Why Your Router Keeps Resetting At Night (Plus Fixes)

This is actually a surprisingly common problem for users with certain ISPs, where they find the router keeps rebooting by itself, but specifically most commonly late at night or the early hours of the morning.

No one touches or messes with any settings on the router, yet sometimes it can randomly just reboot itself and the internet cuts out. And it specifically seems to happen late at night. What’s going on here? Why does the router keep doing this, and what can we do to fix it?

In general, it will be ISP maintenance reboots and updates that will be causing your router to regularly reset itself late at night. The router firmware may be updating, or your internet provider might be doing some testing, diagnostics or other maintenance that temporarily disrupts the service.

Sky Broadband in the UK seem to be a particularly bad ISP for this, with the router constantly resetting itself around midnight or the early hours of the morning, sometimes every few days. The internet can be down for half an hour or more; it’s really annoying. Other customers sometimes report a similar problem with other UK ISPs, and I’m sure it’s somewhat of a problem for American and other users around the world.

There isn’t much you can do other than wait it out while your internet provider does whatever it needs to do with it’s maintenance reboot/reset/update, and then carry on once the connection resumes. Restarting devices is a good idea to refresh the connection.

ISP Maintenance Resets & Firmware Updates (Main Reason)

This is by far the most likely reason if your router does seem to keep rebooting at night time specifically. That time period from around 11pm to 1am seems to be the preferred time internet providers (ISPs) like to do these maintenance resets/reboots in my experience, although it’s not ideal as many people are still up then. Why not do it at 4-5am instead? But really no time is ideal for ISPs to do this, and with my ISP, they happen far too often as well, with the service disruptions too common.

But what are internet providers even doing when they are remotely resetting your router and cutting your internet service out in the process?

This varies, but they might be updating the router firmware remotely, performing tests on the line to isolate an error, or issuing a new public IP address to your router/household (we are fast running out of public IPv4 addresses), or some other kind of diagnostics, tests or service updates.

Or there might be some kind of error with your internet line – check the current service status of your provider on the Downdetector website. But if it keeps happening regularly around the same time at night, it’s usually something your ISP is doing.

Tips To Get Back Online After ISP Resets/Updates

In my experience these outages can last for around 30 minutes usually, but here’s some things to do get back online smoothly:

Reboot Devices – It can help to just reboot/restart any devices on Wi-Fi connections, especially laptops, since they can still show as having no internet/connection (eg. that globe symbol with the cross through it on Windows), but if you restart them, everything refreshes and the connection comes back. Saves you waiting longer than you have to, thinking the internet is still down when it isn’t.

Have Phone Ready (Verify Logins) – An irritating thing about these late night ISP maintenance outages is that they almost always issue my router with a new public IP address (in fact, this is how I can tell these reboots are done by my ISP and aren’t random errors). The knock on effect of this though is that I often get asked to verify logins to accounts, even though I’m in exactly the same location I’m always in, because they’ve detected a new public IP address. Therefore have your phone (or whatever else you use to verify logins or do 2 factor authentication) ready to authenticate logins to accounts, even though you’re on the same network as usual. This is the other annoying thing about these late night router resets, and another reason to complain to your ISP (see below).

Contacting Your Internet Provider

If these late night router reboots seem to be happening too often, to the point of being annoying and disrupting key things you are doing online, complain to your internet service provider (ISP). They shouldn’t be inconveniencing customers with these service reboots very often, if at all.

Here are links to customer service/help/support pages for major ISPs in English speaking countries, to either contact customer service or raise a ticket with them:

Tell them what’s happening with the router randomly resetting itself, when they’re happening and how often they’re happening, and find out from them what’s going on with the service. If it keeps happening at a time that’s inconvenient and illogical, and people are still using the internet, be sure to raise that, as well as the fact you keep having to verify logins because your router’s IP keeps changing with all these reboots.

Other Possible Causes For The Router Resetting Itself At Night

If your router keeps rebooting all by itself, and it seems to keep happening at around the same time of day, you can be pretty sure it’s your ISP doing some kind of maintenance or remote reboot, as we covered above.

However, in rare cases, there might be another cause. Here are some other factors that can at play causing a router to reset by itself:

  1. Overheating – routers can overheat if over-used or left in environments that are too hot and/or without enough ventilation. Try turning it off and/or moving it to a better aired spot. Will most likely overheat during the day though, not at night
  2. Faulty/loose wiring – Sometimes the AC/power cable can be faulty or frayed causing the power supply to keep dropping, initiating constant reboots. Check and replace faulty cables
  3. Clogged – Routers can get clogged with lots of dirt and dust as they age. Either clean with a cloth or gently vacuum air vents when fully turned off.
  4. Manual Interference – Sometimes it can be that someone is remotely logging into the router and messing with the settings, manually rebooting it from within the configuration panel. Be sure no one in the household is doing this and see our post on finding and kicking off unwanted hackers and pests from your Wi-Fi network.

See our article on your router resetting itself more generally (not just at night) for more on all these points plus other tips on dealing with this problem.


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

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