IOS : Factory reset a Cisco Catalyst switch

By | September 17, 2021

In this article we will cover the procedure to reset a Cisco Catalyst to factory default settings. This will wipe out the current configuration written in flash and also the VLan database file as well.

1. Connect the switch serial console port to a computer and open up a terminal so you can see the boot process on screen;

2. If the switch was powered on, pull the power plug;

3. Hold the “Mode button” (this is usually located at the lower left corner of the switch);

4. While holding the mode button, connect the power and maintain the mode button pressed until you see the boot process interrupted with the following output:

system software:

5. Erase the flash filesystem by using the following command:


(Once complete, the last output line on screen will be “…done Initializing Flash.”)

6. Delete the “config.text” file from the flash:

del flash:config.text

7. Delete the VLan database file from the flash:

del flash:vlan.dat

8. Boot the switch by using the following command:


You switch is now back to factory default.