How to Unbrick a Router

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Updated February 11, 2023

If you have experienced some issues with your wireless network, you may wonder how to unbrick a router. Even the best routers, after all, can become bricked in certain situations. So what causes a bricked router and how to fix this all-too-common issue? Keep reading to find out.


  • A router model can brick or become unusable when installing a third-party firmware file, official firmware, or after becoming infected with malware.
  • If your router is bricked, unplug it for 30 seconds and plug it back in.
  • If that didn’t work, attempt a hard manual reset by pressing a straightened paper clip onto the reset button located on the outside of the router.

What Bricks a Router?

Even the best modem/routers and regular routers become bricked, or simply stop working, in certain scenarios. You might have attempted to reset the router password but it didn’t work. However, if you attempt to install a third-party firmware update, the router could become bricked. Also, certain malware can brick routers, forcing you to learn the definition of a DMZ on a router, as can updating to a new version of the original firmware. In other words, if it’s totally bunk, you might want to switch to a new router like a Broadcom or a Qualcomm router.

How to Fix a Bricked Router

The process here differs depending on your specific router and what bricked it in the first place. It can be tough to even figure out if a router is bricked in the first place, leading you to learn the definition of US/DS on a router. Simply put, if the green lights are not flashing, your router is likely bricked.

There are some troubleshooting steps to consider as you attempt to get your router working again, though these will not work in all instances.


Your first step? Simply unplug the router and leave it unplugged for 30 seconds to a full minute. Plug it back in and see if that fixed the problem. If so, great, you are done. If not, keep reading.


Your next step is to connect your router via a wired connection with an Ethernet cable to a LAN port. Once connected, input the router’s public IP address or static IP address into a web browser or command prompt. This should lead you to the settings page. This page could provide information as to what is going on with your router and offer a solution, which is typically resetting to default settings.


If that didn’t work, try a manual reset of the router. Straighten out a paper clip and find the reset button on the exterior of the button, which is typically a tiny trigger switch embedded in the frame. Hold the paper clip on the button for 30 seconds until the router resets. In a few minutes, it should be restored to factory default settings.

Insider Tip

If your router bricks under normal circumstances while it is still under warranty, the manufacturer should furnish you with a replacement.


How to disable DNS lookup in Cisco?

This depends on your particular Cisco router and if you are using Tomato firmware (DD-WRT firmware) or stock firmware. Typically, head into the settings and look for DNS settings.

Do routers stop working?

Unfortunately, all technology has a shelf life. Routers, like any other gadget, stop working, after all, refusing network connections, port connections, and new versions of stock firmware.

How to determine if my router is bricked?

This may necessitate a look at the power LED lights, the status of a network adapter, or a visit to a TFTP client. It is tough to tell if a router is bricked.

STAT: Upgrading the firmware using the Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) utility is done if you cannot access the web-based setup page to do the upgrade. This may be used as a fix to non-working (bricked) routers but this solution may not work for all. (source)

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