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How to factory reset your router
As the centerpiece of your network, your router is designed for you to set it and forget it. Like an air conditioner or microwave, it’s one of those devices that you only think about when it isn’t working. When your router does give you trouble, it might be tempting to go straight for a factory reset. But a far simpler procedure might do the trick, and there are steps to take before you begin. So if your router is slow, or if you’ve had unwanted guests on your network and you want to make sure they left nothing behind, read on for a review of what you need to consider before you factory reset your router.
Read more: How to update your router’s firmware
To factory reset your router, leave the router powered on and find the recessed reset button on the back (or bottom) of the router. Use a paper clip to hold the reset button for 30 seconds. Wait two minutes for the router to restart, and set a new name and password for the network.
JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS
How to restart your router
- Unplug the router. If your modem is separate from your router, unplug that as well. Wait 60 seconds.
- Plug the modem back in (if it is separate). Wait another 60 seconds.
- Plug the router back in. Wait 120 seconds.
- Test to see if the problem is solved by using the device that caused you to suspect your network was at fault.
Things to know before factory resetting your router
The reason you want to reboot your router before resorting to a factory reset is that it resets everything, including all the personalizations you added when you set it up. Your router username and password, the Wi-Fi network name (SSID) and password, and any customized settings will all be lost. The username and password will revert to the factory listed on the back (sometimes the bottom) of the router. You will also have to change the settings on all the devices that connect to your network, and you should not use the same information again to save a step here, because that would defeat the security advantage you gain by resetting your router.
How to factory reset your router
Reconfiguring your router
Once the reset is complete, you will need to reconfigure your router using its online control page. You reach this control page by entering its IP address in any web browser. You can find the IP address of your router in the network settings of your computer. Look for IP address or Default gateway and copy the number string given into a web browser. You will need to log in to use your online controls, but you have reset the router, so your username and password have reverted to their factory defaults. The default login information can be found on the back or the bottom of the router itself.
Once you have access to the controls, you can set a new router username and password, and give your Wi-Fi network a name (also called an SSID, which can stay the same as it was) and a new password (definitely not the same one as before). As usual, write the login information somewhere secure but handy, as each of your network-dependent devices — computers, phones, TVs — will have to have their saved login information updated.
Some router manufacturers who do not require the pushing of the physical reset button to reset the router will provide an online factory reset button. This is convenient if you are not at home, or if your router is inside a media closet and difficult to reach. Using either method, resetting your router will usually solve problems of slow or no performance, and get rid of any router malware you may have picked up as well.
Read more: How to change or reset your router password
Yes, you can, unless your particular router requires the use of the physical reset button as a security measure. If this is not the case, then you can factory reset your router from anywhere you have an internet connection. You will need the public IP address, network name, and password of the router in order to gain access to its online controls.
Yes, it will, unless your security system has cellular or some other form of backup.
No, you do not, because an app’s password is checked by the server operating the app, and not your router. If you had the Wi-Fi password saved on your phone under your Wi-Fi settings, you will have to update this after factory resetting your router.