How to retune your DAB Digital Radio

Retuning or rescanning your radio can sometimes give you lots of new channels. Here's how to do it

By James Cridland
Posted 6 March 2017, 1.38am est
James Cridland

Occasionally, you'll want to retune your DAB Digital Radio. New broadcasts may be available to you, and getting your radio to retune, or rescan, will find them.

This only takes a minute or so. Most radio sets will give you a little display that shows the radio tuning around and discovering new stations. You may even get a number appearing of the total stations your radio set can pick up.

It's always worth doing this every so often: you might be missing out on new radio stations that have started broadcasting since you got your radio.

Before you begin

  • Make sure put the antenna right up. DAB usually works best with the antenna vertical.
  • If you can, move your radio to your windowsill. Sometimes, digital signals don't reach indoors as well as they could.

Do the auto-tune

  • If your digital radio has an auto-tune or auto-scan button, press it.
  • If there's no obvious auto-tune or auto-scan button, press the 'menu' button and go through the options until you find something marked 'auto-tune' or 'auto-scan', and select that.

Try doing a full scan

With some radio receivers, an 'auto-tune' isn't enough: it'll not check for any new transmitters. That's easily fixed by finding a 'full scan' option.

  • If your digital radio has an auto-tune or auto-scan button, hold it down until a full scan begins.
  • If you have a "full scan" option in your menu, choose that one.

Or, try a factory reset

Your radio will also probably have a factory reset option. Especially if you move house, you probably want this one: it'll get rid of all the old settings in the radio, including old radio stations that no longer broadcast. This will remove any presets, though.

  • Press and hold the 'select' or 'info' button on your radio until your radio asks you for a System Reset or a Factory Reset
  • or, press and hold the menu button for three seconds, then confirm the reset by pressing the tune button within three seconds
  • Or hunt for a factory reset option in your menu.

Having problems? We can help. Leave us a comment below, and we'll tell you how to retune or reset your radio.

James Cridland — James runs, and is a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business. He also publishes a free daily newsletter about podcasting, Podnews, and a weekly radio trends newsletter.


1 year, 6 months ago

Hi. A previous national radio station which worked fine now comes up as not available after having followed the above steps. Any advice on what to do next?

1 year, 6 months ago

What station is it you want to listen to?

1 year, 6 months ago

I find the best way to see which stations that I can pick-up at home is to re-tune/auto-tune the DAB radios in the highest room in the house so that the radio locks onto the multiplex even if the room in which you keep the radio in does not have as clear a reception as in the highest room in your house: I find that our upstairs rooms and kitchen have better reception than in our sitting-room or home office.

Where I live in East Yorkshire on the coast I can clearly pick-up stations from five multiplexes - BBC National (11 stations), Digital 1 (13), Digital 2/SDL National (18), Humberside (11) & Lincolnshire (5).

However I cannot receive a good consistent signal from the North Yorkshire multiplex (11 stations), which is only 10 miles away in Scarborough, and which carries our local commercial radio station Yorkshire Coast Radio on DAB and so I have to listen to it on the local Bridlington FM transmitter. We await the licensing of a future Small-scale DAB multiplex for our part of the Yorkshire coast.

1 year, 5 months ago

Just wondering if there is a digital radio that can be installed in a car? I'm fed up with flakey signals during drives to and from the south west.

1 year, 5 months ago

Yes you can get a DAB radio fitted to most vehicles and most new cars will have digital as standard.

1 year, 5 months ago

I have a hitachi and I don't know what to do so that I can get abetter radio on my stereo

5 months ago

Hello , I have a dab [ pure evoke 3 ] , and I am trying to get radio caroline , it has it up on the list and will come up when tuned , but there is no sound at all what ever direction the aerial pointing or bar is [ it may as well be not on the list at all ] , at the same time my friend has a dab and it picks it up fine , any ideas , thanks --Patrick .

5 months ago

You need a radio that is DAB+ compatible.

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