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, 6.38am gmt
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.


4 years, 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?

4 years, 6 months ago

What station is it you want to listen to?

4 years, 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.

4 years, 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.

4 years, 5 months ago

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

4 years, 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

3 years, 4 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 .

3 years, 4 months ago

You need a radio that is DAB+ compatible.

2 years, 10 months ago

I’m trying to tune my Pure Dab Radio to Virgin Radio but the auto-tune and reset advice will not work.
I live in the TN28 area. Do you know if it is obtainable here?
Thanks, Jenny

2 years, 10 months ago

Hi Jennifer.

Virgin Radio isn't accessible in New Romney. The closest area that has the SDL multiplex with Virgin Radio is Hastings. You'll have to listen online or on Sky 0215 instead.

2 years, 10 months ago

Thank you, Martin, for your reply and advice.

2 years, 8 months ago

Hi, I’ve had 5 live sports extra here in Aldershot for years. Found radio had lost all presets this week. Did auto scan and found all normal stations EXCEPT 5 live sports extra?

2 years, 8 months ago

I have a Pure One Classic DAB radio. No menu list comes up when I press the button: it just says "upgrade" but nothing happens whatever button I press. Help please!

2 years, 6 months ago

Trying to tune my Roberts DAB radio to Virgin radio,tried auto tune no success,can you tell me if it is obtainable in my area PH2. Thank you

2 years, 6 months ago


Perth is covered by the Kirkton Mailer transmitter. This means you can receive digital radio stations that are on the BBC National, Digital One and Tayside multiplexes.

Virgin is on what is known as the SDL multiplex, which isn't on this transmitter, so you'll need to listen online or on Sky/Freesat.

2 years, 2 months ago

we live in Bodmin Cornwall , and have lost GOLD radio .Can you tell us how to get it back on our RADIO . WE cant access the internet

2 years, 2 months ago

we live in Bodmin Cornwall , and have lost GOLD radio .Can you tell us how to get it back on our RADIO . WE cant access the internet

2 years, 2 months ago

A number of services, including GOLD, have moved from broadcasting in the 'original flavour' DAB MP2 to the DAB+ AAC standard. DAB+ is the newer international standard and gives the ability to broadcast in stereo at a lower bit rate than DAB: stations Already many services, like Jazz FM Stereo and ATLANTIS, on national or local or small-scale DAB transmitters are broadcasting in DAB+. Most radios sold since around 2010, especially by Pure, Roberts & Sony, all are capable of receiving DAB+ transmissions or being updated to receive DAB+ while some older radios like my Pure Tempus cannot but my Evoke Flow and Roberts Play can. I hope that this helps.

1 year, 7 months ago

Roberts RD-11. Cannot get Virgin radio. Any ideas?? Thanks in advance.

1 year, 3 months ago

I have lost several DAB channels in the past year on my audio system. I did the full scan but these channels are gone for good. The channel I used to listen to the most was Smooth Radio but several others also flew the coop.

1 year, 3 months ago

I have bought new radio which supports DAB+, although l have a fairly new DAB radio but can not get TALK RADIO, should it be available in CT10 3SA?
Regards Arthur

1 year, 2 months ago

I am trying auto tune on my DAB Radio for Premier Praise and still cannot receive transmission. I already have another DAB radio in the bedroom receiving Premier Praise transmission. Please help!

8 months, 2 weeks ago

I have an old and cheap DAB radio (bought in Sainsburys) but I cannot get Talk Sport 2 however many times I retune. Nor can I get Talk Sport 2 on my new Smart TV. I seem to be able to get all other stations but not Talk Sport 2. Please help. Thanks

8 months ago

I am trying to find Absolute 60s or Absolute 70s on our car radio. It’s a new car with DAB. Station search states 11a or 11b but this gives Absolute Classic Rock. Any ideas?

7 months, 3 weeks ago

Since yesterday, I have lost Radio 4extra. My DAB radio was set but when I use that specific button, I get Radio 4 even though the display tells me it's Radio 4 extra. I can't get it even if I rescan. Never had a problem since I got a DAB radio in 2017. Any suggestions?

Login or register to comment
It only takes a second with your Google or Facebook account.