password lost
September 28, 2011 11:20 AM   Subscribe

Password help please. How can i reset the password on my wireless router?

I have a small business network connected with a lynksis wireless -g router. most of the wireless devices i have have connected automatically for so long that i have forgotten the password to get onto the network. I know there should be an easy way to use one of the computers connected by wire to access the router and change or find the password, but i don't remember how to do it. thanks in advance oh wizards of technology.
the two other relevant previous questions were not helpful btw.
posted by OHenryPacey to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
connect to the router with a UTP cable; it should let you in without a password and you can set a new one.
posted by gijsvs at 11:27 AM on September 28, 2011

Did you ever change the password? If it is still the factory default Google will give you the password.
posted by COD at 11:35 AM on September 28, 2011

To augment gijsvs' answer: You'll need to find the IP address of the given router.

You should be able to find this, on windows, with an "ipconfig /all" at the command line [when you're already connected to the router]. The line that says 'Default Gateway' is the one you'll be most interested in. Type the IP address listed in the Default Gateway line into your browser, and you should hopefully be greeted by your router's web interface.
posted by jangie at 11:36 AM on September 28, 2011

Google for the manual (using your model number). That should give you instructions on how to remotely access the router (usually by hitting a URL from one of the machines on your network). If the web console's admin password has been changed from the factory default and you can't remember it, you'll need to hard reset the router.
posted by Nahum Tate at 11:36 AM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Do you have a lot of custom settings at your router that would be a big deal to recreate? (I am guessing no, if you haven't touched it in such a long time) If no:
  1. Google your router's factory default username/password.
  2. Determine your router's IP address.
  3. Press and hold the reset button on the router for 30 seconds or so to reset the router to factory defaults.
  4. visit IP address, enter default username/password.

posted by misterbrandt at 11:39 AM on September 28, 2011

There's two passwords here.

1. is to access the settings of the router. To get that you're likely going to need to reset the router.

2. Is the password that allows you on to the network. OS X computers save these passwords and can be viewed In the settings. On windows there's a utility called Wireless Key View which can be used to recover wifi passwords.
posted by bitdamaged at 11:47 AM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

I believe most Linksys routers of that era default to, so that's one place to start. After following misterbrandt's instructions above, you should be able to visit that IP in a browser and log in as a blank user name with 'admin' as the password.

Googling the exact router model will give you the 'default password' and 'default IP address' for that model, too, in case my guesses above are wrong.
posted by rokusan at 11:57 AM on September 28, 2011

The easiest thing to do is to unplug the router, and then plug it in while pressing the "reset pin" at the back.

This will automatically reset the password to factory default settings.

Connect the router to a laptop with an ethernet cable, open an internet browser, navigate to the IP address above, type in admin/admin and reset the password manually.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:05 PM on September 28, 2011

There are also some sites that list default passwords for routers. Nothing sketchy, just a listing of the factory password setup. If, using some of the methods listed upthread, your router should default to one of the passwords listed.

Default Password List

posted by lampshade at 1:30 PM on September 28, 2011

Find the default password for the model pf router. Most(all?) home routers have a physical reset option. You use the tip of a pen to push the button for 30 seconds or so, and it goes back to factory defaults. Then, using a web browser, you go to and you log in to the router and can re-configure it.
posted by theora55 at 4:32 PM on September 28, 2011

Try going to in the browser of one of the computers that's connected to the wireless network (as rokusan said, but he switched two numbers).

If the router still has its default settings (the wireless network could have a custom name and password, but the router settings are often unchanged), you'll get a log-in prompt. Check in lampshade's links, but at least some linksys routers use the username "admin" and a password of either "" (blank), "admin", or "password".

If you can't find out how to log-in, go to the router itself and use a paperclip to hold down the reset button. Then the wireless network will become "LINKSYS" or whatever again, with no password, and the username/password for the router itself will revert to factory default.
posted by losvedir at 4:36 PM on September 28, 2011

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