Can’t Find Your Freezer’s Temperature Controls? Read This!

Frozen Vegetables

Are you struggling to find your freezer’s temperature controls?

Welcome to the club! Believe it or not, this is a very common difficulty, as not all freezer models are created equally.

I know that having one of the main appliances in your kitchen give you a hard time when trying to adjust its settings can be very frustrating, as you might be trying to save some money.

But don’t worry. You came here for answers, and you won’t leave without them. Below, I’ve prepared a small piece including useful tips to find your appliance’s controls and set everything to your liking.

When you can’t find your freezer’s temperature controls, you might want to read your User Manual, assess the age of your model, or look inside the food compartment. If that fails, you can also try checking the rear side of the appliance, as some variants have the dials there.

Read on to get full control!

#1 Read Your User Manual

First, let’s try something that very few people do, but can make a night and day difference in how your appliance works – reading your User Manual.

Let’s face it, whenever we buy a new freezer (or any other appliance for that matter), we tend to focus on installing and using it quickly, rather than learning how to use it the right way. This can not only result in damage to the unit or excessive power draw with no added benefits, but also in struggling to find specific controls.

As I said above, not all freezers are created equal, and thus, said controls will be located differently depending on the manufacturer.

Solution: Sadly, checking your User Manual is sometimes easier said than done, as you might have already thrown it away. But don’t worry, if so, you’re not out of options.

Google is your friend here. Typing in “[model] Freezer Manual PDF” will get you results just about every time. Just replace “model” with your freezer’s model number, and you’ll pull up the specific manual in no time.

refrigerator manual example
I searched for a General Electric freezer model I’m familiar with, and this was the first result. It’s the General Electric website with two easy-to-understand manuals that cover all your needs.

In 99% of cases, you’ll find the location of your temperature controls there.

#2 Assess Your Model’s Age

You might be wondering why this matters, and the answer is the same as any Realtor will give you – location, location, location.

This information might surprise you, but as it turns out, the age of your appliance can determine where the temperature controls are. Let’s take General Electric, for example. They have an entire webpage dedicated to guiding users through finding their controls depending on how old or new their products are.

A woman looking inside a fridge in black and white
The temperature controls might be located differently depending on your appliance’s age

For their particular case, it would seem like older chest freezers have the temperature controls in the rear wall of the appliance, whereas newer variants have them at the front. Most upright older units appear to have the controls all the way at the back of the interior cabinet liner, whereas newer ones have them facing to the front on the outside.

Solution: If your appliance is older than 10 years, I’d start by checking the back and the interior, and then work my way from there.

Provided you still can’t find your temperature controls this way, don’t worry. There’s a lot more ground left to cover.

#3 Look Inside the Food Compartment

It’s amazing how much food can be stored in modern freezers. It would seem like you can keep throwing things in, and they’ll never fill.

And while this is a great advantage, it also makes for the perfect scenario to lose your temperature controls amidst your groceries.

You wouldn’t believe how many people have this issue at a certain point, only to realize later that the dialing knobs were hiding under a frozen ham leg or a Tilapia filet.

The internal compartment of a freezer
Move your groceries around to find the temperature controls

When it comes to grocery freezing and storing, it’s essential to make sure that you keep things organized. This way, not only will your food remain frozen much more efficiently, but you’ll also eliminate any chances of losing sight of components in the future.

#4 Look Behind the Appliance

As mentioned in the previous section, the age, manufacturer, and model of a freezer affect where the temperature controls are. At this point, it’s clear that, if you have a General Electric upright freezer, looking behind it is pointless.

But what about other manufacturers?

With so many brands out there and thousands of models in the market, there’s always a chance that one of them decided to place the controls in the rear exterior wall of the appliance. This is, of course, not convenient at all, but sometimes even large companies can make design mistakes.

Now, as you can imagine, in order to check behind your freezer, you’ll have to move it, which can be challenging given how heavy these appliances are. But where there’s a will there’s a way, so don’t give up. There are many simple and quick ways to move an upright freezer out of a tight space.

Solution: To give you a general idea of how to do this, here’s a safe way to go about it. All you need is a towel, a friend, and some patience:

  1. Empty your freezer and disconnect it from the power supply.
  2. Carefully, grab the appliance from the bottom and lift it ever so slightly. Just enough to get the frontal legs off the ground.
  3. Once there’s enough space to fit a towel underneath the frontal legs, start sliding it under the unit.
  4. After the towel has reached the legs at the back, start pulling the remainder of it towards you.
  5. With enough force, the appliance should start moving little by little.
  6. Once it has come out enough to allow you to lift the hind legs and slide more of the towel under them, do so, and keep pulling.
  7. Continue this process until you’re comfortable with the freezer’s position.

Once you have clear access to the appliance’s rear exterior wall, check it for the temperature control knobs.

Special Cases

Ok, so now you know all the places to look when you can’t find your freezer’s temperature controls. But what if you already tried them all, and they’re still missing? Well… in cases like that, chances are your unit doesn’t have them.

A freezer's temperature dial knob
There might not be any controls to be found

At least not externally.

Some freezer models come preset to maintain certain temperatures that guarantee proper freezing within their internal compartments. These variants, while rare, do exist, and offer little customization options for the user.


That about covers it!

When you can’t find your freezer’s temperature controls, an appliance designed for convenience can quickly turn into a nuisance.

I hope this piece has helped you better understand the most common temperature control locations in these units, so that you can start looking for yours. More often than not they should be located either in the internal compartment or on the front side.

Thank you so much for sticking with me all the way to the end. If this article was interesting and helpful, you’ll be glad to know that there’s new content to keep learning from below.

On the site, you’ll find several solutions for daily appliance issues, such as a microwave that won’t turn off, or an air purifier that’s crackling.

I wish you the best of luck!

— Craig.

I've been helping homeowners with appliance repair since 2016. Starting out as an enthusiastic amateur, I've since worked with many Appliance, HVAC, and DIY experts over the last 7+ years. My mission is to help fix your appliances and prevent future issues - saving you stress, time, and money. Visit my author page to learn more! Read more