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How to reset Apple Airport Extreme Time Machine Password

Posted on 2011-09-12
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
     1.      Attempts to reset apple Airport Extreme time machine password failed. Followed instructions below, but network was unavailable for few minutes, then returned expecting 'forgotten' password. I want to change password. How do I do this? Airport Extreme has 2 networks - Guest network is non-working one.
      
2.      Credentials; TIME CAPSULE 802.11N (3rd Generation), version 7.5.2
      
3.      1. While the device is plugged in, use the tip of a pen to press and hold down the reset button for a few [conflicting instructions: other Apple docs say no more this 1 sec - which I did] seco
nds. The device and network passwords are temporarily reset to “public.”
      
4.      Open AirPort Utility, located in the Utilities folder in the Applications folder on a computer using Mac OS X, and in Start > All Programs > AirPort on a Windows computer.
      

5.      Select the device you’ve reset, and then click Manual Setup. Enter the password if necessary. The default password is “public.”
      
6.      Click AirPort in the toolbar, and then click Base Station.
      
7.      Give the device a new password, and then click Update.
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Question by:MARSPATH
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tomago earned 2000 total points
ID: 36525371
You are just trying to reset the time capsule password and nothing else, correct?

If so, you just need to perform a soft reset.  The soft reset changes all the passwords for 5 minutes so you can go in a make changes.  This means you'll have to rejoin your wireless network after the soft reset since the password to get on the wireless is no longer the you have saved:

Soft reset

    Connect the AirPort Base Station or Time Capsule to power.
    Press and hold the reset button with a pen or pencil for 1 full second, then release it. The light (LED) will begin flashing amber, indicating that the AirPort Base Station or Time Capsule is in soft reset mode.
    From the AirPort menu bar item, choose the network created by the AirPort Base Station or Time Capsule (the network name does not change).
    Open AirPort Utility in Applications > Utilities on a Mac using Mac OS X, and in Start > All Programs > AirPort on a computer using Windows.
    Select the AirPort Base Station or Time Capsule and click Continue. (you want to select Time Capsule here)
    A window indicating that the device has been reset will appear.
    Select "Restore the previous settings" and select OK.
    Move through subsequent windows to make changes to your passwords or other settings as desired, clicking Continue after each one.
    When you have moved through all of the selection windows you will be able to select Update. Click Update to install the new settings.
    Click Continue to allow your AirPort Base Station or Time Capsule to restart.
    Quit AirPort Utility.
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Expert Comment

by:tomago
ID: 36525405
Forgot to mention that the passwords are changed to "public" only after a hard or factory reset.  The soft reset just disables the passwords and wireless security for 5min, allowing you to connect an make changes.
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