How To

How to Reset Your Router Properly – Should You Reset, Reboot, or Restart? What’s the Difference?

Written by Novak Bozovic
Last updated June 20, 2021

There are many reasons why resetting your router is a good idea. For example, maybe you can't remember your router's admin password, or you've experiencing connectivity issues. No matter the reason, it's always good to know how to reset your router properly, and we're here to explain everything you need to know.

Resetting vs. Rebooting vs. Restarting a Router - When to Use Each of These Options?

As you can see, we have three terms here and these are: reset, reboot, and restart. Even though they might sound the same, they are actually quite different in what they can do. Keep on reading to learn more.

Now that you know the basic and the most important difference between resettings and rebooting/restarting, let's take a closer look at both of these actions.

Here's How to (Factory) Reset Your Router in 4 Simple Steps

First, we will talk about resetting a router, which should be done only if you want to return to its default settings. With this said, here are some important notes that you need to have in your mind.

Now that we have the basics out of our way, it's time to take a look at how to reset your router. Here's our step-by-step guide.

  1. Take a look at your router and find the 'Reset' button. This could also be a pinhole, usually found on the back of your device.
  2. Press and hold the 'Reset' button for up to 30 seconds. Some models require you to keep this button pressed up to a whole minute. You should see all the lights on your modem start flickering. Once that happens, remove your finger from the 'Reset' button.
  3. Your router will now reboot, and it will take some time until it becomes fully functional. In most cases, this process takes around 5 minutes. You'll see all the lights return to normal, and there will be a light that indicates Internet connectivity.
  4. Once you restart your router, make sure to connect to the Web from your computer and other devices manually. Select your Wi-Fi connection, enter the default password, and you're ready to go.

In case you don't know the default Wi-Fi password of your router, look at the sticker on the back of your router. Alternatively, you can do a Google search based on your router's exact model name (number).

Here's How to Restart (Reboot) Your Router in 4 Easy Steps

In case you can't connect to the Web or your connection is slow and unreliable, you need to restart (reboot) your router. This is where we talk about 'power cycling,' which is actually just a fancy way of saying that you need to turn off your router and turn it back on.

This operation has the potential to resolve issues with the device's memory or overheating. What's important to know is that power cycling won't delete anything. Here's how it's done.

  1. In case there's an ON/OFF switch on your router, simply turn off your device.
  2. If you can't find the ON/OFF switch, don't worry because several routers are designed to work 24/7. So, simply unplug the power cable. There are also mobile routers that are powered by batteries. In case you have this type of router, remove the batteries.
  3. Next, wait from 30 to 60 seconds to make sure the router has been properly turned off.
  4. Finally, power on your router by pressing the 'Power' button or plug it into a wall socket.
  5. Just like with resetting, it might take up to 5 minutes for your router to be fully operational. You will see your Wi-Fi connection being available once this happens. That's it!


What Happens If I Reset My Router?

If you reset your router, the device will return to its factory settings. In other words, if you have any custom settings (such as custom Wi-Fi network names and passwords), they will return to their original values - so you'll have to customize your Wi-Fi network from scratch.

What Happens If I Restart My Router?

If you restart your router, it will simply go through a power cycle. Your router won't lose any of its custom settings, and your devices should automatically reconnect to the Web as soon as your router powers on and becomes functional.

How Often Should I Restart My Router?

In general, routers are made to run 24/7. However, some router manufacturers recommend restarting their products once a month. This is a very simple procedure, and it enables your router to run at its best.

Does Resetting a Router Remove Malware?

In many cases, factory-resetting a router helps remove malware (such as VPNFilter, for example). We're talking here about a full factory reset, which also wipes all custom settings.

Does Resetting a Router Change a Wi-Fi Password?

Yes, resetting a router will change your Wi-Fi password - but only if you've set a custom Wi-Fi password. That's because factory-resetting a router deletes all custom settings and returns them to their default (factory) values.

Does Resetting a Router Delete Web Browsing History?

No, resetting a router won't delete your Web browsing history. To do that, you need to delete it from your Web browser (on your computer, smartphone, or any other device). Still, resetting a router will delete the device's logs (used for diagnostic purposes) - which isn't the same as your Web browsing history.

Dear readers, what you all be there's to know on how to reset a router. In case you have any issues, don't hesitate to post your comment below. And, of course - thanks for reading!

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