Your Netgear router reset itself to factory settings out of nowhere and you don’t know what to do?
Well, routers usually don’t reset to factory resetting by themselves, except in a scenario where the hardware is damaged. We’ll exclude this possibility for now and provide you with all other possibilities and a solution for each of them!
It is possible that your Netgear router will reset itself to factory defaults due to power fluctuations, updates, or a stuck button. Since the hardware reset button is located inside a pinhole, it could be stuck down constantly resetting your device.
This is just a small fraction of the possibilities and let’s take a deeper look at all of them.
Not many users experience spontaneous factory resets. In fact, only a small fraction of users have ever experienced an issue like this and the possibilities are not much. Let’s take a look:
1. Failed Update
If something went wrong during an update, your Netgear router might have prevented an issue by performing a factory reset on its own.
2. Faulty Reset Button
It is possible that the reset button got stuck, making your router factory restart itself endlessly.
3. Insufficient Power
Everything from a power surge to insufficient power could have caused a sudden factory reset.
4. Glitched Software
Sometimes the software build is unreliable and causes a wide range of weird operations.
There were 4 general causes and let’s take a look at what you can do about them.
Since the issue is extraordinary and it does not appear to all users, only a small fraction of Netgear customers have ever experienced this, the solutions are quite complicated.
We made sure to explain everything as simple as possible so you shouldn’t have any issues.
If the auto-update feature has been enabled by default, the router will automatically apply an update every time it becomes available on the web.
If the update is larger, it may factory reset your router and you will have to establish your network settings all-over again.
To disable the auto-update feature go to your web browser and then routerlogin.net or routerlogin.com depending on whether your router is a nighthawk or not.
Then follow the steps below:
- Go to Advanced Settings.
- Then select Administration.
- Next Choose Router Update.
- Untick the Auto-Update feature.
With automatic updates disabled, we highly recommend performing a manual update. Go in the Router Update tab again and scan for any available updates.
Since the hardware reset button is in a pinhole and requires a sharp object to reach inside and hold it, it often gets damaged. In case it is stuck inside, your Netgear will continuously perform a factory reset one after another.
In that regard, you can reach in using something sharp and try to press it with a little bit of force.
If it is stuck there is a high chance for it to unstuck if you give it a little push. Reach inside, try to twist, push and rotate in order to make a change in the button’s position.
The software of your Netgear router might be severely glitched and constantly performing a factory reset. Maybe all you need to do is perform a manual factory reset so you can stop this endless loop.
Since the whole operation is time-sensitive due to the automatic reset, you have limited time to do it yourself.
In that regard, follow the steps below precisely:
- Acquire a Windows desktop PC.
- Open Command Prompt (CMD) as administrator.
- Type “/ipconfig” and press Enter.
- Copy the Default Gateway IP.
- Paste it in your browser’s search field.
- Insert admin/admin as login credentials.
- Locate the Reset tab.
- Choose Factory Reset.
Note: The PC must be connected to Netgear’s network, via WiFi or Ethernet cable.
With a little luck, the manual reset would have been all you needed to stop the reset loop and for your Netgear to start working normally.
If your Netgear router reset itself to factory settings it could be because it is overheating.
Plug out your router from the power supply, disconnect the Internet and Ethernet cables and leave the device aside for an hour. Let it cool off and power drain.
In the meantime, you can suck out some dust from the air gaps on the back of your router using a vacuum cleaner. If you’ve got a more efficient device such as an air compressor, feel free to use it.
The idea here is to try to take as much dust out of the device without having to disassemble it.
In the meantime, you can reach out to Netgear customer service and explain your issue. Hopefully, the team will come up with an audible solution without having to send your router for a repair.
If your router warranty is over and you feel comfortable disassembling the router, then this method is for you. Since the reset button is the main suspect here we’ve prepared a detailed guide below:
- Unscrew the 6 screws on the bottom of your Netgear router panel.
- Liftoff the bottom panel.
- Peel off the 4 black stickers holding the wiring connected to the PCB.
- Take a picture at the exact spot where the wirings are soldered.
- Take the 4 wires off the PCB, by pulling them upward carefully.
- Unscrew the 5 screws holding the motherboard in place.
- Carefully lift off the PCB and put it aside.
Now you will have a clear view from behind the hardware reset button. Take a look if it is damaged or pushed inwards. In the word case scenario, you can entirely disconnect the power button and remove it.
Once you are confident that the router is no longer able to use this button as the input you can test.
To fix your Netgear router that resets itself to factory defaults without your intervention, ensure the reset button is not stuck. Then, disable the auto-update and possibly perform a manual factory reset. Update the firmware manually and let your device cool off.
Read Next: Why is Netgear QoS not Working?
Now that you know why Netgear router reset itself to factory settings without you doing it, with the recommendations we’ve managed to bring upon you, you should be capable of resolving the issue easily.
Kevin has over five years of experience working in various Tech startups and providing Technical solutions. He has contributed to many Tech publications and websites.