Can’t discover UAP access points? Here’s the story

This happened to me. I have a network of Ubiquiti UAP access points and when I changed computers, I lost the ability to access them. It took me several hours to get them back, and I want you to benefit from my mistakes.

The first thing you need to know is that if you’ve set up the Unifi software on a computer and you’re getting rid of that computer, you need to do a backup of your settings so you can set the whole thing up on a new computer. That’s pretty easy, just go to the Unifi controller and go to Admin, then Backup to copy the configuration file. That was the first thing I didn’t do.

If you don’t have a configuration file to use, you have to factory-reset all your access points and set them up from scratch. That’s what I had to do. You have to take down all the access points and while they’re plugged in, press-and-hold the power button for 5-10 seconds. It’s kind of a drag.

The problem was, when I installed the Unifi software on the new computer, none of the access points showed up. Panic time.

After reading up on this, it seems there’s a specific problem with access points that were originally set up on Windows 7 more than six months ago. When you go to set them up on Windows 8, they don’t show up. I solved my problem by hauling out an old PC running Windows 7, but the solution is easy even if you don’t have a spare PC lying around.

The problem has to do with older access points and the old Unifi software working with Java version 8, which is used on Windows 8 PCs. So, here are the steps to fix the problem.

First, download these items:
Latest version Unifi Software (don’t use the version that comes on CD)
Java version 7, from Oracle’s web site
Java version 8, from Oracle’s web site

Then, uninstall Java version 8.
Go to Programs and Features by pressing the Windows key and typing “programs and features.” Uninstall all versions of Java you see there.

Then, install Java version 7 and the latest version of Unifi.
This version will let the Unifi software work. From here you should be able to use the Unifi software to set up the access points. If you’ve made a backup configuration file, you can restore it and that will get you going a little faster. The access points will need to be upgraded, so click on every access point and let it upgrade.

Finally, reinstall Java 8.
This will let all your other apps use Java 8 which is more secure.

It’s worth noting that you probably won’t have this problem with new-in-box access points which are already upgraded so the new Java will work with them. If you’re working with old access points and a new computer, this solution will help you stop panicking and get to work.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.