How to Ping on a Mac Computer

There are two ways to ping other systems from your Mac computer. The first way to ping is through the Terminal. The second way to ping is through the Network Utility.

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Ping on a Mac

Sending a ping to another system on a network or over the Internet is the most basic way to see if the other system is able to receive and respond to a request. On a Mac computer you can send a ping using the Terminal or through the Network Utility application.

Using the Terminal to Send a Ping

The terminal is a command line interface that can be used for all kinds of things, including for sending a ping. Open the Terminal by clicking on Go in the Finder menu bar and clicking Utilities. Double-click on the Terminal application to launch it.

In Terminal, type ping [IP or URL], replacing the placeholder [IP or URL] with the name of the website or IP address you want to ping. Pings start immediately and continue until you stop them. To stop the pinging process, type Ctrl-c. You can also send a specific number of pings. To do so, type ping -c 5 [IP or URL], where the number before the placeholder text is the number of pings you want to send.

Using the Network Utility to Send a Ping

The Network Utility can be used to learn about your network or other systems on your network. You can also use it to send a ping to another system. In OS X Mavericks, Network Utility is located in the Applications folder of the CoreServices folder located at System | Library | CoreServices | Applications. Double-click the Network Utility application to launch it. You can also access Network Utility by searching for it with Spotlight.

In the navigation bar across the top of the Network Utility screen, click on Ping. Type in the IP address or website URL you want to ping. Choose from the options to send unlimited pings or to specify the number of pings you want to send. Then click the Ping button.

What to Try if Your Ping Fails

Regardless of the method used, if the ping fails, you receive a Cannot Resolve message. If you see Cannot Resolve, check the spelling of the domain name to make sure it's correct and try another IP address or domain name.

If you try several different domain names and none of them returns a successful ping, confirm your system is connected to the Internet or network.