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7 Steps To Reset Your Kenmore Refrigerator In 35 Sec (2023)

How To Reset Kenmore Refrigerator

Uh-oh. Here comes your fridge again.

The ice maker doesn’t work and its inner walls are frozen.

Well, this is a common problem in Kenmore refrigerators that calls for a reset.

But before you go and leave this job to an expert…

How can you do it quickly at home and save a bunch of time and money?

Read on to learn:

  • 7 steps to reset your Kenmore refrigerator in 35 seconds.
  • If there’s a reset button on this type of refrigerators or not.
  • The exact location of the ‘hidden’ switch on your ice maker.
  • When and how often should this be done in your Kenmore fridge. 
  • And a lot more…

How to reset a Kenmore refrigerator?

To reset a Kenmore refrigerator, unplug its cord from the outlet. Then plug it back in after a minute. But if you have an ice maker problem, open the ice compartment. Blow-dry all the frost inside. Press the button under the left panel to rotate the ice tray. Do this until the stuck ice is released.

By doing this, the frost inside will be thawed out. Which will then cause your fridge’s parts to work properly.

To know more about this, continue reading.

7 steps to reset a Kenmore refrigerator

#1: Open your ice maker compartment

Once you’ve opened your fridge or freezer, take a look inside your ice maker next.


For french door and side-by-side type refrigerators, it’s located on the left door.

Once you see it, pull the gray-colored handle until it pops.

#2: Remove the ice storage caddie

Next, if your ice maker is on the left side of the door, take out the ice storage caddie.

Just lift and pull it out. 

After opening it, you’ll see that the inside of the compartment is all frozen up. Plus, the ice tray is stuck as well.

Now, this is the cause of your problem.

The ice on the tray couldn’t be dropped. This is because the mechanism that controls it is frozen.

So, every time the machine fills the tray with water, it overflows because the ice inside isn’t released yet. And this is why your ice maker can’t produce any ice anymore.

Also, the water will now spread to the other parts of your Kenmore refrigerator. 

Then it’ll cause frost build-up on its inner walls.

So even though your fridge was set to a higher temperature, the ice still keeps on building up. 

And also, your refrigerator isn’t cooling enough.

Why does this happen?

It might be due to excessive moisture or an issue with the sensor.

But if the water line freezes up again after a few hours or days, check your water valve. It may have leaks and need a replacement.

Note: If the latter is the case (or any faulty parts), a reset won’t fully solve the problem. It can only help as a temporary fix. So contact Kenmore customer support then set a repair schedule for a permanent solution.

#3: Press the switch until the tray rotates 

“What switch?”

Okay. This is different from the on/off button that you see upon opening the compartment.

This switch that you need to find is usually hidden.

It’s a button that can make your ice tray rotate. Plus, it kind of ‘resets’ your ice maker as well.

“Where is this found?”

It’s located under the small white panel on the leftmost side. The part below the on/off switch.

When you find it, press it many times until you see your ice tray turn 180 degrees.

This will now cause it to drop a block of ice. As if it forgot its function for a long period of time.  

Then, the machine will also fill it with water again. And it’ll freeze a new set of ice like it used to do.

If this step worked instantly, well, congratulations!

There’s one step that you can skip – the one right after this

And also, you’re close to resetting your Kenmore refrigerator in only 35 seconds.

But if not…

Do the next step below.

#4: Use a hair dryer to melt excess frost build-up

Now, if the switch isn’t working no matter how many times you press it…

Your ice maker and everything inside the cavity is still frozen.

So, to melt them and speed up the process, use a hairdryer.

Blow warm air to the rotating mechanism inside your ice maker. 

Do this on the other parts that are frozen and likely stuck as well. 

And then, press the switch again several times.

Most likely, the ice tray will now rotate and release the ice inside. Then it’ll go back to its original state. 

Note: But before doing this, put a towel first under your ice machine. You’ll be melting a lot of ice so expect water leaks anywhere.

