How to Reset Your Modem

Performing a factory reset on your home networking devices is a staple skill for any troubleshooting. Knowing your way around the back of your modem can mean the difference between a nice relaxing evening at home and  a $60 technician home visit in the middle of the workday.

DIY tech support & troubleshooting is intimidating for most people. But it’s surprising how easy most of it is. Just understanding the basics can help save you hundreds every year!

STEP 1

Getting Started

  1. Make sure the power cable is securely plugged into the back of your modem.
  2. Ensure that the modem is fully powered on – the power light, upload and download lights are illuminated.
  3. Remove all ethernet & phone cables from the back of the modem (these can interfere with the reset).
STEP 2

Resetting Your Modem

Locate the reset button on the back of your modem. The location of this button can vary depending on the model of your modem. Most models will have “RESET” written in small letters next to the port.

The reset button looks like a tiny hole, sometimes with a thin, red line around the edge.

After you have located your modem’s reset button you can begin the doing the factory reset.

  1. Use your paperclip/small tool to press inside the reset hole of your modem. You should feel a light click when you press down. Be careful to not press off to the side of the button as this will not reset your modem.
  2. Hold the button pressed with your utensil for at least 30 seconds. While holding this down, you should see the lights on the front of your modem begin to flash & completely turn off (only on some models).
  3. Release the reset button after 30 seconds and allow 5 minutes for the modem to re-provision.

Resetting FAQ

I reset the modem but the Wi-Fi light didn't come back on.

This can sometimes happen if your modem was not able to fully reset. It also could be an issue with your device’s firmware, causing it to not reset.

 

FIX: Perform another factory reset, but with the coaxial cable disconnected.

1: Unscrew the coaxial cable from the back of the modem.

2: Make sure the power cable is securely plugged in & the power light is illuminated on the front of the modem.

3: Press & hold down the reset button on the back of the modem for at least 30 seconds.
You should feel a slight click when the button is pressed in (on most models).
Waiting the full 30 seconds is very important for ensuring the modem resets fully.

4: Release the reset button & wait 5 minutes for the modem to reboot & reset.

5: Wait until the Wi-Fi light comes back on to connect the coaxial cable.

My modem won't reset.

Possible Causes:

1: Your modem has firmware installed which is preventing a full reset.

2: Your modem’s reset button is not being pressed for long enough, or it wasn’t fully pressed in for the full 30 seconds.

3: Your modem’s reset button is defective.

 

FIX 1: Access the modem’s online portal using an internet browser & reset manually. [ADVANCED]

Instructions on this will vary depending on the model of modem you are using & your internet service provider. Please check out our modem product manuals for model-specific instructions.

 

FIX 2: Perform a “hard reset” on the modem without connection to the ISP. [EASY]

1: Unscrew the coaxial cable from the back of the modem.

2: Make sure the power cable is securely plugged in & the power light is illuminated on the front of the modem.

3: Press & hold down the reset button on the back of the modem for at least 30 seconds.
You should feel a slight click when the button is pressed in (on most models).
Waiting the full 30 seconds is very important for ensuring the modem resets fully.

4: Release the reset button & wait 5 minutes for the modem to reboot & reset.

5: Wait until the Wi-Fi light comes back on to connect the coaxial cable.

 

FIX 3:  Call your internet provider. [EASY]

1: Call up the customer service or technical support department of your internet service provider.

2: Request a “reset,” a “refresh” & “clear the line.” This is essentially the same as what you would do at home, except with the added bonus of it being done for you remotely by a trained professional (for free).

3: Your ISP’s rep may ask you to watch for the modem to reset & perform some diagnostic tests for you which can be helpful for determining the issue with your network.

Do I really have to hold the button for the whole 30 seconds?

Other sites may say you only need to hold your reset button for 7, 15 or 25 seconds, but through testing on various models of modems, modem-router combos & wireless routers, ModemGuides has found that some models do not reset fully unless the button has been held down for the full 30 seconds.

We recommend always holding your reset button down for 30 seconds as this is the best way to guarantee a successful factory reset.

My modem resets but I am still not able to access the Wi-Fi with the default login info.

This can sometimes happen if your modem was not able to fully reset. It also could be an issue with your device’s firmware, changing the default Wi-Fi credentials to something specific to your internet service provider.

In our experience this is most common with Arris models activated on Comcast’s network. Luckily it’s very easy to fix.

 

FIX: Perform another factory reset, but with the coaxial cable disconnected.

1: Unscrew the coaxial cable from the back of the modem.

2: Make sure the power cable is securely plugged in & the power light is illuminated on the front of the modem.

3: Press & hold down the reset button on the back of the modem for at least 30 seconds.
You should feel a slight click when the button is pressed in (on most models).
Waiting the full 30 seconds is very important for ensuring the modem resets fully.

4: Release the reset button & wait 5 minutes for the modem to reboot & reset.

5: Wait until the Wi-Fi light comes back on to connect the coaxial cable.

6: Attempt to reconnect to the Wi-Fi.

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