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How to bypass a forgotten password on a Cisco 2950, 2960, 3550, 3560, 3750 Switch


If you’ve forgotten the password on a Cisco switch, you need to find out how to circumvent the security.  This is how you bypass a forgotten password on several Cisco switches.

Step 1 – Power off

Remove the power cable

Insert power cable and hold down the “mode” button for 4 seconds.

The mode will start to flash when it’s ready.

Step 2 – Cisco commands

Your Cisco switch will then helpfully display the 3 commands you’ll need.



dir flash:


Type in to the switch prompt:


Now wait for the boot sequence to complete.  This is the slowest stage…


dir flash:


Dir flash: is to allow you to list all the files held in flash memory.

We need to look for config.text.


Step 3 – Rename the existing config.text

Once you can see the config.text file listed, type in at the prompt:

rename flash: config.text    flash: config.old

to check the config.text file has been renamed:

dir flash:/


Now boot the Cisco Switch (power off/on – and this time all passwords will be wiped).

The good news is that the old config.txt is still there – we try to keep old config files if we can.



Here’s a video of the bypassing of a password in action.





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