any signals. You can do it as follows:

  1. You can access the location service from System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Location Services.
  2. In the bottom left corner of the screen, you will see a lock icon.
  3. Click Unlock and then enter your password. All apps that use location-based services should now display.
  4. You can uncheck all the checkboxes at the end of the list.
  5. If you want to safeguard your changes, click the lock again.

If you’re curious about location security in macOS, we covered it in more detail. The steps listed above will essentially turn your MacBook into an airplane. You cannot use your laptop during takeoffs, landings, or taxiing, regardless of your settings. The rest of the equipment will be stored once a safe altitude has been reached.

MacBook Airplane Mode: Unnecessary but Handy

The answer is that you don’t need to put your MacBook into airplane mode. It saves you battery power, though. This eliminates any likelihood (however slim) that your MacBook will affect the complex machinery in your plane. The decision is yours. You can leave everything on even if you are not planning to use anything or disable the services you won’t use anyway. There is little point in paying for in-flight Wi-Fi if it rarely works, and the free Wi-Fi seldom works either.

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