When Base Stations and iPhones disagree

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Reader Janet Baylor’s iPhone doesn’t see eye-to-eye with her AirPort Base Station. She writes:

Whenever I try to log into my home AirPort Extreme Base Station with the password that I’ve been using for almost a year, I’m told that I’ve entered the wrong password. I’ve used AirPort Utility to check my security settings and have even reset the password but it still doesn’t work. Stranger still, my Mac has no problem connecting to the Base Station with this password. Is my phone haunted?

Thankfully, no. More likely is that your Base Station is confused. Try this:

1. On the iPhone, open Settings, tap Wi-Fi, locate your Airport network on the Wi-Fi Networks screen, tap the blue > icon, and at the top of the screen tap Forget This Network.

2. Move over to the Base Station and pull out its power cord.

3. Pick up your iPhone again, return to the Settings screen, and tap General.

4. Scroll to the bottom of the General screen and tap Reset. Confirm that you want to do this when prompted.

5. Tap Reset Network Settings. Wait while your iPhone restarts.

6. Shove the power cord back into the Base Station and wait for it to come back to life.

7. On your iPhone, return to the Settings screen, tap Wi-Fi, and try to log into your network. My fervent hope is that your iPhone will now be more than happy to join your network.

This has happened to me as well as to some individuals participating in an exchange on Apple’s Discussion forums. It appears that the Base Station can get confused and refuse to recognize perfectly good passwords sent by iOS devices. Briefly depriving it of life-giving electricity compels it to change its ways.

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