How to Reset a Router Back to the Factory Default Settings

by C. Taylor

A forgotten password that prevents configuration changes is one of the most common reasons to reset your router. However, a curious novice could easily experiment and make their router inoperative. Rather than using trial-and-error methods to change settings back, it might be easier to start from scratch. Resetting the router does just that. It erases all changes to the router and restores the default settings. Therefore, you should make a note of any changes you wish to use again before resetting the router.

Look on the back or underside of the router for a "Reset" button. This button is slightly recessed to prevent accidental activation.

Push the "Reset" button with a straightened paper clip or a pen and hold it for 10 seconds. Some routers may require up to 30 seconds. You'll know you've pushed long enough when the front lights begin blinking.

Unplug the router, wait for 30 seconds and plug it back in. This is unnecessary for some routers, but this forced reboot will not hurt anything. Some routers also suggest holding the "Reset" button while plugging the router back in, but this is only necessary if the reset failed.


  • All settings, including wireless security settings, port forwarding, router passwords and IP address, will be erased. Be sure to write down any information you may require when reconfiguring your router.

Items you will need

  • Paper clip or pen

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/ Images