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Resetting Your Device? Find the Default Username and Password

Guy McDowell 09-10-2013

Someone performed a factory reset on their wireless router and now they’re calling you for help. “I don’t remember the username or password!” they lament. As the go-to tech person for all your friends, you know what it is, or at least where to find it, right? You do, right?! Don’t worry if you don’t – today’s article is going to show you some great websites that act as archives for the default usernames and passwords for thousands of routers, modems, and devices of all kinds.


Just get the make and model number of the device and you’ll be fine. If your friend is resorting to resetting their devices because they can’t remember their own passwords, you might want to suggest a password manager app 5 Password Management Tools Compared: Find the One That's Perfect for You Choosing some sort of password management strategy to deal with the huge amount of passwords we need is crucial. If you're like most people, you probably store your passwords in your brain. To remember them... Read More .

If the issue is specifically with a router – and for home users, that usually seems to be the case – should be your first stop. It’s definitely an easy to remember a domain name. Simply select the router manufacturer from the drop-down box, click on the Find Password button and a list of all the routers they make as well as their usernames and passwords will come up.

Just for comparison’s sake, I chose Apple as the manufacturer. A fair number of results showed up, making me think this list is reasonably up-to-date.


One feature that makes even more useful is the ease with which you can submit new router usernames and passwords. On any page, you can click on the Add Password link in the top-right corner. That will take you to a form to submit your new found information. It is a moderated list, which cuts down on useless spammy entries.


With a very simplistic interface, and non-intrusive advertising, is usually my second stop. It might not have the largest database, but it is a solid one and easy to navigate. Covering 391 vendors with 1600 passwords, you should be able to find what you’re looking for — for most household computing purposes, as well as many work-related situations. The site also breaks things down by version number of the hardware as well.

Using Apple as the test manufacturer, you can either use the search box to find it, or click on the Apple vendor name, and then the device name. You’ll be presented with a concise screen like the one below, showing you exactly what the username and password is for your device. On this site, they have two versions: an unnamed one and version 1.1. If one doesn’t work for you, the other one probably will. The usernames and passwords match those found on, so that suggests that they are correct.


Consider this: if your friends simply can’t seem to remember their passwords and don’t want to use password management software, you might show them, 7 Ways To Make Up Passwords That Are Both Secure & Memorable 13 Ways to Make Up Passwords That Are Secure and Memorable Want to know how to make up a secure password? These creative password ideas will help you create strong, memorable passwords. Read More . It could save you from some panicked phone calls.

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Not to be confused with CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team), is a grey area IT security website. In other words, this might be a last resort list to check out for default usernames and passwords. The site hosts a fair amount of hacker-related information, which appears to be intended as warnings to information security types. However, that information can be used inappropriately as well. Just a heads up.

The list covers not only devices, but different applications and software packages as well. For example, there are 12 entries for Apache Tomcat server software. If you’re just trying to help your friend get back into an application or website they forgot their password for, you might try one of these 6 Free Password Recovery Tools for Windows 6 Free Password Recovery Tools for Windows Read More .

Navigating the information is very similar to the site. You can either perform a text search or scroll through the list of vendors and click on the one in which you are interested. This list doesn’t appear to be as well curated as the other lists, as there are two separate vendor entries for Apple: Apple and Apple Computers. Using just Apple yielded two results for iPhone usernames and passwords. Using Apple Computers gave us some results related to Airport and Apple Networking.


Advertisement does have a couple of features that are helpful if you are trying to actively keep track of default usernames and passwords. You can follow them on Twitter (@passdb) where they will post newly-added records. They also have a Firefox add-on that allows you to look up usernames and passwords from the search bar.

The Takeaway

If your friend accidentally or purposely performs a factory reset on their device, all is not lost. There are these three excellent resources out there, as well as many other sites that have references to default usernames and passwords. This is also a good way to check the security on your devices and applications as none of them should ever be left with the default usernames and passwords. We’ve proven that anyone can get their hands on that information!

Have you ever been stuck in this situation? Had to hack into your own devices? How did you do it? Did you search out the default username and password or use another method? Has this article made you think about checking your devices for default usernames and passwords and changing them? Share with us in the comments, it’s how we all learn together.

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  1. Guy M
    October 10, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Yes, you are correct!

    I always end up with the ISP's router which are usually a POS with no information though. (POS = Piece of Shhhhtuff)

  2. Bruce E
    October 10, 2013 at 12:56 am

    The first stop for this info should be the sticker on the bottom of most modern routers. There is generally a label there that has the device's default username and password. This most definitely applies for Belkin routers as each device seems to have their own default (not done just by make/model) .