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How to Factory Reset a Drone (Easy Step-by-Step Guide)

8 mins
Drone Blog
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There are a number of reasons people want to factory reset their drones, with the most common one being when their drones aren’t working as intended and several possible repair steps have already been tried. Another reason could be that there’s going to be a change in ownership which could occur when you are giving someone your drone, or selling it. Whatever your reason for needing to factory reset your drone, you’ll find step-by-step instructions on how to do it successfully in this article. 

**You may need to have the manufacturer’s software to reset the drone in some cases, while some brands allow you to reset without having to use any software. The method to factory reset a drone depends on the manufacturer. **

We’ll be discussing different methods of resetting drones below. Continue reading to learn about them, and which one applies to your situation. 

Resetting a DJI Drone #

It’s important to first point out that not all drones have or support the factory reset function. The official DJI support account on Twitter responded to the inquiry of a user that was looking to reset his DJI Mavic Mini. In DJI’s response to the user, it was mentioned that there is no factory reset for DJI Mavic Mini drones. So if you are still unable to reset your drone after following the steps on this list, chances are that your drone doesn’t have a factory reset. 

Below are steps you can use to factory reset your drone. This method works especially for DJI drones but other drone brands that support factory reset can also be reset using the same steps. 

Step 1: You’ll need to install the DJI Assistant Program on your devices. The program can be downloaded on Windows or Mac OS computers. You can check the Google Play Store for the Android version. 

Note: There are different versions of DJI assistants, with each version compatible with specific drones. For example, the DJI assistant 2 works with Mavic Air, Mavic Pro, DJI Goggles, and more. There is also the DJI Assistant for Mavic which is compatible with Mavic, and DJI assistant for Phantom that works with Phantom drones like Phantom 4., Phantom 4 Pro, Phantom 4 Advanced, Phantom 4 Pro V 2.0.

Step 2: Turn on your drone. 

Step 3: You’ll have to connect your drone to your laptop using the USB cable that comes with it. You can also use other compatible USB cables. 

Step 4: Open the DJI Assistant program and wait for it to detect your drone. This might take a few seconds.

Step 5: You’ll be able to see your drone on the Connected Devices screen. Select your drone and then click on CONFIRM.

Step 6: The next thing is to click on Firmware Update. After that, you’ll be able to see the “Restore factory defaults” button. 

Step 7: Click on the factory reset button and then confirm when you are asked to confirm the reset. A progress bar will pop up showing the progress of the reset. You’ll be notified when the reset is complete. 

Resetting Other Drone Models #

The process of resetting other drone models is similar to that of DJI drones we described above. First, you need to install the application the drone manufacturer created for the drone. Then you need to connect your drone to your device and look for the reset option which is usually found under settings/systems/firmware update.

However, there are some drones that can be reset without using any application program. An example is Parrot drones like the Parrot mambo or Parrot Bebop drones. To reset these drones, you will have to switch the Parrot drone on and then wait for the LEDs to turn green. After that, press the power button again but this time, hold it for about 30 seconds. As you hold the power button, the two drone LEDs will turn red alternately and they’ll be blinking as this happens. After that, you’ll notice that the blinking will occur more frequently signaling that you are in the last stage of the reset process. 

Don’t release the power button until the LEDs return to green. When this happens, you are done and have successfully reset your Parrot drone. 

How to Reset Drone Wifi? #

If you are unable to connect your drone to your Wifi, then resetting the Wifi information back to the defaults may help fix this problem. Note that Wifi reset will only reset the Wifi information and the rest of your data will remain intact. Below are steps to reset the Wifi of a DJI drone:

Step 1: Turn on your DJI drone. To do this, you need one tap and another long press on the power button until the fan kicks it. This is the power-on sequence for most DJI drones.

Step 2: The type of DJI app you’ll use for the reset will depend on your model. I’ve mentioned some DJI software-specific apps earlier. You can check DJI’s official website for a list of available apps and software and drones that are compatible with this software. 

Step 3: You can navigate to the Wi-Fi menu on the app. Once there, you can then press and hold the drone’s power button until the drone makes three beeps which will usually occur under or at 10 seconds. The third beep confirms that the Wifi has been reset. 

Step 4: You’ll need to enter the default password when you are connecting your drone after a Wifi reset. Usually, the default password will be found next to the QR code. 

How to Reset a Drone Controller? #

Resetting a drone controller may be necessary if the controller isn’t performing as it should and you’ve already tried other solutions. We noticed that there isn’t a lot of information out there about respective drone controllers other than forum posts. 

We’ve put together a simple, generic guide to help you reset the controller of your drone. Hopefully, this will fix the issue with your controller and have you back in the air in no time.

Step 1: Hold down the power button on the drone for 9 seconds (for DJI drones) until you hear three beeps. Then do the same on the controller.

Step 2: The next thing is to power off both the controller and the drone.

Step 3: Then power on your controller, then press and hold down the pause, Fn, as well as the bottom right shoulder which you should be able to find underneath the DJI the camera button. Hold them down until you hear continuous beeping.

Step 4: Power on the drone again and then press and hold down the power button until you hear one beep. Then wait for the controller to connect to the drone and you see the lights turn green. 

Note: For some drone models like Parrot, resetting the drone also means resetting the controller. So if you’re already reset your Parrot drone using the method we discussed under the resetting drone subheading, then you can be sure that your controller has also been reset.

How do I Unregister my Drone? #

The FAA rules stipulate that any drone that weighs between 0.55 and 55 lbs must be registered. So if your drone falls within this weight range, you’ll need to register it. Note that this rule is applicable to both commercial and recreational drone users. As you’d expect, registration requirements for commercial users are a bit more elaborate than those for recreational users. 

You may be wondering why the FAA has this rule in place. And the reason for this particular rule is to be able to associate a drone with the identity of the owner, which we are sure you’d agree creates a necessary mechanism for accountability.

If you are a commercial drone user that’s registered with the FAA, you may want to deregister your drone when you want to sell it or give it to someone else. It’s an open secret that you can get a good buck when selling your drone as drones generally have a massive resale value. Remember we said that the purpose of the FAA registration is to provide accountability? Then, it’d make sense for you to get deregistered when transferring the ownership of your drone to maintain the system of accountability. 

Now, the deregistration process is dependent on whether you are registered as a commercial drone user or a recreational drone user. For commercial drone users, every drone will have to be registered individually with each drone linked to the identity of the pilot. This is not the same for recreational users as they will only have to register as owners of the drones. There is no need for them to provide any information about their drones. 

So if you are a recreational drone user, you can actually sell your drone without having to deregister them. This is because your registration isn’t tied to any specific drone and can be used on several drones. You’ll pay a registration fee of $5 to register and the registration number you are given can be used on any drones you own as long as you will be flying those drones recreationally. However, you’ll have to remove the marks of the old registration number when selling a drone. 

The process of deregistering commercial drones will require you to log in to the FAA drone zone website and unregister. You’ll have to provide the reason why you are unregistering the drone which is a simple enough process. 


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