How do I scan for hidden SSIDs?

Hidden (non-broadcasting) networks are the ones that do not show up during a normal Wi-Fi scan. Starting with Mac OS 10.13 NetSpot discovers and displays all hidden networks around you. In order to scan a hidden network on a Mac OS version before 10.13, you must already know that it is there and be able to manually connect to it. The ability to scan hidden networks is available in NetSpot PRO and NetSpot Enterprise.

Be aware that there will be an increased scanning time for each data point. Scan time will increase by at least 10 seconds for each network selected.

To scan for hidden SSIDs on a macOS version before 10.13:

  1. If you haven’t already, go into your Mac’s Wi-Fi settings and connect to the hidden network(s) you wish to scan. Be sure to click “remember this network” when you enter in the network name and password.
  2. Open NetSpot and start setting up a new survey.
  3. When you get to the non-broadcasting network screen, check the box next to “Also scan these networks.”Hidden SSIDs
  4. Examine the list of networks to see if the hidden network is already listed. If it is, check the box next to that network. (There is no need to select non-hidden networks during this step! They will be scanned automatically.)
  5. If the network is not there, click the plus (+) sign at the bottom, where it says “add another network manually” and type in the name of the network (network name must match exactly).
  6. Click Continue and proceed with your survey. The hidden network(s) will be included.

NetSpot WiFi scanner for macOS is available

Note:  During the scan, you may get a message that says NetSpot wants to access confidential information stored in your keychain. Every hidden network will require an additional call to API to scan it in an exclusive mode (using access details stored in the keychain). Click “Allow” or “Always Allow” to continue the scan.

updated: August 19, 2022 author: nsjill
Have more questions? Submit a request.