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Keep calm and give your glitchy smart home a factory reset

If your connected gear is in need of a fresh start, most devices offer a simple and nondestructive way to return things to their factory settings.

Andrew Gebhart
1 of 36 Chris Monroe/CNET

Start your smart home from scratch

If your devices are malfunctioning, or you want to give them to a friend, or you just don't like how you have things set up and want to start over, or perhaps you're moving and want to keep your data secure from the new homeowners, a factory reset might be the answer. 

Factory resets return your device to its default settings and erase all of your stored info. Once it's done, you can start fresh. Fortunately, lots of smart-home devices make this easy. So put the hammer away, and solve your glitches the less destructive way.

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Grab your paperclips

Though it's becoming less common, plenty of smart-home devices still have a reset button hidden in a small hole on the bottom or back of the device. Look for this first if you want to do a factory reset, and have a paperclip handy, as you'll need one to reach these buttons.

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Philips Hue Bridge

The Philips Hue bridge has one of these buttons. If you're having trouble with the bulbs, flip the bridge over and you'll find the button on the back. Use a paperclip and hold it down to reset the bridge and any bulbs synced with it.

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Amazon Cloud Cam

Use your paperclip to reset the Amazon Cloud Cam too. 

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Amazon Echo

If you have an original Amazon Echo or an Amazon Echo Plus, the reset button is hidden on the bottom of the device, and you'll need that paperclip.

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Amazon Echo Plus

Hold it for 5 seconds and it'll return to its factory defaults.

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Amazon Echo Dot (1st Gen)

The first-generation Amazon Echo Dot also hides a reset button on the bottom of the device, but Amazon's newer smart speakers make factory resets easier. 

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Amazon Echo Dot (second-gen)

The $50 second-generation Echo Dot requires you press and hold a pair of buttons for 10 seconds to do a factory reset -- the mute and volume down buttons.

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Amazon Echo (second-gen)

You'll need to press the same combination of buttons on the second-gen Amazon Echo

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Watch the lights

The light ring will turn orange, then blue after 10 to 20 seconds. Release the buttons and the lights will turn off, then go back to orange when it's ready to be set up again. 

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Amazon Tap

To reset the portable Amazon Tap, you'll need to press and hold the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth button -- the bottom button shown here -- plus...

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Amazon Tap

...the back button shown here. Hold both for 12 seconds until the lights on the Tap turn orange, then blue.

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No paperclip necessary

On other devices, you'll find a reset button you can reach without a paperclip. Most require you to hold it or go through an extra step or two so you don't reset the device with an accidental press.

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Belkin WeMo Insight Switch

With the Belkin Wemo Insight Switch, you need to unplug the device, then hold down the button while plugging it back in.

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Belkin WeMo Insight Switch

Keep holding the button for 5 to 15 seconds while the switch is plugged in, and you'll notice the light on the top start to blink amber. You can release the button at that point and the switch will be ready about a minute after that.

Sonos One
16 of 36 Sarah Tew/CNET

Sonos One

You have to hold a button while plugging in the Sonos One smart speaker as well. The Connect button is just above the Ethernet port. Hold it down while you plug in your Sonos One and continue holding it until the light flashes amber and white. 

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Google Home

To factory-reset the Google Home, you need to press and hold the mute button. You'll hear Google Assistant warning you that it's about to reset the device while you hold the button. 

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Mini and Max

For Google's other smart speakers -- the Google Home Mini and the Google Home Max -- you'll need to find a tiny little reset button hidden near the power cord on the back of the devices. 

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Google Home Mini

Here it is on the Google Home Mini. 

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Lutron Smart Bridge

Reset your Lutron dimmers by pressing the button on the back of the Smart Bridge for 20 seconds.

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Piper NV

The Piper NV security cam has an easy-to-reach power button that doubles as a reset button.

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Piper NV

You'll need to hold the button on Piper for a few seconds until the light on the front of the camera shuts off. Leave it powered down for a minute, then hold the power button down until flashes between red and yellow before turning solid yellow. Release the button and wait a few minutes for the light to turn blue. Once you see the blue light, the Piper NV is ready to be set up anew.

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iDevices Switch

You can also use the power button on the iDevices Switch to reset it.

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Hold the button on the iDevices Switch for 10 seconds or more until you see the light on the front flash red and white.

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Check the app

Not all smart home devices have a physical reset button. In fact, they're becoming less and less common. The August Smart Lock is one such device. If you want to return a lock to its factory settings, you'll need to do so in the app. Be extra-careful when giving these to a friend if you've already used it. You'll want to make sure you've reset it with your app or your friend will have no way to start fresh without contacting August's customer support. Use the settings icon to start the reset process.

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August Smart Lock

Scroll down on the settings page and you'll find the factory reset option.

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Amazon Echo Look

You also need to use an app to reset the Amazon Echo Look, Amazon's smart speaker with a camera attached. 

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Nest Cam

The Nest app lets you reset the Nest Cam

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Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor and Indoor both have buttons you'll need to press, instead of resetting them in the app. The button for the Outdoor is on the front of the cam just below the Nest logo. The Indoor button is on the bottom of the camera stand. 

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The button the back of the SmartThings hub looks like a reset button, but it won't perform a factory reset. You'll need to do that in the app.

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Using the device

Some devices let you use the digital interface on the device itself instead of a physical button. With the Nest Thermostat, you can return to factory settings via the settings menu.

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Nest Learning Thermostat

Click Settings, then Reset on your Nest Thermostat.

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Finishing the reset

Select "All settings" in the reset menu and the thermostat will erase everything in its memory and be good as new.

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Amazon Echo Show

You can use the touchscreen on the Amazon Echo Show to give it a factory reset. 

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Amazon Echo Spot

As with the Show, go to the settings using the touchscreen on the Amazon Echo Spot to reset it. 

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Ring Video Doorbell 2

With the Ring Video Doorbell 2, you can hard-reset it by holding down the main black button for 15 seconds. That'll return the device to its setup mode, but isn't quite the same as a factory reset. Use the app to complete the process by deleting the doorbell from your account. 

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