10 Replies Latest reply: Aug 23, 2014 6:46 AM by Bob Timmons
jphil7747 Level 1 (0 points)

I have an Airport Extreme Base station (purchased in 2009) and an Airport Express base station (purchased in 2011 - the model that plugs directly into the electrical outlet) (both version 7.6.1 according to the Airport Utility info).  I want to use the Airport Express to extend my wireless network.  Using Airport utility setup I have a software option on the Airport Express to set it up to extend the network but I do not have an option on the Airport Extreme wireless setup screen that I can check to allow my wireless network to be extended. 


All of the documentation I can find on Apple Support states that I should have an option I can check to allow the wireless network to be extended while in the wireles setup section for the Airport Extreme in Airport Utility; but, that check option isn't there.  Is this a case of my Airport Extreme base station being too old to offer that option?  Incidentally, when I try to select the extend wireless network option on the Airport Express from the Airport Utility wireless setup menu I get an error message (no details - just an error message).  The same Airport Express sets up fine if I select join a network (not what I want to do).  Am I just dealing with outdated equipment or does anyone have a suggestion?  Thanks.

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 (98,349 points)
    All of the documentation I can find on Apple Support states that I should have an option I can check to allow the wireless network to be extended while in the wireles setup section for the Airport Extreme in Airport Utility; but, that check option isn't there.


    You are likely looking at older documentation, which would not apply to AirPort Utility in Lion or Mountain Lion.


    No doubt, you are using Lion or Mountain Lion on your Mac, correct?


    If yes, post back for more instructions.

  • jphil7747 Level 1 (0 points)

    I am using the latest version of Mountain Lion on an iMac.

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 (98,349 points)

    Close AirPort Utility if it is open.


    Temporarily, move the Express to the same general area as your AirPort Extreme and power it up and wait a minute.


    Hold in the reset button on the Express for 9-10 seconds and then release. Give the Express a full minute to restart to a slow, blinking amber light.


    Click the AirPort icon at the top of the Mac's screen and wait a few seconds for a listing of New AirPort Base Station to appear


    Click on AirPort Express just below that and AirPort Utility will automatically open



    Start Config Process.png


    Wait a minute while AirPort Utility analyzes the network and announces that the Express will be configured to "Extend" the AirPort Extreme network.


    Enter a device name for the AirPort Express and click Next


    Wait another minute to allow the configuration to occur.


    When you see the Setup Complete message, click Done.


    Now move the Express to a location that is approximately half the distance from the AirPort Extreme and the general area that needs more wireless coverage


    Power up the Express and you are all set.  Trash those old instructions.

  • jphil7747 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks, Bob.  This worked great - I can see the difference on my iphone in areas I was trying to improve.

  • Jonathan Bonesteel1 Level 2 (295 points)

    I am having a heck of a time getting my AExpress (bought today, current rev) to extend my Airport Extreme v2.  I thought it best to comment on this thread rather than open a new one.


    I have done all of the set up procedures described in the manual and in this post multiple times and I seem to always end up with a flashing yellow on the AExpress.


    I have set the AExtreme so that it may be extended and I have reset the AExpress numerous times.


    My network is an unsecured.  Does that matter?


    Screen Shot 2012-11-13 at 6.17.08 PM.png

  • Smorgie Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks, Bob!   These instructions worked perfectly for me and I was able to extend my existing wireless network (Time Capsule as the base station and Airport Extreme as the "extended" station").

  • JBonesteel Level 1 (0 points)

    My problem (since resolved) was that the AE is somewhat sensitive as far as its ethernet/network wired port is concerned.  The connection I was using had previously run a networked printer on the same network without issue.  I connected the AE to the same Cat5 cable and the AE would not obtain an IP.  As soon as i tried another in the house it worked fine.  Wish I would have tried that first.

  • Scubadam1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Worked great thanks!

  • profwaw Level 1 (0 points)

    Bob:  I, too, am trying to extend my wireless network using an Apple Express.  My main base station is a Time Capsule connected via ethernet to my Mac-mini.  The wireless signal from the router works great except in the far end of the house where it drops off and the iPads drop connectivity.  Thus, I wanted to use the Express to extend the signal a bit further.  I followed your instructions but when I select Airport Express under the new base station tab on the wireless icon and Airport Utility begins to analyze the network, i get a message that says "An unexpected error occurred.  Try again later."  Of course I've tried again later, several times.  All to no avail.  The Airport Express is new, I reset it before attempting to connect and it has a slow blinking amber light.  My Time Capsule has a solid green light and all my other devices are connecting.  If I try to get to the Express through the graphical representation of the network by selecting the Express from the "other wi-fi devices" tab in the upper left hand corner I can see the Express, but I get the same error message when I click on it.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 (98,349 points)

    This thread has been inactive for 8 months, and your problem is not related to the topic of this post.


    Please start a new thread with a title of something like "AirPort Express -- Unexpected Error During Setup", and be sure to include information on what operating system you are running on the device that you are using to try to set up the AirPort Express.