Setting up and using Back to My Mac with an AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme, or AirPort Time Capsule
Learn how to use Back to My Mac to remotely manage or access files stored on an AirPort Extreme or AirPort Time Capsule with a connected hard drive; or to remotely manage an AirPort Express.
Requirements for using Back to My Mac with AirPort base stations
- AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme, or AirPort Time Capsule
- A compatible external USB hard drive* connected to AirPort Extreme for remote file access (an external USB hard drive may optionally be used with AirPort Time Capsule for additional storage)
- Latest AirPort Firmware installed
- AirPort Utility 6.3 or later
- An iCloud account
- OS X Lion v10.7.5 or later, or OS X Mountain Lion
* AirPort Express does not support external storage 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 AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme, or AirPort Time Capsule for Back to My Mac
- Make sure you are on the same local area network as the AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme, or AirPort Time Capsule that you wish to configure.
- For OS X: In the Finder, choose Utilities from the Go menu, then open AirPort Utility. (You should be using AirPort Utility v6.3 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 base station password if prompted (not your iCloud password).
- Select the Base Station tab.
- Enter your iCloud user name and password in the Back to My Mac section. You should see a green status indicator.
- Click Update to save your changes.
Note: If you do not see AirPort base stations 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 AirPort Time Capsule or AirPort Extreme external USB hard disk can I access via Back to My Mac?
You can access any file that you have copied to your AirPort Time Capsule's internal hard drive or a USB hard drive attached to your AirPort Extreme. 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 AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme, or AirPort 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 AirPort base station when you don't have direct LAN access to it. AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme, and AirPort Time Capsule base stations support the following features via Back to My Mac.
|AirPort Time Capsule||
Can Time Machine remotely back up or restore data from AirPort 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 AirPort Time Capsule, you should do so while directly connected to your AirPort Time Capsule's local network.
How can I access an external USB hard drive that's connected to AirPort Time Capsule or AirPort Extreme via Back to My Mac?
If you can access your AirPort Time Capsule or 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?
If you wish to print to a printer connected to your AirPort Time Capsule, AirPort Extreme, or AirPort Express, you should do so via a local area network connection.
How can I use AirPort Utility to access an AirPort base station via Back to My Mac?
Back to My Mac will automatically connect you to your 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 base station 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 base station, please see the appropriate setup guide. As mentioned previously, you should also confirm that your AirPort base station has the latest firmware version installed.