Orbi Purple Light: What It Means & 7 Ways to Fix It

Netgear’s Orbi router and extender have become extremely popular, as it allows someone to use their home network over incredible distances. Now you can essentially blanket 2000+ square feet of land with your network connection, making it a true one-stop-shop for all your home internet needs.

However, their system is not without its issues, and a common one people run into is that the status LED (the light strip on the front of the device) displays in purple or magenta, and they cannot get rid of it.

These can mean different things depending on whether you are using the Netgear Orbi router or Orbi Satellite. If you are facing this issue, don’t worry! We’ll walk you through both what this means, and how to go about fixing it.

What causes the purple light on the Orbi router and extender?

The status LED on the front of your Orbi device is there to give you some insight into any issues the device might be facing. However, unless you have a manual on hand, you’re not actually given any information about what each color means. Here’s a quick rundown to explain what the purple light is actually telling you about the device.

It’s worth noting that there are actually two lights on the Netgear Orbi device. One is for the power button, and the second is for the “ring” light that circles the base of the device.

The power button doesn’t actually have a purple light option, so you should never be faced with a purple power button.

But here are the meanings behind the “ring light” on the device:

  • Pulsing white – The device is currently being updated, which means a new configuration or firmware is being applied.
  • Solid white – The device is currently booting, so please wait a bit longer.
  • Pulsing magenta/purple – The device may be suffering from a number of issues. The WAN port link is down, it’s unable to obtain an IP address from the modem or internet service provider, and is unable to connect to the internet.
  • Pulsing blue and magenta/purple – The internet connection is blocked due to reaching the specified traffic limit that has been configured in the settings.

There are a few additional meanings if your device is a satellite extender, which is as follows:

  • Satellite pulsing magenta – If the device has just been turned on for the first time, it’s attempting to connect to the router. However, if it pulses for over one minute, it means it’s having trouble obtaining the IP address of the router.
  • Satellite solid magenta – Another notification that the device is unable to obtain the IP address from the router.

As you can see, if you are faced with the pulsing purple light error, it indicates that there is a connection error and the Netgear Orbi is not able to establish a link to the internet.

There are a number of different things that can cause this problem and we’ll walk you through what those are, and then break down some easy troubleshooting steps you can take to fix this and restore your internet connection.

ISP service interruption

One of the most common causes of a device not being able to establish an internet connection is due to Netgear experiencing a service outage in your particular area.

This can happen due to unexpected power outages, or sometimes they will perform maintenance/upgrades to their system, which means they will temporarily suspend service in that area until the maintenance is complete.

A cable or port may be damaged

Your Orbi device may be connected to the internet via a fiber line or Ethernet port. Both of these cables can be subject to damage and wear. They should be checked to see if they are in working order or if there are visible signs of damage that might prevent them from functioning correctly.

System diagnosing process

As mentioned previously, when you first start the Orbi Satellite, it will go through a startup procedure that connects it to the WiFi router, which is indicated by the purple light. If this is happening on your device, it should disappear by itself after a few minutes. 

However, if it doesn’t go away by itself, it indicates there is another problem causing the purple light issue.

Software related issues

Internet service providers will often update their software and the firmware of the hardware quite frequently to address any potential security concerns and work out various bugs within the software.

Because these are often developed with some speed, they are sometimes not particularly robust and as such are susceptible to crashing or becoming corrupted. In these scenarios, updating the software or potentially performing a factory reset on the device and running the update again may restore the device to working order.

Malware/viruses

This is a less likely cause, but if your device has been infected with any kind of malicious software in which someone is gathering your data and taking control of the device, you may see the flashing purple light issue, as it’s no longer establishing that original connection.

Hardware issue

If you have gone through and troubleshot every other issue listed and nothing has worked, it may be a case of your hardware being damaged or faulty. In that case, Netgear can be contacted for a replacement device, as there’s nothing more you can do on your side to rectify the issue.

How to fix the purple light on an Orbi router

Fortunately, many of these issues that may cause the purple light error on your Orbi device are easily rectified by yourself at home.

Follow through each step in a linear sequence to give yourself the best shot of troubleshooting the issue. If none of these works, then there is a possibility that the hardware is faulty, but this is rarely the case.

Internet service provider temporarily suspended service

As we mentioned, ISPs will often have temporary outages in particular areas because of a hardware-related issue, or sometimes they simply need to perform maintenance/upgrades to a particular area and need to disable the service for a brief period.

You can use the Netgear status website to get detailed information on any current performance or outage issues that may affect you. In particular, you can check under “core services” and then find the “Orbi” menu for further information.

If your internet service provider currently has an issue in your area, there is nothing you can do at your end other than wait for them to restore your internet connection

Check all the cables/connections

This is another important thing to check, as cables can wear over time and experience faults. Check that every cable is correctly seated and working in your device. In the case of an Ethernet port, you should hear a definitive click when plugging the device in.

The power cable should also turn on the power LED with consistent and strong light. If the LED dims a lot, it may indicate a power cable issue, in which case it should be replaced with a new one.

A weak or spotty cable signal can prevent your device from establishing a stable connection to the network/internet. Replacing them with working ones may fix your problem.

Check the signal strength and device locations

The Orbi and Satellite extender will not work together nicely if they are set too far apart or too close together. This is because the goal of the extender is to increase the range in which you can access the network.

Things like obstacles in the way, particularly anything metal, as well as thick walls or being too low to the ground, will interfere with the satellite’s ability to connect to the WiFi router.

Power cycle the Orbi router

A simple hard reset of the Netgear router can help rectify any small bugs and glitches that may have occurred within the device and are preventing it from being able to establish a connection to the internet.

This should be the next step after you are sure the ISP is providing service and that it’s plugged in with working cables and positioned in an adequate spot.

To power cycle the Netgear router, please use the following steps:

  • Power the router down until the front LED is off.
  • Remove the power cable from the device completely (don’t just simply restart the device without removing the power cable first).
  • Wait for about a minute for all the residual power to completely dissipate.
  • Plug the power cable back in.
  • Power the device back on.

It will take a little longer than normal to run through its usual startup routine, but there is a high chance after doing this it will be able to establish a connection to the internet.

Update any related software/firmware

Netgear will quite often issue updates to the Orbi firmware and any associated apps/software, which you can update by logging in to the Orbi login page. After doing this, you can proceed to the “download” section to update the software.

If you currently cannot establish a connection to the internet in any way, you may need to factory reset the device back to its default settings to remove the software bug. Then, use that to download the software updates to prevent any security risk.

Restore back to the factory default settings

If you’re not able to update the software due to not having a connection, restoring the device back to its factory default settings may help work out any bugs or glitches that are contributing to the issue.

Do keep in mind this will erase everything, from your login credentials, your user preferences, and any Orbi firmware updates that have been applied to the router so far.

  • Locate the small reset button on the back of the device.
  • Use something small such as the end of a paperclip to press the reset button in for about 7 seconds.
  • Once enough time has passed, remove the paperclip from the reset button, and it will begin the factory restoration process.

This will completely erase all applied firmware updates and restore the unit to exactly how it would have shipped from the factory.

If this does not solve the issue, it may indicate there is a deeper hardware-related issue with your device.

Contact Netgear support for a replacement

If none of the above suggestions have helped to solve the issue, it may be due to the device itself being faulty, in which case there is nothing you can do on your end to fix this.

The best course of action at this stage is to contact Netgear support and speak to one of their technicians. Once they have ascertained that your device is faulty, they will simply supply you with a new one to replace the one with the hardware fault.

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