Setting up and using Back to My Mac with an AirPort base station or Time Capsule
Learn how to use Back to My Mac to remotely configure or access files stored on a Time Capsule or 802.11n-based AirPort Extreme with a connected hard drive; or to remotely configure an AirPort Express (802.11n-based).
AirPort Express 802.11n (1st Generation), AirPort Express 802.11n (2nd Generation), AirPort Extreme 802.11n (1st Generation), AirPort Extreme 802.11n (3rd Generation), Back to My Mac, Time Capsule 802.11n (2nd Generation), iCloud
Requirements for using Time Capsule or an 802.11n-based AirPort base station with Back to My Mac and the iCloud service
- Time Capsule, AirPort Express (802.11n), or AirPort Extreme (802.11n)
- A compatible, external USB hard drive* connected to AirPort Extreme (802.11n) for remote file access. (An external USB drive may optionally be used with Time Capsule for additional storage.)
- AirPort Firmware 7.6.1 or later
- AirPort Utility 6.0 or later (6.1 or later recommended)
- An iCloud account
- OS X Lion v10.7.3 or later (OS X Lion v10.7.4 recommended)
Note: AirPort Express does not support external drives via its USB port.
For a list of Back to My Mac requirements and general setup instructions, see using and troubleshooting Back to My Mac with your iCloud account.
How to set up your Time Capsule or 802.11n-based AirPort base station for Back to My Mac
- Make sure you are on the same local area network as the Time Capsule or 802.11n-based AirPort base station that you wish to configure.
- For Mac OS X: In the Finder, choose Utilities from the Go menu, then open AirPort Utility. (As mentioned, you should be using AirPort Utility 6.0 or later).
- Select your AirPort Base Station.
If the AirPort Base Station you wish to configure is not shown, click "Other AirPort Base Stations" and select the AirPort Base Station you wish to configure for use with Back to My Mac. This may require choosing a different Network Interface from the pop-up menu.
- Click Edit.
- Enter the Time Capsule or base station password if prompted (not your iCloud password).
- Click Base Station.
- Enter your iCloud user name and password in the Back to My Mac section. You should receive a green status indicator.
- Click Update to save your changes.
Note: If you do not see AirPort Devices or configured computers via Back to My Mac after following the above steps, you may need to troubleshoot Back to My Mac.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
What files on my Time Capsule or AirPort Extreme (802.11n)'s external USB hard disk can I access via Back to My Mac?
You can access any file that you have copied to your Time Capsule's internal hard drive or a USB hard drive attached to your AirPort Extreme (802.11n). Note: FAT16- and FAT32-formatted USB drives may not work with Back to My Mac.
What services are available via Back to My Mac?
With Back to My Mac you can connect to your 802.11n-based AirPort Base Station or Time Capsule from other computers that are configured to use Back to My Mac and your iCloud account. This provides a great way to interact with your Apple wireless device when you don't have direct LAN access to it. Time Capsules, and 802.11n-based AirPort Extreme and AirPort Express Base Stations, have the following features available via Back to My Mac.
|Time Capsule (any model)||
|AirPort Extreme (802.11n-based)||
|AirPort Express (802.11n-based)||
Can Time Machine remotely back up or restore data from Time Capsule or its attached hard drive via Back to My Mac?
Backing up or restoring Time Machine backups remotely (that is, via Back to My Mac and the Internet instead of your local network) is not recommended. If you want to back up or restore with Time Machine and Time Capsule, you should do so while directly connected to your Time Capsule's local network.
How can I access an external USB hard drive that's connected to Time Capsule or AirPort Extreme (802.11n) via Back to My Mac?
If you can access your Time Capsule or 802.11n-based AirPort Extreme Base Station via Back to My Mac, and you have AirPort disk File Sharing enabled, you should also be able to access a connected USB disk. The connected drive will appear in a Finder window sidebar under "Shared" when you are using them with Back to My Mac.
Can I print remotely via Back to My Mac?
Remote printing via Back to My Mac is not available. If you wish to print to a printer connected to your Time Capsule, AirPort Extreme (802.11n), or AirPort Express (802.11n), you should do so via a local area network connection.
How can I use AirPort Utility to configure a Time Capsule or AirPort Base Station via Back to My Mac?
Back to My Mac will automatically connect you to your Time Capsule or 802.11n-based AirPort Base Station if you are connecting from a network and computer that meet the Back to My Mac system requirements (see Using and troubleshooting Back to My Mac with your iCloud account).
To access your AirPort device remotely, simply open AirPort Utility, click on the "Other AirPort Base Stations" menu, and choose it from the "Remote AirPort Base Stations" section. You should be able to configure your AirPort device just as if you were accessing it from your local area network. For more information about configuring your AirPort device, please see the appropriate setup guide. As mentioned, your Time Capsule or 802.11n-based AirPort device should also have firmware version 7.6.1 or later installed.