How To Reset a White Rodgers Thermostat: Step by Step Guide

how to reset thermostat

Is your White Rodgers thermostat malfunctioning and leaving you freezing on cold days or sweating on hot days?

Before you panic, the good news is that resetting your thermostat to factory default settings is often an easy first troubleshooting step that can get your temperature control back on track fast. 

In a Hurry?
Unlike some models, White Rodgers thermostats lack an external reset button, but simultaneously pressing the Time and Up/Down arrow keys for 10-15 seconds often does the trick.  Keep reading for model specific reset instructions.

For the smoothest troubleshooting experience, we first recommend locating the specific model number printed on the back of your White Rodgers unit itself. 

From there, we can dive into step-by-step reset directions tailored to different White Rodgers thermostat series that you might have installed in your home.

Read on for guidance you can rely on before your next HVAC emergency hits!

Resetting Your White Rodger’s Thermostat’s by Model

With White Rodgers offering various thermostat models over the years, the specific steps to reset your unit will depend on which one you have installed in your home. But how can you tell versions apart? The answer lies right on the device itself. 

Your model number is typically printed on a sticker or etched onto the back of your thermostat cover plate. To access this important identifying information, you’ll need to remove the display housing from the base plate mounted on your wall.

In this section, we’ll look at the most common models and ways to reset them.

Related Article: User Manual by Model Number

Classic 80 & 70 Series White Rodgers Thermostat


If you’ve determined your White Rodgers thermostat falls under one of the many models in the trusted Classic 80 & 70 series line, you luckily have straightforward options when it comes to rebooting the device. 

HOW TO RESET WHITE RODGER'S 70'S 80'S CLASSIC SERIES MODELS: 1F78-144, 1F78-151, 1E78-140, 1E78-144, 1F79-111
Method 1: Time & Arrow Buttons

1. Locate and simultaneously hold down the circular Time button along with the triangular Up or Down directional arrows adjacent to the display screen.

2. Apply steady pressure to all for approximately 15 seconds. 

3. You'll know the reset is underway when the screen suddenly goes entirely blank.

4. Continue holding the buttons down as the display shifts to black and wait for it to blink back on its own. 

5. Once illuminated again, you can release the buttons.

The thermostat should now be reset with all original factory settings and programming restored.

Method 2: Power Switch & Arrows

1. If the above combo fails to reset, next attempt reset by switching the thermostat system from "Off" to "Heat" mode while continuously holding down the arrow buttons instead of the Time key.

2. Keep pressure on the directionals as you toggle the power mode and don't stop as the screen blacks out and then lights up again.

3. This alternate approach also aims to complete a successful reboot sequence, so release pressure only after you see the display signals, which means that it has reactivated itself.

Emerson Thermostat 80 Series 


The Emerson 80 Series thermostats actually offer owners two approaches to restoration – a straightforward factory reset, or a more involved hard reset for unresponsive units. 

HOW TO RESET EMERSON 80'S SERIES MODELS: 1F86-344, 1F86-244, 1F86-241, 1F86-444, 1F80-361, 1F80-261, 1F80-225, 1F80-224, 1F80-51, 1F80-225, 1F81-262, 1F81-262, 1F85-277
Method 1: Factory Reset

If your Emerson 80 Series display is active but acting erratic, attempt a factory reset first.

1. You can do that by locating the "Backlight" and "Menu" rectangular buttons along the bottom front, under the digital display.

2. Once you locate them, press both buttons simultaneously and hold without letting up. Keep pressure steady as the screen blanks out around the 10-second mark - this means the reset is in progress.

3. Maintain pressure a few moments longer as the display remains dark, then release only once you see the illumination and numbers reactivate. This signifies the factory reset sequence is complete and default settings are restored.

4. Give the reboot a minute then test heating/cooling responses.

Method 2: Hard Reset 

If the display is completely blank or unchanging, you'll need to dig a bit deeper and perform a hard reset instead. This gets the thermostat back to a fresh out-of-box state.

