How to factory reset Kenwood car stereo

How to factory reset Kenwood car stereo? [2 METHODS]

Do you have a Kenwood stereo set up in your car? Although a powerful system, there might come a time that a factory reset of the stereo is necessary. What are some situations that might require such a solution?

Simple malfunctions, like buttons not working or the display freezing up might require a simple reset to fix. If an overhaul of all settings is what you are after, a factory reset can take you back to the start and allow you to make the changes you need. So how to factory reset the Kenwood car stereo?

Read the following tutorial in order to find out. There are three ways to perform the task, depending on the model and depth of reset required. Both are described below, plus the meaning of the HF ERROR 68 message.

Method 1

et Kenwood car stereo

This method of resetting your car stereo can be used to reset models such as the KDC line.

Step 1: The stereo must be powered up for the reset to work. Put your car key into the ignition and turn until the lights on the stereo power up.

Step 2: Find and press the Detach button in order to carefully take the faceplate off the stereo. The Detach button is usually found in the bottom left corner of the stereo.

Step 3: Locate the small reset button located on the stereo. Press it with a pointed tool and hold for 5 seconds. This will perform the reset task. Just remember, the action will not work if your stereo isn’t powered! Also, you must reset the unit within 5 seconds after detaching the faceplate.

Method 2

Tip: For visual help, watch this YouTube tutorial

This method is used to reset Kenwood Excelon DDX touchscreen models. There are two possible resets to perform – the Soft Reset as well as the Factory Reset. If you find the stereo is unresponsive or shows some minor malfunctions, a Soft Reset might do the trick. Here’s how to achieve it:

Soft Reset

Find a pointed tool such as a small screwdriver, locate the small red triangle light-up button located on the top left of the stereo and press it down for 5 seconds. This will reset your Kenwood stereo.

Factory Reset

In order to bring your Kenwood Excelon DDX back to factory settings, follow this method:

Step 1: Press and hold the Eject CD button found on the left of the CD slot and the Volume button at the same time.

Step 2: While holding these two buttons, use a pointed tool to press the small triangular reset button, found in the top left corner of your stereo (you might find the assistance of another person handy). Keep holding the Eject CD and Volume button until the stereo boots back up. You can let go once it switches back on.

Step 3: Once the stereo is on finding the “Initialize All” button on the touchscreen and tap it.

Step 4: Once prompted, press the small triangular reset button once more. That will take you back to factory settings.

What does HF ERROR 68 mean?

It means that the unit cannot communicate with the cell-phone. In this case via Bluetooth. If this message keeps appearing you’ll need to Reset the unit. Resource link.


The method of resetting your Kenwood car stereo varies on the model and the depth of reset required. Still, it’s fairly simple if a tutorial is followed. In case of any questions, please leave a comment below. We will be more than happy to help you out.


Method 1 (for KDC models)

  • Power up stereo
  • Take off the faceplate by pressing the ejector button
  • Press the small reset button

Method 2 (for Excelon DDX models)

Soft Reset

  • Press and hold the reset button

Factory Reset

  • Press and hold Eject CD and Volume Button
  • While down press the reset button
  • Don’t let go of the Eject CD and Volume buttons until the stereo boots up
  • Tap “Initialise All”
  • Press the small reset button to reset
Vincent Talbot