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How to Reset a Wi-Fi Password

Karen from AL writes:

How do I reset my Wi-fi password? I forgot mine.

It happens to everyone at one time or another — you forget a password and you can’t access a specific account or Web site. Fortunately, most Web-based sites that require a login offer a Forgot Password button that either e-mails your password to you or allows you to choose a new one after answering a couple of security questions.

However, when dealing with the password for your wireless router, there is no Forgot Password button, so it’s not quite as easy to reset your password or determine what your password currently is. While the task is a bit more difficult than resetting passwords for accounts and Web sites, it’s not impossible.

Determine Your Router’s Brand

The steps involved in resetting a wireless router’s password are quite basic, but the exact details will vary from brand to brand. The first thing you’ll want to do is determine which brand of router you have. The router should have the brand name clearly displayed somewhere on it. Once you know which brand of router you have, look on the Internet, if possible, to determine the URL and admin login information for the router.

Log In To Your Router

Open a Web browser on your computer and log in to your router so you can access the password information. The exact URL you’ll enter depends on the brand of router you have, but the two most common URLs are and routerlogin.com. These URLs work for most of the most popular router brands, including Netgear and Linksys. Once the page loads, you’ll be asked to log in to your router. Again, logins and passwords here will vary from brand to brand, so check on the Internet or consult your user manual to determine the generic login.

Standard logins include admin as both the username and password or admin as the username and password or 1234 as the password, so give these a try if you can’t find the information you need online.

Reset Your Password

Once you’re logged into your router, you will be able to reset your wireless password. Some routers will show you what your password currently is, which may be helpful, while others only give you the opportunity to create a new password. Select a password that meets the router’s criteria for capital letters, numbers and special characters, then close the admin panel. After you’ve set your password, you should be able to log in to your router wirelessly using this new password.

Reset Router as a Last Resort

If all else fails, you can reset your router completely. This will restore the router’s factory default settings, so if you’ve customized any of your router’s settings (firewall, etc.), you’ll need to change those settings again once you’ve reset. To reset the router, look on the back of the device for a reset button or a small hole that will accommodate the tip of a paperclip. Push the reset button for about 30 seconds, then try to log in to your router using the default settings listed in the user manual.

These steps may seem a bit daunting, especially if you’ve never changed your router’s password or had to reset it before, but take it one step at a time and gather as much information about your specific router as possible. If you do not have a manual for your router, consider printing one out and filing it away with any pertinent notes so resetting your Wi-Fi password is easier in the future.

Hope this helps!

~Chad Stetson