Netgear® has created a vast line of WiFi range extenders, many of which feature a hard reset button that, when pressed, erases any customized settings, and returns the extender to factory default values (restores the settings to what they were when the unit was shipped from the factory). Do this if the extender begins exhibiting erratic behaviors such as failing to connect to the primary Wi-Fi network, the extended or extension network becomes noticeably slow or freezes up, and so on.
Here, we offer a generic procedure for a Netgear® wireless extender factory reset which, hopefully, will correct most extender problems often experienced in wireless network devices.
How to Perform a Netgear® WiFi Extender Hard Reset
- Locate reliable AC power. It’s important that the power source not be interrupted during the hard reset operation, as this can corrupt the extender’s memory, leaving the installed firmware corrupted and non useable. The extender may not start up properly afterwards and thus, be “bricked” or completely non functional. So, we recommend plugging your extender directly into a well-fitting and non switched AC wall outlet. Do not attach it through an extension cord, in order to avoid the loose and intermittent connections often associated with cheap or worn out extension cords.
- Power on your extender. Wait until it finishes booting before proceeding to the next step. Typically, booting can take between thirty seconds and one minute.
- Record any settings you’ve changed. Write down any changed settings you’ve made to the extender, such as the network name and password of the Wi-Fi network the extender is currently extending, wireless channel numbers used, and so on. Since these settings will be erased during the reset, you’ll want to have a written list of them for after the reset, so you can easily apply the relevant ones again.
- Initiate reset by either of two ways. If you want to use the physical reset button located on the extender itself, skip ahead to step 9. Or, you may order a hard reset via the device’s administrative web pages (most Netgear® extenders provide both of these options). In that case, continue on with the next step. An advantage of resetting though the web, is that you won’t have to dig out the extender from behind furniture, inside a wiring closet, and so on, in order to reach the physical reset button. However, using the web may not always be a practical, particularly in those situations where the extender has become unresponsive. So make this choice based on the particulars of your circumstances.
How to Reset a Netgear® WiFi Range Extender via the Netgear® Genie® Web Site
- Log in to the Netgear® extender’s admin web site. With the range extender powered up and fully booted, go to a web browser on a computer that’s connected to the extender. Then, visit the http://mywifiext.net/ site. The Netgear® Genie® web site front page then displays.
- Locate the hard reset option on the web site. Typically, you’ll find the factory default reset link under the Settings->Other section.
- Click the RESET button. This brings up a restore factory defaults confirmation prompt screen. You may choose not to reset the extender at this point. In that case, just leave the reset page. However, if you still wish to proceed, move on to step 8.
- Click the YES button. Clicking or tapping this link is akin to pressing the physical reset button, in that it takes the network extender offline while the original factory settings are restored. You will also be logged off of the http://mywifiext.net/ web site during this time. Lights will go out for a time, then begin flashing as the restoration takes effect.
- You’re done! Now, you may move your extender to a different location and set it up there. Or, it’s now ready for the next user if you’re going to sell or gift it.
How to Reset a Netgear® Range Extender with its RESET Button
- Locate the reset button. The button is quite small, and typically located inside a hole on either the back or bottom of the range extender. The button may be red or silver in color, and likely is recessed beneath the cabinet surface. You may need a flashlight if your extender is positioned in a dark location.
- Press and hold the reset button for ten to twenty seconds. Since the access opening for the reset button is usually miniscule, you’ll likely have to insert the tip of a pen or a bent straight paper clip, to reach the button. Also, this button is delicate and therefore, easily damaged or jammed. So, increase your pressing pressure only until you feel the button give (click) into the activated position. Then, continue applying that same amount of pressure (and no more), until the extender begins resetting itself.
- Release the reset button. You can tell when reset begins because the lights will all go out, except for perhaps the power lamp. You need not continue holding the reset button in, once resetting starts. Applying pressure for too long can, again, damage or prematurely wear out the button. So, only hold it in as long as it takes to initiate factory default resetting.
- Wait for the wireless extender to finish resetting. This can take up to several minutes. So be patient, and DO NOT UNPLUG (POWER DOWN) YOUR EXTENDER WHILE RESETTING!!! Again, powering off most any network device while it’s resetting can brick it. If that happens, you may have to send the extender back to Netgear® for proper re flashing, if they can do that at all. For cheaper extenders, factory re flashing may not be worth the expense. So, get it right the first time, and never shut off any extender while it’s resetting. Factory default restoration is done when the lights on the extender stop blinking. You should also be able to access the extender’s admin setup web pages at http://mywifiext.net/ .
- Re apply any customized settings. Once the hard reset is finished, make any changes to the extender’s settings that your specific network might require, at the http://mywifiext.net/ site.
- You’re done.
However you reset the extender, it is now ready for configuration. Note that it will no longer work, until new networks to be extended have been entered.
- 2017-02-28: Originally published.