iPhone 13 unable to join WIFI with MAC-Filter


there is only one device, a new iPhone 13, that is unable to join our WIFI that has a MAC Filter "allow listed only". The MAC address used is definitely correct, because I even removed the MAC Filter to let the iPhone 13 join, which worked.

The message on the iPhone 13 is "Unable to join network".

Does anybody had already a similar experience?

Thank you

Best regards

any chance the option 'private wifi address' is active?

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maybe it use random mac address?


Have you by any chance changed the SSID name or in any other way changed which station iPhone connects? The @fodiator mentioned it -- with the new privacy setting iPhone randomizes its MAC address when connecting to new stations.

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Slightly OT, but MAC-filtering is pretty useless in terms of security. Recommend you disable it.

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Thank you @fodiator, @bricco1981, @stangri and @darksky.

It was the "Private Wifi Address" setting on the iPhone 13. You were correct. What I don't get fully is that a change via the terminal in etc/config/wireless did not work, I needed to change it in Luci.

I attach also one screenshot of Apple were to find the setting on the iPhone. Maybe it helps somebody else.

Thank you all

When changing things in WebUI, it reloads configuration with Save & Apply button. When modifying the files in /etc/config you often have to reload affected service manually.


In the CLI run wifi to restart the wifi system, if the only settings you have changed are in /etc/config/wireless.

Just for understanding: What does this "Turn Private Address off or on for a network" do ?

It creates a random MAC address when connecting to that network to increase privacy.

And in case, it connects to the same network a second time ? Another randomized MAC ?

In some cases, your device will change its private Wi-Fi address:

  • If you erase all content and settings or reset network settings on the device, your device uses a different private address the next time it connects to that network.
  • Starting with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and watchOS 8, if your device hasn’t joined the network in 6 weeks, it uses a different private address the next time it connects to that network. And if you make your device forget the network, it will also forget the private address it used with that network, unless it has been less than 2 weeks since the last time it was made to forget that network