Router Firmware Update Failed: How to Fix This Issue?

By Dominic Chooper on September 18, 2023

It is important to keep your router firmware updated for proper functionality. However, at times it may fail even if you follow the correct guidelines.

In this post, you will find some of the most effective tips to troubleshoot the router firmware update failure issue quickly, either directly or indirectly.


Why Does Router Firmware Update Fail?

The most obvious reason for the router firmware failing to update is selecting the wrong file in the first place, which is not compatible with the particular router model.

This error may also occur if:

In short, there are several reasons for a router firmware update to fail. Fortunately, the solutions to this issue are pretty straightforward.

Ways to Fix Router Firmware Update Failed

The simplest fix to the router firmware update failed issue is to choose to update the compatible and latest version of the file that matches the router.

In addition, also try the following simple fixes before you move on with the other solutions to this issue:

Here are the steps to follow for a few specific solutions for a router firmware update failed issue.

Method 1: Reboot Your Router

As an initial step to the troubleshooting, reboot your router.

Often, rebooting or restarting your router may resolve the minor issues in it and may in turn fix the problem of router firmware update failure as well, especially if the issue is not related to other specific factors.


Removing the power adapter from the modem

removing the power adapter from the router

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Waiting for the modem to reboot and for the lights to turn on

Waiting for the LED lights to lighten

Note: Follow the order of unplugging and plugging the devices as mentioned above. If you follow the wrong order, you might experience slow internet to no internet at all.

Now, wait for all the devices to turn on, and then try updating the failed router firmware again.

If this cannot resolve the issue, follow the next method.

Method 2: Disable Firewall Security

Another indirect way to resolve the issue is to disable the firewall security of your system. This feature at times may disrupt the process of updating your router’s firmware. Disable it temporarily so that the necessary files can be downloaded.

Note: Different router models may have different interfaces and approaches. Refer to your router manual or documentation for the precise process. However, here are the basic steps to follow for the two popular router models.


For TP-Link Router:

LogIn to the router’s web interface

Clicking on the Save button

For D-Link Router:

Login by typing the Username and Password

Clicking on the Add button

Note: Disabling your router’s firewall for a long time is not recommended. Enable it again as soon as you are done with the updating of the failed router firmware.

However, if that does not work, maybe changing the adapter setting would.

Method 3: Change the Adapter Setting

There may be some internal issues with the adapter that are preventing updating the router. Make the following changes and, in the process, it may resolve the issue.

Note: Before you begin this process, make sure your computer is connected to the router through a wired connection.


Type control panel

Going to the Network and Internet option

Selecting Network and Sharing Center

Changing adapter settings

Selecting Properties from the dropdown options

Clicking on the Properties button

Clicking on the OK button

Now try updating your router firmware.

If none of the above indirect solutions could resolve the issue, here are some more effective solutions that you can try.

Method 4: Turn Off Virtual Private Network

If you are using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service, turning it off temporarily may help in resolving the issue.


In Windows Computer:

Selecting Settings from the pop-up options

Clicking on Network & Internet

Clicking on the Disconnect button

In a Mac Computer:

Selecting System Preferences

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Clicking on Network in the System Preferences

Clicking on the Disconnect button

Now, when you are done disconnecting your VPN service, access your router and perform the firmware update.

When the process is complete, reconnect to your VPN server following the same process but clicking on the Connect button this time.

From the Router:

If you have set up your VPN directly on your router, you can turn it off in the following way:

Disable the VPN or turn it OFF

A few particular models of routers may need rebooting after making such changes so that these can take effect. So, reboot your router if needed.

Note: The exact steps and options may vary from one router’s make and model to another. Visit the manufacturer’s website or refer to the user manual of your router if you have difficulty finding and disabling the VPN settings.

However, be very careful while performing the steps because making incorrect changes to the router’s settings can affect the network’s functionality adversely.

Method 5: Install the Earlier Stable Firmware Version

If you are having issues with installing the latest version, you may resolve the issue by installing the last stable version of the router firmware.

Note: Here a Netgear router model r7000 is used for demonstration purposes. The layout and interface may vary from your router model. So, refer to your router documentation while performing the steps with caution.


Checking the Firmware Version

Clicking on the first result

Clicking on the Downloads button

Scrolling down to the Previous Versions

Clicking on the Download button

Clicking on the Save button

Clicking on Show in folder

Clicking on Extract All

Clicking on the Extract button

Clicking on the Browse button

Clicking on Open

Double-click on the R7000-V1.0.9.42_10.2.44.chk file

Clicking on the OK button

Clicking on the Yes button

Clicking on the small circle next to I Disagree and I Agree

No, I want to configure the Internet connection myself

Clicking on the Next button

When everything is complete, you can see the router version is downgraded to an earlier version, as shown in the image below:

Router version is downgraded to an earlier version

Though this process does not allow upgrading, your network connection will be operational at least.

Method 6: Reset the Router to Factory Settings

If you still face the issue after trying all of the above solutions, you may try resolving the issue by performing a factory reset.

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Press the Reset button with a sharp object for about 7 to 10 seconds until the LED lights on your router flash.

Reset button

Now, set up your Wi-Fi again because all previous settings will be deleted after a factory reset.

Try updating your router firmware now.

Method 7: Perform Firmware Restoration in Rescue Mode

If the above method fails to resolve the issue, as a last resort and before calling a professional for repair, you may perform firmware restoration to resolve the issue in the rescue mode.

This feature is however available in a few specific router models, such as Asus, Linksys, and others.

Note: For demonstration, an ASUS router is used. Check your router documentation to find out whether or not it supports this feature and then follow the steps accordingly.

First, you will need to download the latest firmware and then make the necessary changes in the rescue mode.


Clicking on Driver & Utility

Go to Driver & Tools

Please select OS

Clicking Show all

Then unzip the two files

Double-clicking on the Rescue file

Choosing Setup Language

Please wait while the InstallShield Wizard prepares the setup

Clicking on the Next button

Choose Destination Location

Select Program Folder

Setup Status

Click on the Finish button

When the installation is complete, click on the Close button in the following window, after confirming the model number and hardware version from the label at the back of the device.

Clicking on the Close button

You must now change the network card settings.

RJ45 cable

Then follow the steps mentioned in Method 3 to go to the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) Properties window and change the IP address and Subnet mask in the same way.

Now, to go to the Router Rescue Mode, press and hold the Reset button at the back of your router as you did in the above method. However, make sure you unplug the router and plug in the power adapter while pressing the button.

Release the Reset button when the power LED light starts flashing slowly.

Clicking on the Browse button

Clicking on the Upload button

This will initiate the process, which might take a couple of minutes to complete. Close the window when it is complete.

Close the window

Now, go back to the Network Connections window and change the TCP/IPv4 to its original settings.


As you can see, right from viruses on your PC to selecting the wrong firmware file, there are a lot of reasons for router firmware updates to fail.

Try the troubleshooting hacks mentioned in this article to resolve it. If you still face the issue, consider seeking technical assistance from an expert.