How to Update Your AirPort base Station firmware on Mac/ iOS: Fix

🗓️ December 1, 2021 By ✍️ Jaysukh patel

If you are a Mac or iOS user, you must be familiar with the AirPort feature. If not, let us give a brief explanation. The AirPort is a series of wireless routers and wireless cards produced exclusively for iOS users. The purpose of these AirPorts is to connect an AirPort-enabled system to the Internet, a wired LAN, other devices, or to each other. The products in this series include the AirPort Card, AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express Base Station, and AirPort Time Capsule.

While the AirPort series is no longer in production, Apple systematically rolls out firmware updates that improve the performance, functionality, and security of your AirPort base stations. So, if you own an AirPort, ensure that your firmware is updated periodically. To do so, you can download and use the exclusive AirPort Utility app from the AppStore.

To make your work easier, we have provided a step-by-step guide to updating the AirPort Base Station firmware on your Mac. 


There are a few quick checks that you need to do before proceeding with the base station update. Here they are:

  • Ensure that both your Mac or other iOS device and base station have Internet connectivity.
  • If your AirPort is involved in a Time Machine backup or is sharing a hard drive on your network, ensure that none of your devices are currently using that network. If the hard drive is in use, updating the base station causes your network to be temporarily unavailable.
  • Once checked, open the AirPort Utility app on your Mac or iOS device and proceed with the update by following the upcoming steps. 


The following steps will update and restart your base station. If you have more than one base station, you can focus on the others first and restart your primary base station at the end.

  1. In the AirPort Utility app, select your base station. If the system prompts, enter the base station password.
  2. If you are on your Mac, go to your Menu Bar and choose Base Station > Restart.
  3. If you are on an iOS device, tap on the base station in the AirPort Utility app and tap on Edit > Advanced > Restart Base Station.
  4. If you face issues in restarting through the AirPort Utility app, unplug the base station and plug it back in after a few seconds.
See also  How to set own shortcut on iPhone, iPad in 2023


  • After restarting the base station, go to the AirPort Utility app and select that base station to know its details.
  • If you have multiple base stations, start by checking the one farthest away from the primary base station. 

Follow the steps below on MacOS or iOS

  1. On Mac systems, an Update button is shown on a pop-up when there is an update available. You can install the update by clicking on the Update button. 
  2. On iOS devices, go to the Settings of the AirPort Utility app. You can find a numbered badge next to the Version option, indicating that an update is available. Tap on Version and tap on Download and Install to install the update. 

Once updated, your base station will restart automatically. You can repeat these steps for each of your base stations. Remember to update your primary base station at the end.

If any of your network devices are not compatible with the updated firmware, you can re-install the older firmware. Here is how:

  • On your Mac, go to Airport Utility and select the base station. Then, click on the version number of the older firmware from the options given. 
  • On your iOS device, go to Airport Utility and tap on the base station. Then, go to Version > Older Versions, and choose the older firmware you want to re-install.


The information provided above was for manually checking and updating your base station to the latest firmware version. Alternatively, you can set the AirPort Utility app to automatically check for updates and notify you whenever they are available. 

Follow these steps to let your AirPort Utility automatically keep an eye for new updates:

  1. Go to the AirPort Utility app on your Mac. There, find the Applications folder > Utilities folder. 
  2. Once in, go to AirPort Utility > Preferences.
  3. In the Preferences menu, you can do one of the following:
  4. Select “Check for updates when opening AirPort Utility.” This allows AirPort Utility to automatically check for firmware updates each time you open the app. 
  5. Alternatively, you can select “Check for updates automatically” and choose a time interval from the options given in the pop-up menu. The AirPort Utility app runs periodic checks in the background of your device and opens if there are any new updates available. 
See also  iOS 17.1.1 Slow AirPlay? Stuck on Loading?: Here's Fix



While the process mentioned above guarantees a smooth sail at most times, there are some instances where the firmware update could fail. 

Here are a few problems that iOS users could face while updating their base station and their respective solutions:


This issue appears when you receive this message: “An Apple ID or password is incorrect or couldn’t be authenticated. Enter the correct Apple ID and password and try again.”

The possible reason for this error is that you could have configured your base station to a feature called ‘Back to my Mac’ on macOS Mojave, which Apple has removed from all iOS devices.

This problem can be fixed through these steps:

  1. Go to Apple Menu > System Preferences > iCloud. Make sure that your Apple ID is logged in.
  2. Then, close AirPort Utility and open it again. 
  3. Look for the faulty base station and tap the indicator in red. Choose Edit on the pop-up menu that appears. 
  4. Search for ‘Back to my Mac.‘ You will most likely receive a warning that the feature is no longer supported.
  5. Select the Apple ID present there and delete it. 
  6. The base station will now restart, and you can update the firmware. 


This is a common error that appears to most iOS users while updating their firmware. There are two solutions to this. 

  1. You can click OK on the error message and try the updating process again, right from the start.
  2. Or, as mentioned earlier, you can try unplugging and re-plugging your device.

We hope that you found this article beneficial to your need. Let us know in the comments what other iOS-related information you would like from us next!

See also  Best car maintenance apps for iPhone in 2023

Where is WiFi Router Airport firmware Downloaded on mac?

Open Finder on mac > From top mac menu, Go > Go to folder. type below path and find the downloaded software, if anything is stuck or won’t download then delete from here and redownload on mac using AirPort Utility.

  • Note: Downloaded AirPort Firmware saved on Mac, ~/library/Application Support/Apple/Airport/Firmware.airport-firmware-update-path-or-where-is-saved-on-mac
  • See the update or Delete [Move to bin] by right click on it and Re-download from Airport Utility.check-airport-firmware-on-mac

Improve your Wi-Fi router, Airport Extreme’s performance, Connectivity by updating firmware manually on Mac OS X. Before that you need basic understating about how to check installed software version and Update WiFi router Airport firmware using Mac. If you don’t know, Please make your Airport firmware up to date at all times, by periodically checking available updates for the Airport base station from apple.

Based on Airport Router/Base station’s generation, your firmware must be a different version and Compatible OS X than others. See the full list for Airport routers’ required OS X and Software requirements. Check full list in detail.

Check out your Mac’s app store app, if any update is available then the update is first under the Update tab. Make your system upgraded with the latest OS X.

Apple periodically sends updates for Airport Base Station: AirPort Extreme, AirPort Time Capsule, Airport Express, AirPort base stations.

How to check update automatically?

Yes, you can check or manage airport firmware update on Airport Utility. It will check once in a week. If any update is available then it will be shown in the notification center. For the Open AirPort Utility on Mac > Display badge for connected AirPort device in your network if firmware available for update.

Manage/ Enable Airport software update on Airport utility

Update Airport Utility on iOS

Sure about you are connected with internet, Open Airport Utility App from iPhone/ iPad.

The app will be shown a badge with the name of the connected Airport station in the network. Tap on Airport Base station to update.

Enter Password, Choose a version, and Tap on Download and Install.

That’s it.

Keep your Airport WiFi router and Base station up to date through the above two alternate methods of Update WiFi Router Airport firmware for all OS X and iOS.

Jaysukh Patel
Jaysukh Patel

Jaysukh Patel is the founder of howtoisolve. Also self Professional Developer, Techno lover mainly for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and iOS, Jaysukh is one of responsible person in his family. Contact On: [OR]

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply