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Repair guides, support, and troubleshooting information for the first 13-inch MacBook Air to feature Apple's Arm-based M1 SoC (with an 8-core CPU and up to an 8-core GPU). Released in November 2020 and identified by model numbers A2337 or EMC 3598.

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How to 100% completely remove WiFi/Bluetooth hardware in M1 Mac?

I have a 2020 M1 Macbook Air that I removed the antenna bar from.

See example pic here:


The problem is the laptop is still able to scan for Wi-Fi networks despite no antenna bar. How can this happen when I physically removed the hardware? I would like to completely airgap the system

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Radio waves can even emanate and be received just by the antenna studs on the logic board. The only difference is the level of signal that can produce or receive and the amount of signal blocking the case offers.

So just like you take off the exhaust pipe from your cars engine the gases don’t stop they just leak out where the pipe was cut.



I like they way you explained that:-)


@hellomacos - Thanks!

I have a great cartoon by James Thurber of a cleaning lady mopping the floor where the electricity was leaking from the ceiling light above! Which is just Priceless!

Here’s a similar one he did Dripping Electricity



That truly is something!


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The issue is that the actual WiFi/Bluetooth antenna bar doesn't contain any of the actual driving components for Bluetooth or Wifi. The driving components are integrated into the board, and can only be removed if you have micro-soldering skills.

However, @danj did have a good alternative solution to this in a similar question. To sum it up, all you should have to do is turn off the WiFi and Bluetooth services through the OS and set up a second user account with the services disabled by admin.

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Hello Jacob thanks for replying,

1. What is the function of the antenna bar then? You would think it would be more straightforward!

I checked out the other thread and it seems it was pretty simple for the older Macbooks (before M1) because you could just remove the Airport/Bluetooth board itself as it wasn't a physical chip fused to the logic board.

The software solution suggested (admin/user account) isn't what I'm looking for as a boot into recovery for example would trigger the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth again anyways.

Where can I find more information to physically remove this Wi-Fi chip from an M1 Macbook with micro-soldering? And as HelloMacOS pointed out, can anybody confirm which chip is actually the Wi-Fi chip I'm looking for?

Thank you!


@lopptony Like any technology that uses radio based communications, an antenna is necessary to “collect” the ambient signal. Old school radios, cell phones and even TVs had external antennas to better collect this sort of signal. Most of this is done with internal hardware now, so people don’t often think about them but all the surface area which used to be present on the outside of hardware is just internal now.

There is likely a noticeable difference in potential signal strength and integrity between a Mac with the antenna bar installed and one without. You may be able to scan for and see WiFi networks with the antenna bar removed, but you may not be able to connect to the network or stay connected if the antenna bar is gone.


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On the under side of the logic board(the opposite side of the one in the picture)there is a chip that looks like a SSD(SSD’s highlighted in photo)

Block Image

I believe that is the WIFI chip

I don’t recommend removing this as it requires applying LOADS of hot air onto the board to melt the solder and unadhere the underfill which can reflow things and even worse burn the board

It’s entirely up to you ,so Il let you decide;-)

Hopefully this helps

Any questions please ask


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Hello ty for replying,

1. So you are saying that the antenna bar I removed is not responsible for Wi-Fi + Bluetooth but instead that's done by a separate chip fused to the board itself?

2. What is the function of the antenna bar then?

3. The red circle you highlighted in the picture is NOT the Wi-Fi chip, but it's on the other side of the board not shown in the picture, right?



The WiFi antenna bar is for getting a better signal, the chip will work with out the bar ,just not very well

The red circle highlites the SSD the WiFi chip looks like a SSD but it’s not,it’s on the opposite side to the SSD:-)


@lopptony Clue is in the description, it’s an antenna


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@lopptony - Why are you going to such depths?

Sadly you can’t take out the chip without creating other problems. Using multiple user accounts is the only way you can do this in this series as unlike the linked answer I wrote that Jacob aimed you to the M series systems are much more integrated.

Maybe you need to rethink which system is right for you. Going to an earlier 2015 MacBook Air or Pro which has a removable AirPort board. But then again the newer macOS this system uses is much tighter if you enable all of the security features.

Make sure your paranoia doesn’t drive you into vaulted room. Just like living you can’t prevent or prepare for the unforeseen. But you can be guarded and make sure your values are protected.

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