How to Repair a Microwave That Doesn't Heat


Microwaves are easy-to-use cooking appliances for quickly heating food or drinks or cooking entire meals. Items inside the microwave are heated using microwave radiation through a process known as dielectric heating. Microwaves that do not heat are most likely suffering from an electrical or programming problem, some of which are easily fixed at home. Fixing your microwave will save you from having to purchase an unnecessary replacement.

  • Push the microwave door tightly closed. The computer will not start cooking until the door is closed for safety reasons. Some models of microwave will give a warning on the screen if the door is open.

  • Ensure you have programmed a heat setting, entered a cooking time and pressed the "Start" button on the microwave's keypad. Check that the microwave is not set to "Defrost" mode.

  • Unplug the microwave and wait for one minute. This measure will reset the microwave's internal computer if it has frozen or scrambled. Plug the microwave back in and try again.

  • Ensure the keypad lock mode is inactive. Most microwave ovens have a lockout feature that prevents children from starting the microwave while unsupervised. Lockout mode is usually deactivated by holding down the button that bears a padlock symbol (like the "Start" button in the photograph).

Tips & Warnings

  • Call for repair if your microwave continues to experience heating difficulties after following these steps; there may be a problem internal to the microwave that should be safely investigated by a technician.


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images
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