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How to configure a proxy on macOS

A proxy service can be private or public. Most services normally provide their own client that facilitates setting up the proxy. Users will enter a username and password in the client but everything else will be set up.

Not all proxies come with their own client and companies that have their own private proxies set up will normally recommend a proxy client to use in order to connect to it. On Windows 10, you need a client to connect to a private proxy but on macOS. you can set it up without a client.

Configure a proxy on macOS

To configure a proxy on macOS, you need the following.

  • For a public proxy: a server address or URL, and port number.
  • For a private proxy: a server address/URL, port number, and username and password.

You must also know what the password is on the Mac that you’re using. 

Set up proxy on macOS

Follow these steps to set up a proxy on macOS.

  1. Connect to either an Ethernet or WiFi connection.
  2. Open System Preferences.
  3. Go to the Network preference.

  1. Select your network from the column on the left.
  2. Click the Advanced button.
  3. Go to the Proxies tab.

  1. In the column on the left, select “Web Proxy (HTTP)”.
  2. Enable the “Proxy server requires password” if you’re connected to a private proxy.
  3. In the pane on the right, enter the server address, the port number, and the username and password in their respective fields. 
  4. Select “Secure web proxy (HTTPS)” from the column on the left.
  5. Enable the “Proxy server requires password” if you’re connected to a private proxy.
  6. In the pane on the right, enter the same server address, port number, username, and password that you entered in step 7.
  7. Click OK and close System Preferences.
  8. Restart an app or browser to refresh the network connection. 

Disable proxy on macOS

The proxy will be enabled every time you’re connected to the network you set it up on. To disable it and browse/use the internet without the proxy, follow these steps.

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Go to Network.
  3. Select the WiFi or Ethernet connection. 
  4. Click the Advanced button.
  5. Go to the Proxies tab.
  6. Uncheck the “Web proxy (HTTP” and “Secure web proxy (HTTPS) options in the column on the left.
  7. Click Ok and close System Preferences.
  8. Restart apps to start a fresh session outside the proxy. 

Conclusion

macOS can connect to a private proxy easily enough but when you turn it off or disable it, it doesn’t remember the credentials i.e., username and password for it. That is the one shortcoming it has but outside of it, using a proxy on macOS without a dedicated client is as easy as it gets.

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