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How to reset your Philips Hue smart bulb

You'll need the Hue app or the manual method for a "true" reset.

Published onJanuary 15, 2024

Philips Hue is perhaps the best-known brand in smart lighting, with a reputation for reliability thanks to its Zigbee-based hub technology. Even Hue bulbs need to be reset every now and then however, whether for troubleshooting or to be handed to a new owner. There are alternate approaches based on your smart home setup.


To reset through the Philips Hue app:

  1. First select the Settings tab, then Lights.
  2. Choose the bulb you want to reset.
  3. Hit the red Delete button. You'll have to set the bulb up again to use it.


How to reset your Philips smart bulb in the Hue app

Whenever possible, this is the process to use, since it’s a true reset guaranteed to unlink a bulb from your Hue account and your Hue Smart Hub (a.k.a Hue Bridge). Don’t worry though — you can re-pair your bulb the same way you set it up initially.

To reset a bulb through the Hue app:

  • Open the Settings tab.
  • Select Lights, then the name of the bulb you’re trying to reset.
  • Hit the red Delete button towards the bottom of the screen. You’ll be asked to confirm.

If your Hub is offline or missing for whatever reason, you can still reset a bulb manually. Make sure it’s in a powered light fixture, then flip the fixture’s on/off switch five times, waiting about 10 seconds between each flip. You may need to clear out devices in the Hue app if and when your Hub is back up.

How to reset your Philips Hue bulb in the Alexa app

If you have Hue products, chances are you’re using them with a third-party platform like Amazon Alexa. Resetting a bulb in the Hue app may scrub it from Alexa, but there’s a chance it won’t, and sometimes you may only want something gone from that platform, not elsewhere. Follow these steps:

  • Open the Alexa app and select the Devices tab.
  • Tap All Lights in the carousel up top, then the name of the bulb you’re trying to reset.
  • Tap the gear icon in the upper right.
  • Use the trash can icon to delete the accessory. You’ll be asked to confirm.

Note that if you reset a bulb this way, it may show up again if you ask Alexa to scan for new devices and it hasn’t been removed from the Hue app.

How to reset your Philips Hue bulb in the Google Home app

The only way to remove bulbs in Google Home is by unlinking your Philips Hue account, which scrubs every Hue light from the app, not just something giving you trouble. Lights will reappear if you reconnect your account, assuming you haven’t deleted them in the Hue app since.

To unlink Hue from Google Home:

  • From the app’s homescreen, tap Settings.
  • Scroll down and select Works with Google.
  • Tap Philips Hue, then Unlink account in the pop-up.

Read more: How to choose the right light bulbs for your home

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