Cisco 9971 Factory Reset Admin Password Removal – [Timing is the answer]

I promise this will be a very short one. This week I purchased 3 9971 with the camera in order to get ready for my rack rentals for CCIE Collaboration, well when I got them I noticed that the phones belonged to someone else(Duhhh!!).

I needed to do a factory reset on those guys, or at least be able to remove the ITL files.

My problem was that I could not do any of these because the Admin Settings was locked by a password. Of course you can remove this password but if only if your phone is able to get the SEP config from your CME (off course if you are using CME) – TCLSH procedure here

Using and the keywords “Cisco 9971 Factory Reset” I found many posts and the first one that shocked me the most:

Which the option for factory reset is completely discarded by one of our fellow members on the Cisco Support Community , don’t blame him, its a kind of interesting task to complete.

After that I found another one which deserves the mention:

In this case he was doing a 9951 but its all the same (except for the touch-screen and other features)

Enough with the talk and lets go to the action, here is what you need to do:

1- Unplug your phone

2- Press the # key

3- Now when you see the MUTE light turn on (RED)

4- Begin to Key in the sequence 123456789*0#

5- The phone will restart and then you will have a clean CP-9971 Phone

Check the Admin Settings and you will notice the Password is no longer there.

About the Author:

Andres Sarmiento, CCIE # 53520 (Collaboration)
With more than 13 years of experience, Andres is specialized in the Unified Communications and Collaboration technologies. Consulted for several companies in South Florida, also Financial Institutions on behalf of Cisco Systems. Andres has been involved in high-profile implementations including Cisco technologies; such as Data Center, UC & Collaboration, Contact Center Express, Routing & Switching, Security and Hosted IPT Service provider infrastructures.

You can follow Andres using Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook

4 thoughts on “Cisco 9971 Factory Reset Admin Password Removal – [Timing is the answer]”

  1. Hey brother,

    Just wanted you to know that this has been extremely helpful, you have no idea. I got my CCIE COLLAB lab in 2 weeks and couldn’t get this phone to reset.


  2. I have a question, If I buy the 9971 and it has an ITL file and admin password. Can I make it work with the factory reset?
    I hear from an Instructor, there exist phones with signed images, he mention if we try to recover the admin password we are basically hopeless and we need to keep guessing.

    Does a 9971 has a mode in which we truly cannot recover it?
    I plan to buy some on ebay, and I would like to be certain no matter what I will be capable of use them.

    1. Hi Juan, Thank You for the message, I have heard that before, and I thought that it was my case when I purchased that batch of 9971 couple of years back from eBay. However it took me a bit to figure out it was possible. I have previously heard about phones with encryption and un-recoverable, but have never run into one of them… I will test it soon to see if I can reproduce the issue.
      Now, while I have purchased many phones on eBay, I think its possible to figure it out and make the phones work properly.
      Best of Luck!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top