Why is my AirPort light orange? Could be as simple as a firmware update

Sometimes you’ll see that the light on your AirPort Extreme, Time Capsule, or Express is orange or amber instead of the reassuring green. This could mean any number of things:

  • it’s booting up
  • it has a configuration error or warning
  • your internet connection is down
  • it’s overheating
  • a firmware update is available

If this is a recent problem there is a very good chance that it’s the firmware update that Apple quietly released a few days ago. To check it out open AirPort Utility (in Applications/Utilities, or click the Spotlight magnifying glass near your clock to do a search). iOS users can download the app. If you are connected to your local network you should see all of your AirPorts on a map. Click the device in question and enter your password if needed (this may or may not be the same as your WiFi password). Now you should see an explanation of why you have an orange light. For firmware updates, you’ll see an “Update” button. For configuration warnings you can click the orange item to bring up a menu to ignore it or for more information.

Apple rarely releases updates for their AirPort devices, so this caught many people by surprise. The current firmware is 7.6.7 for Wireless-N devices and 7.7.7 for Wireless-AC. This update has some bug fixes, and most importantly improves the performance for those who use multiple AirPorts as extenders.

AirPort Utility showing that the WAN ethernet cable is unplugged