Verify, repair, or erase an AirPort Time Capsule drive

If you want to make sure the built-in drive in your AirPort Time Capsule is working properly, you can use AirPort Utility to check it. If you're selling or giving away your AirPort Time Capsule, you can erase its built-in drive and restore it to factory settings.

Use AirPort Utility

Always use AirPort Utility to verify or erase the drive in your Airport Time Capsule instead of Disk Utility or other apps. Here's where you can find AirPort Utility:

On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

Download AirPort Utility for iOS from the App Store. If you've already installed AirPort Utility, check the Updates pane of the App Store to make sure you have the latest version.

On your Mac

AirPort Utility is included in the Utilities folder on your Mac. To make sure you have the latest version installed, use the Updates pane of the Mac App Store to check for software updates for your Mac. Then, open AirPort Utility from the Finder or Spotlight.

Verify an AirPort Time Capsule drive

Your AirPort Time Capsule automatically performs a file system check on its internal drive during startup. To verify the drive, use AirPort Utility to restart your AirPort Time Capsule. 

From a Mac

  1. Open AirPort Utility.
  2. Select your device. 
  3. If needed, click Enter Password, then enter your device password.
  4. Choose Base Station > Restart.

From an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

  1. Open AirPort Utility
  2. Select your device. 
  3. If needed, tap Enter Password, then enter your device password.
  4. Tap Edit > Advanced > Restart Base Station.

If your AirPort Time Capsule finds an issue that it can resolve, it repairs the file system of the drive. If it finds an issue it can't resolve, the LED on your AirPort Time Capsule flashes amber. Select your AirPort Time Capsule in AirPort Utility to learn more. 

Erase an AirPort Time Capsule drive

If you need to erase the drive in your AirPort Time Capsule, use AirPort Utility. Before you erase it, you can connect an external drive to the USB port on your AirPort Time Capsule to make a copy of your backup data. You can also create additional backups of your Mac to another drive using Time Machine.

These steps erase all of the data stored on the drive in your AirPort Time Capsule. Don't use these steps unless you're sure you no longer need this data.

From a Mac

  1. Join the Wi-Fi network your Time Capsule is connected to, or connect an Ethernet cable between your Mac and your AirPort Time Capsule.
  2. Open AirPort Utility.
  3. Select your AirPort Time Capsule in the AirPort Utility window.
  4. Click the Edit button that appears.
  5. In the Edit window, click the Disks tab.
  6. Select the AirPort Time Capsule drive that you want to erase.
  7. Click the Erase Disk button.

From an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

  1. Join the Wi-Fi network your Time Capsule is connected to.
  2. Open AirPort Utility.
  3. Select your AirPort Time Capsule.
  4. Tap Edit.
  5. Tap Advanced.
  6. Tap File Sharing and Disks.
  7. Make sure the correct drive is selected under Disk Name, then tap Erase Disk.
  8. Choose the option you want to use to erase the drive.

If you're selling or giving away your AirPort Time Capsule

Select the Quick Erase option to quickly mark the data stored on your AirPort Time Capsule drive as unneeded. If the data stored on the drive is sensitive, or if you're selling or giving away your AirPort Time Capsule, select one of the more secure options to erase the drive.

If you want to restore your AirPort Time Capsule to factory settings, choose Airport Utility > Restore Default Settings and follow the onscreen prompts. This removes any network passwords or other setup information stored on your AirPort Time Capsule. 

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