Previous 1 2 Next 20 Replies Latest reply: Jan 25, 2014 2:50 PM by Acberton
gmermel Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Updated to Utility v 6.3.


My airport express is visible in the utility, but I cannot change the configuration because "this version of airport utility does not support this express".


I have not used the express in quite a while. Will firmware updates fix this? 


Apparently, I need to access the express in order to do firmware updates.  Which takes us back to the first problem, which is the Utility will not allow access to the express.


Catch 22.......

Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • Shawn Grinter 2 Level 3 Level 3 (950 points)

    I had the same issue but just pressed continue and despite the warning it worked OK - do you have the continue option or does it flatly refuse?




  • gmermel Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    It flat out refuses......Persnickety little app, huh?

  • Joseph Kriz Level 5 Level 5 (5,050 points)

    Sounds like you have an older Express unit that is b/g only and not n.

    If you are running 6.3 firmware, I don't think you can go any further.


    According to the Apple specs on the new version, 7.6.3, you need to have the newer Airport Express that support b/g/n.

    See this Apple doc:

  • gmermel Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Can I revert to an earlier version of the airport utilityand have it access this express?


    I am on mountain lion.

  • John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (42,240 points)

    You must have an older 802.11b/g model Express. AirPort Utility 5.6 is the last version capable of administering it. That version is compatible with Lion as well as Mountain Lion, however, the installer app will refuse to install it on Mountain Lion.


    This dilemma is easily solved though. You simply need to extract the app from the installer package using a package extractor like Pacifist or unpkg. Pacifist is shareware, unpkg is free.


    Download Pacifist here:


    Download unpkg here:


    Download AirPort Utility 5.6 here:


    When the AirPort Utility .dmg file finishes downloading, open it to expand and reveal the AirPortUtility56.pkg package installer file.



    Directions for Pacifist (I don't have screenshots for unpkg but it is similar):


    Open Pacifist and from its File menu, navigate to the package and open it.


    Click the "reveal triangles" until you see AirPort Utility



    Screen Shot 2013-01-08 at 3.35.25 PM.png



    Select it and then click Install from Pacifist's toolbar. It will then be installed in your Utilities folder, and you can quit Pacifist.



    Mountain Lion will not allow you to delete its existing version of AirPort Utility. Just ignore it. It and the older version (which will bear the unique name "AirPort Utility 5.6") can peacefully coexist.


    If you happen to have an archived copy of the AU 5.6 app somewhere, such as a Time Machine backup or equivalent, you can simply restore it or drag the app to your Mountain Lion system's Utilities folder instead of resorting to the above procedure. It will run without complaint. It is only the package installer that is the problem.

    If you have an older computer with a version of AirPort Utility earlier than 6.0, you can administer it that way as well.

  • Ian Blackburn Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Wait. The older-model Airport Express is flat-out not supported any longer (at least not without jumping through hoops to extract the older Airport Utility)? What are we supposed to do, throw them away? They're still perfectly good APs.


    I understand Apple's position of not supporting old stuff forever, but this is ridiculous. It's bad enough that Apple APs need a proprietary, standalone app instead of a browser-based management interface in the first place.



  • John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (42,240 points)

    Ian Blackburn wrote:


    Wait. The older-model Airport Express is flat-out not supported any longer


    Not correct. The original AirPort Express - the one introduced nine years ago, and discontinued six years ago, is still supported. Throwing yours away would be ill-advised.


    Just like some older Macs that continue to work perfectly well, certain features are not compatible with Mountain Lion. If you want to use those newer features, newer hardware is required. Such is the nature of computing.

  • Ian Blackburn Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    When Airport Utility says, "Airport Utility does not support this Express," I'm going to consider it unsupported.


    And there's no reason you shouldn't be able to configure an older Express on Mountain Lion. You can configure it on Mountain Lion, as you point out above, if you're willing to fire up Pacifist. Not supporting it in the ML Airport Utility is a completely arbitrary decision on Apple's part.


    What feature of a nine-year-old Express is "incompatible" with ML?

  • gmermel Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)


    Would you summarize what is and what is not available on the 1st gen express?  My need is for network extension which is not.  I think that it is capable of USB printing and ethernet sharing?


    Your point about obsolescence and hardware is a good one.


    I suggest that Apple should post this type of event as a knowledge base article.  I have spent a few hours troubleshooting/searching forums etc. only to initially learn that I needed Airport Utility 5.6 for access.  I then had to start the process all over again to learn that I couldn't extend the network with the hardware in the first place.


    You were the one that provided me with the answers. It shouldn't be your job, or frankly Apple should hire you for your expertise and pay you to wrangle the forums.

  • John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (42,240 points)

    gmermel wrote:


    Would you summarize what is and what is not available on the 1st gen express?


    The limitations of the first generation Express include no 802.11n capability whatsoever, meaning it is incapable of "wirelessly extending" a network. Being a single band unit, 5 GHz is not available either. These limitations were not significant when wireless networks were less common, and when wireless devices such as the iPhone and iPad did not exist at all.


    The anticipated prevalence of these devices meant 2.4 GHz 802.11b/g networking was bound to face significant challenges, which can quickly become insurmountable in all but remote areas. Today just about everyone has an iPhone as well as several other wireless devices, and every home has its own wireless network blasting away at the limit of its wireless power. In urban areas 2.4 GHz 802.11b/g can be nearly useless, as if everyone is playing their stereos with the volume cranked up to eleven. If you could hear Wi-Fi, the cacophony would be deafening. It's amazing it works at all.


    I suggest that Apple should post this type of event as a knowledge base article.


    I anticipate that we will see such assistance in some form in the near future.


    The wireless spectrum, being the truly limited natural resource it is, means a panacea for such challenges is not forthcoming. There are ways to cope with them though, such as using 5 GHz to the maximum practicable extent, and transitioning to dual-band AirPort Base Stations where feasible.

  • John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (42,240 points)

    Ian Blackburn wrote:


    What feature of a nine-year-old Express is "incompatible" with ML?


    AirPlay is one of Mountain Lion's more attractive features. It requires firmware that the original Express cannot run. Also, Back to My Mac will not work using an original Express as your router. More enhancements and features are likely to be available in the future. Only Apple can know the reasons the first generation Express is inadequate for them, and it's pointless to speculate what they may be since the original Express will still be inadequate.


    There is nothing wrong with a nine year old Mac either, or a nine year old TV, or anything else for that matter, but there are some things they simply cannot do. That does not mean they are useless. They still do everything they were designed for. Use them until they become too inconvenient for you not to. It's up to you to decide if having to use Pacifist or Unpkg to install AirPort Utility 5.6 is too inconvenient.

  • williamfromames Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I am wondering if there is a broader issue with Airport Utility 6.3 for some users.  I allowed the update.  Now, the utility at 6.3 does not recognize either my Airport Extreme base station or my Express which is cascaded off the base.  The previous version (6.2) worked just fine.  When I start the utility, it sees there is an internet connection but just searches forever for the devices.  Airport on my Macbook Pro continues to work.

  • rwross1776 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Anyone happen to know if there is/will be an update to Airport Utility 5.6 for it to support the New Airport Extreme A/C?


    I really hate that 6.X Utility since it doesn't provide all the diagnostic and logging tools that are available in the 5.X branch of the Utility.

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (92,250 points)

    Anyone happen to know if there is/will be an update to Airport Utility 5.6 for it to support the New Airport Extreme A/C?


    Apple Support tells me that there will be no changes to AirPort Utility 5.6.

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