How to Reset a DirecTV Box That Is Malfunctioning

When your DirecTV satellite receiver fails to tune in the channels included in your programming subscription package or displays cryptic error messages that relate to subscription problems, you can address many of these symptoms with a hardware reset. Three increasingly broader levels of reset procedures clear out specific parts of your receiver's memory for settings and setups, or zero out all your preferences and treat it like a new device. Not all reception problems respond to these options, so before you instigate a reset, look for other problems that can interfere with your viewing experience.

Satellite dish on roof of house
DirecTV satellite service uses a small dish pointed at the southern sky.
credit: Siri Stafford/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Step

Press the "Menu" button on your DirecTV remote control. On an HD receiver or DVR, choose "Settings & Help" from the list of options and select the "Settings" screen. On SD hardware, choose "Parental, Fav's & Setup" and select "System Setup."

Step

Select the "Reset" option to choices three choices that determine how much of your DirecTV receiver's system memory to refresh. "Restart Receiver" reboots your DirecTV hardware, performing the same function as the red reset button concealed behind the front access panel of the device. A restart leaves your pre-scheduled program selections, custom guide options and parental controls intact. "Reset Defaults" erases all of your settings and preferences. "Reset Everything" blanks out the entire system memory, including any recordings on your DirecTV DVR, and brings up the Guided Setup procedure you must perform on fresh-out-of-the-box hardware.

Step

Press the arrow keys on the remote control to highlight your chosen reset option. Press the "Select" button to implement your choice. Enter your parental control password, if you implemented one, to unlock your receiver and reset it.