How to Reset a Kenmore Refrigerator

Resetting your Kenmore refrigerator can help resolve various issues and get your appliance working properly again. A reset restores the refrigerator’s settings to their factory default and can be performed if you are experiencing problems like an unresponsive display panel, error codes, unusual noises, or temperature control problems. Resetting takes just a few minutes and can often fix minor glitches without needing a technician.

How to Reset a Kenmore Refrigerator

When to Reset Your Kenmore Refrigerator

Try performing a reset if your refrigerator is:

– Displaying error codes
– Having issues with the control panel, like unresponsive buttons
– Making unusual noises or seeming to be malfunctioning
– Not cooling properly or maintaining the right temperature
– Experiencing icing or condensation buildup

Resetting can clear up these types of minor technical problems. However, if your issues persist after a reset, you likely have a more serious underlying issue that requires professional service. Don’t attempt to reset your refrigerator multiple times in a row. Too many resets can sometimes make problems worse.

Before Resetting

– Make sure your refrigerator has power and is turned on. Resetting does not work on an unplugged or off appliance.
– Check that all food inside has been safely removed and stored elsewhere temporarily. The reset will turn off the cooling.
– Have your model number handy to input during the reset process. This can usually be found on a sticker inside the fridge or on the side or rear external casing.

How to Reset a Kenmore Refrigerator

1. Locate the Reset Button

Kenmore refrigerators have a reset button that needs to be pressed and held to reset the appliance. On most models, the reset button is near the thermostat control panel. It is often labeled and may be red or hidden beneath a cover that needs to be pried off.

If there is no obvious reset button, check your instruction manual or search online for your specific model number and “reset button” to locate it. Some Kenmore fridges have a reset button located behind the refrigerator near the base rather than on the control panel.

2. Press and Hold the Reset Button

Once located, press and firmly hold the reset button for 3-5 seconds until the display panel lights up and beeps. This initiates the reset sequence.

Keep holding the button down until a second series of beeps is heard, and the temperature settings revert back to the factory default setting, which is usually 38°F for the refrigerator and 0°F for the freezer, though this can vary by model.

3. Re-enter Model Number

After the second beep sequence, the refrigerator will prompt you to input your model number using the panel buttons.

Carefully enter the correct numbers as listed on the model sticker. Entering the wrong model can lead to further malfunctions.

4. Set Temperature

The display will blink and beep with your model number entered, signaling the complete reset. You can now use the panel buttons to reprogram your desired temperature settings.

Make sure to wait at least 24 hours for the newly entered temperature to stabilize before making any further adjustments. Put all food back inside and resume normal use.

5. If First Reset Fails

Sometimes multiple reset attempts are needed if the first try does not resolve the issue. Repeat the reset process up to 2-3 times before calling for a repair technician if problems continue.

Let the appliance power cycle for at least one minute between each reset attempt. Too many resets in quick succession can overload the system.

When Not to Reset

While resetting a Kenmore refrigerator can often fix minor problems, it is not a cure-all solution and should NOT be attempted under certain conditions:

– If water or leaking is present
– For strange smells emanating inside
– For consistent excess frost buildup
– If the refrigerator will not turn on at all

In these cases, you likely have an underlying mechanical problem that requires a certified appliance repair technician. Resetting will not solve the issue and could even cause further malfunctioning.

Instead, disconnect your refrigerator from power and call for service immediately if any of the above symptoms arise after a reset.

Troubleshooting Common Reset Issues

– Refrigerator completely unresponsive – If the display is blank after holding reset, try unplugging, waiting 5 minutes, then plugging back in and starting the reset process over. Still not working? You may need a new control board installed.

– Error codes reappear – If you successfully reset, but error codes later return, there is an issue with a specific component in need of repair or replacement. Note the code and contact a technician.

– Temperature fluctuating post-reset – Give the refrigerator 24 hours to normalize temperatures after resetting. If fluctuations continue, manually adjust the temperature in 1-degree increments, allowing several hours in between to stabilize.

– Reset button not doing anything – First, rule out power issues or a tripped circuit breaker. If the fridge has electricity, but resets won’t initiate, the button mechanism may be broken and require replacement.

FAQs and Tips About Resetting a Kenmore Refrigerator

1. How long does a Kenmore refrigerator reset take?

The reset itself only takes a few seconds to initiate by pressing the reset button. However, allow a full 24 hours for temperatures to stabilize and reset back to factory levels fully. The entire reset process can take 1-2 days.

2. Will resetting delete my programmed settings?

Yes, resetting clears any custom temperature settings, alarms, modes, etc, that you have programmed. Default factory settings will need to be re-entered after resetting.

3. Does resetting reset error codes?

Usually, a proper reset will clear any displayed error codes and reset the control panel back to normal function. Persistent error codes will likely reappear, though, if they were signaling an underlying issue needing repair.

4. Should I unplug before resetting?

No need to unplug first. Resetting with the refrigerator turned on and connected is standard procedure. Ensure all food is removed before the reset shuts off cooling temporarily.

5. Can I reset a refrigerator side by side?

The reset process is the same for side-by-side models. Locate the reset button specifically for your Kenmore side-by-side refrigerator and hold it down for 5 seconds until it beeps and the display resets.

6. My Kenmore refrigerator won’t turn on after resetting. Now what?

If a reset shuts the refrigerator down completely, try giving it several minutes, then unplugging and plugging it back in. If it remains completely unresponsive, you likely have an electrical issue or blown fuse that requires a technician’s attention.

Resetting a Kenmore refrigerator is a fast and effective way to troubleshoot a wide range of minor operation issues. Just locate the reset button for your specific model, press and hold firmly for 5 seconds, wait for the beep confirmation, and re-enter your model number on the display. Then give the appliance 24 hours to stabilize before putting food back inside. With this simple process, you can often get your refrigerator back up and running properly again.

That covers the key steps to reset a Kenmore refrigerator that is malfunctioning easily. Be sure to check your instruction manual or online for your model’s exact reset button location and sequence. Following proper reset procedures can save you from calling for an expensive service visit for small glitches. However, remember that persistent problems after multiple resets require professional repair. With the handy tips above though, resetting your Kenmore can get you back to chilling food and making ice in no time.


Here are some common questions and answers about resetting a Kenmore refrigerator:

1. Why does my Kenmore refrigerator need to be reset?

Some common reasons your Kenmore refrigerator may need to be reset include an unresponsive display panel, unusual noises or malfunction, temperature control problems, error codes appearing, condensation buildup issues, or faulty icemaker operation. Resetting can often resolve these minor issues.

2. How do I reset my Kenmore refrigerator?

To reset a Kenmore refrigerator, locate the reset button, usually near the thermostat control panel. Push and hold this button for 3-5 seconds until you hear beeps and see the display panel reset. You must input your model number when prompted and adjust the temperature settings.

3. What happens when you reset a Kenmore refrigerator?

Resetting will return all refrigerator settings, like temperature, alarms, etc., to their factory defaults. The display will be cleared, and the appliance will restart. It will then need 24 hours to stabilize temperatures again after a reset.

4. Where is the reset button on a Kenmore refrigerator?

The reset button is typically located near the main control panel. But the exact location can vary by model. It may be labeled and under a cover. Consult your model’s user manual for the exact reset button location if not obvious.

5. How long should I hold the reset button on my Kenmore refrigerator?

Hold the Kenmore refrigerator reset button down firmly for 3-5 seconds. Continue holding as the display panel lights up and beeps. Hold until you hear a second beep sequence, signaling the complete reset.

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