Downgrading Your Airport Firmware Is Dead Easy — And May Help Fix Connectivity Troubles



According to the denizens of the Internet, the Airport Extreme you have sitting in your hallway or – nerd! – in your bedroom might be experiencing dropout. According to Marco “I just sold [x]” Arment of Instapaper fame, this problem might have something to do with the latest 7.6.3 firmware. The good news? Downgrading is stupidly easy.

I have been having some weird issues with the network in my apartment since the update. The most noticeable is that AirPlay speakers drop out regularly whereas in the past I never had any problem. I also share Marco’s problem of connectivity just dropping off – the signal is still full strength, but the internet just disappears.

To downgrade (assuming this is what actually fixes the problem), just fire up AirPort Utility on your Mac or iOS device (yup – Marco used his Mac but the iPad works too), click the troublesome router (mine’s a Time Capsule) and option-click the version number. You’ll see a popover with previous firmware versions to choose from. Pick the next latest (7.6.1 on my install) and follow along. And (hopefully) wave goodbye to crappy Wi-Fi.

If you don’t have a Mac, you can do the same from the AirPort Utility on iOS. Tap the router, tap the version and choose from the "“Older Versions” in the list. I haven’t tried this yet as I’m in the middle of work, but if you don’t see an update to this post within an hour or two of posting, assume that all worked as it should.

If only it was as easy to roll back the iOS updates themselves.


  • jimlat

    I’ve had alot of issues with the 5ghz dropping out…full connection bars, but losing the internet connection…power cycling was the only solution…just downgraded and we’ll see what happens…great suggestion and dirt easy…

  • MacAdvisor

    What would REALLY be helpful is someway to downgrade the AirPort Utility itself so it could still administer older AirPorts. I don’t know what dumb F*** at Apple decided to drop that ability, but it was stupid beyond all reason. Some of us have rather extensive AirPort networks and they don’t always involve use of the latest and greatest across the network.

    I am willing to be this fool is also the one that decided to drop AppleTalk, making about half my printers useless.

  • El_Vergatario