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[SOLVED] How to Reset Kenwood Radio

Resetting your Kenwood radio can be a daunting task, but don’t worry! We’ve got the steps to make it easy. Just follow these few steps and you’ll be grooving once again in no time.

If it’s a KDC-series radio, you’ll have to press and hold its ‘reset’ button for 5-10 seconds to initiate the process.

If it’s a touchscreen-based DDX radio, you get two options. You can either soft-reset it via the reset button (like a KDC radio) or hard-reset it via settings. You can check the detailed method of resetting below.

Why Should You Reset The Car Radio?

How to Reset Kenwood Radio

Kenwood is considered by many to be one of the top five car radio brands – with the others being Pioneer, JVC, Alpine, and Sony. Their radios are generally considered easy to use, reliable, and have excellent sound quality.

But like any other hardware, there are some situations where you would want to reset your Kenwood radio.

The situations include:


If you’re having any issues with the radio’s reception, display brightness, control responsiveness, or even the sound quality, you know that there’s a problem somewhere that you have to find and fix. The first thing you should do for such troubleshooting is reset the radio.

Firmware Update

Although firmware updates are released to address software bugs and add new features, they can sometimes cause the display or sound quality issues. Sometimes they can even cause the radio to go blank. You can reset the radio and return to the original firmware version in such a case.

Revert to factory settings

Another situation where the resetting makes sense is reverting to the original sound settings. Let’s say you’re adjusting the EQ settings and have accidentally messed up the sound curve or crossover points. And now you don’t know what the original settings were. In such a case, your only option left is resetting the radio.

Radio installation

If you’re installing a 2nd-hand radio in your vehicle, it’s better to reset it as it may contain some bug/glitch that can cause some problems.

Clear the memory

Whenever you add a new BT device to your car radio, save a new station, or add a new phone contact, this information is stored as data. Over time, this data can occupy much of the car radio’s memory and slow it down. Resetting the radio will clear this memory and help you improve your car radio’s performance.

Fix connectivity issues

Sometimes, a car radio acts up for no reason and doesn’t recognize a USB or Bluetooth device. Many times, this issue can be solved by resetting.

Remove personal information

When selling a vehicle, you should reset the radio to remove any personal data stored in it.

How to Reset Kenwood KDC Radios

How to Reset Kenwood KDC Radio

The KDC series consists of inexpensive, button-based single-DIN radios.

This is how you can reset these radios:

  • Turn on the radio by pressing the ‘Home’ button.
  • Press the ‘detach’ button on the left on the bottom-left radio corner. It will remove the faceplate of the radio.
  • There will be a hole underneath that plate containing the reset button.
  • Press and hold this button with a paperclip/ballpoint for 5-10 seconds to reset the radio.

How to Reset Kenwood DDX Radios

The DDX-series radios are unique as you get two types of reset. And the one you go with will depend on what you’re trying to achieve with the reset process.

Soft Reset

soft reset car radio

A soft reset is great if you want to fix minor glitches in your car radio or improve its responsiveness.

Here’s how it goes:

  • In the top-left corner, there will be a reset button.
  •  Press and hold this button for 5-10 seconds.

This will reset the radio’s processor and free some memory to make the car radio responsive again.

Factory Reset

hard reset car radio

If you want to bring back the original head unit settings, the soft reset will not work. In such a case, you’ll have to do a factory reset.

Here’s the process for it:

  • Press + hold the volume and ‘Eject’ buttons. These buttons are located on the left side of the radio.
  •  At the same time, press the Reset button.
  •  This will start the booting process. The radio screen will go blank before turning on again.
  •  Once the screen is on, you’ll see many options, such as ‘BT Device Search,’ ‘BT Microphone,’ ‘Region Change,’ etc. Select the ‘Initialize All’ option.
  •  A message will appear on the screen asking you to press the reset button.
  •  Press that button.

That’s it. Now you’ve factory restored your Kenwood radio.


These are some methods you can follow to reset your Kenwood radio.

Remember, these methods only give you a general idea about resetting, as the actual process can be slightly different, depending on your particular model. If there’s any confusion, check out your radio’s manual.

As far as the effectiveness of these methods is concerned, it depends on the problem.

If this problem is physical, such as a blown fuse, aging radio, etc., the resetting will not work.

For firmware-related issues, though, it works most of the time.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why Does My Kenwood Stereo Keep Saying Protect?

It means that your Kenwood radio is in protect mode right now. It usually happens due to overheating, wrong speaker impedance, loose/broken speaker wiring, or faulty radio. It’s a fail-safe mechanism that protects the radio from any permanent damage – like protect mode found in many car amplifiers.

Is There A Reset Button On Kenwood Radios?

Yes, Kenwood radios generally come with a reset button.

Why Is My Kenwood Radio Not Working?

The common reasons for a Kenwood radio not working are a blown fuse, a damaged wiring connection, a software glitch, a faulty battery/alternator, or a dying car radio.

How Do You Know If A Radio Fuse Is Blown?

Open up the fuse box and pull the radio fuse out of its slot with your hands or a plier. Then, physically examine it. If the internal metal piece looks burnt or melted, the fuse is blown and should be replaced.

How Can I Fix Kenwood Car Radio Overheating?

To fix a car radio’s overheating, you’ll have to check its wiring, improve ventilation, add cooling fans, etc. Or upgrade to a high-quality radio from a well-reputed manufacturer (Kenwood, Alpine, Sony, etc.), as this issue is more common in the cheaper China-made car radios.

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