My computer won't recognize my Photon

After originally setting up my Photon with the iOS app, it is now lost in an infinite loop and I can’t get it to connect to anything. I am trying to completely restore it to the factory firmware to start over. I installed node.js and the CLI but my computer won’t recognize the Photon. When I go into Device Manager, there is no option for “Other Devices” as listed in the instructions to connect the Photon to a computer. So without this I can’t update my drivers for the Photon. I’m assuming the Photon needs to be in listening mode for this to work but once again I can’t get the Photon into listening mode after following Particle’s instructions. The Photon will show solid white, then solid blue, followed by flashes of red, and then it will repeat itself. There is probably already a forum on here for this exact problem but I can’t find it. Could anyone help me?

Have you tried a factory reset safe mode?

That puts the tinker firmware back on the device while retaining your wifi credentials

Ehm, hate to spoil the party, but neither is correct, really close though :wink:
A factory reset should completely wipe your device back to factory state, credentials included.
Safe mode ‘simply’ runs the system firmware, but not the user firmware.
A firmware reset will flash the Tinker firmware over your user firmware, while retaining credentials.

@mmeijer123, what have you tried so far? Could you try safe mode, and see what that does, if anything? Listening mode should also work. How did you try that?

The docs need some terminology or content updating then. The link I provided explicitly states:

Hold down the SETUP button, tap on the RESET button and wait for 6-10 seconds to enter Factory Reset Safe Mode mode, where the RGB LED will be flashing Green. Release the SETUP button. In this mode the Photon is reprogrammed with the software that was installed on the Photon in the factory (the Tinker application). The LED should turn white for three seconds and begin flashing quickly; when the LED switches to another color the Photon has been reset. This is useful if you encounter bugs with your firmware, or if you just want to get back to Tinker. Wi-Fi credentials are not erased in this mode.

Speaking of docs, is there an easy way to suggest edits/fixes to the docs? I've found several dead anchor links.

My apologies, it’s seems you are correct. That is indeed confusing. There’s a big docs update planned for next week, which should solve some issues. As far as making edits/fixes goes, there an “edit” button on the top of the page. Let me know if that works for you.

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@Moors7 Thanks for the tip on the edit button, I think I’ll be forking the docs repo tonight!


I tried to put the Photon into both safe and listening mode based on the instructions I found on the start guide. Neither have done anything. I’m assuming putting it into listening mode would be ideal here. The instructions say to hold down the setup button for three seconds and that should put the device into listening mode but I have had no luck with that. Maybe there is a simple solution here and I just don’t know how to operate the Photon.