Unifi adoption failed? Fixed it easily 2021

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Unifi adoption failed? Here’s how to resolve it easily


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Hello, welcome to this article and today I’m going to provide you the step by step instructions on how to fix UniFi adoption failed issue and let you know what can cause this issue, so lets begin.

You may sometimes see a message in device tab of Unifi controller which says” Adopting failed”, this can be cause due to many reasons

1. The controller lost access to the APs which were adopted or you are trying to adopt it newly

2. The controller and AP are not on same network and lost connection but the AP itself may sometime broadcast

3. The AP failed to adopt if there firmware is old version

Why does UniFi adoption failed?

UniFi adoption failed issue can occur due to many reason such as, the IP changed for the devices then the UniFi controller, the UniFi controller and UniFi devices are not on same network.

The best is to check if you are able to ping the UniFi devices from controller machine to UniFi device IP(you can use cmd in windows to perform ping and terminal in mac).

If the UniFi device pings then you just need to check your macine firewall and turn it off or if it does not ping, then change the cable. You can follow the below steps on how to fix UniFi adoption failed error

How do I force adoption UniFi?

To adopt you can go to devices section in devices tab in UniFi controller and click on the UniFi device you wish to adopt, then click on adopt if it says pending adoption.

If it shows adoption failed, click on advanced and enter the user name and password, default is ubnt/ubnt, however it may be different if it was already adopted before.

If it was adopted on same controller and now says adoption failed, then go to settings in controller and click on device authentication, there you will find the user name and password for the UniFi device, enter those details to adopt the UniFi device which shows adoption failed. 

Another option to force UniFi adoption is, if you are able to ping the UniFi device, you can ssh into the UniFi devices such as UniFi access point and set-inform them to controller IP multiple times, this will let the UniFi devices to provision and adopt.

How to fix Unifi adoption failed

1. First check if the UniFi device and the Unifi controller are connected to the same network

2. check if you are able to ping the UniFi device such as UniFi access point(if not change the cable)

3. check what IP address UniFi device is getting and if it shows in your DHCP server with valid IP address.

4. Try to turn off windows firewall or antivirus present on the system or check if you there is any firewall blocking in your network

5. check the UniFi devices firmware version

If you have checked the above and still the AP shows adoption failed, then try to check if you are able to ping the UniFi AP or UniFi device from controller machine(AP should be pingable).

If the UniFi access point is able to ping from controller machine, then try to set-inform the UniFi access point to the controller IP.

To set- inform the AP to controller IP, make sure to SSH into the UniFi access point(this method will work on other UniFi devices which can be adopted in the controller)

Unable to get into controller also check this article to reset unifi controller password

How to SSH into UniFi AP for unifi adoption failed:

1. First download the putty.exe if you are using windows and use terminal if you are using MAC

2. Once you have putty installed open it and then in the hostname or Ip address field put your UniFi AP Ip address, the default I is, leave the port 22 and click on open

how to ssh into ap
how to ssh into ap

3. It will ask you to login enter the admin user name(default is “ubnt”) and then enter password(default is “ubnt”) and hit enter.

4. Once you are logged in type in this command “set-inform http://ip-of-controller-:8080/inform” and hit enter. Note: replace IP of controller word with the IP address of the machine where the UniFi controller is installed.

5. Once you set-inform the URL, the UniFi access point should show as provisioning in the UniFi controller devices tab, wait for few minutes and the AP should be adopted.

If it still does not adopt, try to perform set-inform 2 to 3 times and check.

If the UniFi access point still does not adopt using the above set-inform method, then try to upgrade the firmware on UniFi AP or any other UniFi devices.

How to upgrade UniFi access point firmware showing unifi adoption failed:

If you are using a windows machine, the you can install a software called winscp to upgrade the firmware and also putty.

Once you have the winscp installed open the software and select the file protocol as SCP.

Put the hostname which is the IP of the UniFi device or access point

Put the username and password for UniFi access point

Click on login

How to upgrade UniFi ap firmware
How to upgrade UniFi ap firmware

Once you click on login on left pane you will see files and folders of your computer and on the right you will see the files present in the access point.
You need to access thr root folder of the access point on the right pane, so double click on two dots and keep click on two dots until you get to the root folder of the UniFi access point.

How to upgrade UniFi ap firmware
How to upgrade UniFi ap firmware`

Once you are in root folder, double click on temp folder, once you double click , you will see some files in the temp folder.

Now on the left hand side pane on winscp,browser to the firmware which you may have downloaded from Ubiquiti website. To download the firmware you can go to downloads.ubnt.com.

Once you have the firmware file downloaded, then navigate to the firmware file from winscp and drag that file over to the right hand side pane in the temp folder of UniFi access point.

Once you have dragged the firmware file to the temp folder of UniFi AP, then rename that file to “fwupdate.bin”, if you already have one existing with that name, delete that and rename the new file.

UniFi adoptoin failed
UniFi adoptoin failed

After you have dragged the file onto the right hand side tmp folder, open putty software and ssh into the AP following the SSH step given above.

Once you have SShed into the AP, type a command “syswrapper.sh upgrade2 &” and hit enter so that the firmware is pushed to the AP.

After you hit enter the AP will lose connection to putty, do not worry, it will take 15 to 20 minutes to update, so make sure that the power is not interrupted.

Once the led is solid , now try to adopt the UniFi access point into the controller and you should be able to adopt it easily.

If the above all the methods does not work, you will then need to flash the UniFi access point, you can check the video below to do TFTP recovery on UniFi access point

If the TFTP recovery also does not work, then try to contact Uniquiti and get the AP replaced if it is still under warranty.

Hope you liked this article about unifi adoption failed and it helped you to resolve it. If you have any questions or help, please comment below so that we can try to help. This article about unifi adoption failed is written on personal experience which we faced and have tried to make it for other so that it helps.

How to reset UniFi AP

At the back of the Ap you will find a reset hole, press and hold for 15 sec until the led flashes and turns it self back on.

Do you need the UniFi cloud key?

UniFi cloud Key is nothing but a device in which the UniFi controller software is already installed, so it works same as the UniFi controller you install on a mac or windows PC,the only difference is that you can access and manage the UniFi controller and adopted UniFi devices from anywhere if you have cloud key in place on the same network as UniFi devices.

Can I use Ubiquiti access point without controller?

If you are using an airmax devices then yes, you can manage it without the controller using it’s IP address, the default IP is, however if you are using any of the UniFi devices such as UniFi access point, UniFi switch and UniFi security gateway, then you are unable to manage it without the UniFi controller, the UniFi controller must be installed in order to setup UniFi devices.

This is how you fix unifi adoption failed issue

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