Downgrade to stock ASUS f/w for RT-AC86U

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Occasional Visitor
Yes, i'm ashamed to say it, but i would like to downgrade my f/w to the latest ASUS stock f/w (Version Would anyone care to share the procedure? I am running the latest version of Merlin.

I have tried using the Manual f/w update option (clicking "upload") twice but my router keeps coming back to the Merlin f/w. I also see a "Restore setting" option where i can also upload a file, but i'm guessing that is just for restoring a configuration.

For the reasons i want to downgrade, i will share in a separate post, but for now i just want to figure out how to restore to stock.

I'm sure I will one day return to the wonderful world of Merlin, but for now, I just need some basic things to work, and i don't have the time to troubleshoot (i will talk about this in a separate post).

Many thanks!


Occasional Visitor
Wow, looks painful. I'm guessing the router does a factory reset as part of the procedure? (it doesn't explicitly say).

Anyway, my problems with Merlin are all webUI-based (for which i'll start a new threat)... so not really major. Perhaps there are methods with which i can accomplish the same thing in the CLI (for which i'll start another new thread)... i'm not averse to using commandline, i prefer it actually. We'll see.


Regular Contributor
Factory reset is mandatory. Not really big deal 5min at most when you are back in stock FW


Very Senior Member
You really do not need to use the restore tool.
Do a factory reset on Merlin after you remove any USB drives. Best way is to power down the AC86U, Holding the WPS button press the power button. Still pressing the WPS button, the power light comes on and when the power light goes out, turn the power off. Turn the power back on and do a minimal config (SSID, user and password).
Now you should be able to flash the Asus firmware. If it doesn't work the first time try a slightly older version but the newest should work. Do another factory reset.
Set up the new Asus Firmware with SmartConnect enabled but choose a fixed 2.4 GHZ channel at 20 MHZ and a fixed 5 GHZ channel at 20, 40, 80 MHZ on a non DFS channel.

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