Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Switch Stack Password Recovery

Level 1
Level 1

Hello everyone,

I have a 3 switch stack that I need to do a password recovery on. All 3 switches are Cisco 3900 and I do have physical access to them. I've done some research on how to do the password recovery and it is actually very straight forward, but here is my question:


Do I need to do the password recovery on all 3 switches? or only on the Master switch? I don't know which one is acting as the master since I did not configure them. Any advice will be appreciated!



7 Replies 7

VIP Alumni
VIP Alumni

Hi @AbelBurgos5029 


You must disconnect any switch from the stack and perform the password recovery. Then disconnect the second switch and finally the third.
The procedure must be done one switch at a time and it must be completely disconnected from the stack.

You can review this discussion with a similar question:


Thanks so much. I will be doing this tomorrow and will let you know of the outcome.

Leo Laohoo
Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame

Password recovery can only be done on console (and have physical access ANY of the switch members). 

Because the configuration of the stack is "shared" among the switch members, password recovery can be performed on any members of the switch. 

WARNING:  If some genius has disabled password-recovery, then you are royally-and-truly <EXPLETIVE>.  


If I am understanding well, you are saying that I only need to do the password recovery on one of the three switches and be ok? Thanks

For obvious reasons, the switch member that will have password recovery performed on will need to be totally disconnected from the network and the stack.

Sorry to reply to this old post, but wanted to clarify something, once the switch password is recovered, if we connected back to the stack what will happen ? which switch will sync and will the recovered "NEW" password be overridden ? 

What switch do you have, @ISoliman?

Getting Started

Find answers to your questions by entering keywords or phrases in the Search bar above. New here? Use these resources to familiarize yourself with the community:

Review Cisco Networking products for a $25 gift card