Resetting my router to factory settings would improve performance

Reset router to factory settings

Thorsten Eggeling

If a faulty network configuration cannot be corrected or a network device is no longer accessible, usually only resetting to the default settings helps.

In the network, it depends on the interaction of several devices. Depending on the configuration, in addition to the DSL router, there are switches to expand the Ethernet connections, WLAN access points or repeaters to increase the WLAN range and powerline adapters for data transport via the power grid. If there are malfunctions, internet access does not work or the devices cannot exchange data. In this case, first check the configuration of the devices and restore the default settings in the event of unrecoverable errors.

1. Access to the configuration interface

Check whether you can call up the router's configuration interface in the browser and whether it is correctly configured for Internet access and WLAN.

WLAN access points and repeaters can also be configured via a web interface. Standard IP as well as username and password for access are usually located on a sticker on the underside of the device or can be found in the instructions. However, these data only apply to the delivery status.

During the first configuration, the devices receive an IP address from the address range of the DSL router and can then only be reached via this address.

Wherever technically possible, connect network devices for configuration directly to the PC using an Ethernet cable in order to rule out further sources of error. By default, the PC then receives its IP address from this device. If the DHCP server is switched off there, configure the IP address manually. If a device cannot be reached even then, reset it to the factory settings.

Some devices have tools that you can use to change settings or go to the configuration page. With Powerline adapters from Devolo there is, for example, the Devolo cockpit, which you can install after downloading it from www.devolo.de. It shows all powerline devices in the network. If a web interface is available for a device, for example with the dLAN 1200 + WiFi ac adapter, you can access it by clicking on the associated tab next to the device icon.

EnlargeNetwork devices with a configuration interface offer a reset function. The standard access data can then be found on the manufacturer's website, on the device or in the manual.

Similar tools are often also available for webcams, network printers or home control devices. When starting, the tool searches the network for suitable devices and displays them. Alternatively, you can also determine the IP addresses configured via DHCP via the router's web interface, for example under "Home network" for a Fritzbox. The "Devices and Users" tab shows all currently connected devices. You can type the displayed IP address directly into the address line of the browser to call up the configuration page of a device. If you have manually set a fixed IP address for a device, this will not appear in the router overview. Manufacturer tools usually cannot find the device either.

In this case you have to manually configure the PC with an IP from the range selected for the device or reset the device to the factory settings (-> points 2 and 3).

2. Reset devices to default

If DSL routers or access points do not work as required, restore the default configuration if necessary. Access to the configuration interface is necessary for this, as described in point 1. If you have forgotten the password for the configuration interface, use the "reset" link on the login page for older Fritzboxes. All settings will also be lost. With newer Fritzboxes you must have configured an email address under "System -> Push Service" to which the device sends a password reset link on request. You can then use the “Forgot your password?” Link on the start page and click “Send Push Service Mail”. If you do not have access to the configuration interface, use the instructions from point 3. If possible, it is advisable to make a backup of the previous configuration before resetting, for example in the case of a Fritzbox via “System -> Backup” on the “Backup” tab.

Tip:Systematically solve network problems

Also make a note of the Internet access data, the WLAN key and other important settings such as rules for port forwarding. Depending on the router model, you should back up additional data. With a Fritzbox, you create backups of the lists under "Telephony -> Calls" and "Telephony -> Phonebook", each by clicking on "Save". The phone book can be reconstructed later by clicking on "Restore".

EnlargeMany routers and WLAN access points have a recessed reset button on the back.

All configurable network devices offer a reset option, which can usually be reached under "System" or "System Tools" - in the case of a Fritzbox under "System -> Backup -> Factory settings". After clicking on "Load factory settings", the device is reset.

The process can take some time. If the router's configuration interface does not appear automatically afterwards, restart your operating system so that the PC can obtain a new IP address.

3. Reset without configuration interface

Most network devices can also be reset to the standard at the hardware level. This is usually done using a small button on the underside or back, which can often only be pressed with a pointed object such as a paper clip. With some devices, hold down the button for some time during operation to initiate the reset. For others, switch off the device and then hold the button down for several seconds after switching it on again. The widespread Fritzbox does not have a reset button. You can, however, use a telephone that is connected to the connection for ISDN devices ("FON S0"). For most users, the AVM recovery program should be the more comfortable option. This simply reinstalls the firmware and deletes all settings. You can find the program at ftp://ftp.avm.de/fritz.box/. Go to the folder with the name of your Fritzbox and then to “x_misc / deutsch”. Download the EXE file with the highest version number, for a Fritzbox 7390 currently the file "fritz.box_fon_wlan_7390.annexb.06.30.recover-image.exe". In order for the program to work, you need to temporarily disable the Windows firewall. This page provides instructions on how to use the recovery program.

Alternative emergency access to the Fritzbox

If a Fritzbox can no longer be reached via http://192.168.178.1 or http://fritz.box, for example because you have configured an IP address from another area for the router, use the emergency access. Connect the "LAN 1" socket of the Fritzbox directly to a PC using an Ethernet cable. First restart the Fritzbox and then Windows. The configuration interface can now be called up via the IP address http://169.254.1.1.