Microwave Has Power But Not Working: Might Be The Board

Microwave in the middle of a kitchen

Does your microwave have power, but it refuses to work no matter what?

That sucks! Microwaves are a key part of our daily lives, so when anything happens that causes them to fail, a very convenient appliance can become a source of frustration.

I know how annoying it can be to have your microwave look like it has power but fail to work as expected. But don’t worry; you’ve come to the right place for answers. Below, you’ll find a list including the 4 main causes behind a microwave that has power but isn’t working and solutions for each.

When your microwave has power but isn’t working, it can be due to a bad door sensor, a broken push button, a faulty door latch, or an internal component issue.

Keep reading to get your microwave back to normal!

Why Your Microwave Isn’t Working

In my experience, there are many possible reasons why your microwave has power but isn’t working. In most cases, something wrong with the door, the latch, or the cables inside your microwave are to blame, but we can’t rule anything out yet.

Here’s what I recommend you check to get to the bottom of the situation.

#1 Check the Door Latch

The first thing you should look at when your microwave has power but isn’t working is the door latch and it’s functioning. More often than not, when you’re in such a situation, something is preventing the microwave from detecting that the door is closed or keeping the door from closing properly.

If you’re lucky, a detached cable will be to blame, but if not, you’ll likely need a new door sensor, which we’ll discuss further below. For now, let’s focus on the simpler issues.

Solution: Ensure the microwave’s door latch works normally and the door isn’t partially open. Your microwave won’t start unless it’s 100% certain the door is fully closed in order to keep you safe.

Provided the latch seems okay, there could be an issue with the cables running from the latch to the microwave’s Control Board, causing a miscommunication between the 2 parts. Addressing the issue isn’t as simple as it sounds, and you’ll want to read on to learn what I recommend you do.

#2 Check the Door Button

Provided your microwave has a push button to open the door, the next possible reason why it has power but isn’t working is that the mechanism behind the button is faulty.

In such microwave models, the latch is only part of the assembly. There are other parts involved in opening your appliance’s door when there’s a button to open it. A faulty microwave door button can also cause the door not to open, so if you’ve also been struggling with that, you can consider the situation as further confirmation.

Pushing a microwave's door button
In most cases, replacing your microwave’s door button is easy and quick.

Solution: Most microwave door button mechanisms are made of plastic, so replacing them is not too expensive or complicated. From what I’ve seen, the entire replacement process costs about $15 and a few minutes.

Check your User Manual for instructions to access your specific microwave brand and model and replace the door button. If you no longer have your manual handy, please refer to our free resource below.

#3 Check the Door Sensor

Assuming both the door latch/button and its cables are okay, the next possible reason why your microwave has power but isn’t working is that the door sensor is faulty.

The door sensor detects when the appliance’s door is fully closed and tells the Control Board and all other internal components that it’s safe to start the microwaving process. If anything prevents the sensor from doing its job, your microwave won’t start, no matter what.

Solution: A faulty microwave door sensor is relatively easy to diagnose and repair. However, the process to access the part safely is much more complex, so my usual advice is to contact a certified technician you trust to determine whether the sensor is to blame for your current situation.

#4 Consider an Internal Component Failure

The last possible reason why your microwave has power but isn’t working is a faulty internal component. Throughout this entire article, I’ve been stressing how important it is to avoid opening your microwave and repairing it yourself, but why is that exactly?

Well, the simple answer is that microwaves are extremely dangerous to repair.

Microwaves have several internal components, such as the magnetron, that, if mishandled, can pose a severe safety risk. To put into perspective just how dangerous microwave repairs are, you should know that even professional technicians must pass several safety certifications before working on these appliances.

So please, don’t ever try to work on your microwave yourself!

Technician working on microwave
Let the professionals handle complex microwave repairs to stay safe.

A faulty magnetron is one of the most common causes for a microwave that has power but isn’t working. The magnetron is your appliance’s lifeblood, as it transforms electricity into microwave radiation to heat your food.

When you call a technician, they’ll explain what each component inside your microwave does, which needs repairing/replacing, and give you an estimate on the cost of repairs and their hourly rate.

Getting Your Microwave Back to Normal

That about covers it!

When your microwave has power but isn’t working, it’s understandable that you start worrying about the potential cost of repairs and technician visits.

Luckily, as I hope this piece has helped you better understand, addressing the most common causes behind a microwave that has power but isn’t working is easy and quick. Unless the issue stems from something related to an internal component, a simple action, like replacing the door button mechanism, is an easy repair you can DIY.

Thanks for reading. If this article was useful and answered your most burning questions, please check out our other resources and free guides below and consider subscribing to our newsletter.

Have a wonderful week!


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