I have a MacBook Air (mid 2011) running OS 10.7.5. Last month I bought a new Time Capsule, and I would like to reformat/erase my old Time Capsule (about 5 years old) and give it to a friend. But right now, AirPort Utility cannot even find the old Time Capsule.

We wanted to test whether the old Time Capsule would work at all with my friend's ISP and Windows PC. We got them to talk to each other, but then we probably typed in something injudicious (an IP address, I think). Afterwards, we couldn't talk to the old Time Capsule with the PC, and now I can't talk to it with my MacBook either. When I use it directly as my wireless router, AirPort Utility no longer finds it - no Time Capsule icon at all, just a spinning wheel and a message saying it can't find anything but it will keep looking. (I never succeeded at locating the old Time Capsule when my new one was providing the wireless, even before we made things worse).

So the primary question is: what can I do to obtain any kind of access to my old Time Capsule - just enough to reformat it and start over? (There's no data on it that I need to care about.) Or can it be reformatted with some magic button press or paper clip insert on its own?

  • The old TC unit has a reset button located on the back that will restore it to the factory default settings. See support.apple.com/en-us/HT3728 This may allow you to reconfigure the unit.
    – douggro
    Nov 24, 2014 at 5:42
  • @douggro Thank you very much! If you want to turn your comment into an answer, I will happily accept it.
    – Greg
    Nov 29, 2014 at 21:16
  • Done, as requested. Guessing that did the trick for you; glad to have pointed you in the right direction. :)
    – douggro
    Nov 29, 2014 at 22:01

1 Answer 1


The Airport Express, Airport Extreme and Time Capsule units have a reset button located on the back that will restore the unit to factory default settings. See http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT3728 This will allow you to reconfigure the unit.

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