How long does this usually take?

This could take around 5 to 10 minutes. Depending on the thickness of ice inside the compartment.

Warning: If it’s taking too long, rest your hairdryer for a few minutes. This is to prevent it from overheating. Also, don’t put it too close to your fridge’s parts. There could be areas that are extra sensitive to heat.

Note: For 2-door users, this is the next step. Do this after opening your freezer door. As well as pulling out the drawer under the ice maker.

The latter will give you better access to the machine while you’re using a hairdryer.

#5: Ensure that the compartment is dry

Have you successfully reset the ice maker?

If so, make sure to clean its compartment.

After the troubleshooting, the machine will likely make a mess. And there will be moisture everywhere.

So wipe all wet areas with a towel. Or use a hairdryer too to speed up the process.

And then…

#6: Put back the caddie and the ice compartment cover

Are you done drying the inside of your ice maker?

As well as the affected inner walls of your fridge?

If yes, you can now return everything back to their places.

First, reinsert the ice storage caddie. Then close the compartment.

Note: Make sure that it’s closed properly. There shouldn’t be any gaps as warm air will cause moisture. This will build inside the compartment. And it’ll affect your ice maker’s function again.

#7: Set your fridge to the ideal temperature

Set Fridge To Ideal Temperature

Usually, most people may think they’re all done after doing step #7.

It might be the case for some.

But most likely, your fridge’s temperature is still set too high. And this is why your ice maker still doesn’t work even after the reset.

So, before you pull your hair out, check your fridge’s temperature.

See if it’s set to the ideal. And if not, adjust it right away.

What is the right temperature for my Kenmore refrigerator?

The standard temperature is 37° F‌ ‌(3 °C‌) for refrigerators.

This is the usual setting in newly bought models.

While for freezers, it’s 0° F‌ ‌(-18 °C‌).

#BONUS: Unplug and plug it back again

Oh, did the 35 seconds end already?

Well, if your ice maker is still acting up, you can try rebooting your fridge as well.

It won’t take you too long to begin the restart. But you have to wait for at least a minute afterward.

So what you’re going to do is, unplug your unit’s cord from the outlet.

Then wait for about a minute or two before putting it back in.

See if the ice maker works or not. As well as if the fridge is cooling again.

Usually, this solves most of the users’ problems. 

But if not, reach out to Kenmore (see the links I gave earlier) or a repairman.

Note: If this doesn’t solve your problem, the last thing you can do is to find the ‘defrost switch.’ This could be inside your fridge or at its rear access panel.

Frequently asked questions:

Is there a reset button on a Kenmore refrigerator?

There’s no reset button on a Kenmore refrigerator. Specifically, one that controls the power of the compressor. But, there are switches for ice makers.

One is the power button. This is so that you can turn on or off the ice maker depending on your needs.

Whereas the other one controls the rotating ice tray. And it also somehow ‘resets’ the ice-making process.

So if you’re looking for one for the whole fridge, you will not see anything. As most refrigerators are made this way.

Note: Aside from the ice maker, the only way to reset it is by simply unplugging its cord. Then putting it back in after it cooled down.

When should you reset a Kenmore refrigerator?

You should reset your Kenmore refrigerator if the ice maker isn’t working. As well as if your unit’s walls keep freezing even if the set temperature is higher than the ideal.

“How does a reset help?”

If you’re having similar problems, there’s likely an issue with the cooling system.

And what may have caused it?

Frost buildup inside your fridge.

By doing a reset, you’ll allow the ice to be thawed.

And also, the machine that controls the ice tray will also function again – along with the other parts. As they have been frozen and stuck for so long. 

“How often should I do this in my fridge?”

Well, this depends on the problem of your unit.

If it’s only due to excess moisture, it may take a few months to come back. Provided that you keep your fridge closed most of the time.

But if it’s because of the compressor or water valve, you might need to do this frequently. 

Note: For a more long-lasting fix, ask an expert or repairman to check your unit.