30-30-30 Hard Reset: How To Hard Reset Your Wireless Router

How To Hard Reset Your Router Using The 30-30-30 Reset Method
You may have heard of the 30-30-30 hard reset method for resetting your router? Or perhaps you have been advised to do so?

This article helps you understand exactly what the 30/30/30 reset is (also known as a ‘thirty-thirty’) and how to go about implementing it.

Why 30-30-30 Reset Your Router?

I already know why – just take me to the part that explains what to do!

Well, there are several reasons for a 30-30-30 hard reset.

Not Routing

The router isn’t…well….routing! Your router has locked up and doesn’t seem to do anything, even after a reboot.

Power Surge

There has been a power outage and/or power surge. This can send your router into a bit of a frenzy. By hard resetting your router, you can potentially bring it back to life again.

Change Firmware

You want to install new firmware on your router. If you don’t want to use the factory shipped firmware anymore and want to start using open source firmware, like DD-WRT, Tomato or Open WRT for example, it is best practice to restore your router back to its original firmware and settings before undertaking the upgrade.

Always be careful when installing new firmware. This is particularly the case if you are moving to open source firmware, like DD-WRT or Tomato for example. You should always make sure your router is supported within the firmware providers’ database. If it isn’t there’s a risk you can brick your router (this means it is inoperable), even after a 30-30-30 reset!

Although pressing the reset button for a few seconds can hard reset the router, the 30-30-30 reset method is the definitive reset and it works with most consumer routers.

We recommend checking with your manufacturer if you have any doubts. Forums and manuals can be a good source of information.

Reboot vs Reset: What Is The Difference Between A Reboot And A Reset?

Router Reboot

A reboot is a basic power cycle of the router. Your router settings will be maintained, so no configuration will be required when the router powers up again.

This method can fix any issues you may be having. If not, it’s time to start thinking about a router reset.

Router Reset

The settings/config & firmware version is stored in the router’s NVRAM (Non-Volatile RAM). This config is stored in RAM that remembers the settings with the aid of a battery built into the router. So regardless of loss of mains power – you will not lose the settings.

A reset however, wipes the config from your router back to the default settings (also known as the factory settings).

How To Reset Your Router Using The 30-30-30 Method

If you can, you might want to back up your router configuration before you do anything. Just in case! Alternatively, you can write down your settings.

DO NOT DO THIS USING WIFI! We recommend you always undertake a 30-30-30 reset using Ethernet cables. Wi-Fi is just too unreliable.

Also, when you factory reset, you most likely won’t be able to log onto the wireless network as the following settings will probably be different:

– SSID (this is the Wi-Fi network name)
– Security settings (passphrase/password/login credentials etc)
– DHCP – What address and basic configuration the router sends to new clients on the network

Use a Wifi Router as a DHCP Server

So, disable the Wi-Fi on your laptop/PC just to make sure you are connecting to your router via the Ethernet cable only.

A Simple, And Arguably Funny Video On Hard Resetting

Go Easy On The Reset Button!

Don’t push too hard on the reset button! Some routers require a pen/pencil/screwdriver/paperclip or something else very thin and sharp is used to initiate the reset. Whatever you do, do not push in too hard. You can actually damage the router by pushing in this button too aggressively.

Most times, you can gently push in and out and hear (and sometimes feel) clicking. Push in so that you are just inside this clicking threshold, but not too much more – you should then be ok.

Other routers just have a standard button, which you can just use your fingers to reset.

1) 30 Seconds Stage 1 – With power still enabled, push the reset button and keep holding it in. You should keep the reset button depressed for 30 seconds.

2) 30 Second Stage 2 – Then you should remove the power cable from the back of the router. Note that using a power button (if your router has one) is not sufficient. If you have the cable plugged in, the router can still hold some residual power. Do not let go of the button. It needs to be pressed in the whole time. Count a further 30 seconds…

3) 30 Second Stage 3 – The final stage, we are almost there! Whilst still keeping the button depressed, power on the router again. Count to 30.

We recommend using a digital timer for these steps. Consider using your phone stopwatch or something similar. You want to be as precise as possible with the timings. Whatever you do, make sure it is at least 30 seconds. 29 seconds doesn’t guarantee anything!

That’s it! So, in total the whole process should take 90 seconds. You can then remove the power and power up again. Just a couple of seconds is fine this time!

Time To Test It Out

Connect to your router, again with an Ethernet cable, using the default IP address. Check the manufacturer’s website for the details. Alternatively, you could run ipconfig (Windows) from a command prompt on your laptop and look for the ‘default gateway’. The default gateway will be the IP address of your router.

Happy resetting!

Did this method work for you? Drop your findings in the comments section below 🙂

If things didn’t work out, you’ve tried all avenues, and you decide need to get yourself another router, check out our guide on the best wireless routers available.

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