When and how to use the modem's RESET button

If your modem isn't working right, or you accidentally messed up some of the settings, you may decide you need to completely reset your modem to its default settings.

But before you do, it's always worth trying to simply reboot your modem first. Click below to see basic instructions, or view more detailed instructions on our modem reboot page.

Rebooting your modem
Reboot didn't fix the problem?

When you should reset your modem

If a simple reboot didn't fix your problems, then it may be time to try a full reset. This returns your modem to its out-of-the-box settings. In many cases, a reset may fix the following issues:

  • Gaming problems
  • Routing errors
  • Can't connect to the internet errors
  • Slow connection speeds
  • Choppy VOIP 
  • Port connection issues 
  • Wireless network issues
  • Device conflicts

What the RESET button does

The RESET button restores your modem to its factory default settings. This also erases any customized settings you may have changed, including: static IP address setup, DNS, personalized password, customized wireless settings, port forwarding, routing and DHCP settings.

If you have custom settings that you want to save, learn how to back up your settings before resetting the modem.

IMPORTANT:  If you customized your modem login information, performing a factory reset will return the network name (SSID) and password to the original ones shown on the modem sticker.

How to perform a modem reset

No matter what kind of modem you have, the RESET button is likely on the back, and is usually red. It's recessed to prevent it from being pushed by accident, so you'll need a bent paperclip or pen tip to press it.

RESET button on C4000 modem

RESET button on mid-generation CenturyLink modem

Follow these steps to perform a modem reset:

  1. Press the RESET button in and hold it for 15 seconds. You should feel a slight click when you press it. When done correctly, the power light on the modem will start flickering orange/red.
  2. Wait 3 to 5 minutes. The power light will turn amber and you will need to run through the modem activation process as if setting it up for the first time. You may be asked for account login information to configure your modem.
  3. When the internet light turns green, you should be able to access the internet.
  4. Your previously connected devices may not be able to connect until you re-enter the network security key (WiFi password) in the wireless settings on each device.
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