Get Rid Of Your Over-Range Microwave For Good With This Simple Removal Guide

Over-the-range microwaves have been a popular kitchen appliance for decades, providing quick and convenient cooking and reheating. But there may come a time when you decide it’s time to part ways with your over-the-range microwave and remove it from above your stove or cooktop.

Removing an over-the-range microwave is a straightforward process, but there are some key steps to follow for safe and successful removal.

Before You Start – Gather the Right Tools and Supplies

Taking down a microwave requires just a few basic tools and supplies. Having these items on hand will make the job much smoother:

  • Socket wrench
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Step ladder
  • Clean rags
  • Replacement mounting hardware (if needed)

The socket wrench allows you to easily remove the nuts from the mounting plate. The Phillips head screwdriver is ideal for taking out all of the screws that hold the microwave in place. A step ladder gives you safe access to the top and sides of your microwave. Clean rags are useful for wiping down the area once the appliance is removed. And having some extra mounting hardware on hand pays off in case any of the original bolts, screws, or clips become damaged during removal.

Shut Off Power and Unplug the Microwave

Before doing anything else, you need to disconnect your over-the-range microwave from its power source. Locate the circuit breaker panel in your home and switch off the breaker that controls the outlet for the microwave. This ensures no electricity is running to the appliance once you start the removal process.

removing over range microwave

After cutting the power, unplug the microwave’s cord from the outlet above your stove. Carefully detach any wiring connected to terminals at the back of the microwave as well. Removing electrical connections is an essential first step for staying safe throughout this project.

Safety Warning

Never attempt to move or uninstall an over-the-range microwave without first unplugging it and shutting off power. Live electrical connections pose a serious shock hazard.

Remove Mounting Screws and Bracket

With the electricity safely disconnected, now you can start dismantling the fittings holding the microwave in place. Use a step ladder to access the top and sides of the cabinet above the microwave oven. Look for screws along the front, back, and sides. Use your Phillips head screwdriver to remove every screw you find attaching the microwave to the cabinet.

In some cases, you may also need to take out long bolts or remove a metal mounting bracket or plate along with the screws. Removing all of these fasteners should leave the microwave detached from the cabinet with the exception of a few plastic clips.


Lay down towels below the microwave to catch any dust or debris that falls as you remove the screws and mounting hardware.

Tilt and Lower the Microwave

With the screws out, tilting the microwave forward will release the plastic clips from their locked position in the mounting bracket. Carefully grip underneath the microwave and begin tilting it forward while supporting its weight from below. Have a friend help support the bulk of the microwave as you disengage the clips and tilt it away from the wall. Use caution, as over-the-range microwaves are heavy, often weighing between 60 to 100 pounds depending on the model.

Once tilted forward enough to free the clips from the bracket, begin slowly and gently lowering the microwave down. Take care not to bump or scrape the sides as you bring it down. Continue supporting the weight from below as you lower it. When possible, set it down on a protected surface like a towel or furniture pad to avoid damage.

Large over-the-range microwaves can weigh 100 lbs or more!Getting assistance is strongly recommended to avoid injury or drops.


Do not attempt to lower the microwave on your own if it feels too heavy or unstable. microwave. Get help from another person to avoid personal injury or damage to your home.

Remove Any Retaining Mechanisms

With the microwave lowered from the wall, take a close look to check for any additional retaining mechanisms. In some installations, you may find support rods, locking brackets, trip wires, or spring clips helping to hold the appliance in place.

Use a wrench or screwdriver to detach any of these additional fasteners. Take care when removing support rods or brackets not to damage the surrounding cabinetry. Removing any hidden retention devices should leave your microwave completely free from the wall or cabinet.


Use a flashlight to illuminate the top and sides of the microwave and look for any overlooked clips or bolts.

Take Down the Mounting Plate (If Needed)

With the microwave completely detached, examine the wall or cabinet to see if a mounting plate is left behind. This square or rectangular metal plate is used as an intermediary for hanging the microwave. If the plate is still in place, use your socket wrench to remove the nuts and bolts holding it to the wall.

Taking down the mounting plate leaves you with a clean, flat surface for installing a new microwave or converting the space for other uses. You can also use spackle or drywall putty to fill in any holes left from removing the plate and smooth the area for painting.


Use caution when working high up on a ladder to detach a mounting plate. Have someone available to help stabilize the ladder.

Clean the Area Thoroughly

With the microwave unmounted, now is the perfect time to give the whole area a deep cleaning. Use warm water and mild detergent on your rags to wipe down the cabinet, walls, and surrounding surfaces where the microwave was situated. Give any vents or exhaust openings an extra scrub to remove lingering odors and food splatter.

A thorough cleaning prepares the space for a new over-the-range microwave. But even if you won’t be installing a replacement, cleaning up construction dust and any grease buildup leaves your kitchen looking refreshed.


Use a vacuum crevice tool to clean in any tight spaces or gaps left behind after removing the mounting plate.

Decide On Next Steps

What will you do with your newly freed-up space once the old microwave is gone? Here are a few options to consider:

  • Install a new microwave: Look for a newer, more powerful model and install it using the existing electrical and venting.
  • Add a vent hood: A powerful vent hood eliminates steam and odors far better than most microwaves.
  • Extra storage: Convert to open shelving or a closed cabinet for storing cookware.
  • Decorative nook: Fill it with attractive baskets or display cookbooks.

The over-the-range zone offers many possibilities beyond housing a microwave. Choose an option that best suits your cooking needs and kitchen layout.

Getting rid of an over-the-range microwave requires planning, patience, and safety precautions. But following the proper step-by-step process makes removal straightforward even without professional help. The key things to remember are:

  • Disconnect all electrical connections before attempting removal.
  • Have an extra set of hands available to assist with lifting.
  • Work slowly when lowering the heavy appliance down.
  • Thoroughly clean the area once the microwave is removed.
  • Decide how to best use the freed up space.

Taking adequate care at each stepsafeguards your home and makes for smooth microwave removal. With some helpful tools, a friend to lend a hand, and this easy guide, you can successfully reclaim your over-the-range space in no time.

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