Most of the troubleshooting guides online cover how to connect or pair up powerline adapters, but sometimes users also want to actually uncouple/disconnect/reset powerline adapters that are already connected, so they can start all over again creating new powerline networks.
This is totally possible as well, and assuming your adapters don’t have an obvious reset/factory reset button allowing you to do this, here are the general steps for disconnecting/resetting paired powerline adapters:
- Press and hold the pair button on one adapter.
- Do this for 10-15 seconds.
- Wait until the LED’s go out or start flashing.
- Press and hold the pair button on the other one.
- The pair light should go out on both.
- Only the power light should be lit on each one.
- This means the adapters are reset/disconnected.
Of course different brands and models differ slightly, so let’s run through the different procedures for disconnecting and resetting powerline models so they can be re-configured from scratch.
Method #1 – Press the Reset Button If There is One
Some brands and models of powerline adapter make this pretty easy for you – they’ll actually have a reset/factory reset button clearly on each adapter. You just need to press this button (or sometimes press an hold it for 10-15 seconds), and it will initiate a full reset of the adapter, disconnecting it from all other adapters. You’ve now got the adapter as if it were brand new out the box, and you can re-connect it to other adapters as you wish.
See our guide on adding powerline adapters to a network, and also creating separate powerline networks on the same wiring, for more on re-connecting adapters from scratch.
In some cases, especially with older powerline models, the reset button will actually be a hole you need to push a safety pin or paperclip through. Again do this for about 10 seconds to initiate a full reset of the adapter, uncoupling it from other adapters on the network, so you can start fresh.
When you’ve successfully disconnected or uncoupled an adapter, it should ONLY be the power LED that is still lit on it. Most powerline adapters have 3 LEDs – one for power, one for pairing, one for network/data transfer. If the pair light is still on, it means it’s connected with another adapter. If only the power LED is on, it means the adapter is drawing off the power circuit, but not connected to any other adapter (this is what you want).
You need the pair light to go off to make sure adapters are disconnected/reset/uncoupled
Method #2 – Using The Pair Button To Reset/Disconnect Adapters
Some models don’t have an actual reset/factory reset button, like the TP Link models I use. They just have a pair button on each adapter, sometimes on the front and sometimes on the underside. You can also use these buttons to reset/disconnect/uncouple the adapters.
Here are the steps for this:
- If both adapters are currently connected, but not being used, then 2 LEDs should be lit – the power and pair lights.
- Press and hold the pair button on one adapter until the lights start flashing or going out. This may take 10-15 seconds. Keep hold of the pair button until something starts happening.
- Once it does, press and hold the pair button on the other adapter, again until something starts happening.
- Wait a few seconds. The LEDs may flash and blink on and off.
- Eventually, the LEDs will stop flashing, and if you’ve successfully disconnected them, there should be just one LED (the power light) that is lit up on each adapter.
- Both adapters are now reset/disconnected/uncoupled, and can be either stored away or reconnected to other adapters/networks. See our article on doing this.
- See the video below for a demonstration of uncoupling a pair of TP Link Powerline Adapters. The general process is the same for most models and brands.
Disconnecting a Pair of Powerline Adapters
Method #3 – Using the Utility to Reset Powerline Adapters
The manual steps covered above should cover most users, but most powerline adapter models also come with an installable PC Utility CD/App, that can also be used to disconnect and reset the adapters, as well as manage larger powerline networks.
The specifics vary for each brand, but here are the general steps:
- Install and run the Utility CD that came with your adapters if you have one, or install the app.
- One each application, there will be a System, Network or Settings option, where you can see all the adapters connected on that same network.
- There may be separate options to Reset Local Device (just one adapter) or Reset All Devices (all adapters).
- A list of connected devices should come up. You can identify which is which by their MAC address, which should be listed within the Utility, and also on a sticker on each adapter somewhere.
- Reset each adapter as you wish. Sometimes it will be labelled as an option to Reset to Factory Default.
- The adapters you this for should now be disconnected from the network, and ready to either store away or pair up again with other adapters, as covered in the next section.
- Here are links to guides for doing this for some major powerline brands:
Re-Connecting Powerline Adapters
Some users may want to re-connect powerline adapters after disconnecting, or connect it to another powerline network. Here are the steps for re-pairing adapters:
- With two powerline adapters completely unconnected to any other network, you should be starting off with just one LED lit on each adapter – the power light.
- If this this the case, press the pair button on one adapter (some models you may need to press and hold for a few seconds), until LEDs start blinking on it.
- Then within 2 minutes press the pair button on the other, and wait a few seconds.
- When the adapters are connected the first two lights (power and pair) will stop flashing and turn solid.
- These two adapters are now connected to each other and can be moved around the house to wherever you need them.
- See the video for a quick demonstration of this method for pairing TP Link adapters.
Connecting a Pair of TP Link Powerline Adapters