hard reset Apple Airport Express

Hard Reset an Apple Airport Express

Once upon a time, in order to connect to the internet, you needed an Ethernet cable to connect your computer to your modem. From there, you needed a telephone cable to connect your modem to the world. Thanks to Wireless Internet, nowadays you need not worry about cables and can get rid of them, but still can enjoy the internet. Wireless Internet has practically become ubiquitous and devices like Apple Airport Express have increased their utility.

Apple Airport Express is a device that lets one connect to the wireless internet as well as stream multimedia flawlessly; it can even add wireless connectivity to any other device, such as a gaming console with no wireless card.

However, like any other electronic device, Apple Airport Express can show erratic behavior sometimes. To take care of these issues, we need to reset it back to its original state. To do that, Apple provides us with reset options.

Three types of resets are available with the Apple Airport Express:

  • Soft Reset – performed when you forget the base station password.
  • Hard Reset – used when the device stops responding or has network accessibility issues (note: saved profiles are not deleted).
  • Factory Default Reset – used when the device needs to be returned to its factory default settings. Saved profiles will be deleted.


Facts you should know before a hard reset

  • Hard reset deletes all settings present in the device but spares the saved profiles.
  • The deleted settings include Access Control and Radius Settings.
  • The device needs to be connected to a power source during the process.


How to Hard Reset Apple Airport Express

Follow these steps to successfully reset the Apple Airport Express.

  • The RESET button is present on the external part of the device’s body. Push and hold that button.
  • Do not let go of the button until you see the continuous rapid flash of the red LED. It should start flashing within 5 seconds of pressing the RESET button.
  • Release the button. The device should be reset.



  • Sometimes the light flashes green a few times before the device restarts.
  • You will not be able to see or use the Airport Express in the Airport menu and Airport Admin Utility.
  • The process requires about 45 seconds to complete.
  • After the process has finished, you may use the device. Reload the saved file and reconfigure the profile by Airport Express Assistant or Airport Admin Utility.
  • After reset, Airport Express sets the below mentioned settings:
    • Request IP address by DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol).
    • Base station password is changed to “public”.
    • Base station name is changed to “Base Station XXXXXX” where XXXXXX stands for the last digits of the wireless MAC address.
    • Network name becomes “Apple Network XXXXXX” where XXXXXX stands for the last digits of the wireless MAC address.

Note that there is no reason to believe that a hard reset may hamper the life of the Apple Airport Express. It merely changes of the state of the device software, hence carries no threat to the device’s life.

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