Microwave Buttons Not Working: 5 Easy Ways To Fix Them Now

Microwaves are essential appliances that many of us use daily as they provide a convenient and quick way to cook or reheat our food, making our lives easier. However, if the microwave buttons suddenly stop working, it can be a frustrating experience.

If the buttons aren’t working properly, you might be unable to operate the appliance at all, rendering it useless. Fortunately, there are ways to solve the problem quickly.

This article will discuss why your microwave buttons may not work and provide 5 ways to fix it.

Why Are Your Microwave Buttons Not Working?

Before discussing how to fix your microwave, let’s first understand why the buttons might not work. Here are the most common reasons for the issue:

1. Defective Control Panel and Touch Pad

The control panel and microwave touchpad are the primary components responsible for the functioning of the microwave buttons. If the control panel or touchpad is defective, the buttons may not respond, making it impossible to use the microwave.

One of the most common causes behind a faulty control panel is simple wear and tear over time, but it could also be related to electrical issues. The microwave touchpad can also fail due to wear and tear or accidental damage caused by spills or impacts.

The simplest way to confirm this is by testing all of the buttons; if some buttons work but others don’t, it’s likely to be a control panel and touchpad problem. However, if none of the buttons work, you might have a different issue.

2. Failed Membrane Switch

The membrane switch is a thin layer of plastic with a conductive coating that sits between the control panel and the circuit board and acts as the “skeleton” of the touchpad. It’s responsible for registering and transmitting the user’s input to the circuit board.

If the membrane switch fails, the buttons on the control panel won’t work correctly. Membrane switches can fail due to moisture or grease buildup, wear and tear, or accidental damage.

If you want to check for a fault here, you will need to unplug the unit and use a multimeter tool to check it for continuity, which can be a more complicated process.

3. Control Board Issues

Finally, you might have an issue with the main control board. The control board is considered the brain of the microwave, responsible for controlling all of its functions, including the fan’s rotation and turning.

The control board works in conjunction with the membrane switch, sending signals in order to operate. A faulty control board can cause issues with the functioning of the microwave buttons (and create other problems too).

Control board issues can occur due to electrical surges, overheating, or other internal faults. You can identify a control board issue by checking whether the lights on the display board work but the buttons do not.

How to Fix Microwave Buttons That Don’t Work?

Once you understand what might be causing the problem, you’ll be better equipped to make a decision on how to proceed. We’ve listed a few steps you can take to fix the microwave:

1. Reset the Appliance

Sometimes, resetting the microwave can help fix any control panel and touchpad issues. To reset the appliance, unplug it from the power outlet and let it cool for a few minutes.

Then, plug it back into the power outlet to see if this resolves the issue. This simple step will reset the microwave’s settings and could clear any glitches that may be causing the problem.

It’s important to note that resetting the appliance won’t always work, especially if the issue is more severe. However, it’s worth trying before moving on to more complicated fixes or contacting a professional appliance repair service.

2. Replace the Control Panel

If you suspect the microwave control panel is defective, you will probably need to replace it. You can order a replacement part online or from an appliance parts store.

Replacing the part yourself will require the right tools and skills, so ensure you’re confident to take on the task.

Before you start, unplug the microwave from the power supply and allow it to cool down. The replacement process may vary depending on the model of your microwave, so it’s essential to consult the user manual.

That being said, here is a general guideline:

  1. Undo the screws that hold the front frill in place, remove it, and lift it away from the unit.
  2. Next, remove the microwave cabinet so you can access the internal components.
  3. Now remove the front control panel. Unscrew it and disconnect the wires, including the ground wire connection.
  4. Locate the touchpad membrane and remove it from the control board. Replace it with a new membrane and ensure it’s properly aligned.
  5. Once the new membrane is attached, you can put everything back into place following the same steps you did to dismantle the microwave.

3. Repair or Replace the Control Board

If the control board is faulty, you may need to replace it too. Before checking the control board, disconnect the microwave from the power and allow it to cool down.

If you find that the board is repairable, you can either fix it yourself or seek the help of a professional. If the board is beyond repair, you’ll need to replace it; you can order the replacement part and follow these steps:

  1. Undo the screws that hold the front frill in place, remove it, and lift it away from the unit.
  2. Next, remove the microwave cabinet to gain access to the internal components of the appliance.
  3. Locate the control board and remove it by also removing any screws and wires that might be holding it in place.
  4. Now you can dispose of the old board and install the new one. Make sure to connect the wires in the right places and fix them in place with the screws.
  5. Reassemble your microwave and plug it in to test it.

4. Contact a Repair Technician

If you’re unsure of the issue and don’t have the technical expertise to fix the problem, it’s in your best interest to seek the help of a microwave repair technician.

They will have the experience and knowledge to diagnose the issue and provide the appropriate solution. Additionally, they can ensure that the repair is done correctly and safely, so this is typically the best option unless you have experience repairing home appliances.

5. Replace the Unit

If the issue is beyond repair, you may need to replace the microwave entirely. Sometimes, the repair or replacement costs might outweigh the worth of the repair, and buying a new one might be a more practical solution.

In this case, you must purchase a new microwave that fits your needs and budget. Before buying a new unit, it’s essential to consider the features you need and the space available in your kitchen.

Final Thoughts

A microwave with buttons that don’t work can be frustrating and inconvenient, but it’s not the end of the world. By understanding the possible reasons for the issue and taking the necessary steps, you can fix the problem quickly and get back to using your appliance to heat your food.

Remember, always prioritize safety when diagnosing and repairing the issue, and if you’re not confident in your ability to fix the problem, seek the help of a professional repair technician. With a little effort, you can get your microwave back in working condition in no time.


How Often Should I Reset My Microwave?

It’s a good idea to reset your microwave regularly, such as once a month or whenever you experience issues with the control panel and touchpad. This can help clear any temporary glitches and keep the microwave running smoothly.

How Can I Prevent Issues With My Microwave’s Control Panel and Touchpad?

Keeping up with regular maintenance and using your microwave properly can help prevent issues with the control panel and touchpad. Avoid placing hot or wet items on the control panel or touchpad, regularly clean the inside of the microwave, and ensure that the microwave is plugged into a surge protector to prevent electrical surges from damaging the control board.

Is It Safe to Try and Fix My Microwave Myself?

Safety should always be a top priority when diagnosing and repairing issues with your microwave. If you’re not confident in your ability to fix the issue, it’s best to seek the help of a professional repair technician. Attempting to resolve the issue yourself can be dangerous and may cause further damage to the appliance.

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