Whether you’re cooking in the middle of the night or are just getting annoyed by continuous beeping, knowing how to silence a microwave can be very useful. Luckily, there are some fairly straightforward solutions – and a few complicated ones.
In this article, I’ll cover some suggestions for how to stop a microwave beep, and any other annoying noises it might make.
Recognizing Faulty Microwave Sounds
Before jumping into the tips, it’s worth discussing the type of noise you’re trying to silence. After all, the last thing you want is to silence a faulty microwave because this can lead to further problems.
Obviously, beeping when you press buttons or the cycle is finished is completely normal. A standard humming while it’s active is also normal. But some circumstances that might indicate a fault include:
- The microwave continues to beep after you take the food out/open the door.
- The microwave door isn’t opening or closing properly and the microwave is beeping to indicate this.
- It’s making a rattling or buzzing noise while active.
- The microwave’s beeping is louder or more frequent than it was previously.
Generally, these sounds indicate potential faults in your microwave. For example, the rattling or buzzing noise could be a symptom of a faulty diode. Another common issue is the microwave beeping after it’s finished its cycle. This often indicates a sensor glitch or, less commonly, a sensor fault. Provided it’s only a minor glitch, it’s fairly easy to solve the problem.
Some models, such as a Samsung microwave, use the beeper to indicate door faults. This is when the safety lock is faulty or isn’t triggering properly. Although this is something you should be able to repair, it’s best to get a professional to look at it. Of course, it’s often easier to just buy a new microwave if your current one is outside of its warranty.
If you have any concerns about your microwave making sounds you consider abnormal, get it checked before trying to make it quieter.
But these tips are obviously relevant if you find microwaves beep too loud. As I discuss in my article on the best quiet microwaves, a microwave’s beeps can be up to 85dB.
7 Tips to Silence a Microwave
Provided you’re happy that your microwave is working properly and you just want to reduce the beeping sound, one of the tips below should help.
1. Turn on Silent Mode
This is a pretty obvious suggestion, but plenty of people don’t know that modern microwaves have a dedicated silent mode. Ideally, it’ll be a button with a speaker that has a cross next to it. This should look similar to mute buttons on other electronic devices.
If you can’t see a dedicated microwave sound button for the mute function, check the microwave’s settings menu if it has one. You should be able to cycle through some basic functions, such as sound, light-up display, etc. On some models, you might only be able to turn the microwave beep volume down, whereas others will let you mute it completely.
But if it’s not immediately obvious that a mute function exists, check your user manual. It should say in there what settings you can control and how you do it. Also check the remote control if you have one.
For example, some microwaves trigger silent mode using a number button, which you typically hold down for 5 seconds or so. Of course, you could just do this without checking the manual, but it’ll take a while. It’s most common for 0 and 1 to have secondary functions, which include silence mode and the child lock feature.
In the video below, the user has to press “2” for 3 seconds to mute the beeping.
Consider checking a website like Manuals Online if you don’t have a paper copy of your microwave’s manual. Alternatively, search for your microwave’s make and model number online, and you should find a PDF owner’s manual. Unsurprisingly, a microwave’s silent mode is the easiest way to make it quieter.
2. Quick Break
Sometimes, a microwave’s sensors can get “stuck” into believing there’s something inside it. This can happen to any microwave, but it’s more common with models that have humidity and smart sensors. This kind of glitch will cause continual microwave beeps after you’ve opened the door and finished using it.
To refresh the sensors and do a quick break routine, do the following:
- Get a microwave-safe mug with some water in it. Add a teaspoon of salt or sugar.
- Put it in the microwave and set the timer for at least 15 seconds (but no more than 30 seconds).
- Open the door, take out the cup, and press the STOP/CLEAR button.
You must put salt or sugar in the water because microwaving water can supercharge the particles, causing it to bubble up dangerously.
In theory, this option tricks your microwave oven into registering there’s something inside it. But if this doesn’t work, try a hard reset.
3. Hard Reset
You’ve probably heard the old line, “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” Unsurprisingly, this works for microwave ovens too.
A hard reset is just a fancy way of saying unplug it for a while. Completely remove the power cord from the wall outlet, wait at least 5 minutes, and plug it back in. Doing so drains the unit of residual power and allows everything to reset back to its original state.
Of course, this option doesn’t work for silencing normal beeping sounds. Instead, it’s suitable for glitches, such as your microwave beeping after you’ve removed food. So, if you think your microwave is beeping weirdly, give this a try.
4. Open the Door Before the Timer Finishes
This is a trick anyone who’s cooked in the middle of the night knows. Simply open the door before the timer finishes, and you should avoid the annoying beeps at the end. It does mean standing by your microwave as it heats up, but this isn’t a massive issue.
