Router Light Orange (Diagnosis & Solutions)


This is a common problem in home networking – one of the lights on our router often turns orange, and our service is interrupted. What causes this and how can we fix it?

Here is the most common answer:

As a general rule, your router light turns orange when your router has overheated or frozen up. Quickly rebooting your router, or running through the initial setup process if required, can resolve this problem. Alternatively, your internet service may be down, which can be verified on your ISP’s social media or on Downdetector.

However, let’s break down the issue in more detail, looking at the different lights on a router, what them turning orange means, and how to diagnose and fix the problems which are causing this if possible.

Why Your Router Light Is Orange

Diagnosing the problem means we need to check which light is actually orange. Routers often have several LEDs on the front of them; here is a breakdown of the most common ones, plus a quick explanation for why they’ve usually turned orange.

  • Power Light – Pretty self explanatory – refers to the power being on to the router. Won’t turn orange/red – will either be green or off completely.
  • DSL/ADSL/Fiber Light – Refers to whether your internet service (DSL/ADSL) is actually active and connected. If it isn’t, and is orange or red, there’s a problem with your internet service, or your router hasn’t been initially configured to start using the service. Refer to the user guide for steps on how to do this, or see the section further below.
  • Internet/Online Light – Similar to the DSL/ADSL light, this simply refers to whether the router is online and actually connected to the internet, to the point where it can send and receive data. Some routers just have a different name for the LED, but it’s really the same as above.
  • WLAN/Wi-Fi/Wireless Light – Refers to whether the wireless network is active and working. A router can be connected to the internet, but if the Wi-Fi isn’t working and the LED is orange/red, then devices won’t be able to get online through the Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi card or antennae might be broken, but this is comparatively rare. Contact your ISP for a replacement if this is the case.
  • LAN/Ethernet Light(s) – Refers to the LAN (ethernet) connections through the ports on the back. Many routers have 4 LAN LEDs – one for each LAN port on the back (see picture below) – and will light up when a device is connected to each one. These don’t usually turn orange in fairness – they’re either green or off – but if it is, it means there might be a problem with that LAN port.

Routers have different LED lights on them so check which one is actually orange

In fairness, if a light on a router turns orange, in most cases it’s going to be the Internet/DSL/ADSL/Fiber/Online light.

Solution #1 – Quickly Reset Your Router

The first thing to try if you’ve got an orange router light is to try quickly resetting the router. Sometimes this can refresh the service or connection, as routers can sometimes freeze or overheat, and a quick reboot can resolve it.

Try quickly pushing the reset/power button and wait for 2-5 minutes. If all the router lights come on green after a while, the problem should be resolved.

However, if you do a reset, make sure it’s only a quick reboot/reset to begin with, not a full factory reboot. Avoid pushing any pins into recessed reset holes (factory reset); instead, just quickly press the reset/power button for a quick reboot to begin with, to see if this works in restoring the service.

You can do a full factory reset if you like, but as a last option. If you resort to all other steps in this guide and get nowhere, or your ISP’s support advises you to do so, then see our guide on factory resetting your router to do a complete reset to initial settings and start over, or see the last section further below.

Solution #2 – Check The Service Status Of Your ISP

Another thing to check early on is that your internet service isn’t down in your area. ISP outages are quite common and if your service is down, it will lead to the Internet/DSL/ADSL/Fiber light turning orange.

Downdetector is an excellent service to check your current ISP status; go to the site and type in your ISP to check. Here are links to the service in major English speaking countries:

You can also check the social media pages of your ISP for news of service outages. Twitter is useful for this; here are some links to the official Twitter support pages of major ISPs:

They’ll usually inform you of any service outages, and you can often tweet to them for support.

Solution #3 – Run Through The Initial Setup For Your Router For New Installations

If the internet/DSL/online LED is orange when you’re first installing your router or service, then it’s likely because your router isn’t able to get online yet because it hasn’t been run through the initial setup that some ISPs require before you first use their service.

Internet providers are increasingly allowing customers to do “DIY” router installations to keep costs down, but this does mean that sometimes you’ll have to run through some initial router setup steps to get the service up and running and ready to let devices connect and get online.

Here are some links we could find for guides on how to do initial self-setup/installation (DIY install) for routers for major ISPs:

You often have to run through some specific steps to install your router and activate your internet service if you are doing a self-install for the first time. Just plugging a supplied router into the phone line/master socket for a new service mostly won’t work; there needs to be some initial configuration to allow the modem/router to access the internet.

If you’ve followed all the steps provided for your router and the internet light is still orange and you’ve no service, and there doesn’t appear to be a broader service outage, then contact your ISP for further help.

Solution #4 – Factory Reset Your Router

If you’ve tried everything and can’t seem to get rid of the orange light problem, then a last ditch “nuclear” option is to factory reset your router, which restores everything to as it was when it shipped new from the factory.

Before doing this though, make sure that:

  1. A normal quick reboot didn’t solve the problem.
  2. You are sure your ISP service isn’t down (see Solution #2)
  3. You are aware that this will delete all custom settings and passwords and restore everything to default, and disrupt connectivity for between 3-10 minutes.
  4. You’ve contacted your ISP for support and they can’t offer any other solutions, or they suggest a factory reboot of your router.

Sometimes just restoring everything to default can fix an orange light error, but it’s probably quite rare. However, it’s worth a try if you’ve given pretty much everything else a go. It might clear out any major software errors or bugs on your router, or else allow you to re-initialize your entire home internet connection and start from scratch.

Here’s a general outline of the factory reset process:

On most routers, there’s simple reset button somewhere prominent, and also a reset/factory reset hole somewhere else. This is pretty clear. Quickly pressing the reset button quickly resets the router (quick/soft reset – does not wipe any settings – see Solution #1 above.). The reset hole is what you push a pin into for up to 20-30 seconds for the full reset until the lights on the front blink or go out (will wipe all settings and restore router to default).

It often looks something like this:

 

 

Pushing a bent safety clip or other sharp object into this hole for 5-30 seconds until something flashes/blinks is what does the factory reset.

Then wait 3-10 minutes for the reboot to complete, and see if the orange light error disappears.

Here are links to factory reset guides for major ISPs in English speaking nations:

Also be aware however of what happens when you do a factory/default reset:

  • 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.
  • 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.

Also, after doing a factory reset, with many ISPs, you will then have to run through the initial “self-install” router/connection setup process to set everything up again. See the links in Solution #3 above for more on this.

Oliver

Online gamer and general home networking enthusiast. I like to create articles to help people solve common home networking problems.

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