Microwave Not Spinning? (here’s why & what to do)

If the plate on your microwave isn’t spinning, the food will not heat up correctly. This will leave you with cold spots and hot spots. While there are some foods that would be safe to eat like this, in some cases you could run the risk of food poisoning under these circumstances.

There are a number of things that could cause your microwave to stop spinning, from a damaged coupler or worn out belt to motor failure. In this article I take an in depth look at all of the possible causes for a microwave to stop spinning and offer solutions to these problems.

Safety Notice: The capacitor on a microwave can store power for up to 48 hours after the appliance has been disconnected from the power supply.

The power stored can be powerful enough to cause injury or even death. It is recommended that any of the remedies featured in this article that involve dismantling the appliance should be undertaken by a skilled technician.

Why Is The Microwave Not Spinning?

Probable CauseSolution
No Spin Mode SelectedDeselect the no spin mode
Container Too Large For The CavityAlways ensure the container fits in the cavity correctly
Glass Plate Fitted IncorrectlyEnsure the glass plate is fitted the right way up 
Damaged CouplerInspect and replace the coupler if necessary
Damaged Or Dirty RollerInspect, clean or replace the roller as required
Faulty Power SupplyCheck the power cord, plug, plug socket and circuit breaker, replace or repair as necessary
Worn Or Damaged Turntable BeltInspect and replace the turntable belt if required
Defective SwitchTest the switch and replace if necessary
Damaged Drive ShaftContact a technician
Motor IssuesContact a technician
Defective CapacitorContact a technician
Control Board MalfunctionContact a technician

Let’s take a closer look at each of these issues;

No Spin Mode Selected


Some microwaves have an option that prevents the turntable from spinning allowing you to cook larger plates in the appliance. If the no spin mode has been selected, it will prevent the turntable from spinning.

To solve this all you need to do is deselect the no spin mode by pressing the appropriate button on the control pad.

Container Too Large For The Cavity

If the container the food is in is too large for the cavity it could catch on the side of the microwave which will prevent it from turning.

Always ensure that the container you are using to cook the food in isn’t too large for the cavity. It should fit on the glass plate and not stick over the sides.

Glass Plate Fitted Incorrectly

If you look at the glass plate that is supplied with your microwave, you will notice that it has a series of ridges on the underside which fit onto the coupler. If the plate is placed into the microwave upside down, the coupler will turn but the plate won’t.

The plate needs to be properly placed on the coupler to ensure that it turns correctly.

Damaged Coupler

Samsung microwave

The coupler is that little plastic thing that connects the turntable to the motor. It transfers the motor’s power to the turntable’s plate allowing it to spin.

Over time the coupler can become worn or damaged. This can be caused by old age, wear and tear or overuse of the microwave. If the coupler is damaged, it will not make good contact with the motor which will prevent it from turning properly.

If the coupler is broken it might not make any contact with the motor and therefore, not turn at all. To fix this all you need to do is remove the microwave’s glass plate (which just lifts out), then gently lift the coupler upwards.

If you see any signs of wear and tear or damage, you will need to replace the coupler with a new one.

Damaged Or Dirty Roller

The roller is that circular plastic ring that the glass plate sits on. It ensures the plate spins smoothly and evenly allowing the food to cook at an even pace. 

If the roller becomes dirty or damaged it will prevent the plate from spinning. You will need to remove the glass plate and inspect the roller. 

If there is dried food that has previously spilled when cooking, you will need to wash the roller and the interior of the microwave using warm soapy water.

Then check the roller for any signs of damage like cracking, damaged wheels, etc. If the roller is damaged, it will need to be replaced.

Faulty Power Supply

A problem with the power supply could cause the turntable to not spin or only spin occasionally. You need to check the power cord, making sure it isn’t frayed or damaged. 

Then check that the wall socket is working correctly by plugging another electrical item into it and making sure it works properly. Check the fuse in the plug and/or check that the circuit breaker hasn’t tripped.

If you’re sure that all of these are working properly, it’s time to contact a technician to check the internal wiring of the microwave.

Worn Or Damaged Turntable Belt

Some microwaves have a belt connected to the turntable at one end and the motor at the other. Over time, the rubber turntable belt can wear out just like a fan belt on a car.

This can lead to the belt slipping and not turning the turntable as a result. This will lead to the food not getting an even distribution of microwaves leading to hot spots and uneven cooking.

The only way to solve this is to replace the belt. As this involves dismantling the microwave, I recommend contacting a technician to do this for you.

