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Can't factory reset malfunctioning Google mesh router

Community Member

I have a 3-puck Google mesh wifi setup that has been working well since I installed it months ago. I just upgraded my Spectrum modem to a faster one and now the router won't work (flashing orange or red light - can't tell which). To test the modem and ethernet cable I plugged the modem directly into the ethernet port on a laptop, and I get nice speedy internet on the laptop. The Spectrum technician reports that he sees a strong signal from the modem at his end.  But when I use the same ethernet cable to connect the modem to the router, the router flashes blue for a minute or so after I turn it on, then flashes orange/red forever. I suspect it is orange, and is telling me that it doesn't detect an internet source. I tried to do a factory reset on the router puck, but the only way that I know to do that is to initiate it through the Home app on my phone, and that isn't working, presumable because it is looking the the network that the router provides. 

What am I missing? Are there other ways to factory reset the router? Are there other steps I could take to help troubleshoot? Could I substitute one of the other mesh pucks to see if the problem is hardware failure on the original one?  At this point I'm willing to reset the whole network, which I tried, but it won't seem to respond to the phone app.  Any advice appreciated.


Platinum Product Expert
Platinum Product Expert

If you've replaced your modem, that could be the cause of the challenge here. If it's flashing orange, that does mean it has no internet connection. You may have already checked this, but it's worth double checking the ethernet cable is properly connected to your modem and to the WAN (globe) port on the Wifi point. If it's still flashing orange, try these steps:

  1. Disconnect power from all of your network devices, including your modem and any Google Nest Wifi or Google Wifi devices. 
  2. Wait until all of the lights on the devices that you unplugged are off. This confirms that the devices no longer have power.
  3. Reconnect power to your modem only.
  4. Wait until your modem is fully powered on and all of its indicator lights are back on. This usually takes about two minutes.
  5. Reconnect power to your Google Nest Wifi router or primary Google Wifi point and wait until it's fully on. This takes about one minute.
  6. Reconnect power to any additional points or routers.
  7. Close and reopen the Google Home app.
  8. Perform a mesh test to confirm that your devices work properly.

If it still flashes orange at this point, the next step would be to try a factory reset. Resetting via the Google Home app won't work as your Wifi devices can't receive the reset instruction unless they're connected to the internet. Instead, you'll need to use the physical reset button on them.

Factory reset your Wifi device - Google Nest Help

Scroll down to the bottom of the article, select “My device isn’t available in the Google Home app”, then select the model you have to see the reset steps.

David_K, thank you.  I had spent over 5 hours on this, and after posting my question I left in frustration for a few hours. Upon returning, and seeing your reply, I dove in again. I think the only difference between what I had been doing and the steps you suggested was shutting everything down, including the modem and the Home app, before restarting from scratch. That seemed to do the trick. Each of the 3 pucks took some time, and a few attempts, before the app recognized them (I think the factory reset instruction I had attempted to issue hours earlier finally took hold, judging from the sequence of status lights, and I needed to allow each one to complete the reset and prepare itself for a new network pairing), Interestingly, the original network was gone, but I was able to set up the new network using the same name and password, so all of the network devices were able to connect without having to re-do anything. That's big when you have nearly 20 devices connected.  At the end of the day I wish Google had a better support model. It is really hard to get support over the internet when you have no internet. It is really hard to set up a network when the setup requires a network app. These things work fine (usually) when you set them up out of the box, but when something has gone wrong it is a royal pain to get it working again. What I really needed was a phone number to call and a real person to speak to. I could have cut about 4 hours, and a hefty rise in my blood pressure, from the repair time.  Having said that, I would have been dead in the water indefinitely had you not provided the response you did. So, a hundred gracious Thank You's. I am glad that you were there.

Platinum Product Expert
Platinum Product Expert

You're most welcome, glad it's sorted! If you have issues again in the future, here is how to contact the Google Nest support team directly. You would need to follow these steps on a mobile device that has internet access or that of a neighbour, friend, or family member etc.

  1. Go to Contact Us - Google Nest Help
  2. Select an appropriate product or category, type a brief description of the issue, then click Next.
  3. Click Other, then click Next step.
  4. In the Resources section, click Next step.
  5. Choose to get a phone call, call or chat with the team, depending on availability in your country.