How To Remove An Under Cabinet Microwave

By Todd Fratzel on Appliances

How To Remove The Microwave Without Destroying Your Cabinets

Recently a reader wrote to me and asked if there was a trick to removing his under cabinet microwave. He explained that he had been prying, pulling, tugging without any success. Frankly he sounded as though he was going to hook up his truck to it and tear it off the wall. Well I found a tad bit of humor in the email I certainly knew what the problem was and quickly helped him solve the problem.

Under Cabinet Microwave Wall Brackets

If you want to easily remove an under cabinet microwave oven you need to understand how they are installed. Most modern microwave ovens  are supported from a wall bracket and bolts from the bottom of the cabinet. The bolts are really easy to find and remove but the wall bracket is where the trouble often starts.

Behind the microwave is a wall bracket that gets bolted to the wall studs. Typically they are bolted to the wall using 1/4″ or 3/8″ lag screws, which when fully screwed into a stud will not pull out! If you look at the diagram above you’ll see a metal wall bracket that’s typically the size of the microwave.

HERE’s THE IMPORTANT PART: If you look close at the diagram above, you’ll see I’ve noted the holding rod. There are usually two of these, one for the right side and left side each. After the wall bracket is bolted to the wall, you set the bottom of the microwave on a small lip on the wall bracket, then tip the microwave back until the top back is tight to the bracket. The rods run from the front of the microwave back to the wall bracket, as you screw them they attach to the bracket and hold the microwave tightly to the wall.

To get access to the rods, you typically have to remove the front cover that’s just above the door. Once you remove the cover you can usually see the two rods on either side of the microwave. You simple loosen those rods, then tip the microwave forward, then lift up the back to detach it from the wall bracket. It’s as simple as that. Don’t forget to remove the two bolts that are typically installed inside the cabinet down to the microwave as well.

The reader didn’t realize that the rods were even there. So he was pulling on the microwave and it was connected to the wall bracket via the rods. It’s so simple yet so hidden that the average person won’t realize it until they’ve destroyed their cabinets and microwave!

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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  1. Denny Mathes says:

    thanks for the info on the “holding rods” that secure a microwave to the wall. I am working to remove an old Litton Microwave that is enclosed in what appears to be a sleeve that is mounted below
    a cabinet and above the range. I will look for those Holding Rods tomorrow when I return to the work site. I didn’t see anything against the wall when I attempted to pry the casing away from the wall to look behind it, but I will check it out again.

  2. Jean says:

    You saved our wall and our marriage lol
    Thank you!

  3. Rob says:

    I have an early 80’s Kenmore that I can’t find the what’s holding the bottom in place. After removal of the two bolts from the top, the unit leans down and forward a bit but the bottom is still anchored in some way. I took off the bottom plates the vents, but can only see what might be a flange on either side but they are at the top and the unit won’t lift up at all.

  4. I have been trying to remove an 80s Hotpoint microwave. I got the holding rods out, removed the bolts above, have unscrewed everything that looks likely. The top can be pulled slightly forward and down, and i’ve tried using a jack on each side to push it up out of the bracket at the lower edge. But, something seems to be holding it in. There’s no literature available for this model – it’s too old. Any ideas? The bottom bracket seems to be attached with toggle bolts which spin freely but don’t come out.

  5. Joe Duke says:

    My GE Spacemaker 2 under the cabinet microwave has brackets in the cabinet above it. I don’t know if I can remove the 4 screws and the microwave will still stay until I lift it off the the bracket that it is hanging on.I am unsure if the bracket under the cabinet and above the microwave will still be secured. This is a 1984 Microwave.

  6. Stacy says:

    How do you loosen or remove the rods. We see them. They work with a straight screwdriver. They just turn and turn and turn and don’t move forward. When we pull them, they don’t come out. How do you take them out? We have a GE Profile from 1996.

  7. Stacy says:

    I have a GE Profile model JVM1090WW OO1 microwave from 1996 that I need to remove. It has the holding rods right wherever you said we would find them. The one on the left side can be turned by hand but does not come forward and the one on the right side is tight but does not come forward after turning it and turning it with a screw driver. I have called GE and they have not been helpful. Do you have any advice that could help?

  8. Barry Rolston says:

    I have a 1993 Fridgidaire FMOTR3W Microwave. There are NO BOLTS from the upper cabinat so have no idea how it is mounted. There are the holding rods which I can undo but what else?

    Many thanks

  9. Corrie says:

    Got one of the holding rods loose. The other, however, refuses to budge… and has ruined a power drill trying. Any tips?

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