Ubiquiti Unifi Controller: How to manually add access points

In its default configuration, the Ubiquiti Unifi Controller is automatically looking for new access points within its own network. But this raises the question of what happens when we seperate the Controller and the access points into different networks, be it by VLAN or physical segregation. Well, things quickly become more complicated than clicking a fancy button on a shiny web interface. However, there are ways to still get it done, even though we have to take an old-fashioned (or you may call it nerdier) approach.

I’m talking about using the command line. There’s actually quite some stuff you can do with your Ubiquiti Unifi access points when connecting via SSH, like for example resetting them entirely (which you should do anyway before going through the instructions). If you want to take a look on some available commands, check out this Github page. But let’s not beat around the bush any longer and get back to our problem at hand. To get an access point connected to the Ubiquiti Unifi Controller, go through the steps of the following instruction:


  1. Reset the access point if you used it before
  2. Look for the IP address of your access point (identify it by looking for the MAC address in the DHCP server or use an IP scanner)
  3. Start putty (you can download it from putty.org)
  4. Connect to the access point by typing the IP address into putty and selecting SSH (Port 22)
  5. Use the following credentials to log in
    1. user ubnt
    2. password ubnt
  6. Afterwards, make use of the following command to connect the AP to the Unifi Controller. Make sure to use the IP address of your Controller server.
    1. set-inform
  7. Now switch to the web interface of the Unifi Controller and click Adopt
  8. Resend the command from point 6.1 to confirm the adoption
  9. The Unifi Controller will now configure the access point

Everything should be set and done now. Let me know if anything is failing you.

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