AirPort Utility 5.6.1 on OS X 10.9 Mavericks

To download AirPort Utility v5.6.1 for OS X 10.9 Mavericks, scroll to the bottom of this post.

A New, Simple Solution

A few days ago, I posted a workaround to get AirPort Utility v5.6.1 working under OS X 10.9 Mavericks (old post, infra, under “Old Post”). That workaround involved renaming or replacing a system file and then launching AirPort Utility via Terminal. Now, that solution still works (and is included in the collapsed “Old Post” section, infra) but it was far from ideal. Most users would prefer not to have to alter or replace system files (even if the replacement is simply an older version of the same file from Apple), so I continued looking at the problem. Today, I am posting a better solution.

AirPort Utility v5.6.1 on OS X 10.9 Mavericks

As I stated in the previous version of this post, the issue with AirPort Utility v5.6.1 under OS X 10.9 Mavericks is that a system file upon which AirPort Utility relies was updated in 10.9 and that update broke backwards compatibility with AirPort Utility v5.6.1. The file in question is Apple80211 in /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/A. Replacing this file with the older version allows AirPort Utility v5.6.1 to be run under 10.9, but only via Terminal (i.e., double-clicking it will not launch it, it will throw an error).

However, there is a way to get around this issue by importing the older library into AirPort Utility v5.6.1 before running it. That is what the new solution, downloadable, infra, does.

Usage Notes

Note: you can bypass having to go into System Preferences, detailed infra, by simply right-clicking (or control-clicking) on the Launcher and then clicking “Open” from the pop-up menu instead of double-clicking to open it.

I have not signed this application (i.e., AirPort Utility v5.6.1 as an “identified developer”. Consequently, you will almost certainly receive the following prompt when running the application (at least the first time):
AirPort 5.6.1 Launcher Warning

As long as the warning looks like the one I’ve given here as an example, everything is fine. Of course, once you click Open, Gatekeeper (OS X’s relatively new security feature) will identify the application as being from an “unidentified developer” and, unless you’ve changed the default settings, it will prevent the application from running.

In order to allow the application to run (and thereby to launch AirPort Utility v5.6.1), you will need to navigate to the Security & Privacy pane in System Preferences. Once there, you will see this notification under the General tab:

Security & Privacy Pane: AirPort 5.6.1 Launcher

Click the “Open Anyway” button. AirPort Utility 5.6.1 Launcher should run and launch AirPort Utility v5.6.1 without anymore work on your part. Additionally, future uses of the launcher should not require any of the foregoing steps (except running the launcher itself). n.b., any time you want to use AirPort Utility 5.6.1, you must launch it via the launcher application (i.e., AirPort 5.6.1 instead of by double-clicking on AirPort Utility 5.6.1; this is due to the fact that the launcher must inject the older version of the Apple80211 library or else AirPort Utility 5.6.1 cannot run under OS X 10.9 Mavericks.



Download AirPort Utility 5.6.1 for OS X 10.9 Mavericks

Please select either the *.zip version or the *.dmg version (they contain the exact same files):

Download “AirPort Utility 5.6.1 Launcher”

  • Filename:
  • Size: 13 MB
  • Downloaded: 27662 times
Download “AirPort Utility 5.6.1 Launcher (*.dmg)”

  • Filename:
  • Size: 11 MB
  • Downloaded: 37938 times

Every so often, the caching on my site decides to make these download links not work. I am working with my hosting provider and the plugin author to get this issue resolved; however, in the meantime, I have made available an alternative download source here. If you have trouble using both of these methods, please contact me directly.


16 October 2014: OS X Yosemite
17 Dec 2013: New Download-Management Plugin
09 Dec 2013
23 Nov 2013
01 Nov 2013
04 Nov 2013
12 Nov 2013: Linking to This Solution, Apple Support Communities, Downloading Software from Third Parties

Once downloaded, the zip should automatically expand (if it doesn’t, just double-click it to expand it manually) and create a folder entitled “AirPort Utility 5.6.1″, keep this folder. AirPort 5.6.1 Launcher.appAirPort Utility 5.6.1 and AirPort Utility are both included inside this folder. Whenever you want to use AirPort Utility v5.6.1, just run the launcher either by double-clicking it or via Spotlight. And that’s it, you now have a working version of AirPort Utility v5.6.1 under OS X 10.9 Mavericks.


