How to Program Baofeng UV-5R for Police Scanner

You can program Baofeng UV-5R for police scanners in two different methods. Manual simplex programming and automatic programming by using the software. Simplex manual programming is feasible and easy to perform. It has fewer legal restrictions. Programming it with software is a bit tricky and it’s not legal in all the states.  

This is not the whole process of how to program Baofeng UV-5R for police scanners. Continue reading for the in-depth instructions.

What is the Baofeng UV-5R

The Baofeng UV-5R is a small radio that works on UHF/VHF frequencies and has 4 watts of power. It can receive FM broadcasts from 65-108 MHz and has a maximum output power of 4 watts. BaoFeng, a Chinese company, made it, and it was the first successful dual-band radio from China. It is a popular choice for both amateur and professional users because it is easy to use and affordable. The Baofeng UV-5R has been available since 2012 and is sold globally.

How to Program Baofeng UV-5R For Police Scanner

You can program the Baofeng UV-5R using the software or manually with simplex channels.

Baofeng UV-5R Manual Simplex Programming

To program Baofgeng UV-5R manually using the simplex channel for police scanning follow the steps below. But before you begin, you’ll need the following tools: 

  • User manual for a reference 
  • list of police frequencies in your area

Step 1: Find the frequencies

Search online for a list of police frequencies in your area or contact your local police department to obtain the information you need.

Step 2: Enter Frequency Mode

Turn on the Baofeng UV-5R and press the VFO/MR button to enter the frequency mode.

Baofeng UV-5R
Source: foothill flyers

Step 3: Set the Frequency

Using the keypad on the radio, enter the desired frequency you want to program. Remember to include the decimal point for accurate tuning.

Step 4: Save the Frequency

Press the A/B button to select the desired channel (A or B). Then, press the MENU button and use the arrow keys to navigate to the menu option that allows you to save the frequency to a channel.

Step 5: Save the Frequency to a Channel

Once you have reached the menu option, press the MENU button again to confirm and save the frequency to the selected channel.

Step 6: Repeat the Process

Repeat steps 3 to 5 for each police frequency you want to program. Assign each frequency to a different channel so you can easily switch between them.

Step 7: Enable/Disable Dual Watch

The Baofeng UV-5R has a feature called “Dual Watch” that allows you to monitor two frequencies simultaneously. To enable or disable this feature, press the MENU button, navigate to the Dual Watch menu option, and toggle it on or off.

Step 8: Scan the Channels

Once you have programmed all the desired frequencies, you can scan through them by pressing the SCAN button. The radio will automatically cycle through the programmed channels, stopping when it detects activity on a frequency.

Remember, it’s essential to comply with local laws and regulations when scanning police frequencies. Before using the Baofeng UV-5R for this purpose, familiarize yourself with the laws regarding radio scanning in your area.

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Program Baofeng UV-5R For Police Scanning With A Software

To program a Baofeng UV-5R for police scanning using software, you will need a few tools:

  • Programming cable (compatible with Baofeng UV-5R)
  • Computer with the desired software installed (CHIRP, Baofeng UV-5R VIP, or BTECH UV-5X3 Programmer) Recommended- CHIRP

Now, let’s go through the step-by-step process:

Step 1: Install the software

Download the CHIRP software from the official CHIRP website and follow the provided instructions to install it on your computer.

Step 2: Link the radio to the computer

Connect one end of the programming cable to your Baofeng UV-5R radio and the other end to an available USB port on your computer. Ensure that the radio is turned off before making the connection. Turn on your Baofeng UV-5R radio and launch the CHIRP software on your computer.

Step 3: Calibrate the connection

Within the CHIRP software, navigate to the “Radio” option in the menu bar and select “Download from Radio.” This will establish a connection between the software and your Baofeng UV-5R radio.

Step 4: Select Baofeng UV-5R from the list

A list of supported radio models will be displayed. From this list, choose “Baofeng UV-5R” as your radio model.

Step 5: Add frequency and channel

Once the connection is successfully established, the CHIRP software will present you with a spreadsheet-like interface. This is where you can input and manage the frequencies, channels, and settings for your Baofeng UV-5R radio.

Step 6: Input new channel info 

To add a new channel, click on an empty row in the spreadsheet and enter the relevant information, such as the frequency, channel name, and other necessary details.

Step 7: Repeat the previous step to program multiple channels

If you have multiple channels to program, repeat the previous step for each channel, populating the spreadsheet with the desired frequencies and settings.

To speed up the programming process, you can copy and paste frequencies and settings from a spreadsheet or text document into CHIRP’s spreadsheet interface.

Step 8: Transfer the programmed channel to the radio

Once you have entered all the desired frequencies, channels, and settings, proceed to the “Radio” option in the menu bar again and select “Upload to Radio.” This action will transfer the programmed channels from the CHIRP software to your Baofeng UV-5R radio.

Step 9: Disconnect the cable

After the upload process is complete, safely disconnect the programming cable from your radio. Turn off the Baofeng UV-5R radio, wait for a few seconds, and then turn it back on.

With this, you’re done with programming your Baufeng UV-5R with software. Remember programming your radio for police scanner using software is not legal in all states. So, before programming it, be sure about the law.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Why Baofeng UV-5R Won’t Transmit?

The new Baofeng UV-5R radios for the USA won’t transmit because they are firmware locked to work on Amateur Radio bands only. The frequencies OP wants to use are no longer supported on these radios. These Baofeng radios don’t have FCC certification to legally use other frequencies.

How to Factory Reset Baofeng UV-5R?

To factory reset the Baofeng UV-5R turn on the radio and press MENU. Select RESET (Menu Item 40) using the UP and DOWN arrow keys, then press MENU to choose it. Choose VFO using the DOWN arrow key. Press MENU and confirm by pressing MENU again when it shows SOURCE. The radio will display WAIT… for a few seconds and then beep twice to confirm the reset is complete. It will switch back to Chinese language mode. This VFO reset can help resolve transmission problems with the Baofeng UV-5R radio.


Well, now you know how to program Baofeng UV-5R for police scanners. Hopefully, by following this comprehensive guide you’ll be able to program your Baufeng UV-5R seamlessly. But be sure about the existing local laws before doing this. 

Thank You!


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