Defective Switch

Over-the-Range Microwave

If there is a defective switch on the control panel of your microwave, it could prevent the motor from turning on or off. Any of the switches can become damaged due to old age and wear and tear, electrical faults or physical damage through pressing them too hard for instance.

If the motor doesn’t turn on, the turntable won’t spin and the food will not cook. To check on the status of the switches, you will need to access the control panel after disconnecting the power supply.

If the switch proves to be defective it will need to be replaced. As this involves dismantling part of the microwave, I recommend getting a technician to do this for you in the interests of safety.

Damaged Drive Shaft

The drive shaft transfers the power from the motor to the turntable causing it to rotate. If the drive shaft becomes damaged or bent, it will not allow enough power from the motor to power the turntable.

Damage can be caused by old age and wear and tear or physical damage from rough handling. If the drive shaft on your microwave is damaged, it will need to be replaced.

As inspecting and replacing the drive shaft requires dismantling the appliance, I recommend contacting a technician to do this for you.

Motor Issues

If the microwave has been used excessively, it can cause the motor to overheat. Once the motor overheats there’s a good chance that it will stop working causing the turntable to stop spinning.

Other causes for the motor on a microwave to overheat include; running the microwave with nothing inside or running it at a higher power level than was required.

If the motor does overheat it could cause internal damage to other areas as well. Your microwave is likely to experience electrical damage caused by wires burning out or shorting for example.

Plus the motor could fail altogether after overheating. This is definitely an area that requires the skill of a qualified technician to investigate and replace or repair the motor and any other damaged parts.

Your technician might advise you that it’s not worth repairing the microwave and your money will be better spent on buying a new model.

Defective Capacitor


If the capacitor develops a fault, it could cause the motor to malfunction. The job of the capacitor is to store power and send that power to the motor as it is needed.

If the capacitor becomes defective, it might not store sufficient power or discharge that power at the wrong time. Capacitors typically develop faults due to overuse, electrical glitches or power surges or actual physical damage to the capacitor.

You might notice other issues like the food not heating properly or the lights flickering in the period leading up to the turntable not spinning.

If you suspect the capacitor is to blame for the turntable not spinning, I recommend contacting a technician to investigate and replace it if necessary.

The technician will need to discharge the defective capacitor before removing it and replacing it with a new one.

Control Board Malfunction

The control board in a microwave is responsible for controlling the actions of all of the moving parts. A malfunctioning control board could be the reason why the turntable won’t spin.

This would be because the control board wasn’t communicating with the motor and without the motor, the turntable can’t spin.

If you suspect the problem could be related to a malfunctioning control board, I recommend contacting a technician to investigate.

How To Fix A Microwave That’s Not Spinning

person placing a bowl of food inside a microwave

As you can see from above, fixing a microwave that’s not spinning involves many different areas of the appliance. From simple fixes like deselecting the no spin mode, replacing a damaged coupler or cleaning or replacing a dirty roller.

To more involved fixes like replacing the turntable belt, replacing a defective switch, replacing the drive shaft or faulty motor. Or even replacing the capacitor or control board, there are several areas that could have caused the turntable to stop spinning.

The simple fixes including the replacement of the coupler or roller can be done easily by anyone, even someone with no DIY experience at all.

All of the others require the dismantling of the microwave and should only be carried out by a fully qualified technician to prevent damage, injury or even death.

SEE ALSO: LG Microwave Not Heating? (here’s why & what to do)

Frequently Asked Questions

Why has my microwave stopped spinning?

If your microwave has stopped spinning it could be because the roller is dirty or impeded due to dropped food, the dish is too large from the cavity, or the coupler has become damaged. More serious issues could be because of a defective motor, defective capacitor, defective drive belt or drive shaft, or a malfunctioning control board.

How do you fix a microwave that doesn’t spin?

To fix a microwave that doesn’t spin you should first check that the container used to cook the food isn’t too large that it catches on the side of the cavity. Ensure the glass plate is fitted correctly onto the coupler and that the coupler isn’t damaged. Then check that the roller is clean and free from any damage. Plus you need to make sure your microwave isn’t in no spin mode (if applicable). If all of these are OK, you will need to contact a technician in the interests of safety.

Can you still use a microwave if the turntable is not working?

It is possible to use a microwave if the turntable isn’t working. However, the food will not cook evenly and you may end up with some areas overcooked or burnt while other areas might not even be warm.

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