FREE VIDEO: How to Reset or Recover your Lost Cisco Router or Switch Password

by David Davis on March 23, 2007

Have you lost your Cisco router or switch password? Learn how to Reset or Recover your lost Cisco Router or Switch password in this valuable VIDEO!

In this 20 minute video, David Davis, CCIE, will show you how to take a Cisco router that you cannot login to and either recover the password or reset the password.

This involves changing the configuration register to 0x2142, rebooting, recovering or changing the password, and changing the configuration register back to 0x2102.

There are other places on the Internet that TELL you how to do this but few that will SHOW you how to do this.

Check it out!

Looking for how to reset the pasword on your Cisco Catalyst 2950 switch? View this video on resetting your Cisco switch password!

{ 3 trackbacks }

10 dumb things you can do to your Cisco router | 10 Things |
01.15.09 at 3:10 pm
10 dumb things you can do to your Cisco router | How2Pc
01.16.09 at 9:41 am
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03.10.11 at 2:28 am

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Adewumi 05.20.08 at 1:41 pm

Beautiful stuff! David, I think your explanation’s exceptional. I was able to do it right once. Thanks for your invaluable assistance.

TJ TAZ 05.27.08 at 10:02 pm

So How is this video different than this one:

In the latter, the person holds the mode button while restarting to interrupt the start up sequence. They then rename the config file and reboot. The config file is then saved for future reference. The router boots in default mode allowing you skip the initial configuration dialog and you can then enter enable mode. You then rename and reload the old configuration file and because you are in enable mode you can view the file and obtain the first password. From there you enter config mode (config t) and either reset the secret password or disable it completely.

I am completely new to this, have no programming background or networking for that matter, but I do have a 2950 switch that none of my $150/hr networking guys can figure out how to reset the password. The happyrouter solution is thorough and clear but does not seem as elegant or simple as the one found on youtube. Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts. I am fortunate enough to have a spare 2950 to experiment on so I am gonna try the youtube version first and see what happens.

David Davis 05.28.08 at 11:20 am

Hi TJ,
While I haven’t yet watched the youtube video (but I will), the first thing I can tell you is that my video covers resetting the password on a Cisco ROUTER. The youtube video must cover resetting the password on a SWITCH because you said that they “press the MODE” button and a router has no mode button.
Good Luck to you in your password reset!
David Davis

FL_IT_Student 12.06.08 at 6:28 am

During the video, you kept making the disclaimer that this does not work exactly the same on 2500 series routers. Well, I have 4 of the 2500 series I am reclaiming. I watched to the end and the 2500’s differences were not addressed. What are the differences I have to be aware of? Thanks.

David Davis 12.06.08 at 6:35 am

Hi FL_IT_Student,
2500 series routers use the o/r command on the console instead of the commands used in the video. Please see this URL for 2500 series router password recovery:
Cisco 2500 Series Router Password Recovery

FL_IT_Student 12.06.08 at 6:59 am

Thanks for the help Dave. Happy Holidays to you and yours.

DJP 01.09.09 at 10:19 am

Outstanding ! Did the trick first time … many thanks !

Mike 01.23.09 at 9:42 pm

Wow, thanks! This saved my butt!

alis 03.25.09 at 4:25 pm

outstanding brother.. i understood all the things which u teach. thanks so much this is awsum video
i never comments on any website but i really like ur video… appreciate bro

Renfel 05.05.09 at 9:01 pm

Hi, i’ll just wondering if how to recover password on cisco 2960 ios 12.2, is it the same way that you did on the cisco 871. I tried to press ctrl + break but still i can’t get into the rommon mode… please help..

Brigitta Schwulst 07.24.09 at 8:43 pm

Hi There

I have been trying this on my WRT54Gl router. I get into the hyper terminal fine but when I power down the router it disconnects so I can’t seem to get the CTRL break to work. Am I doing something wrong?



Lawrence Corbett 08.04.09 at 9:42 am

Invaluable to a guy like me who buys used routers on ebay and finds they have all been configured. Being able to wipe out the start up config has saved my bacon. Thanks, so much. how do I sign up for training. Larry

David Davis 08.04.09 at 12:42 pm

Hi Lawrence,

I’m glad that I could be of help!

We have some more free Cisco routing, switching, and TCP/IP training videos over at-

Thank you for your comments!


wizdude 03.24.10 at 6:20 am

at 09:56 you could have just done a “copy start run” to restore back the original startup config, then gone into configuration mode, changed the secret and the config-register and then written it all back to flash.

this is actually the cisco documented method for resetting the password and saves you from re-entering anything.

cheers, wizdude.

rcmichelle 08.29.10 at 11:40 pm

Last time I forgot my password and tried everything i could do but failed, until I found this great tool Password Genius. It works great, and you can google it.

Heath Young 01.08.11 at 12:38 am

Awesome video! Worked like a charm. Thanks a million!

Darklurker 03.10.11 at 2:09 pm

Great video. Worked perfectly on my older 3700. Thanks for taking the time to post it.

Anto 05.28.11 at 2:59 am

Thank alot for you stuff David, I followed and managed to recover my password and scooped something out of it.Big up.

Dim Greece 06.11.11 at 3:39 am

Great video and it worked just fine. You saved me a 400km trip. And with wizdude’s note i didn’t have to reconfigure everything… Thank you both.

bob 08.04.11 at 6:36 am

very helpful

mirang 09.26.11 at 8:01 pm

hi dave.its an awesome video ..i have a question ..the first time the virtual configure register was 0*2102 and after perfoming some steps it changed to 0*2142..i cant understand that logic.can u plz answer my question

admin 09.26.11 at 8:35 pm

Hi mirang,
The 2142 is used to ignore the password in the configuration so that you can change it. The 2102 is the standard config. You can read about these in this Cisco doc-
Use of the Configuration Register on All Cisco Routers
Hope that helps!

mirang 09.27.11 at 8:01 pm

thanks dave for replying u are doing lots of good to students like us

Soreu 10.02.11 at 9:17 pm

” at 09:56 you could have just done a “copy start run” to restore back the original startup config, then gone into configuration mode, changed the secret and the config-register and then written it all back to flash.

this is actually the cisco documented method for resetting the password and saves you from re-entering anything.

cheers, wizdude.

like you video but waht do you think about Wizdude’s method. That’s how I recover my router password. It’s simple and quick. What do you think?

abdulrahman 11.10.11 at 12:23 am

hi ,,

thank you dave really i benefited from this vedio ,, currently im preparing for my CCNA Exam can you help me out to get the best video for CCNA exam if possible please email me at [EMAIL REMOVED]

thank you.

PETER 11.11.11 at 2:35 pm


PETER 11.11.11 at 2:36 pm


stefan 02.01.12 at 8:11 am

Very, very, Very good tutorial.

Alex 02.28.12 at 10:41 am

Man, this is awsome, thanks. I tried with the Cisco procedure and got lost along the way, but yours is easyer, it has fewer steps…

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