How to Log into the Graphical User Interface (GUI) of a Cisco Business Switch
Updated:February 26, 2020
The objective of this document is to show you how to access the Graphical User Interface (GUI) on a Cisco Business switch that is not on an existing network.
One of the easiest ways to configure settings and make changes on a switch is by accessing its GUI. The GUI is also referred to as the web-based interface, web-based guidance, web-based utility, web configuration page, or web configuration utility.
Every switch listed below is a managed switch and comes with a GUI. This type of interface, what you see on your screen, shows options for selection. You do not need to know any commands to navigate through these screens. The GUI gives the administrator a tool that contains all of the possible features that can be changed to modify the performance of a switch. In addition, the GUI can give access to a guest account allowing the user to view the settings without allowing any changes.
When setting up a new switch, Cisco Business recommends you do the configurations for the switch before connecting it to your network. This can help avoid potential issues and conflicts.
When doing these configurations, you should not be connected to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or the Internet.
Connect to the Switch
Since the switch isn't on a network, you can connect one end of an Ethernet cable to a numbered port on the switch and the other end to your computer. Make sure the switch has power. An adapter might be needed for the computer, depending on the model.
Determine the IP Address
To access the GUI, you need to know the IP address of the switch. To keep it simple, proceed with one of the following options:
If your Cisco Business switch is new, the default IP address is 192.168.1.254.
If you can’t remember the IP address or you don’t have a special configuration, use an open paperclip to press the reset button on your switch for at least 10 seconds while it is powered on. This will reset the switch to default settings and the default IP address of 192.168.1.254.
If you set a static IP address of the switch, you could enter that IP address instead of the default. This is not recommended as there may be conflicting configurations which may create issues in your existing network.
Access the GUI of the Switch
Now that you know the IP address of the switch, you can access the GUI.
Open up a web browser.
If you do not see the web browser you wish to use, you can access it at the bottom left search bar on a Windows computer. Start typing in the name of the application and select it when listed as an option.
Enter 192.168.1.254, or the static IP address if configured, and click Enter on your keyboard. This should open the GUI, first displaying the log in screen.
When accessing a switch, this default IP address only applies in situations when the switch is not connected to a router and your computer is connected directly to the switch. If the switch is connected to a router, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) will, by default, assign an IP address and it may be different.
If you receive a warning that it is unsafe. This is because you don’t have a certificate registered for the switch. You can choose Proceed, Add Exception, or Advanced. This will vary by web browser.
If you have a pop-up blocker you will need to click to allow the pop-up before you can proceed. The notification usually appears at the top right of the screen.
In this example, Chrome was used for a web browser. This message appears, click Advanced.
A new screen will open and you need to click on Proceed to (IP address used to access the switch) (unsafe).
If you are using Firefox as a web browser, you would click Advanced.
Click Add Exception.
Click Confirm Security Exception.
You then need to enter a username and password. The default credentials are cisco for both the username and password the first time. Older switches may use admin as the default username and password. It is highly recommended that you change the password to be more complex for security purposes.
Running into issues? Try these troubleshooting tips!
If you have followed the steps, but have not gotten access to the GUI, you may be on a different Local Area Network (LAN) subnet than the switch.
What is a LAN?
A LAN might be as big as several buildings or as small as a home. Everyone connected to the LAN is in the same physical location.
Typically in a LAN, the router uses DHCP to assign each device its own unique internal IP address. They follow one of these patterns:
10.0.0.0 /8 (10.x.x.x)
172.16.0.0 /12 (172.16.x.x - 172.31.x.x)
192.168.0.0 /16 (192.168.x.x)
These addresses are only visible inside a local area network, between devices, and are considered private from outside networks.
Many networks use a 192.168.1.x LAN subnet, but not all do. If you don’t have a connection to the switch, you won’t see the GUI and you will most likely receive an error code. If this occurs, you need to make sure that your network is on the same subnet as your switch while you are doing configurations.
Since the switch IP address is set for the default of 192.168.1.254, you will have to go into your computer and set a static IP address that is in that same subnet in order to connect. The last octet, represented with an x in 192.168.1.x can be any number 2-253. In the unlikely scenario that you have a static IP address configured on your switch, you would need to be in the same subnet as the static IP. For more information on this subnets, read through IP Addressing and Subnetting for New Users.
Remember to follow these steps again to change the IP address of your computer back to using DHCP once you are done with configurations on the switch, before you connect back into the existing network.
You can manually assign a local IP address to your computer so it is in the same network as the switch. In Windows, right-click on the computer icon on the bottom right of your screen.
Select Open Network & Internet settings.
Step 2 (alternative option)
Click the window icon and then the gear icon on the bottom left of your screen.
Then select Network & Internet.
Once you follow one of these options you will see a screen similar to this. Select Change adapter options.
Right-click on the network you are using and choose Properties from the drop-down menu. This lets you see what IP is assigned and allows you to change the configuration.
Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4). Click Properties.
Enter a local IP address that is in the same subnet of the switch. In this example, 192.168.1.33 was entered. Click on the spaces in in the Subnet mask box and they will populate automatically. Click OK.
Now your laptop should be able to communicate with your switch. Go back to the Access the GUI of the Switch section of this article and follow the steps.
Other things to try if it is still not connecting:
Enter the IP address of the switch using a different web browser, so instead of Chrome, you can use Firefox. If you do not have a second web browser, you can do a search and download one so that app is available to try.
Try to enter the IP address with http:// before the IP address.
Try to enter the IP address with https:// before the IP address.
Perform a reboot for both the laptop and the switch
Use the paperclip to do a factory reset on the switch in case that didn't work the first time.
You should now have access to the GUI of the switch that includes a navigation pane down the left side. It contains a list of the top-level features of the switch.
The colors of this page may vary, as well as the top-level features, depending on the equipment and firmware version. The categories and options vary between switches.
This is an example of the navigation pane on an SG550 switch.
Click on the following links to view the a product page for each series of switches. Each one shows dozens of links to other articles on that equipment: