4.2 Enable 'Show Wi-Fi status in menu bar' - Show Wi-Fi status in menu bar


The Wi-Fi status in the menu bar indicates if the system's wireless internet capabilities are enabled. If so, the system will scan for available wireless networks to connect to. At the time of this revision all computers Apple builds have wireless network capability, which has not always been the case. This control only pertains to systems that have a wireless NIC available. Operating systems running in a virtual environment may not score as expected either.


Enabling 'Show Wi-Fi status in menu bar' is a security awareness method that helps mitigate public area wireless exploits by making the user aware of their wireless connectivity status.


The user of the system should have a quick check on their wireless network status available


Perform the following enable Wi-Fi status in the menu bar:
Graphical Method:

Open System Preferences

Select Network

Select Wi-Fi

Set Show Wi-Fi status in menu bar

Terminal Method:
For each user, run the following to turn the Wi-Fi status on in the menu bar

$ sudo -u <username> defaults write /Users/<username>/Library/Preferences/com.apple.systemuiserver menuExtras -array-add '/System/Library/CoreServices/Menu Extras/AirPort.menu'


$ sudo -u firstuser defaults write /Users/firstuser/Library/Preferences/com.apple.systemuiserver.plist menuExtras -array-add '/System/Library/CoreServices/Menu Extras/AirPort.menu'

Note: If the remediation is run multiple times, multiple instances of the Wi-Fi status will appear after rebooting the system. Command-click and drag the unwanted icons off the menu bar

Additional Information:

AirPort is Apple's marketing name for its 802.11b, g, and n wireless interfaces.

See Also


Item Details


References: 800-53|CM-6b.

Plugin: Unix

Control ID: 503213eced6999a8a34ad26e7f865536729536fe684d5e1ea4c3db0e4b5ecf9f