This is actually a more common problem that you might expect, since some routers actually don’t have an obvious reset button or hole to initiate reboots. What do you do in these cases? How do you initiate a reset/reboot of a router when there isn’t an obvious button or hole to do so?
That’s what we’re going to cover in this guide, going through all the possible other scenarios besides the more obvious ones where a reset button is prominent and obvious. We’ll go over less obvious ways to reset your router, both for quick/rapid/soft reboots and for harder factory resets, covering all the possible bases depending on what you’re looking for.
Let’s get started.
How To Quick Reboot Your Router Without A Reset Button
Let’s cover the most simple scenario, when you just want to very quickly reboot your router to refresh the network or for some other reason. Most routers do have a clearly labelled reset button that you simply press quickly to initiate a soft reboot, something like this:
But what if there isn’t one on your router?
Here’s some alternative scenarios:
Option #1 – Sometimes there’s a power button instead doubles up as a quick reset button. Try quickly pressing this to initiate a quick reboot.
Option #2 – Sometimes you can reboot the router from within the settings menu. Simply use the login details on the label on the back, access the router settings, and you’re looking for a quick reboot/reset/restart router option somewhere in the menu. It may be under Power, Reset, Advanced or something similar. See below where we cover more on accessing the router settings.
Option #3 – Just turn your router off from the wall and back on again, or unplug and then plug it back in again. However, this will have more of the same effect as if there was a power cut, in that the public IP address issued to your router may change and you might need to verify logins to accounts again because a new IP has been detected.
How To Factory Reboot Your Router Without A Reset Button/Hole
Again this isn’t always a clear cut scenario as router brands differ. The most simple case is when there’s a clearly prominent reset hole somewhere where you stick a pin into and hole for 10-20 seconds until the lights on the front flash or blink or go out, and that initiate a full factory reset. Something like this:
But again, not all routers have this reset hole. Here’s some other scenarios:
Option #1 – Sometimes the reset button also works for both quick and factory reboots. Usually, if you quickly press the button, you the get the quick reboot (only very slight disruption and no settings lost), and you press and hold the button for 10-20 seconds until the lights blink or go out to initiate the factory reboot (more drastic interruption and all settings wiped). Therefore try this if there isn’t an obvious hole to stick a safety pin in. Or try the same with the Power button if that’s what your router has.
Option #2 – Sometimes, just unplugging the router from the wall completely and leaving it for 30-60 minutes minutes or longer can have a similar effect to a factory reset and wipe all settings. Your router will almost certainly be issued with a new public IP address if you do this, and if left unplugged for long enough, custom router settings may be wiped.
Option #3 – You can often factory reboot a router from within it’s configuration/settings menu.
This might sound intimidating to users who haven’t done it before, but it’s actually pretty easy and everything you need is on the sticker on the back.
Check the router label for login credentials (router login IP/username/password – top left corner in this example):
Then grab any device that’s connected to the router by Wi-Fi or cable, open up any browser and do the following:
- Type the router login IP into the browser address bar (often 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1)
- Enter the username/password
- Look for a Reset/Reboot/Factory Reset/Re-initialization menu in the settings.
- Follow the steps to initiate a factory reboot
- Wait up to 10 minutes for the reboot to complete.
- A factory reset erases all custom settings
Option #4 – Contact Your ISP – Although the above options should cover you in most cases, it’s true that I’ve also used routers which have neither a reset button, nor an obvious option within the settings to do a factory reboot.
In these cases, you’re best off contacting your internet provider (ISP) for assistance. They might be able to reset your router remotely for you as long as they can identify it. Many ISPs often do maintenance resets anyway periodically, which is why you might find your router resetting itself at random times, especially at night.
To help them with this, it’s useful to have some details handy:
- Account details (including address).
- Current public IP address of the router (you can find this within the settings, or just by using one of those free “what is my IP address” lookup tools).
Then ask if they can do a factory reboot of the router to wipe all settings and issue it with a new public IP address.
Here are some useful links to get you started on this for your ISP/country:
- United Kingdom:
However, it’s also useful to be aware of exactly what a factory reboot does, and what custom settings will need to be re-configured if you were using them before:
- All custom Wi-Fi SSIDs/usernames and passwords to access the network will be lost and reset to the defaults indicated on the sticker on the back of the router. So any users who need to reconnect will need to find the router again on the network list and re-enter the default password to use the Wi-Fi.
- If you have also set custom values for the router login admin/password (to change settings), these will also be reset back to the default values indicated on the sticker on the back.
- If any gamers have set a static IP for their console on the router, this will be deleted and they’ll have to do it again.
- Any other custom settings that were configured on the router (eg. QoS, DNS settings, DMZ) will be lost and need to be reconfigured.
- All logs and stored browsing history will be wiped off the router.
- Factory resets can sometimes also take longer than quick resets, with a disruption of connection for sometimes up to 10 minutes or more.
- See our article on resetting your router for more on this, plus how to get settings back to how they were if you need to.
- See here for a help guide if your internet doesn’t come back online after a factory reset, even after waiting a while.
Factory Reset Guides For Major ISPs
If none of the details in this guide covers your scenario, and/or you want more specialized reset instructions for your specific ISP/router, here are some guides to help: