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HT1515: AirPort Express frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Learn about AirPort Express frequently asked questions (FAQ)

HT1515 why does my airport express keep going offline?

1337 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: May 14, 2013 6:43 AM by arrwhdtim RSS
guztavo92 Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Sep 22, 2012 9:06 PM

i use airport for air play but it keeps going into flashing amber light about every week. why?

airport express
  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,045 points)

    Is it really offline, or is it just informing you that a firmware update is available?


    Open AirPort Utility and select the Express. It will tell you what it wants.

  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,045 points)

    It sounds as if it is losing its connection to your network. There could be a number of reasons. Wireless interference could be one of them. It's also possible the Express is simply broken, but they usually fail completely, not intermittently like your symptoms would indicate.


    Is it connected to your wireless network? If so, is it wired to your router, or is it joining the wireless network?

  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,045 points)

    That is a possibility.


    Try relocating it, at least temporarily, in close proximity to your wireless router. If it still drops offline, that would support the conclusion that it is simply broken.

  • Soporifix Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    This happens to me as well.

    I have an airport extreme base station and an airport express that is about a year old. I just added a brand new airport express -now three devices on the network. The year-old express remains connected and allows access to internet. The base station and new express go offline until they are plugged back in.

  • tommark Calculating status...

    Mine does the same thing.  Brought one back to the Apple store, but the replacement does the same thing.  The 2 older Airport Express units are working is the old one I replaced with the 2012 version.  What gives?

  • arrwhdtim Calculating status...

    tommark, did you ever find a solution?  Having almost exactly the same issue and am tired going around unplugging and plugging in Airport hardware.  I tried putting a lamp timer on the Airport Expresses so that they shut themselves off each morning at 3:00 am and come back on at 3:30 am while I am sleeping. Thinking this would daily clear them out and reboot them.  However, I am still having this random problem.  Both old and new Airport Expresses do this randomly.  I even have an old Airport Extreme I converted into a repeater like the Airport Express and it does it as well.  Very, very frustrating.  I am now thinking about taking off all the lamp timers and putting the timer on the cable modem and having it shut down once a day to see if that is the issue.

  • tommark Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Sorry for the delay in responding.  I started just rebooting my wireless router when my AE sow the blinking amber lights.  That has worked for me.  When the router starts back up the AEs are there vand green.  Not a perfect solution, but it seems to work.

  • arrwhdtim Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I found on some non-Apple tech sites some interesting info. One guy was having the same exact issues and wrote a script to see what was going on between the Airport base station and the Airport Expresses. It appears that the two devices were having security verification issues and that is why the Airport Expresses get getting knocked offline.   In other words, when they talk with each other they fail the security verification and the Airport Expresses go haywire.


    So the solution is to turn off the security on both the Airport base station and the Airport Expresses through the Airport Utility. Then, on the Airport base station you check the option to create a closed network.  In other words, your wi-fi network is now unprotected but it is not broadcasting to anyone that it is there. From then on, you will have to choose "other" on your laptops/iPads/iPhones/etc and type in your wi-fi network's name rather than just choosing your wi-fi network from a list of options.


    I did this a few weeks back and I have had zero issues since the very moment I did the above steps. The network is 100% reliable and faster. No more rebooting. Is it a tad bit unprotected?  Yes, but no one knows the network is there. If someone is smart enough to be looking for non-broadcasting wi-fi networks and finding yours, then they are sophisticated enough to defeat your normal security protocols anyway. Maybe if Apple ever decides to fix this problem, which appears they might not be interested in doing, then you could go back to normal security protocols. But until then, this works wonderfully. Give it a try and see.

  • arrwhdtim Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I can't remember offhand, but I know it is somewhere within the Airport Utility program under the base station setup.  I thought you you chose a 'no security' option (as opposed to WEP or WEP-2) and then left the password field blank.  I think I got some sort of warnings about not having any security set up.  Sorry, that is all I can remember.  I'd go into the Airport Utility and see what I did but everything is working so darn well that I am afraid to open the utility and possible screw up something that is fine for now.


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