Why not use a single application? / Why use a companion application?
How do I link to the Launcher on the Apple Support Communities? / Why did Apple remove my link from the Apple Support Communities?

Last Updated 11 Nov 2013


Download OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Version of Apple80211
Launcher Code

Old Information

Disclaimer for Older Version
No such file or directory error
Old Post

Now you can go back to managing your various AirPort products (e.g., AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express, and Time Capsule) without having to mourn the features missing from v6.3.


  1. Corey, I figured out what the problem is. One of your links (to the .dmg file) doesn’t work, it simply redirects users to the blog. The .zip files only include your wrapper, not the file itself. It was your Dropbox links that contained everything. Once I downloaded the .dmg from that link, it worked perfectly. In short, I had the wrong download.

    Just a suggestion, if you fix the main link to the .dmg file it would probably save a lot of grief. By the way, thank you for this, it really helped! You’re a lifesaver!

    • I’ve been working on getting the redirection issue addressed. There is some sort of conflict with my server caching and download-management plugin (which is why I added the Dropbox links). Glad it’s working for you.

  2. fantastic little utility Corey I have a bunch of older airport express stations
    they now hook into my dual band AC 1200 modem router, great to not have to junk otherwise perfectly capable hardware

  3. Thanks so much!! Worked like a charm!!

  4. dude you totally rock!

  5. Thank you! Great help!!!

  6. Thanks mate! Next beer is on me!

  7. thank you so much!!!!!!

  8. Thank You! It works perfect. I was bummed when our old router that we used for airplay stopped working.

  9. Much appreciated. Thank you for your effort and kindness. Cheers.

  10. This is beyond great. Thanks kindly for all your hard work to make this issue so much simpler to deal with for all of us!
    Apple kind of botched this one and you really saved the day. Much appreciated!

  11. you are a legend. Thanks so much

  12. Thank you so much. Is there some way that I can pay you for this?

    • There is actually a small, green “$” in the footer of my site, and it leads to a PayPal donation page. I’m glad the Launcher helped you.

  13. For some reason on the new Yosemite os the launcher is not discovering my airports after doing a reset on them.

    Whenever I try to connect to the new airport network it starts the most recent update of the airport utility, but the older version in the launcher can not discover them for some reason.

    The app worked great before though I had configured my network before. Thanks for the great app.

    • Which sort of reset did you perform? If you haven’t already, I would recommend trying a factory default reset. If you are attempting to connect to the AirPort routers wirelessly, I would recommend trying to connect to them via Ethernet. Let me know how it goes.

  14. unfortunately the launcher does not show me the airport express basis… and when I want to launch the other file, it says it doe snot work on OS X 10.10 :-(

    • The other file in the download package is AirPort Utility v5.6.1, which cannot be run under OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion or later. The Launcher basically ‘fixes’ this by injecting an older version of a library that is needed by v5.6.1, thus allowing it to launch under newer versions of OS X. If you are not seeing the AirPort base station(s) when you use the Launcher, then there is most likely a connection issue between your Mac and the AirPort base station(s). The first thing you will want to try is a reset on the AirPort base station(s); if that doesn’t work, try connecting to the AirPort base station(s) with an Ethernet cable. If neither of these troubleshooting steps works, please let me know and we can work from there.

  15. Hello Corey,
    I just wanted to leave you a quick note to say thanks for this incredibly useful utility. I have two first gen Expresses and was heading towards insanity trying to find a way to configure and maintain them while my computers are running Mavericks and Yosemite.

    I appreciate your hard work and your generosity in sharing it!

  16. This totally worked. Thanks!
    I put a little $ in your paypal account using the $ link at the bottom of your site.

  17. This works great!!
    Thanks a lot for your help!

  18. Thanks for this, works perfectly on Yosemite with an old express….

  19. I have the same issue as Vaulthigh and Cyril; on Yosemite, I am able to launch AP Utility 5.6, but somehow the app doesn’t find my Airport Express (it does find my Airport Extreme). Haven’t tried it through ethernet, because I was able to borrow a Mac with Snow Leopard on it. Still a little frustrating though. Regardless, thanks for your work.

