Photon: SETUP will not change blinking green to blue

I’m a first time Particle user and so far, the experience has been VERY frustrating. I’ve attempted to set up my Photon for the first time, several times, without success. It’s current state after power on is blinking green. I press the SETUP button for at least 3 seconds and the LED continues to blink green. I have been able to return it to blinking blue but have not discovered a consistent procedure for achieving this. I’ve been running through a combination of power-cycling, holding the RESET button for varying lengths of time, holding the SETUP button for varying lengths of time, various combos of this, etc. and so on. On rare occasion the device does return to blinking blue but then after 4-5 seconds returns to blinking green. On even rarer occasion, the device will return to blinking blue and remain there.
At this point I re-attempt to setup the device via the Android app. The setup gets to the cloud connection step and fails, telling me to reset the device and start again.
I’ve just installed the Particle cli tool (Ubuntu 16.04 LTS) but it’s not clear (yet) on how exactly I use this tool to help with my debug.

Does anyone have any guidance on what to do next?
Does it seem that my Photon is perhaps defective?


Holding the SETUP button for 2+ seconds should put it into listening mode. Holding it for 10+ seconds should erase all prior credentials and thus end up in listening mode as well.

Using the CLi, you could place it in DFU mode and call ‘particle update’, to get the latest version of system firmware installed, which might make a difference.

This doesn’t do anything. It’s just like having the device unplugged for a variable length of time. It just won’t care how long it was it just starts afresh.

What does make a difference is whether you already had pressed and held SETUP when you released the RESET button. If so, the you can enter either Safe Mode (magenta) or DFU Mode (yellow) by releasing the SETUP button as soon you see the desired colour.

If you didn’t hold SETUP upon start-up you can press and hold it for at least 3 seconds (can take a bit longer while blinking green) to enter Listening Mode or for 10+ seconds to clear credentials (as @Moors7 said), which will always cause the device to stay in Listening Mode until new creds are stored.


Thank you for the replies as they got me thinking in the right direction. For me, it turned out that the procedure I needed to follow to reset my Photon was a lot more involved than what I could find in the tutorials and troubleshooting (see below). My next hurdle was registering my Photon in the cloud, which wouldn’t work with the Android app nor using particle cli. In particle cli however there was perhaps a hint at the problem as it did not give me a WEP option for wifi security. Not a bad thing really because it motivated me to finally switch the security on my router to WPA2. With that change, I was able (just now) to register my Photon in the cloud, first try.

To perform a factory reset:

From this post:

Hold down BOTH buttons
Release only the RESET button, while holding down the SETUP button.
Wait for the LED to start flashing magenta, then yellow, then green (continue to hold the SETUP button)The LED will turn solid white (continue to hold the SETUP button)
Finally, the LED will turn blink white rapidly.
Release the SETUP button

What works for me is:
Hold down BOTH buttons
Release only the RESET button, while holding down the SETUP button.
Wait for the LED to start flashing magenta, then yellow, then speedy green then speedy white (continue to hold the SETUP button)
Finally LED will then turn solid white (continue to hold the SETUP button).
Then off for a second, then the process starts all over again.
Release the SETUP button.
** this seems to work in that the device now power up flashing blue, the same state as out of the box but I have no idea if it’s accurate. Where is this stuff documented??

This is not what you will ever see happening on a Particle Photon - that’s the factory reset procedure for the Spark Core

So if you actually saw that happen, you’re probably not using a Photon and stating the correct product (along with the also crucial info about using WEP) would have allowed us to tell you the true story two weeks ago :wink:

Have you got an photo of your device?

What ScruffR said is true, there is no factory reset on the Photon, only the Spark Core.

It is a pain to set up a Photon with WEP however. Here are the instructions to do so:

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Not that it really matters now since the device is working, but in reply - that you for pointing out the existence of a Spark Core. I looked this up and see that it is a predecessor to the Photon. I compared my device with pictures and the datasheet for the Photon, as well as a picture of the Spark Core and I definitely have a Photon. Also, particle cli recognizes my device as a photon. Likely, if I was not using WEP in the first place, registering the device would have worked first time. All part of the fun! And really, I should have flipped to WPA2 a long time ago as I had no reason not to. So all is well on my end. Again, thanks for the help.