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How to Access & Change Settings

To log in to your router, you need to know its IP address. You can find that using the ipconfig tool in Windows which we’ll explain below. You can also find the address on your phone by looking at the Wi-Fi details which, again, we’ll show you how to do below.

After finding out this information, you will almost certainly need the router’s admin password and that should be printed on a label on the router itself.

If someone has changed the default password, then you’ll need to ask them for it, or reset the router to factory settings.

If you can’t access your router via Wi-Fi, connect an Ethernet cable between your router and your PC or laptop.

Find gateway address in Windows

First, bring up a command prompt by typing ‘command’ in the Start menu search box and choosing Command Prompt. Or just press the Windows key and ‘R’ together and type ‘cmd’ then press Enter.

At the prompt type ‘ipconfig’ and press Enter. You will see a list of the network adapters in your PC. Look through the information to find the number next to Default gateway. This is the IP address of your router.

Find gateway address in Android or iOS

In iOS, open the Settings app and then:

  1. Tap on Wi-Fi
  2. Make sure your phone is connected to your router’s Wi-Fi network
  3. Tap the ‘i’ to the right of the network name
  4. Your router’s IP address is shown next to ‘Router’

In Android, settings menus vary from phone to phone, but once you find the Wi-Fi settings:

  1. Make sure your phone is connected to your router’s Wi-Fi network
  2. Tap on the network name
  3. Look for a ‘gateway’, ‘router’ or other entry in the list.

Unfortunately some phones do not list the router’s IP address, so you will have to use another device to find it. Again, you can try looking on stickers on the router itself or in its manual for the default address.

Log in to router

Armed with the router’s IP address, open a web browser and type the default gateway number – in our case – into the address bar, then press Enter. Don’t add http:// before the IP address.

Common router IP addresses are 

  • (BT Home Hubs)

In rare cases, you might need to add a colon and a port number at the end (such as, but most home routers won’t need this. 

You should now see the login screen for your router.

You will probably be asked to enter an admin password to make any changes to the router’s settings. This should be printed on the router, but if you changed it enter that password instead. If you don’t have the password you’ll need to factory reset the router by following the manufacturer’s instructions. (We provide generic instructions below.)

Having problems accessing the login screen? Keep reading…

Troubleshooting tips

If you don’t see the login screen, it could be because the gateway IP address has been manually entered under your network adapter settings.

To check, open Windows’ Control Panel and search for ‘network’. Click on View Network Connections under Network and Sharing Center.

Right-click on the adapter you use to connect to the internet (typically the wireless one or Ethernet for a PC) and choose Properties.

Then scroll down the list to find Internet Protocol Version 4. Click on it and then click the Properties button.

Make sure Obtain an IP address automatically is selected, and also Obtain DNS server address automatically.

Now repeat the previous steps to see if this has fixed the problem.

Reset your router username and password

If you’ve forgotten your router’s username and password, you’ll need to reset it to factory settings. This is usually achieved by pressing a button or inserting a paper clip or pin into a reset hole.

Note: Before you do this, bear in mind that you will lose any settings you’ve made and may have to re-enter your broadband username and details if you don’t have a backup. It’s not a major issue if you have those details to hand, however.

Check your manual to find out how long to hold the button for in order to reset it. The router will need to be connected to the mains and turned on in order for this to work.

After resetting your router you can follow the earlier steps to connect to the router’s management interface.

If your reason for accessing your router’s settings was to configure a Wi-Fi network, you can now do so. It’s worth changing the Wi-Fi network name to something memorable, but it’s most important to set a password.

If possible, choose WPA2 or WPA3 security rather than WEP.

While you’re at it, change the password for the router’s interface to prevent anyone else accessing your router’s settings.

Stick a label on the router so you won’t forget the IP address, Wi-Fi password and router username and password.

Extra checks

If you still can’t connect to your router, make sure any software firewalls are disabled. These might be part of your antivirus or internet security software, or a standalone application such as ZoneAlarm.

Temporarily disable these to see if they are causing the problem. Windows’ built-in firewall shouldn’t cause a problem.

Check also for other software such as parental control applications which may prevent you from accessing certain websites – a router’s settings interface is just a website.

There could also be settings within your web browser which are causing a problem, so try a different browser to eliminate this as an issue.


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