How to find my Airport Express password?
May 20, 2016 6:57 PM   Subscribe

I reinstalled system software on my Powerbook G4. Now I can't figure out my Airport Express password. I went to my Keychain and found my Base Station password. I tried it multiple times and it doesn't work. Any ideas what could be wrong? Thank you.
posted by holdenjordahl to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
When you say you are looking for your "Airport Express password" do you mean that you want the password to access your wifi network, or are you looking for the password to configure your AirPort Express base station? The base station password is the password used to change the settings of an Airport base station, it isn't necessarily the same as the password for accessing the wifi network broadcast by the base station.

The wifi network password will be in the keychain with a "Kind" of "AirPort network password".

If you've forgotten your passwords, you can always reset the base stations and then reassign new passwords. See "Resetting an AirPort base station FAQ" for instructions on how to reset an AirPort base station.
posted by RichardP at 7:21 PM on May 20, 2016

Thanks, RichardP.
I found the Base Station password that works on my iMac; but it's not working for the Powerbook. It was, before I reinstalled system software.
Might it have something to do with default version (it's an old computer) of the Airport Express utility? I thought I could update its software but then I realized, duh, I can't connect to the Internet. This is vexing. Any thoughts?
posted by holdenjordahl at 7:28 PM on May 20, 2016

Why can't you connect your Powerbook to the Internet? That sounds like your Powerbook is using the wrong AirPort network password, not the wrong Base Station password.
posted by RichardP at 7:36 PM on May 20, 2016

This is what's driving me crazy, Richard. I'm trying the Base Station password, which I found in Keychain. What I don't understand is what the AirPort network password even is. Is it my Verizon FIOS password? Am I even asking the right question here? Thank you.
posted by holdenjordahl at 8:32 PM on May 20, 2016

If I understand you correctly, both your iMac and your PowerBook used to access the internet via WiFi. Neither were using an ethernet connection. Correct? Your iMac is currently successfully using wifi, but your PowerBook fails to connect to your wifi network, right?

If that is the case, then in the Network control panel in System Preferences on your iMac the only "green" network should be Wi-Fi. If you click on this network it should show the "Network Name" of the WiFi network to which your iMac is connected. Then, on your iMac, open Keychain Access and type the network name into the search box in the upper right corner of the window. One password of type "AirPort network password" should be shown. Double click that password and then turn on the "Show Password" checkbox. That should show you the password for your WiFi network.

Now go to your PowerBook. In the Network control panel in System Preferences on your PowerBook, click on the the Wi-Fi network. Make sure Wi-Fi is turned on. Choose the same network from the Network Name menu as you saw on the iMac. When it tries to join enter the AirPort network password you are using on the iMac.
posted by RichardP at 8:45 PM on May 20, 2016

Hi Richard. (Thanks for sticking with this, I appreciate it.)
I did exactly as you said. I found the password for the network name, typed it into the Powerbook, and got this messsage: "There was an error joining the Airport network, "name of network."
This makes no sense. Why wouldn't the password that works for my desktop not work for my laptop, if both are on, or trying to get on, the same network...?
posted by holdenjordahl at 8:55 PM on May 20, 2016

You said you reinstalled the system software on your Powerbook G4. What version of OS X are you running on your PowerBook? If you open Airport Utility on your iMac and edit the configuration for your AirPort Express, what is the value of the "Wireless Security" menu in the "Wireless" tab? That is, is it "WPA/WPA2 Personal", "WPA2 Personal", or something else?
posted by RichardP at 9:51 PM on May 20, 2016

Why not just reset the password to the device entirely?
posted by filmgeek at 2:45 AM on May 21, 2016

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