How do I reset my Kia audio system?

Resetting the audio system in your Kia vehicle can be a useful troubleshooting step if you experience issues like freezing, glitches, or error messages. A reset essentially clears out any bugs or corrupted files and restores the system back to factory default settings. This guide will provide an overview of when you may need to reset your Kia audio, how to access the reset button, the reset process, and what to expect after a reset.

When to Reset Your Kia Audio System

Resetting your Kia audio system can help resolve a number of issues. The most common reasons to reset the system include:

  • You are experiencing glitches, bugs, or error messages: A reset can help clear out any software bugs and restore normal operation. Common glitches include the screen freezing, buttons not working, volume malfunctioning, etc. Resetting should restore functionality.
  • After installing an update: Performing a reset after an update or software patch ensures all systems are synchronized.
  • Prior to selling the vehicle: Resetting returns the system to factory settings for the next owner.
  • Audio quality is poor: A reset may improve audio quality issues like distortion, lack of bass, uneven sound distribution, etc. It essentially provides a “fresh start.”
  • Connectivity problems: Issues with Bluetooth, satellite radio, or media connectivity can potentially be resolved by resetting the head unit.

When experiencing ongoing glitches, bugs, or system errors, a reset should be one of the first troubleshooting steps attempted. It often resolves software-related issues that cannot be fixed through other means.


Before resetting your Kia audio system, it’s important to park your vehicle safely and turn off the engine. This ensures you can focus on the reset process without distractions. Park your Kia in a safe location, away from traffic and other hazards. Shift into park or neutral and engage the parking brake. Turn the ignition key to the “off” position, or press the engine start/stop button to shut off the engine completely. Allow a minute or two for all electronics to power down. This prepares your vehicle’s systems for the reset procedure. With the engine off and parking brake engaged, you can now access the reset controls safely.

According to this article, you should park safely before resetting your car stereo to avoid distractions during the process.

Access the Reset Button

The location of the reset button varies depending on the Kia model. For many models from 2009-2022, including the Soul, Sportage, Sorento, and Optima, the reset button can be found on the instrument panel to the left of the steering wheel.

According to Kia Soul Forums (, on the Kia Soul, the reset button is located “to the right of the steering wheel, below the instrument panel.” Pressing it once resets Trip A, pressing it again resets Trip B, and pressing it a third time switches back to the main display.

For older models like the 2007 Sportage, the button may be located on the instrument cluster behind the steering wheel. Consult your owner’s manual to locate the exact position of the reset button in your Kia model.

Reset the System

Once you have accessed the reset button, you are ready to reset the audio system. This will clear out any errors and reset the system to factory default settings.

To reset the system, press and hold the reset button for 5-10 seconds. You’ll know the reset is in progress when the screen goes black. Continue holding the button down until the system reboots and the display comes back on, indicating the reset is complete.

Pressing and holding the reset button for this duration clears out any frozen processes or glitches in the software and gives you a fresh start. It’s important not to let go too soon, as a quick press will not fully reset the system.

Once the screen turns back on, you can test out the audio and connected features to confirm the reset was successful before re-pairing devices or making new presets.

Confirm Reset

Once you have held down the reset button for at least 5 seconds, the system will restart and display the Kia logo on the screen as it boots up, confirming that the reset was successful.[1] The infotainment system will go through an initialization process and return to factory default settings. This may take a few minutes as the system reloads. Do not turn off the vehicle during this time.

When the system finishes restarting, you will be welcomed with the home screen interface. Preset stations, themes, and other personalized settings will be cleared out. You can begin personalizing everything again or simply start enjoying your Kia’s media features with the original default settings.

Retain Presets/Settings

After resetting your Kia audio system, you may need to re-enter your favorite radio presets and customized settings. The radio presets and settings do not automatically save when performing a reset. Fortunately, it’s easy to set them up again after a reset:

  1. Re-enter your preferred radio stations into the preset buttons – simply tune the radio to a desired station then press and hold one of the preset buttons (1-6) until you hear a confirmation beep.
  2. Re-adjust any customized audio settings like EQ modes, balance/fade, or volume levels. Refer to your owner’s manual if needed.
  3. For navigation-equipped vehicles, you may need to re-enter your home address for fastest routing. Use the touchscreen menus to add in preferred addresses again.
  4. Redo any personalization settings like night/day mode preferences, screen brightness, or profile names. These settings reset to default.

According to other Kia owners on forums like Reddit, preset stations and settings resetting after a reset is common across models. While inconvenient, most owners report it only takes 5-10 minutes to redo presets and settings after a system reset.


If resetting the audio system does not resolve the issues, there may be an underlying hardware problem that requires servicing. Signs that professional maintenance is needed include the system still being unresponsive, buttons not working, issues with sound, persistent error messages, or other glitches.

Resetting should restore the radio to factory default settings. If problems persist, it likely indicates an electrical fault or internal component failure. At that point, it’s best to have a dealership technician inspect and diagnose the issue. They have the training, diagnostic tools, and parts availability to accurately identify and fix problems with the audio hardware.

Waiting too long with a malfunctioning system could lead to further damage. It’s advisable to schedule service if resetting does not cure radio problems. Technicians can check wiring, connectors, amplifiers, screens, and other components to pinpoint where repairs are needed. That will get your Kia audio working smoothly again.

Factory Reset

In some situations, you may need to do a more involved factory reset of your Kia audio system to restore it to original factory settings. This resets everything, including presets, custom settings, paired phones, and more. Here are the steps to do a factory reset according to the Kia owner’s manual1:

  1. Turn the ignition switch to the ON position.
  2. Press the [SETUP/CLOCK] button on the panel.
  3. Select “System” and press the [ENTER] button.
  4. Scroll to select “Factory Reset” and press the [ENTER] button again.
  5. A confirmation prompt will appear. Select “Yes” to confirm the factory reset.

This will reset all settings, clear any paired phones, erase presets, and restore the system to factory condition. Use this method if you are having significant system issues or want to completely wipe the system before selling the vehicle.


In summary, resetting the audio system in your Kia vehicle is a straightforward process. To recap the main steps:

  • Make sure the vehicle is turned off and parked safely.
  • Locate the reset button, which is typically a pinhole behind a panel near the display screen.
  • Use a paperclip or pin to press and hold the reset button for 10-15 seconds until the system reboots.
  • Confirm that the reset was successful and the system has reverted to factory settings.

Remember that resetting will erase any presets, saved stations, paired phones, and other custom settings. Write these down beforehand if you want to retain them. Overall, resetting the audio can help resolve glitches, frozen screens, connectivity issues, and other problems. Just be sure to reset properly and safely. Reach out to your dealer if issues persist after resetting the Kia audio system.

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