How To Reset a Microwave

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Updated January 25, 2023

Even if you have the best microwave, there’s a chance you’ll need to reset it at some point. Whether it’s a frozen microwave keypad or a software glitch, these issues usually have quick solutions. Unintended device settings are the most common reason for needing to do a microwave oven reset. So, if you’re wondering how you reset a microwave, keep reading.


  • Microwaves can stop responding due to software glitches or unintended microwave settings.
  • Press the cancel/reset button to do a soft reset on your microwave.
  • If necessary, perform a hard reset by unplugging your microwave for 30 minutes, then plug it back in.

A frozen key panel typically only happens for a couple of reasons, and they’re not too serious. First, your current microwave oven isn’t broken; you likely just have it on the wrong cooking program. If that’s the case, don’t feel bad because most people don’t know what F3 means on a microwave. The other common issue is a software glitch that might fix itself with a soft reset.

Insider Tip

Don’t press your microwave buttons too hard. It can jam the button springs and make the keypad unresponsive.

Unless you have a more severe microwave issue, such as the device tripping the breaker, resetting your microwave is an easy fix. In addition, unlike testing a microwave transformer, you don’t need any tools for this. While there are many microwave models, most models of microwaves follow similar steps to perform a reset. Pick a time of day that you can do without a microwaved meal, and we’ll help you fix the issue. You might also want to read why your microwave turns off, if you’re having other issues.

How to Reset a Microwave

Method 1: Soft Reset

STEP 1 Find the Reset/Cancel Button

Find the reset button and press it. You should hear a beep, and any activity on your microwave display will end. That said, if your digital display shows a lock icon, move on to step two. Keep in mind microwave interfaces may be set up differently from each other, whether you own the smallest microwave or the best Panasonic microwave of 2023. Their reset buttons may not always be in the same exact spot.

STEP 2 Hold the Reset/Cancel Button

Press and hold the reset button for three seconds to turn off your microwave’s child lock feature.

STEP 3 Test Your Work

Place a cup of water in your microwave and set a cook time of 30 seconds. If your microwave runs, you’re good. That said, if your microwave’s digital control panel malfunction persists, move on to method two.

Method 2: Hard Reset

STEP 1 Find Your Power Cord

If your microwave touchpad still won’t respond, your microwave needs a hard reset. The power cord leads from the microwave power supply to the power outlet on your wall.

STEP 2 Unplug your Microwave

Find your microwave’s plug and remove it from the wall outlet. For an over-the-range microwave, the electrical outlet might be inside a cabinet. If you see any burns around the electrical outlet, do not touch the plug without rubber gloves.

STEP 3 Let the Microwave Sit

Step 3: Let the Microwave Sit

Leave your microwave unplugged for 20 to 30 minutes to fully discharge.

STEP 4 Plug the Microwave In

After waiting, plug your microwave back in. Like other electrical appliances, you need to set your microwave’s digital clock to the correct time.


Wear rubber gloves if you need to touch a power cord with signs of electrical damage to avoid injury.


Does a Microwave Have a Reset Button?

Unfortunately, most microwaves do not have a restart button, but the off/reset button should stop any operations.

Can Microwaves Be Repaired?

Yes, you can repair microwaves, but it may not be worth it. Depending on the broken part, paying for repairs may not be worth it.

How Long Should A Microwave Last?

A microwave should last about eight to ten years on average. That said, the more you use the microwave, the shorter it will last.

STAT: A US Department of Energy survey found that 22% of Americans with microwaves own an over-the-range model. (source)

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