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Resetting A Wireless Router Password

Harry from NYC writes:

Can you help me with the password of my WI-FI router? The cable went out, and when all was said and done my router asked for a password that we never had!

Because your router controls all the settings in your wireless network, (from parental controls to security options), a password is installed by the manufacturer to prevent unauthorized users from accessing the device. If you ever need to change any of these settings, you first need to know the proper password or access to the router will be blocked. Changing the router’s password is handled by opening its settings menu through any computer connected to your network. Keep in mind that your router’s menu screen may appear slightly different from the images below, as the menu layout for routers varies between manufacturers and even models.

While this article covers how to change the administration password for accessing your router’s settings, it doesn’t explain how to change the password for connecting a computer to your wireless network. If you need to change the security password used by your network, check out my previous article here [1].

The router’s settings menu is accessible by typing the device’s IP address into the address bar at the top of your web browser. Most routers automatically default to the IP address “,” but a few instead use the address “” Your router’s installation software may have also placed an icon on your desktop that lets you automatically navigate to the setting’s menu login screen if you don’t know the device’s IP address.

Router IP Address

After typing the IP address into the address bar, a new box will appear asking for your router’s administrative user name and password. Type these into the appropriate text boxes and click “OK.”

Router Password

If you don’t know the current password and type in the wrong text, your router may display an image letting you know about the problem and explaining how to reset the password back to its original default setting.

Your router contains a button on the back side that is used to manually reset all the device’s options in case you get locked out of the setting’s menu by forgetting the password. Turn your router around and look either for a small button labeled “Reset,” or instead for a small unlabeled hole. Press and hold the reset button, if one is present, for ten to fifteen seconds to reset the router’s password. If your router instead has an unmarked hole, unfold a paper clip and slide the edge of the clip into the hole for ten to fifteen seconds.

Navigate to your router’s IP address again and type the default user name and password for the device in the text boxes.  Most routers use “admin” and “password” as the default user name and password, respectively. If “admin” and “password” don’t give you access to the settings menu, check your router’s manual or the support website for your specific router model to find the default username and password.

After successfully entering the user name and password, your web browser may give you the option to remember these settings so you don’t get locked out later. Click the “Remember Password” button in the pop-up window to save your router’s password for future use.

If you don’t want to use the default password, your router gives you the option to set your own administrative password. After accessing the settings menu, navigate to the “Advanced” tab located near the top of the screen.

The Advanced Tab

Click the “Administration” heading at the lower-left corner of the window and then select the “Set Password” option.

Not all routers feature an “Advanced” tab or set the “Administration” link in a separate tab. In this alternate router menu layout, the “Administration” tab is generally located at the top-right corner of the window near headings labeled “Security” or “Status.” Some Belkin routers also feature a completely different layout and place the router password screen in another menu location. For these routers, click the “System Settings” link underneath the “Utilities” heading at the left side of the window and then select “Change Password.”

The Administration Tab

Type the default password in the “Old Password” text box and then type your new password in both the “New Password” and “Retype New Password” boxes. Click the “Apply” button, which may instead be labeled “Save Changes” with some routers, to save your newly picked password.

Setting The New Password

~ Ty Arthur