UniFi - Device Adoption

Adoption is the process of connecting a device to the UniFi application that will manage it. All UniFi Access Points (APs), cameras, phones, and other devices are designed to make the adoption process as simple as possible.

  1. Set up your UniFi application on your UniFi OS Host (e.g., a Dream Machine product or Cloud Key Gen2 Plus). We recommend using a UniFi OS Console for the simplest, most streamlined adoption process.
  2. Power on your new UniFi device and connect it to the same network as your UniFi host.
  3. Sign in to your UniFi application on the Web Portal or mobile app (iOS and Android) and click to Adopt the device.

What if I can’t adopt my device?

UniFi devices are built to work simply. If you are having trouble, it is likely due to an issue in your environment. Follow our simple troubleshooting process below.

Make sure UniFi Network is set up and running on a UniFi Host

Your UniFi application must be set up and running before adopting a new device. Make sure you have already gone through the setup process of your UniFi OS Host*. Alternatively, see Standalone Access Points (without UniFi) to learn about AP management without a UniFi Host. 

*Advanced users self-hosting the UniFi Network Server should make sure it is already installed on the appropriate machine. This should only be running on one machine for the lifetime of your network.

Check your device’s power supply

Make sure your device is receiving the appropriate amount of power. It is common for users to accidentally supply PoE power when the device requires PoE+ or PoE++. 

If your device is connected to a PoE switch, ensure the switch isn’t exceeding its PoE availability. All switches have a maximum power output, and it is possible to hit that maximum before using all available ports. See PoE Availability and Modes for more information.

Check your device’s physical connection

A damaged cable or port may prevent your device from adopting. We recommend testing a new cable and port (if using a switch) to rule out any damage. 

If you are unsure about your cabling, we recommend an Official UI Cable.

Make sure your device is receiving an IP address

We recommend using a UniFi OS Console, which has a built-in gateway capable of providing IP addresses.

You can verify if your device is receiving an IP address by using the WiFiman Mobile App’s Discovery feature. The following scenarios indicate a problem receiving an IP address:

  • The device does not appear
  • The device receives a “fallback IP address” of

The inability to receive an IP address is likely related to a network misconfiguration. This can block communication between the UniFi device and its application host. See Virtual Network Connectivity and Isolation for more information.

For users with a non-UniFi gateway or router, contact your vendor or ISP for more information.

Make sure your device is on the same network as your UniFi host

UniFi device discovery only works if the device is on the same network as your application host (e.g., it can be reached without passing through a router). Refer to UniFi Cloud Adoption (Layer 3) if you are using our subscription-based UniFi Cloud, or if your device is on a different network than your host (Layer 3).

Verify that your device displays a solid white LED

A solid white LED indicates that the device is powered on and awaiting adoption. If your device has a blue LED, this indicates that it has already been set up. If this is the case, it is likely that you mistakenly set the device up in Standalone Mode on your mobile app. Factory restore your device, and it will be available for adoption to your UniFi Network application.

For more information, see Understanding Device LED Indicators.

Ensure there are no third-party applications blocking connectivity

We recommend our UniFi OS Consoles because they are preconfigured to allow communication with our devices. They also minimize the impact of third-party environmental factors. Non-UniFi gateways and ISP modems are known to block certain ports necessary for running UniFi. TCP Port 8080 and UDP Port 10001 must be open for device adoption. Contact your third-party vendor or ISP for assistance with opening these ports.

For a comprehensive list, see our Required Ports Reference.

For users with a self-hosted UniFi Network Server, please also be aware that software-based firewalls (particularly Windows) and antivirus software are known to block communication. We recommend disabling these for testing purposes.

Get a UniFi OS Console

UniFi OS Consoles are designed to make your life easier. They serve as a dedicated, secure UniFi host that is resilient against third-party factors which may otherwise interrupt your experience.

Other Considerations

Early Access Device: If you purchased an Early Access device, make sure you are running the appropriate Early Access software version. See our Releases for more information.

Managed By Other: This indicates a device was set up and adopted by another host. There are three potential reasons for this:

  1. You factory reset your UniFi OS Host, but did not reset your device. 
  2. You downloaded and installed the UniFi Network server by accident, and adopted it to that.
    Note that the server is not a “viewer,” and only one instance of UniFi Network should be installed.
  3. You set up your device in Standalone Mode on the mobile app. 

You can address all cases by factory resetting the device and readopting it, or restoring a backup from the original device host.

Adopting APs Wirelessly: This requires Wireless Meshing, which is enabled by default. It is located under UniFi Network > Settings > WiFi. This requires at least one wired AP present and within range of the wireless AP you wish to adopt.

Adopting Cameras and IoT Devices: This requires New Device Auto-Link, which is enabled by default. It is located under UniFi Network > Settings > WiFi. This requires at least one wired AP present and within range of the wireless device you wish to adopt.

ISP Modem Bridge Mode: Devices that suddenly go offline or switch between online and offline may indicate a network overlap. Make sure your ISP modem is in Bridge Mode. Contact your ISP to request assistance. 

Incorrect DNS Resolution: Devices connect to the UniFi application using the hostname http://unifi:8080/inform; check your router/gateway DNS settings if devices are unable to connect suddenly.

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