    • A factory default reset usually fixes discovery issues, and, as you suggested, connecting via Ethernet is usually a good troubleshooting step.

  20. Good bless you!!!
    Thank you very much. I can use my old Airport Express nowadays.

  21. Thank you so much for your work! Airport Utility fired right up and worked perfectly under Yosemite. You rock!!

  22. Hi Corey. I have the same issue where airport utility won’t see my Airport Express. The “new” airport utility does see it (it appears as New Airport Base Station – Airport Express when I click on the WIFI icon. Any thoughts? Thanks heaps!

    • I would recommend trying a factory default reset of the older AirPort Express unit first and then connecting to it via Ethernet. If that doesn’t work, there are a few other things to try.

  23. You are a genius. So many things do not work as intended. But this is elegant and simple. Boom! Perfect.

  24. Thank you for not dropping another technology that still works

  25. You Sir, are Awesome!

  26. Thank you so much. I just bought an used airport express for my HP that no longer supported by mavericks to print wirelessly and was almost about to get frustrated because the airport was not going to work as well.

  27. Thank you! Your launcher allowed me to reconfigure an old Airport Express station in Yosemite.

  28. This little thing works great on my MacBook Pro on Yosemite. Helps me to configure an older airport station. Thanks a lot.

  29. Worked perfectly. Thanks so much!

  30. Thanks so much! Really appreciate the work

  31. thanks

  32. Fantastic! Saving the universe one program at a time :) My headaches are over. Many thanks!

  33. Thanks for making this simple and painless! I sent you a beer ($2) to say thanks.

  34. thanks man. worked like a charm

  35. Thank you much for the launcher. Is there a trick to use the utility to join the airport express to an existing network?

    • Depending on what you are trying to accomplish, you will want to do one of the following:

      1. Configure the AirPort Express to “Extend a wireless network” or
      2. configure the AirPort Express to “Join a wireless network”

      Both of these options can be found under the Wireless tab in AirPort Utility. You’ll want to use the former configuration if you intend to use the AirPort Express to boost the range/signal strength of your wireless network, and you’ll want to use the latter if you simply intend to use the AirPort Express as a wireless bridge (i.e., use it as a wireless adapter for a device that does not support wireless networking but does have an Ethernet port).

      • Thank You for your quick reply! When I try to connect to my existing network, it doesn’t list my wireless network in the dropdown menu, when I add it manually, it wont connect on the restart. Am I missing a step?

        • I would highly recommend performing a factory default reset and then reconfiguring the unit. It sounds like your configuration may have become corrupted. Does your computer experience these issues connecting to any other networks?

  36. Corey, thanks a million for doing this. It is tremendously helpful for this multiple old school airport express owner.

  37. a huge success on yosemite as well. thank you, corey!

    LG Jochen

  38. A million thousand times thank you!!

  39. Hi Corey– Thank you for creating this launcher. It worked perfectly for me in Mavericks. Unfortunately it’s no longer working for me after I upgraded to Yosemite this week. I am able to launch the Airport Utility 5.6.1 using your launcher but once 5.6.1 is open it doesn’t recognize any of my Airport Expresses (new or old) even after resetting them all. Is it still working for you with Yosemite’s latest version 10.10.1? Thanks again for creating this launcher.

    • Have you attempted physically connecting the AirPort Express(es) to the Mac you are using to configure them? It seems connecting via an Ethernet cable fixes most connectivity issues in this sort of situation.

      • Hi Corey– Thanks for the excellent tip. I connected my first generation Airport Express directly to my Mac via an Ethernet cable and it showed up in the Airport Utility immediately (allowing me to configure the Express). Very much appreciate the utility launcher and successful suggestion. Thanks!

    Like others, I couldn’t get the old APX to show up as an available SSID. Apple was recognizing it and pushing it into that special setup category which only uses the new tool. The last time I used this great tool a while back, I had a iMac, but today I found myself with only a Macbook Air with no LAN port. The simple solution was to find and connect to the SSID from the terminal instead:

    List SSIDs:
    /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/A/Resources/airport scan

    networksetup -setairportnetwork en0 “Apple Network 73d063″
    (replace the SSID with whatever yours is, but probably similar to this.)

    You can then move forward with this tool. Works great!


  42. Thank you so much for taking the time to create this!!!

  43. Thank you Corey!!!



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