WDR3500 reset button with OpenWrt

1st let me apologize "complete newb here" .... well not complete I guess I have installed and reinstalled firmware and reset to default many times as well as recovered my tplink wdr3500 to original factory defaults so familiar in some ways but not others. Also if I am posting in the wrong section with this question I also apologize let me know please.

I installed the firmware with ease. I have a:

TP-Link TL-WDR3500

downloaded from https://openwrt.org/toh/tp-link/tl-wdr3500

at the bottom of the login page at is states:
Powered by LuCI openwrt-18.06 branch (git-18.228.31946-f64b152) / OpenWrt 18.06.1 r7258-5eb055306f

Configured the router as I wanted it username/password/wifi/ settings etc., but I have since changed some hardware connected and wanted to do a reset of the firmware so I could change passwords and add mac addresses and I have found the reset button does not function.

I am presuming that it was not configured into the build. Is there anyway for me to be able to enter any kind of recovery mode or another way to reset the router back to default? Am I able to load any recovery through the usb port or is this not functioning either?

I am confused and at a lost.

If I could ask you for any assistance with this matter as I am not in a position to purchase a new router and was very much looking forward to using this build.

Thank you in advance if you can assist me.



Thank you for the link. I have went through the entire page and nothing seems to work for me.

I am on Linux mint 18.3 Kde and I can't seem to get any terminal commands to work.

Further more all the work arounds seem to be using the 'reset' button on the back of the router.
As I mentioned I don't believe it is working or been excluded in the build as it does not work. I have tryed powering off hold reset power on.
I have attempted every recovery etc.

I have tryed the umount /overlay && firstboot && reboot in the terminal and I get nothing.

Help please. I can't use the username and password as well in the login page for the firmware to get into the router or I would simply reset from within the config. How my login creds have become corrupt or changed I do not know.
The router is still working and all I just need to reset it so I can add a new device but it will not let me in so I thought I would try to recover it as per the page but to no avail.

Please assist from here.

Thx Jim

WAIT!!! You still have console access???

If so, then try:


Do not run an unmount command.

  • Make sure you clear your browser cache
  • Make sure that you're not browsing to /cgi-bin/luci/admin/logout
  • Make sure that the username is root


Wait!! I'm not sure what you mean by Console Access. I was trying the commands in the terminal in my computer. I'm totally lost as to how to connect to the actual router through the terminal in my laptop.

Sorry I'm lost.

Your descriptions are indeed a little bit confusing. Issuing those commands in a shell on your computer will do nothing, it needs to be a SSH connection to your router. Before we go down this road, however, I notice this:

"states", as in present tense? You do still have web access to your router, and it does still work? I think everyone just directly went to the assumption that your OpenWrt installation is broken in some way, but you never actually say that.

If you really still have web interface access, just use it, go to
System > Backup / Flash Firmware
there's a button to "Reset to defaults" there.

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I'm reading the situation here is a forgotten root password. OpenWrt typically runs with only one user, "root". Attempting to log in with a different user name will fail. Note that when you run ssh on a PC, it defaults to trying to log in to the remote machine with your PC user name. You need to specify with "root@" or "-l root" to log in to the other machine as root.

That is easy to fix with failsafe mode and a PC with a SSH client. The SSH client comes standard with Ubuntu. The 3500 has nothing tricky about entering failsafe mode.

Start with the router power off. Be ready to press the WPS/Reset button but do not press it yet. Turn the router power on and wait until the "gear" LED (second one from the left, next to the power LED) starts flashing. This will be about 10 seconds after you turned the power on. Immediately when you see it flash, press and release the WPS/Reset button several times rapidly. If you were successful, the "gear" LED will now be flashing very quickly. The router is now running in failsafe mode.

The failsafe mode will stay running until you change it, so you can set the router down and connect one of the LAN ports to your PC. Set the PC to a static IP of and a netmask of Then:

ssh root @

You will be prompted to either accept the SSH key, or if you have SSHd to another device at the same address before, be told that the key has changed and that seems really bad, and you need to run a command to forget the old key, then run ssh again. Once you get past that you should see a page of instructions from the router and the OpenWrt command prompt.
If it is just a forgotten password you should do mount_root then passwd then reboot. If you aren't sure what is wrong you could do firstboot, that will require you to reconfigure everything like from a new install.

MK24, lleachii, et al

I was able to connect through ssh -l root 192.168.. and reset. Reconfigured and working beautifully.

Thank you good folks and have a great holiday.

Consider topic closed.

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