Manually Clearing Config and Adding Unifi AP To Controller

  Taken from:

This is the process to add a new Unifi AP to the Unifi controller when discovery doesn’t work.  In our case, we have a central Unifi controller managing APs on multiple networks.  But, the routers don’t allow the discovery tool to see new APs on other networks, so this is how we add one.  In this example, we’ll say the Unifi controller is at

1) Write down (or take a picture on your phone) the MAC address for the new AP.

2) Connect the new Unifi AP.

3) Check DHCP to see what IP address was given to the Unifi AP by searching for the MAC address in the DHCP clients table.

Once you have the IP, we’ll use putty to ssh into the device.  In this example, we’ll use


NOTE: If the AP has been provisioned before, you’ll have to use the password for the Unifi controller it was provisioned by.

login as: ubnt

password: ubnt


NOTE: If the AP has been provisioned before, you’ll have to reset it to factory defaults.  to do that, use the following command, and then SSH back into the device when it comes back up.

> restore-default

Since this is a brand new AP for us, we just need to do this:

> set-inform

Next, we go connect to the Unifi command center.  In a few minutes, we should see an alert stating a new device has checked in.  If you don’t see the alert, check the device list, it should show up there as “Unknown”.  From either location (alerts or ap device list), you should have a button that says “Adopt”.  Adopt the new AP and go back to the SSH shell.

Send the command again, this should allow the AP to see that it has been adopted.

> set-inform

Now you should see the new AP provisioned in the Unifi controller and you can edit the name and update the AP firmware.

Same steps as above with initial Unifi Controller settings:

Here are the instructions for setting up the UAPs on the new Unifi Controller software. Make sure you configure the following sections on the server:

Under settings (lower left cog)

  • Wireless Networks, configure the SSID(s) and security you are currently using with them.
  • Networks, Edit LAN and set the correct Subnet.
  • Admins, create any additional accounts you may want/need.
  • Controller, Enable the SMTP Server, configure it, and test to make sure it works.

Adding a UAP on another VLAN (or entirely different network)

  • Using an SSH (putty) client, ssh into the UAP. If it hasn’t been configured before, username and password are ‘ubnt’. If it has been configured (adopted) by another controller, the username and password will be the same as what you use to log into the “old” controller web interface
  • You should set the UAP back to factory defaults to make sure it connects to the new controller properly. Make note of the UAPs MAC address to reference in the DHCP server once the UAP comes back up in factory default mode. To reset to factory, issue the following command:
    1. > restore-default

Keep in mind that this will revert it back to using DHCP on startup, etc. So check your DHCP server using the MAC address referenced earlier to see the new IP address

  • SSH into the new IP address and issue the following command:
    1. > set-inform http://server-ip-address:8080/inform
  • Check the Unifi Controller, it should have a message that a UAP is available to adopt, adopt the UAP
  • Back on the UAP send the command again:
    1. > set-inform http://server-ip-address:8080/inform
  • Finally, back in the Unifi Controller, you can set the name, upgrade the firmware, etc.