Reinstalling pfSenseΒΆ

  1. Registered users can log in to their Portal account page and download the appropriate factory installer image:


    If you no longer have an active portal subscription, please contact support to re-enable access to the image free of charge.


    The pfSense factory version is the version that is preinstalled on units purchased from Netgate. The factory image is optimally tuned for our hardware and contains some features that cannot be found elsewhere, such as the AWS VPN Wizard.


  2. Write the image to a USB memstick. Locating the image and writing it to a USB memstick is covered in detail under Writing Flash Drives.

  3. Connect to the console port of the pfSense device.

    See also

    Connecting to Console Port

    Connecting to the console port. Cable is required.

  4. Insert the memstick into an open USB port and boot the system.

  5. After a minute the pfSense loader menu will be displayed that contains options to Boot Multi User, Boot Single User, Escape to loader prompt, Reboot, select a non-default kernel or configure boot options. Either allow the menu to timeout and boot on its own, or press 1 to boot normally. The factory images of pfSense already have appropriate console port options.

  6. The installer will automatically launch once the boot process completes and offer the choice of a Quick/Easy Install, Custom Install, and several other options. Select Quick/Easy Install and press Enter. Another screen will prompt for confirmation. Select OK and press Enter to continue.

  7. pfSense will be installed to the first available disk in the system. If the system contains an mSATA disk, it will be chosen. Otherwise, the onboard eMMC will be used. It will take a couple of minutes to copy all of the files to the target disk. When the files have finished being copied, the installer will prompt to select either the Embedded Kernel or Standard Kernel. Select the Embedded Kernel and press Enter.

  8. If you are on the factory version, the installer will then prompt to choose the type of system being installed, which pre-configures device-specific defaults. Choose the option that exactly matches the unit being reinstalled. If the model is unknown, check the sticker on the bottom of the unit.

  9. The installer will then prompt to Reboot the system. Select Reboot and press Enter. The system will reboot.

  10. Remove the USB drive from the USB port. pfSense will restart automatically. If the USB drive remains attached, the system will boot into the installer again because by default the system firmware is configured so that a device plugged into the USB port will be booted with a higher priority.