Claim an orphaned photon/electron

I screwed up and lost my 2 keys for 2-party authentication. So I could not “unclaim” them.

I have a few devices that are still configured on wifi, but I don’t even have their IDs, since my account is gone.

I have set up a new account, and I want to reclaim these devices.

What do I do for this? According to the docs I looked up, there is no factory reset. I assumed I would reset them and use the app as I had done previously.

Do I have to connect these to the PC over USB to accomplish this?


EDIT: I am getting an error when trying to flash tinker:

Flash device failed: EPERM: operation not permitted, scandir 'C:\Users\

This is apparently an NPM issue with the CLI, doesn’t appear to be easy to fix. Any ideas?

Several issues at once here.

Have you tried contacting support to see if they could help you recover your account?

Device IDs can be read out using the CLI and particle identify.

Overriding ownership on Electrons is not possible as far as I’m aware. If you could get those device IDs and mention them when contacting support, they might be able to release them for you.
You can override ownership of Photons by using the mobile app, so that shouldn’t be too big of an issue.

Re: Fixing the CLI. Try uninstalling everything, and run the CLI installer again (assuming you’re on windows).


  1. My CLI was still logged in to my old account. i think that may have been causing the command line error

  2. I connected usb and ran CLI particle setup and this was able to claim my photon the second time through.

  3. The app was not able to reclaim the device; there was no option to change user, it just re-set my wifi credentials, rebooted and was still claimed by the old account.

Too bad, you changed that before running particle device remove <deviceID>

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Ha! that would have been a good idea. However, I think the login connection was broken at that point, as evidenced by the CLI error when trying to flash the device.