Whirlpool Microwave Start Button Not Working

A malfunctioning start button on your Whirlpool microwave can be frustrating, as it hinders your ability to heat or cook your food efficiently. Several factors could contribute to this issue, ranging from minor glitches to more complex technical problems. In this guide, we’ll walk you through a step-by-step troubleshooting process to help you identify and potentially resolve the problem with your Whirlpool microwave’s start button.

Check Power Connection


Whirlpool microwaves are equipped with safety mechanisms that prevent the microwave from operating if the door isn’t securely closed. If the door isn’t closing properly, the start button might not work. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Inspect the Door: Carefully examine the microwave door for any visible obstructions, debris, or damage that might prevent it from closing fully.
  2. Door Switches: The door interlock system consists of multiple switches that detect when the door is closed. Over time, these switches might become misaligned or faulty. Open the microwave door and look for small buttons or switches along the edge. Gently press each switch to ensure they’re engaging properly.

Control Panel Reset

Sometimes, the microwave’s control panel might encounter a temporary glitch, causing the start button to stop working. Try these steps to reset the control panel:

  1. Unplug the Microwave: Disconnect the microwave from the power source for about 10-15 minutes. This will allow any residual charges to dissipate and might reset the control panel.
  2. Plug it Back In: Reconnect the microwave to the power source and check if the start button now responds.

Child Lock Feature

Many modern microwaves, including Whirlpool models, come with a child lock feature to prevent unintended use. If this feature is accidentally activated, it can render the start button inactive. To check and disable the child lock:

  1. Consult the Manual: Refer to your microwave’s user manual to understand how the child lock feature is activated and deactivated.
  2. Disable Child Lock: If the child lock is on, follow the instructions in the manual to disable it. Usually, this involves pressing a combination of buttons for a few seconds.

Technical Malfunction

If none of the above solutions resolve the issue, it’s possible that there’s a technical malfunction within the microwave. This could involve problems with the control panel circuitry or internal components. In such cases, it’s recommended to contact Whirlpool’s customer support or a professional technician for further assistance.

Control Panel Replacement

If you’ve ruled out simpler causes and suspect that the problem lies within the control panel, you may need to consider replacing it. This is a more advanced and costly solution, but it can effectively address issues related to the start button not working. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Order a Replacement Panel: Contact Whirlpool customer support or a certified appliance parts supplier to order a replacement control panel specific to your microwave model.
  2. Safety First: Before attempting any replacement, ensure the microwave is unplugged and there’s no power running to it.
  3. Access the Control Panel: Open up the microwave’s control panel area. The process for accessing this area varies by model, so consult your user manual or online resources for guidance.
  4. Replace the Panel: Carefully disconnect the wires and connectors from the old control panel and remove it. Install the new control panel in its place and reconnect all the wires according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. Test: After replacing the control panel, plug the microwave back in and test the start button. Ensure that all functions are working correctly.

Software Update

In some cases, particularly with newer microwave models, a software glitch might cause issues with the control panel, including the start button. If your microwave has the capability for software updates, consider performing one:

  1. Check for Updates: Refer to your user manual or Whirlpool’s website to see if there are any available software updates for your microwave model.
  2. Follow Instructions: If updates are available, carefully follow the provided instructions to install the update. This typically involves downloading the update onto a USB drive and then connecting it to your microwave.
  3. Test: After updating the software, check if the start button now functions correctly.

Professional Repair

If you’ve exhausted all the above options and the start button on your Whirlpool microwave still doesn’t work, it’s time to seek the expertise of a professional appliance repair technician. They have the necessary tools, diagnostic equipment, and experience to identify and fix complex issues that may not be apparent to the average user.

When contacting a professional repair service:

  • Provide them with detailed information about the problem and the steps you’ve taken to troubleshoot it.
  • Mention your microwave’s model and any warranty information.
  • Ask for a cost estimate for the repair before proceeding.

Common Causes

CauseDescriptionSolutionTools NeededDifficulty Level
Faulty Start ButtonThe start button may be physically damagedReplace the start button or control panelScrewdriverModerate
Control Panel MalfunctionIssues with the control panel electronicsReset the microwave or replace the panelNoneModerate
Door Interlock Switch ProblemMicrowave won’t start if the door isn’t properly closed or the switch is faultyCheck the door, replace the switch if neededScrewdriver, MultimeterModerate
Power Supply ProblemInsufficient power supply or circuit issuesCheck the power source and circuit, repair as necessaryMultimeter, ElectricianDifficult
Software GlitchSoftware issues causing button dysfunctionReset or update the microwave’s softwareUser manualEasy

DIY Troubleshooting Steps

Check the Start ButtonInspect the start button for physical damage.
Verify the Control PanelEnsure no buttons are stuck or unresponsive.
Examine the DoorCheck if the door is closing properly and the interlock switch is working.
Verify Power SupplyConfirm the microwave is receiving adequate power.
Attempt Software Reset or UpdateFollow the user manual to reset or update the software.

Professional Assistance

IssueWhen to Seek Professional Help
Control Panel ReplacementIf the control panel needs replacement.
Complex Electrical RepairsFor intricate electrical or circuit issues.
Software ReinstallationIf you are uncomfortable with software updates.
Start Button ReplacementIf replacing the start button seems challenging.
Persistent ProblemsIf the issue persists after DIY attempts.

Tools and Materials

ScrewdriverFor disassembling and reassembling.
MultimeterFor electrical testing.
Replacement PartsStart button, control panel, interlock switch, etc.
User ManualFor software reset instructions.
Electrical Repair KitIf handling complex repairs.

Safety Tips

Safety PrecautionDescription
Unplug the MicrowaveBefore attempting any repairs, unplug the microwave from the power source.
Beware of Electrical HazardsWhen dealing with electrical components, exercise caution to prevent shocks.
Follow the User ManualFor specific safety and troubleshooting instructions, consult the user manual.
Wear Safety GearWhen handling electrical components, use safety gear like gloves and safety glasses.
Call a Professional if UnsureIf you’re uncertain about any step, consult a professional technician.


Troubleshooting a Whirlpool microwave with a non-responsive start button involves a systematic approach, starting from the basics like power connections and door issues, and progressing to more complex possibilities like control panel glitches and technical malfunctions. By following these steps, you can diagnose the problem and take appropriate action to get your microwave back to working condition. If the issue persists, seeking professional help is advisable to avoid any potential hazards.


Whirlpool Microwave Start Button Not Working

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