How to adopt a UniFi device

How to adopt a UniFi device

There are several methods through which UniFi devices can be adopted to a Cloud-based controller for Layer 3 (L3) device management.  So which is best?  In this walkthrough guide we explore the options.

To adopt your device to a Cloud (L3) controller, you will need to follow the set-inform process. This process in-effect informs the device which controller it should be adopted to. Here we detail two methods - single-device SSH adoption, and multi-device site imports.

Single-device SSH adoption

Method 1: For single devices (especially those not already adopted to an existing UniFi controller)

The Single-device SSH adoption method allows for the easy adoption of single devices, especially those that are not already adopting to an existing controller.

Before attempting to adopt the device, ensure that the device is not still adopted to any previous controllers.

To access the device:

To be able to run commands on your UniFi device, you will first need to establish an SSH connection to the device. This will allow you to then check the device information, upgrade the firmware, reset the device, and set the controller URL as the inform target.

ssh ubnt@{LAN IP of device}

The default device password will be ubnt. If you find that that this is not the password, please factory reset the device.

Please note that for certain models of UniFi Security Gateway, you will need to establish a connection to the device with root as the username:

ssh root@{LAN IP of device}

Getting the device info

In order to check that the device information, we will need to run the "info" command. This command will allow you to check the device information.

The device information command (to be run via SSH):


The command will input a series of device information datapoints, for example:

Model: UAP-AC
MAC Address: xx.xx.xx.xx.xx.xx
IP Address:
Hostname: UAP-AC
Uptime: 60 seconds

Status: Not Adopted (

Among other datapoints, the device information will allow you to check the device status, firmware version, and MAC address of the device.

Useful Tip: Once the set-inform process has been run, the device status that denotes a successful set-inform process is the status Not Adopted, followed by the controller's set-inform target.

Resetting the device

A hardware reset of the device will reset the device credentials and inform target back to the factory default. It is recommended that you undertake a device reset prior to adoption, as best practice. A hardware reset can also be performed by holding the device reset down for ~20 seconds, following which the device will reboot into factory defaults.

The device reset command: restore-default

The device will default, and the device authentication credentials will be reset back to their defaults.

Upgrading the device firmware

If your device is not running the latest available firmware version, it is recommended that you first update the device firmware in order to ensure successful adoption.

The set-inform command:

upgrade <URL of .bin file>

To find the URL of the relevant .bin file, find the latest firmware for your device at:

The set-inform process

The set-inform process is a required step in adopting your devices to the Cloud. By setting the Cloud controller as the inform target on the device, the device is made ready for adoption within the Cloud controller.

The set-inform command:

set-inform {Access URL}/inform

To illustrate this, if your controller's Access URL is


Following the running of the set-inform command, the device will appear in the Devices tab within the controller as Pending Adoption.

Useful Tip: There is no requirement to specify a controller port with Hubox. However, if you are required to input a controller port, simply specify 8443.

Multi-device Site Imports

Method 2: For devices already adopted to an existing UniFi controller

The multi-device site imports method allows for bulk-device migration, migrating the devices from an existing local (L2) or Cloud (L3) controller.  

Downloading the migration file

Download the site migration file (.unf) from your previous controller (in the Classic Interface).

The UniFi controller's Site settings - click "Export Site" to begin the migration wizard

Uploading the migration file

Upload the site migration file into the Hubox controller via the Current site drop-down menu.

Click the Import Site button to upload the site migration file

Click Import Site and then upload the site migration file by clicking Choose file.

Name the site and select the .unf migration file

Transferring the devices

Return back to the local controller and complete the rest of the site migration wizard to transfer devices across. Use your Hubox controller’s access URL, in the format below (here we use an access URL of as an illustrative example).

If you need a Cloud controller for Layer-3 oversight of all your network sites, check out Hubox - a quick way to deploy a ready-to-use UniFi Cloud controller.  If you have any questions about this article or require any assistance, please feel welcome to email our support team at - or hop into the live chat on our website!