As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

How to Reset Kenwood Car Radio

If you’ve ever used a car stereo before, you’ll know that they tend to do strange things.

Sometimes, the buttons will become unresponsive; while on other occasions, the stereo itself goes into the protect mode or can’t recognize a USB-connected device.

In those situations, the first thing you should try is resetting the car stereo.

How to Reset Kenwood Car Radio

This post revolves around Kenwood car stereos specifically. Although they’re nowhere as glitchy as some b-grade models, having prior knowledge regarding the reset procedure is crucial in case of any problem. 

Kenwood has two main stereo series: KDC and DDX. While both of them have somewhat similar reset procedures, DDX touchscreen radios give you the liberty to choose between soft and hard reset.

Related Read:

Reset Kenwood KDC Radios

The following method can be applied to reset basic-level KDC head units.

  • Press the ‘detach’ button to remove the faceplate of the head unit. Usually, this button is located in the bottom-left corner.
  • Be careful when removing the faceplate as you can permanently damage it otherwise.
  • After removing the plate, you’ll see the reset hole right in the middle.
  • Press and hold that button (using a paperclip) for roughly 10 seconds to reset your Kenwood KDC car stereo.

Reset Kenwood Touchscreen Radios

In case you own a relatively high-end touchscreen Kenwood DDX stereo, you have two options. You can either do a soft reset or a hard/factory reset.

Soft Reset

This type of reset is perfect if you’re having some minor glitches or if the car stereo is unresponsive at times.

  • Press and hold the reset button (it’ll have a red triangle label), for almost 5 seconds. This button is usually located in the top-right corner.
  • This will cause the radio to reset the microprocessor and hopefully, you won’t see those glitches/unresponsiveness again.

Factory/Hard Reset

The problem with the soft reset is that it won’t remove your previous system configuration. For example, if you’ve done some EQ and crossover settings in the past and now you want to reconfigure those components from scratch, you’ll have to do a factory reset.

  • On the left side of the head unit, press and hold the Eject button and the volume button at the same time.
  • While you’re holding those buttons, have another person beside you and ask him/her to press the reset button. It will be located on the left side of the eject button.
  • You should keep holding the eject and volume buttons until the head unit boots up. It will be indicated by the head unit display screen turning off and then on again.
  • After this, you’ll see different options on your screen such as ‘BT device search’, ‘monitor adjust’, ‘region change’, etc. From those options, tap on ‘Initialize all’.
  • After a few seconds, a message will pop up on the screen asking you to press on reset button once again to finish the initialization process.
  • Press that button and done. Now you’ve factory restored your Kenwood DDX car stereo.

Michael Brown is the founder of, a website that provides car audio installation guides and tips. A self-taught car audio enthusiast, Michael has been installing and modifying car stereo systems for over 15 years.

Leave a Comment is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to