AirPort Extreme showing 'Device Not Found'? Here's a fix

If you've had an AirPort Extreme for a while, and recently (within the past year or two) had it go missing from your network (when you open AirPort Utility you get 'Device Not Found'), there's a good chance you ran into the same issue I did. Basically, everything was running great, then one day around August 2016, my Extreme disappeared from the network—even though it was routing Internet traffic for all the devices in my house just as good as ever!

The fix?

  1. Open AirPort utility (it will likely show "Device Not Found").
  2. Unplug your AirPort Extreme, and wait 10 seconds.
  3. Plug it back in, and connect to the WiFi network as soon as possible, then immediately go to the AirPort Utility.
  4. The AirPort should appear and be manageable (by clicking on it) for a brief period—quickly click on it, click Edit, then clear out any Apple IDs in the 'Back to My Mac' section.

AirPort Extreme Back to My Mac Apple ID listing

It seems there's a bug in at least the 7.7.7 and 7.7.8 firmware revisions that causes the AirPort Extreme to become unmanageable (though still functional as a router) if you sign into one of your Apple IDs to use Back to My Mac :/

See related MacWorld article: Does your AirPort Extreme Base Station work but is unreachable via AirPort Utility?.

Comments

This worked for me -- thank you so much for posting it

Brilliant!

This fixed my issue today that was keeping me from updating my Airport Extreme to fix the KRACK vulnerability.

Thanks.

AMAZING!!! HOURS WASTED WATCHING YOUTUBE VIDS SEARCHING FOR AN ANSWER AND IT WAS RIGHT HERE!!! THANKS A MILLION!!!

I am having this exact problem, but none of my airports have anything in the Back to My Mac field. So this is not the fix I need. I have several Airport Extremes (7.7.9) and Expresses (7.6.9), and they keep just coming and going from my Airport utility screen. This started in November 2017. Any thoughts. The screen shots are exactly like yours in the linked article from 2016.

I am having the same problem

So do I. Any thoughts?

Thank you.

Thank you so much! This worked on my time capsule running 7.7.7. In my case, I could get to the settings by going to File > Configure Other. And then entering the router's IP address and password. Then once in the setting menu, I could delete my iTunes account out of the Back to My Mac spot. Hit update, router re-started and instantly the Airport Utility could recognize the router right from the user interface.
THANK YOU!

I had that "device not found" error in my AirPort Time Capsule. But just powering it off and on seemed to fix the problem for me. I didn't have any entries in the Back to My Mac section. Very annoying, but glad everything came back to normal after that power on/off cycle.

No spurious IDs but turning it off and turning it on again worked. ;)

Thanks - for once an online solution worked for me! Appreciate your post.

I have the same problems on my Airport TC.
Switching off / switching on only partially helps. After a few days, the problem is again.

Does anyone have any ideas yet?

I read that you should use IPV6 local only on Mac and TC.

Same for me! Works for a few days then the problem is back again... No Apple IDs under the BTMM section.

Just happened to my TC as well....nothing in BTMM. However, I noticed a firmware update button and updated from 7.7.9 to 7.9.1. No issues yet after the update.