Are you wondering why your microwave needs to be reset and if you can do the reset yourself? Learn how to reset any modern microwave in just six simple steps.

Microwaves are so convenient for many families, but that does not mean that they are free of issues that may leave you wondering, “Why me?” Do you have issues that result in your microwave not working properly? Perhaps you cannot get it to work at all.

Many people are likely hesitant to try to make their modern microwave work perfectly again for fear of messing it up even worse than the condition it seems to be in right now. You can learn how to reset your modern microwave in six simple steps and potentially get it to work like new again. Let’s get started right now.

Reasons That Your Microwave May Need to be Reset

There are many issues that may lead to the need for a microwave to be reset to get it back in good working order. It is important to not just assume that the reason it does not work perfectly is because it is no longer a modern microwave with all the bells and whistles, or that it is just old and that you need a new microwave oven.

The first microwave that was meant for commercial use was available in the 1940s, with updates to later models made throughout the 1950s. Unless your microwave is one of those models that stood several feet high and weighed several hundred pounds, chances are that you may be able to save your microwave by performing a simple hard set or by performing a soft set of the appliance.

Some microwave issues that you may notice that lead to the potential need for a reset of your microwave oven include:

  • The microwave oven does not heat properly
  • Your modern microwave does not start
  • The microwave buttons do not work properly
  • The glass turntable makes unusual noises or it does not turn during microwave operation
  • The clock or timer does not display properly

When you believe that the microwave is not heating the food or beverages properly, try a quick test. Place a cup of water in the microwave and close the door. Set the timer for two minutes. Take the cup out of the microwave oven after two minutes. Is the water as hot as it should be after you heat it? It is time for a reset or to explore further issues if the microwave is not heating the food or beverages properly.

Do you have kids that just open the door in the middle of the heating time and take off with their microwavable snacks or leftovers? Does your significant other think that there is nothing wrong with opening the door to the microwave before the set time is up and not clearing the remaining time?

Man opening the microwave door
Opening the microwave door in the middle of heating time could affect the performance of your microwave

Consider the long-term effects of this on the ability of the microwave to function properly. Hopefully, a reset in just six steps will resolve any issues related to the microwave not starting or the buttons not functioning properly when you use it.

There may be a variety of reasons that the turntable does not turn or does not turn in a normal way. Does the outside of your microwave oven look like a shiny, modern microwave, but the inside looks like somebody’s science project gone wrong because of the caked on, burned-on food buildup?  Keep a microwave clean or you risk affecting the life of the microwave, and not in a good way.

Several reasons may cause a timer or clock to not display properly or to not display at all even when the cord is plugged into the wall power supply. There is a possibility of getting it to work again if you perform a simple hard reset or a soft reset.

There are other reasons that may cause your perfectly-working microwave to stop working or to not work the way that it should function, such as a power outage. However, if the microwave is smoking or you see sparks, it is likely time to unplug it permanently and to dispose of it properly, as soon as possible.

Six Simple Steps to Reset Any Modern Microwave

Do not panic because you cannot find the microwave oven instructions that you have not seen since the day that you took them out of the box. There are some simple steps that can likely be used to reset any microwave, and to hopefully extend its life a little longer.

Step #1 The Soft Set

This is commonly referred to as a soft reset of a microwave oven or of just about any device. Push the Off/Clear button. Some microwaves may have a Stop/Cancel button instead of the Stop/Clear option. This simple step clears you out of any program that you or a family member started, even if you do not know for sure what a family member tried to do when using the microwave.

Microwave Off or Clear Button
Microwaves has an off/clear or stop/cancel button

Step 2 – The Child Lock Feature

Do you have a microwave oven that has a child lock feature? This is available on several modern microwaves, but may not appear on microwave ovens that are several years old or that are smaller units.

Check to see if the child lock feature is activated before assuming that your microwave is dead. Press the Stop/Clear button on the keypad. Now, hold the Start/Enter button for approximately four seconds. If this does not work, then you need to try a hard reset of your microwave.

Step 3 – Start a Hard Reset

A hard reset is often necessary to resolve many common issues that cause a microwave not to work properly. First, unplug the microwave cord from the wall.

Step 4 – The Waiting period

Wait a few minutes. Do not let your lack of patience get the best of you. This really is an important step.

Step 5 – Complete the Hard Reset

Plug the cord back into the outlet. You will need to reset the time and possibly other settings, depending on the brand and the model of your microwave. It is important to reset the time because many microwaves used to not work at all if the time was not set. Is your model or microwave brand one of those that needs the time set? Do not risk more problems with the microwave. Set the clock.

Step 6 – Time for a Checkup

Check the function of the microwave now that you performed a soft set or a hard set. It should work now that the reset process is complete.

Working Microwave
After the reset, your microwave should be working fine

Does it still not work? Go through the reset process again. If it does not resolve the issue, you will likely need to contact a professional repair person or purchase a new microwave.

Remember, the life span of a microwave oven is approximately nine to ten years. Do not attempt to perform repairs on a microwave if you do not have the professional knowledge and experience to perform repairs. You do not want to risk experiencing an injury or possibly causing a fire.