1. Start by switching off the main power to the device before opening the front housing. Carefully remove old batteries and leave them out for 2 minutes minimum. This allows the internal memory to fully clear.

2. Next, reload fresh batteries to spark reactivation. Replace the housing, switch the power back on, and watch for the illuminating display which signals successful rebooting.

3. You may need to walk through onboarding steps like selecting the heating type, temperature format, and connecting to WiFi again after this blank slate reset. But functionality should be restored!

Sensi Touch Screen Thermostat

sensi touch

The Sensi Touch line features attractive high-resolution touchscreen interfaces with intuitive access to settings and smart home connectivity. 

Available reset options include convenient factory resets directly on the device itself or deeper clear through the Sensi mobile app. 

Method 1: On-Unit Factory Reset

If you're encountering issues with your Sensi Touch displaying incorrect temperatures, failing to update settings, or not reacting to touch input - a factory reset can help realign the device. 

1. To initiate, wake the display with a tap then locate the settings gear icon on the left. 

2. Within the settings menu is an "About Thermostat" section - then press Factory Reset. 

3. This triggers the thermostat to restart itself afresh while retaining your personalized configurations like Wi-Fi network ID, heating types, and general settings. So, you won't need to completely reprogram the unit afterward.

Method 2: Resetting Via Mobile App

For occasions when even a factory reset does not resolve problems, utilizing the Sensi mobile app provides additional reset routes. 

1. Deep reset options here allow you to revoke account permissions to cut connectivity of Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomeKit if paired. This gives a blank slate.

2. Open the Sensi app on your iOS device or Android device, navigate to "Settings", then "Equipment" and lastly select "Delete Equipment" at the very bottom. Confirm again when prompted to fully factory reset and deregister the Sensi Touch. 

Note: You'll have to walk through onboarding like on day one. However, this total memory fresh start often eliminates truly persistent issues when on-unit resets fail. 

Be sure to backup settings if possible beforehand! Then attempt the app total reset so your Sensi Touch can deliver comfortable smart temperature control again soon. 

Sensi Touch Smart Thermostat

touch smart

The Sensi Smart line packs value-focused temperature control into simplified touchscreen interfaces. When yours is underperforming, rebooting options exist directly on the unit or within the companion Sensi mobile app.

Method 1: On-Unit Schedule Reset 

If your Sensi Smart fails to follow set heating/cooling schedules, first attempt an on-unit reset via the schedule menu. 

1. Wake the display with a tap, then select the schedule icon, often represented by a calendar. Verify the schedule toggle is set to "ON", then select each day to review the times and temperatures configured. 

2. Here you can edit or delete individual entries that could be confusing the unit or select "Reset Schedule" at the bottom to fully clear the schedule cache. The thermostat will restart with scheduling disabled until you add new time and temp goals. Reprogram accordingly so it knows when to adjust heating/cooling.

Method 2: On-Unit Thermostat Reset 

1. In some cases, users have reported success in resetting the Sensi Thermostat ST55 by pressing and holding the UP, DOWN, and FAN buttons until the LCD goes blank, then trying to add the thermostat to HomeKit again. 

However, this method should be attempted with caution, as it may not work for all Sensi smart thermostat models and it's not a standard reset method recommended by the manufacturer.

Method 3: Full App Reset

Alternatively, the Sensi mobile app provides additional reset capabilities.

1. To perform the full reset, navigate to "Settings", and then "Equipment Control" sections. Choose "Delete Equipment" at the bottom then confirm to completely reboot and deregister the unit. 

This fresh slate option revokes all account ties - so backup data beforehand! You'll have to re-pair over Wi-Fi and personalize during setup again.

While that may seem daunting, the total memory clear often resolves interface issues and cloud connectivity conflicts when basic resets fail, making fussy Sensi Smart units happily responsive again!

