How to Reset Kenwood Radio

If you have a Kenwood radio which is acting kind of strangely, before jumping to a repair station, you might want to try resetting it. Sometimes, just that takes care of all the problems and you have your stereo back to normal.

Unfortunately, it is not like restarting your laptop, which means you need to take a few steps. That brings us to your question, “How to reset Kenwood radio?” Well, we have the answer. Here we go.

When to Reset Your Kenwood Radio

You need to know what are the common problems that occur with these radios and usually resetting is all you need to do to fix the issue. Here are a few problems or malfunctions that call for a reset.

  • When the radio does not communicate with the smartphone
  • When the buttons don’t work
  • When the screen doesn’t respond to your touch

Now, a Kenwood radio reset can be done in two ways—a soft reset and a factory reset. If you want the stereo to go back to its original form like it was when you first bought it, you need to restore it. With Kenwood, there are two popular models—Excelon DDX and Kenwood KDC. Here’s how you perform a reset on each of them.

You might also like: How to reset car radio without code

Excelon DDX

If your question is how to reset a kenwood radio, there are two ways to do it. This is the touchscreen model installed in cars, which might need a soft reset or a factory reset. A soft reset can reverse basic problems like Bluetooth connectivity problems or when the display does not respond.

Method 1: Soft Reset

You need a pointed tool like a pin or a screwdriver to do this properly and you can do that in two simple steps.

  • Step 1: Locate the red triangular button. If you are wondering “Where is the reset button on a Kenwood radio?” look towards the top left corner of the stereo.
  • Step 2: Using the pointed tool, press the button and hold it in that position for about 5 seconds.

Method 2: Factory Reset

But for slightly bigger problems, you will need to do a factory reset. You might need the help of another person to do this.

  • Step 1: Once you find a helper, press the volume and the eject CD buttons simultaneously.
  • Step 2: Get your helper to use a pointed tool to tap on the small triangular red button to reset it. You need to keep pressing the volume and eject CD buttons while the helper presses the reset button.Hold the reset button for 5 seconds and release it while the two other buttons are still being pressed. This must be done until the radio is turned on.

Once the radio is on, you can release the other two buttons and you will notice the display come to life.

  • Step 3: At this point, you must tap on the button that says “INITIALIZE ALL”. This will be visible on the screen.
  • Step 4: You will see a prompt on the screen which says “NOW INITIALIZING” for a matter of a few seconds. After this, the radio will tell you when to push the reset button again to finish the process. Follow it to the letter.

Your radio will be back to its out-of-the-box settings. The whole process takes less than five minutes if you take the long route, which is the factory reset method.

Kenwood KDC

There is only one way to reset the Kenwood KDC model stereo. It’s not as simple

as the previous two methods but you can still do this yourself and we will guide you through it.

  • Step 1: Get a pointed tool like a pin or a screwdriver.
  • Step 2: Make sure that the stereo is turned on before you start the process. You don’t have to start the vehicle’s engine to do this.
  • Step 3: When you see the lights of the stereo turned on, you know that it is being powered which is when you must locate the stereo’s faceplate.
  • Step 4: You will need to remove the faceplate which means you must find the detach button. It is on the bottom left corner of the stereo.
  • Step 5: Press the button and remove it from the stereo carefully without causing any damage.
  • Step 6: Check the user manual and find the reset button on the stereo. Press and hold it for 5 seconds with the pointed tool. This will complete the reset process.

Couple of things to remember. This won’t work if your stereo is not on, which is the first thing to do. You should not press the reset button for more than 5 seconds after removing the faceplate.


Q: How Do I Get My Kenwood Stereo Out of Protect Mode?

A: Switch off the receiver for a few hours. Sometimes, that is all you need to do. But if that doesn’t work, press and hold the reset button for 5 seconds.

If even that does not work, remove the connection between the receiver and the power lead for about 30 seconds. Connect it back and see if it works. If not, you need a professional to look at it.

Q: How Do I Start My Radio after Changing the Battery?

A: This can be done in just three easy steps. First you turn the ignition on. Then you turn the radio on and see if the CODE or LOC are displayed. If yes, switch on the radio. Then press the power button and SEEK button simultaneously. Keep it that way for about an hour and it is done.

The Bottom Line

Resetting your radio is a great option that solves a lot of basic problems. Knowing how to do that isn’t technical at all depending on the model of Kenwood radio you have.

But, as you now know, one of the methods might have a few more steps than the other. It’s easy if you follow the instructions to the letter.

Last Updated on June 29, 2022 by Danny Reid