How to Fix a Sony Receiver Protector Error

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Frayed speaker wires can cause a Sony receiver Protector error.
Image Credit: Andrey Gerega / EyeEm/EyeEm/GettyImages

The Sony receiver protector error is designed to protect against a short circuit or power surge. With the Sony receiver in protect mode, external speakers will not function properly and a thorough assessment of the issue is required to remove the protection while preventing damage to the speakers. Luckily, Sony provides specific actions that will help resolve the issue.


Sony Receiver in Protect Mode

Protect mode is designed to prevent damage to the circuits and internal components. If you're wondering why "my Sony receiver is flashing protect," it's likely related to a short circuit or a power surge. Once the protect mode is activated, the speakers will not function until the threat is removed. The best first course of action is to simply turn everything off and wait while the system cools down.

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After cooling, you will need to investigate the root cause of the receiver entering protect mode. In many cases, overloading the receiver with too many speaker connections can cause a surge. Loose connections can also short a circuit. Other more obvious causes like a power outage and surge will indicate a temporary problem with the external power source.


Removing the protector mode setting requires identifying and fixing the problem. A shortcut or workaround does not exist and you must actually make the required repair or adjustment to return to normal use. Sony recommends a full cooling followed by a basic assessment of the power cords and other components that may cause the issue.

Cooling the System

Cooling is an important means of ensuring the electrical components do not overheat. Immediately cool the system when protect mode is activated. Turn everything off and wait at least a half hour for the system to cool off. Physically touch the receiver after a half hour and feel for heat to determine if a longer wait time is required.


Make sure the receiver is placed in a well ventilated area at all times to prevent overheating as well. Place the receiver on blocks to allow airflow beneath the unit if needed. Cleaning dust and debris from the receiver and the area where it sits will also help remove airflow obstructions while keeping the ventilation holes open. Storing in a cool, dark place rather than in direct sunlight will also help protect and extend the life of the receiver.

Identify the Surge

After thoroughly cooling the receiver, remove the power cable from the receiver and the wall plug. Inspect the cable on both ends and look for frayed or damaged sections. If the cable remains in good condition, move forward and begin inspecting the speaker cables for the same problems. Loose and damaged cables can easily result in a short that is triggering protection mode.


Next, access the speaker setup menu and run an auto calibration. If this does not work, set the speaker level to 0.00dB for individual speakers. If the setting changes do not solve the issue, a physical problem is likely the culprit.

Turn off the system and remove all speaker wires from the back of the receiver, before returning it to power and checking for the blinking protect mode light. If the light is gone, one or more of the speaker wires are causing the issue. Return the wires one at a time until the Sony stereo receiver says protect, revealing the problem wire. Replace the bad wire and the unit should function normally.


If This Doesn't Work

If the problem returns, take note of the number of speakers running off the receiver. A simple overload can cause the protect mode issue and fewer speakers should run off the single receiver. If you want the same number of speakers without issues, you might have to get an additional receiver.