Blue Series 12″ Emerson Touchscreen Thermostat

blue series

The Blue Series 12″ models stand out with their wide backlit touchscreens and flexible programming configurations. If yours fails to adjust home temperatures properly, tap into both on-unit resets and backup options through the circuit panel.

HOW TO RESET EMERSON BLUE SERIES 12" TOUCH SCREEN MODELS: 1F95-1277, 1F95-1280, 1F95-1291, 1F97-1277
Method 1: On-Unit Hold Reset

1. Check if your Blue Series is stuck perpetually displaying "Hold" on the home screen - indicating that a temporary temperature lock is enabled. To disable, tap the display then select the Run Schedule circular icon on the bottom (might also show an arrow). 

2. This brings up schedule programming - tap "Run Schedule" again here. Confirm once more on the prompt to disable the Hold status. The unit should resume automated heating/cooling schedules afterward!


3. You can reset the thermostat itself by pressing and holding the up-arrow button, the down-arrow button, and the timer button simultaneously until the display flashes and reboots. This will erase your settings and schedules, so make sure you have a backup before you do this. This method may fix some issues that the hold reset cannot.

Method 2: Hard Reset

1. You can attempt to reset your Emerson Blue Series 12” model by opening the thermostat cover and removing the batteries. 

2. Allow it to sit for about two minutes to completely reset it before reinserting the batteries. Reinstall the cover plate and test the unit. Now test your unit - it should start working properly. 

If that's not working for you, a true reboot is required. For this, you'll have to access the motherboard to fully restart the device. 

1. Switch off breaker power so you can open the wall-mounted housing safely. Locate wiring terminals, then disconnect the "R" and "C" wires. As you pull wires free, be extremely careful not to let exposed copper ends touch! This could severely damage the system.

2. Keep wires separated for 2-3 minutes before reattaching to the same spring terminals, then resecure the housing and flip the breaker power back on. 

3. The Blue Series 12" will take a moment to reboot and should display fresh setup walkthrough steps afterward, needing temperature mode and WiFi reselected. Make sure to input your custom schedules! 

Hard resets often resolve glitches when simpler resets fail to revive faulty Blue Series units.

Blue Series 6″ Thermostats 

blue series 6 inch thermostat

The Blue Series 6″ models deliver intuitive touchscreen temperature control in a cleanly compact form. It is compatible with heat pump systems as well as single and multistage systems. 

If you own this model and it suddenly starts acting up, you can quickly fix or reset it via the unit itself or by performing a hard reset. Don’t know how? Continue reading.

HOW TO RESET EMERSON BLUE SERIES 6" MODELS: 1F95-0671, 1F95-0680, 1F9EZ-0671
Method 1: On-Unit Reset

If your Blue Series 6” displays erratic readings or fails to hit set points, first try a factory reset using the external buttons. 

1. To reset, hold the up or down arrow button with the fan or system button for about 5 seconds. Once you do that, you'll notice that the screen will go blank and come back on.

2. Once that happens, know that you have successfully reset your device. Now all that's left is reconfiguring the clock, schedule, and all other settings.

Method 2: Hard Reset

In dire cases when the interface fully locks up without response, attempt a hard reset accessing internal wiring hardware. 

1. To perform the reset, switch off the circuit breaker powering your unit first for safety. Then pop off the decorative faceplate and locate the wire terminal block.

2. Carefully disconnect the “RH” and “RC” wires, keeping exposed copper ends separated. Remove the batteries and let the wires sit disconnected for 2 full minutes so the internal memory totally drains.

3. Replace the batteries, reconnect wires securely to their springs, replace the faceplate, and flip the breaker back on. The revived Blue Series 6” should initiate a fresh setup wizard for temperature mode and WiFi. Reconfigure accordingly to restore functionality.

