How to Factory Reset Kenwood Car Stereo: Fix Common Issues

Kenwood car stereos are some of the most popular in the world. The company has been manufacturing car stereos since 1946, and they have established themselves as an industry leader with their wide range of quality products.

how to restore kenwood car stereo factory default settings

However, if you ever need to factory reset your Kenwood stereo, you might not know how to do it on your own.

Fortunately for you, we’re here to help! In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to perform one on your Kenwood stereo so that there’s no confusion when the time comes!

There are in fact multiple ways you can hard reset your kenwood stereo, we’re going to share all of them.

Method 1: How to Reset an Old School Kenwood Stereo

The process is fairly simple and shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes to complete. Here’s what you should do.

Remove Face Plate

Remove the faceplate of the stereo by pressing the eject button on your device. Keep it powered up as the process needs power to be completed. Don’t worry about electric shock, there is nothing under the face plate that can shock you.

The eject button should make the face plate lift a bit and you need to lift it out completely by sliding towards eject button’s end.

Note: Before Removing it, I recommend checking if the reset button is placed on the faceplate itself. Some newer models have reset buttons placed on the faceplate as well while some have traditional hidden ones underneath the face covering.

Locate the Reset Button

After you remove the top layer from the Kenwood device, it’s time to locate the small hole in the body. In some models, it is placed in the middle of the device, whereas some have it at the top left or right corner.

Press Reset Button

Once you locate the reset button, it’s time to press it. You might need something thin like a paper clip or pin in order to depress the button on your device for at least 5 seconds. The button is inside the hole to prevent you from unwillingly resetting the device.

Complete the Process

After the reset process is complete, it’s time to put the face plate back in its place and start enjoying the infotainment system.

By performing a reset following this method should solve any unusual stuttering or sluggishness in the system. However, if you need to bring back the out-of-the-box factory default settings in your car infotainment system, then the hard reset method elaborated in the following section is what you should follow.

Method 2: How to Hard Reset Touchscreen Kenwood Stereo

While the process is simple like the one for the traditional models, it does require two people to restore the factory settings. Here’s what you should do-

Locate Reset Button

Once again locate the reset button on the Kenwood device so that you can hard reset it. It should be at the top left corner or in the top left corner.

Press Menu, Eject CD and Reset Button

Here you go, find someone to help you here. You need to press the Menu button, CD eject button, and the reset button all at once. You need to keep all these buttons pressed until the system reboots.

Complete the Process

The system should boot up with a menu. Find something called ‘Initialize all’. It will take a bit of time before it prompts a message asking you to press the reset button again. Follow the instruction, and you are done!

Watch the video tutorial if you have anything to clarify-

Soft Reset

We do recommend starting a troubleshooting process by first applying the soft reset formula.

To do this, hold the reset button for 5 seconds and let the system reboot. This should solve most of the regular user problems with Kenwood car stereo.

Quick Fixes for Common Kenwood Stereo Issues by Resetting the System

Here we’ll briefly describe some of the common issues that mostly get fixed by a hard reset, if not by the soft one.

1. Kenwood Car Stereo Flashing Protect Mode

If you’re not familiar with the protect mode, it basically is an error message that indicates some problem with the system.

It means you have a faulty connection, incorrect wiring or wire gauge, a short in the circuit, or the speakers are bad. And sometimes, the issue just pops up without any reason while there is no known issue.

If your car stereo gets stuck in the protect mode, it’s best to do a hard reset. Most times, the problem should go away. If it doesn’t, read our detailed guide on how to fix Kenwood car stereo protect mode issue.

2. Kenwood Car Stereo Has No Sound

The speaker might not be kicking in because the system isn’t receiving enough power, or there is a driver issue.

To make sure it’s not a power supply issue, check whether the car battery is connected properly and if it has enough voltage to run a few appliances. If you find nothing wrong with your car battery, then do a hard reset as it could be an issue with the software.

3. Kenwood Car Stereo Bluetooth Not Working

If anytime you face wireless connectivity issues like Bluetooth not working or Wifi not getting connected, you should start with a soft reset. If that doesn’t solve your problem, do a hard reset. It’ll solve the issue unless your system have any physical damage.


In this article, we have discussed the process of how to perform a soft reset and hard reset for a Kenwood stereo system. We recommended that you use a soft reset if your problem is more of a user problem that is not related to the hardware of the system.

If the problem doesn’t go away after a soft reset, you can proceed with the factory reset method to see if that solves the issue.

In 90% of the Kenwood stereo issues, a soft or hard reset is what you need to solve your problem. If both of these techniques fail, you may need to try other Kenwood Car Stereo troubleshooting techniques to solve your specific problem.

4 thoughts on “How to Factory Reset Kenwood Car Stereo: Fix Common Issues”

  1. We have an older model of a Kenwoods car stereo. The battery died in the truck, so after replacing the battery the stereo only says “Demo Mode”. We cannot search for a new radio station, and it keeps going back to Demo Mode. Can you tell us how to get the Demo Mode to stop, so we can actually get other stations that we used to get on the radio?

    • Hi,
      It may be different in your model. Here’s what you can do if you have Kenwood DPX500BT or DPX300U.
      Press and hold the control knob for 15 seconds until the screen shows “CANCEL DEMO PRESS VOLUME KNOB”.
      Now, select Yes and press the Control Knob again. It should start to function normally.
      If you have any other model, check the user manual of the stereo. It should have the correct pathway to do this. Typically present in the installation and setup portion.

  2. I have an older Kenwood DPX 503 and I was playing my I-phone music on it and now when i use it, it just keeps saying STANDBY and its not working anymore and I have tried everything my phone cord in directly attached to the radio USB and the other issue is my radio just turned itself off and came back on. Any ideas

  3. Hi, we have a new to us Kenwood car monitor with receiver
    Mod no. DMX7017DABS
    SER 144X0369
    We changed car battery and the unit is asking for a radio code, which we do not have
    Any suggestions please


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