How To's - How to Remove a Microwave

How to Remove a Microwave

A kitchen update often requires that you remove a microwave. Many kitchen designs today have microwaves installed under the overhead cabinets, often above stovetops and with no obvious supports. If you didn’t put in the one you plan to replace and haven’t installed an under-cabinet microwave before, you might be thinking, “How is that secured in place?”


It’s a great question with a straightforward answer. A bracket secured to the wall sits behind the microwave. The back of the microwave hooks onto j-brackets on the wall bracket, or a small lip that runs along the bottom of the wall bracket. This bracket holds most of the microwave’s weight.


Two screws or holding rods stabilize the microwave in place. The screws usually attach to the top of the microwave, through the bottom of the cabinet above. Holding rods can be accessed through the front cover above the microwave door. It may not sound like a lot holds it in place, but it’s enough. This also means that removing a microwave is simple.


When removing a microwave however, you do want to follow a step-by-step procedure. This will ensure you don’t damage the appliance or yourself in the process. You’ll also need a few tools.


Ready? Let’s get started.

Tools Needed to Remove a Microwave

You probably already have all the tools you need in your toolbox. Whether screws or holding rods are used to secure your microwave in place, all you need are:


  • Screwdrivers of various sizes, likely Phillips-head
  • Cordless power drill with driver bits (optional, but makes things easier)


Keep in mind that overhead microwaves are heavy and also awkward to remove—as a result, you’ll need to have a helper who can support the microwave while you remove the screws, and assist you in lowering it down when you’re done.

How to Remove an Under Cabinet Microwave

You might want to wipe the surfaces, especially the undersurface of the microwave, before you get started. It’s not necessary, but it will help avoid a bit of a mess if the underside is tacky or greasy.


If you’re doing a kitchen remodel or putting in new appliances, you can also simplify the job by removing the stove/oven first. This gives you more space to maneuver. Once you’ve got the area prepped, here’s what to do.


Step 1. Determine if the microwave secures with holding bars or screws through the cabinet. If it’s holding bars, grab a screwdriver and remove the front panel. You’ll probably see two rods, one on the right and one on the left. If there are screws through the cabinet, you’ll need to empty the cabinet first.


As part of Step 1, unplug the microwave if it is plugged in to an outlet in the cabinet above, or an outlet below. If it is somehow connected behind, you’ll have to be mindful of this as you lift and remove the microwave.


Step 2. Loosen one holding bar. Remember the rule: “Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey.” If it’s connected with screws in the cabinet, grab your screwdriver or power driver and unscrew the first one.


Step 3. Have your helper support the microwave from below. Now remove the second holding bar or screw. Once removed, gently tip the front of the microwave down, then lift and slowly pull away from the wall. Feed the power cord through the hole in the cabinet as you lower the microwave.


Step away from the wall and set the microwave down. You’re done!

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