Note: For some models, rather than disconnecting the wires, you may be required to remove the wires from the RC and RH terminals instead. If you are not sure about the particular method to follow when hard resetting your model, contact a professional to help you. They’ll know the right steps to take.

Blue Series 4″ Thermostats

The compact Blue Series 4″ delivers Energy Star savings in both programmable and non-programmable models. If your 4″ unit starts misbehaving, there are several things you can try to fix it. Continue reading to learn about them.

Method 1: On-Unit Reset

1. Similar to the Blue Series 6” device, to perform a reset on your device, you'll have to hold down the up or down button with the fan button until the screen goes blank and comes back on.

2. Once that happens, you can rest assured knowing you have reset your device, and you can start enjoying it without the hiccups you were experiencing. 

Method 2: Hard Reset

If you have tried the first method (i.e., the on-unit reset) and your device is still malfunctioning, it means you need to perform a hard reset to fix it once and for all.

1. Just like before, the steps here aren't so different either. To perform a hard reset, turn off the circuit breaker supplying power to your device. Next, you may have to unscrew the device to remove the decorative front housing to gain access to internal components. 

2. After gaining access to your unit's internal parts, look for the “R” and “C” wires, and carefully disconnect them from their terminals. When disconnecting them, do not allow the ends of the wires to touch each other - it could short-circuit it, damage the insulation, or cause sparks.

3. Now, remove the batteries and allow the wires to sit disconnected for a full two minutes to be sure that all the residual power has been fully drained. 

4. After two minutes, replace the batteries, reconnect the wires, screw the decorative housing back into place, and switch on your circuit breaker. 

If done correctly, your device will reset and should start functioning properly. However, the downside to this approach is that it erases everything, so you’ll have to input all your custom settings again.

Blue Series 2″ Thermostats

blue series 2 inch thermostat

The Blue Series 2″ delivers enhanced temperature control in a petite digital package. When unresponsive, apply a button-powered soft reset or electrical hard reset to get your 2″ unit obeying schedules again.

HOW TO RESET EMERSON BLUE SERIES 2" MODELS: 1F80-0261, 1F80-0224, 1F82-0261, 1F89-0211, 1F86EZ-0251, 1F89EZ-0251
Method 1: Soft Reset

If you notice your 2" model hitting improper temperatures or failing to change modes as scheduled, first attempt a soft reset to reload factory specs. 

1. press the up and down arrow (unlike the series 6”, 4”, and 12” models where either one of them) while pressing the time or “PRGM” (Program) button. Once you do that, the screen will go blank and come back on. When that happens, your device has been reset.

Method 2: Move the Switch

1. If you tried soft resetting your device and it still misbehaves, try moving the switch. Check the switch position before proceeding - it should be in heat, Emer, or cool.

2. Now press the up or down button together with the Time button for 10 seconds. While holding both buttons, watch the screen. It should go blank and come back on indicating that you have successfully reset the device.

Line Voltage Thermostats

The Line Voltage series offers no-frills digital temperature control in classic rectangular white housing. When yours fails to heat/cool properly, you can easily reset it by performing a factory reset.

To do that, locate the “System” and “Light” keys just below the digital interface. Once you find them, press them together with either the Down or Up arrow button. Maintain pressure until the display blacks out. 

Keep holding a few moments longer until you see the screen relight – then release. This signal restored factory settings! Give your revived Line Voltage unit a minute to reboot before testing.


With a wide range of White Rodgers thermostat models serving households for years, glitches inevitably happen now and then. Thankfully these resets provide owners with proven methods to breathe new life into faulty units themselves. 

We hope that by locating model details here and following our reliable instructions, you’ll be able to diagnose issues, save money on technician callouts, and get temperature controls smoothly regulating comfort levels once again. 

Resetting may seem tricky but is often an easy process if guided properly. So, power off, open those housings, locate buttons or wires, and let your device reboot itself to the factory.

Related Article: Thermostat Clicks But AC Does Not Turn On?

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