You’ll obviously want to open the door as close to the timer as possible to avoid issues heating up your food. Alternatively, you could set extra time so you have more opportunity to open the door before the beeper goes off.
There’s not much more to say about this suggestion; it just means you have to be on the ball. It’s only worth trying if your microwave doesn’t have a mute function and it’s working as normal, which the above solutions try to solve.
5. Contact Customer Service
If your microwave is still under warranty, it might be worth contacting the company’s customer service department. The number should be in your user manual or on the company’s website.
While they might not be able to help you silence an annoying beeping sound, they should be able to advise whether your microwave is making normal noises. And if not, they should offer a repair or replacement.
Alternatively, the customer service department might have some tips that aren’t included in the manual. It’s worth asking because they might deal with this type of question regularly.
Plus, it’ll be worth checking if your microwave is still under warranty before you try the next tip.
6. Disconnect the Speaker
Before explaining this option in any depth, it’s worth mentioning 3 things:
- Only attempt this if you have any confidence diving into electronic appliances.
- It’ll most likely void your warranty.
- Microwaves are a surprisingly dangerous appliance (at least compared to things like washing machines). Be careful of the high voltage capacitor.
As the title suggests, you can try to disconnect the speaker so that it simply can’t make noise anymore. The specific steps will vary depending on your model, but a rough guide is as follows:
- Unplug the microwave and wait at least 5 minutes.
- Remove the top casing or control panel. If you can unscrew the control panel, this’ll be a much easier way to access the speaker.
- Locate the speaker. It should be near the casing and will look like any other speaker.
- Find the wires connecting it to the circuit board. Disconnect one wire.
- Put everything back together and plug the microwave back in.
You can check out this video for an idea of what the process looks like. It’s not necessary to disconnect both speaker wires, as cutting one will break the circuit. The more you mess around with the internal components (such as trying to completely remove the speaker), the more likely you are to damage the circuit board.
It’s not a massively complicated job, but it’s important to be as safe as possible when dealing with a microwave. The capacitor can retain charge after it’s been unplugged, which is why I recommend you wait at least 5 minutes before taking it apart. Also, if possible, touch nothing but the outer casing and speaker and its wires.
7. Buy a New Microwave
If you don’t feel like attempting to disconnect the speaker or you feel you’re out of options, the easiest thing is to just buy a new microwave. After all, they’re not too expensive, and most modern microwaves come with a mute function.
Luckily, I’ve compiled a list of my top picks for the best quiet microwave, so check that out.
4 Safety Considerations Before Opening the Microwave
Regular readers of soundproofing articles, you’ll have noticed that my tips for silencing a microwave don’t involve many of the normal DIY suggestions. For example, in my article on silencing generators, I suggest insulation to dampen noise emissions.
However, we can’t attempt that sort of thing with microwaves because they’re surprisingly dangerous appliances. They need proper ventilation to function correctly, and we also can’t start messing with the primary components.
As such, make sure you follow these safety tips when attempting to do anything to make your microwave quieter:
1. Never Operate It with the Door Open
Generally speaking, a microwave won’t activate if it detects the door isn’t shut. The door mechanism has a specific latch that only triggers the circuit when it detects the door is shut. As such, you shouldn’t attempt to run the microwave with the door open, or with anything stuck in the latch.
2. Don’t Put Anything in the Way of the Door
By extension, you shouldn’t try to put anything around the door or in the latch and then run the microwave. Doing so will cause microwave radiation to escape, which can be very harmful, even in small doses.
This is why we consider microwaves to be a more dangerous appliance. If you tamper with something like a kettle or washing machine, you mainly deal with electric hazards. With a microwave, though, you add up the risk of being exposed to fairly high doses of microwave radiation.
3. Don’t Tamper with the Door Seal
You can probably see a theme here. Don’t do anything that might damage or interfere with the door’s seal, as this is what stops radiation from escaping. Similarly, you shouldn’t try to put any insulation on the door itself, just to be on the safe side.
4. Be Careful Messing with Electronic Components
While there’s always a risk when playing around with electronics, microwaves can be dangerous. The capacitor can hold charge for several minutes after you’ve unplugged the microwave, so always leave it alone for at least 5 minutes before you open anything up. Where possible, try to avoid touching anything other than the components you’re dealing with.
Final Thoughts on Loud Microwaves
I hope at least one of the tips will be helpful in making your microwave quieter. Ideally, it’ll be a quick fix of turning on silent mode or triggering a hard reset. But if these don’t work and you don’t feel like tinkering inside the microwave or you don’t have electronic engineers in your circle of friends, I’d suggest buying a new one.
Do you have any other tips that could work? Let me know in the comments below.