How to Replace Your Microwave Lightbulb


Your microwave light is a tiny lightbulb hidden in the back of the microwave, inaccessible from the inside except to shine light in most models. We rarely realize how useful that little light is until it goes out. When it’s time to replace your microwave light, it often takes a complex process to reach the light and then reassemble your microwave. Today, we’ll teach you how to open up the back of your microwave and replace the light.

But just be safe, check inside the chamber first. If you see a light cover inside your microwave, this repair becomes much simpler and you can replace it directly by removing the light cover. If you do not see a light cover, then your microwave light is housed through the back. 

Gather Your Tools

Always start a repair by collecting the tools you need. In this case, all you need is a new lightbulb of the appropriate size and a Phillips head screwdriver. To know your lightbulb size, check on the make and model of your microwave to find out what size of light bulb it uses. We strongly suggest choosing an LED replacement due to the low heat and long life of LED bulbs.

  • Phillips Head Screwdriver
  • Replacement Lightbulb
  • Work Gloves

Safety First

Before you begin, unplug your microwave. This is an electrical repair and you’ll be accessing the inner workings of your microwave. So you want to be safe and make sure your microwave isn’t running any electricity while you work. 

Separate the Microwave Frame

Your first official step is to remove the microwave outer frame. Flip your microwave around to look at the back and remove the screws on the outermost perimeter. These are on little metal flaps that fold over the back panel. Remove those screws.

From here, the outer frame of your microwave will come loose. Carefully, wearing your work gloves, pull it away and set it aside. Be careful because the edges can be sharp. Now might be a good time to wash this piece without the rest of the microwave in the way. 

Open the Back Vent

Now you will be looking at the inner workings of your microwave and a back vent panel. Unscrew the mounting screws holding the back vent panel in place and remove this as well. Set the back vent panel aside with it’s screws. If you want to, wash this as well.  

Remove the Light Cover

Now you will be able to get clear screwdriver access to the light cover. Most often, this is a white plastic box or almost-box around the lightbulb and should be fairly obvious. Loosen the mounting screws fastening the light cover and pull the light cover away. You should now be able to reach the burned-out lightbulb. 

Replace the Lightbulb

Unscrew the old lightbulb and throw it away. Then screw in your new bulb in its place, making sure it is secure. Do not over-tighten, as lightbulbs only need firm metal-to-metal contact and over-tightening can damage the mechanism. 

Reassemble Your Microwave

Now it’s time to reassemble the microwave by working the steps backward. Reattach the light cover with its mounting screws. Then re-mount the back vent cover and secure the mounting screws tightly. Finally, re-wrap the microwave in its outer frame and secure it with its set of mounting screws. If you washed the outer metal pieces. be sure that everything is completely dry before reassembly. 

Test Your Success

Once your microwave is completely reassembled (and you don’t have any leftover screws), it’s time to test your success. Plug your microwave back in and open the door. If the light comes on, you win. Set it to run for five seconds and if the light comes on, your repair was a complete success.

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