Device adoption is the process of connecting a UniFi device to its corresponding UniFi application in order to manage it. This article explains how device adoption works, how to adopt devices to the UniFi Network application, and how to troubleshoot certain issues that may arise.
- How UniFi Network device adoption works
- Before adopting a UniFi Network device
- How to adopt a UniFi Network device
- Other types of device adoption
- Troubleshooting common device adoption issues
- Advanced adoption troubleshooting
How UniFi Network device adoption works
After setting up a UniFi OS Console, the next step is to adopt your UniFi access points and switches with the Network application.
UniFi Network scans your network to find newly connected UniFi devices that can be managed. UniFi devices can have one of two statuses:
LED Light Color
New devices ready to be adopted by UniFi Network
Devices managed by UniFi Network
Before adopting a UniFi Network device
To ensure a smooth adoption process, make sure your UniFi device is:
- Set up correctly according to its Quick Start Guide, which can be found either on the device's product page at store.ui.com or our Downloads page.
- Turned on and displaying a steady, white LED light.
- On the same network as the UniFi OS Console hosting UniFi Network.
How to adopt a UniFi Network device
Adoption via the UniFi Network mobile app
- Launch the UniFi Network mobile app.
- Select the UniFi OS Console that your device is connected to.
- Follow the adoption wizard’s on-screen instructions.
Note: If the pop-up adoption prompt does not appear, tap the UniFi Devices icon and find the device that is ready for adoption. Select it, then tap either the + icon or Adopt. If you do not see your device, follow the troubleshooting steps in this section.
After you tap Adopt, the device will go through Adopting and Provisioning statuses. Do not disconnect the device until it has a Connected status.
Adoption via the UniFi Network web application
- Launch the Network web application from unifi.ui.com.
- Open the UniFi Devices page.
- Select the device that is ready for adoption.
- Click Adopt.
If you don't see your device here, follow the troubleshooting steps in this section.
Do not disconnect the device until it has a Connected status indicating that it is fully adopted.
Other types of device adoption
Setting up a standalone access point
If you do not have a UniFi OS Console, you can set up a WiFi network on an individual access point (AP) by using the standalone setup method.
Note: This setup method is not advised for most users and will prevent you from managing the AP remotely.
If you have an existing WiFi network:
- Connect your mobile device to the same network as your AP.
- Open the UniFi Network mobile app and scroll to the bottom of the UniFi OS Consoles list to find your device under Standalone Devices.
- Tap your device, then Configure.
- Set up your WiFi network under WLAN, change your AP radio settings under Radio, and choose an admin username and password under Device Credentials.
If you do not have access to an existing WiFi network, you will need to manually connect to the AP:
- Open the Network mobile app and tap + in the top-right corner to initiate device discovery. If you manage other consoles, you may need to tap the 3-line icon in the top-left corner first, then Add New at the bottom.
- Click Connect to a device manually, then Connect to AP.
- Scan the QR code on the back of your AP and complete the connection process.
Click Join to allow UniFi Network to connect to your access point. This will allow you to manage the AP. Finish configuring your standalone AP by following Steps 2-4 in the If you have an existing WiFi network section above.
Adopting a UniFi Security Gateway
If you are using a Cloud Key, you can adopt a USG with UniFi Network. First, make sure your ISP modem/ router is set to bridged mode.
For most users, the process of adopting these devices will be the same as with other UniFi devices.
To apply advanced configurations to your gateway before adopting it (e.g., setting up a PPPoE or static IP connection, etc.), connect a computer to the same network as the gateway then enter the gateway’s IP address into a web browser (Google Chrome is recommended). This address is typically: 192.168.1.1.
Note: The default username and password for logging in to a USG via its IP address are both ubnt.
If your gateway doesn’t have an internet connection, try resetting your ISP modem/router. If the problem persists, contact your ISP.
Troubleshooting common device adoption issues
Device doesn't show a steady, white LED light
LED is Off
Check if the device is sufficiently powered, or check if it is already adopted and set to have a disabled LED.
LED is Solid Blue
Check if you have already adopted the device to another console.
For more information about device LED signifiers , see LED Color Patterns for UniFi Devices.
Device doesn't appear for adoption
- Make sure the UniFi Network application and device are on the same network.
- Confirm that your Ethernet cables are firmly connected and intact. If not, we recommend replacing them with new cabling.
- Restart UniFi Network
- Update the firmware of your UniFi OS Console and device to their latest versions.
- If you’re using a third-party firewall or antivirus software, try disabling it during the adoption process.
If you've performed all of the steps above and still don’t see your device, see the Advanced adoption troubleshooting section below.
Device is appears as Managed by other
When a device has the Managed by Other status, it means it's already managed by a different UniFi Network application.
There are two ways to resolve this:
- Log in to the UniFi Network application managing the device and Forget the device, or
- Factory-reset the device and readopt it to the desired Network application.
- Press and hold the device Reset button for 10 seconds.
- Release the button. The device’s LED light should turn off.
- Wait until LED shows a solid white, then proceed with the adoption process.
I see Adoption Failed when I try to adopt a device
The Adoption Failed error indicates a device-specific problem.
Try the following steps to resolve this:
- Check the device’s LED to verify its status.
- Factory-reset the device.
- Update the device’s firmware.
If this doesn't help, see the section below.
Advanced adoption troubleshooting
VLAN configuration of the switch
If every device connected to a specific switch cannot be adopted, make sure you have not configured VLANs on the switch that are preventing devices from connecting to the UniFi Network application.
If you have two NAT devices, like a modem/router combo and a USG, there could be a potential network overlap between the two devices, resulting in a lack of internet connectivity for devices behind the USG in your network’s topology.
To fix this issue, switch your modem or router to bridged mode, or ask your ISP to make this configuration for you.
Ports blocked by non-UniFi firewall
The following indicate that traffic is flowing from a device to the UniFi Network application, but not vice versa:
- Devices can be discovered, pinged, and accessed via SSH.
- The adoption process can be initiated, but results in the Adoption Failed error.
To fix this:
- Ensure that Port 8080 is open inbound on the UniFi OS Console / device hosting the UniFi Network application.
- Configure any firewall residing between UniFi Network and the device to allow traffic via required ports.
Non-UniFi DHCP server issues during AP adoption
If your AP retains its default IP address (192.168.1.20), this indicates an issue with the DHCP server.
To fix this:
- Make sure the AP is able to communicate with your router.
- Make sure the router is leasing a DHCP address to the AP.
- Ping the AP.
- SSH into the AP and get the output of the command info. This will provide details about the AP’s firmware, model, and status.
- Ping the UniFi OS Console or the Network application’s host device’s to see its IP address, then run the following command to point the AP to the UniFi Network application:
set-inform http://[UniFi OS Console or Network Host Device IP Address]:8080/inform
Example: set-inform http:/192.168.1.1:8080/inform
If the AP is not listed on the router’s DHCP lease, this indicates that the AP and router are not communicating. In this case, do the following:
- Switch the cables.
- Reboot the affected AP.
- If another laptop,PC, or AP is available, connect it to the same port to check if they can attain a valid IP address that appears on the router’s DHCP lease table.
If the other device (laptop or AP) is getting a valid IP address, this indicates a firmware or hardware problem with the affected AP. To fix this, SSH into the AP and reset it by using the command: syswrapper.sh restore-default.
If other devices also cannot attain a valid IP address, DHCP requests may not be reaching the router. In this case, you can perform a packet capture to check if DHCP requests on Ports 67 or 68 are reaching the DHCP server/ router.