Why do Microwaves get hot on the Outside: Reasons & Preventions

When you are using your microwave and notice that the outside surface is quite hot, you likely feel uneasy and ask yourself, “is it normal” and “why is my microwave getting hot on the outside.”

So why is my microwave getting hot on the outside –

Well, there are a couple of reasons why the microwave would get hot on the outside. The most common cause is that the microwave may be located near other kitchen appliances that emit heat. If not, then the appliance may block the air ventilation or airflow to the microwave, which the microwave needs to get cool.

Other than that, there is a possibility that the air vent of the microwave is blocked by dirt; hence the microwave is getting hot.

If you are sure that none of the above reasons are true, then possibly your microwave is defective and needs a repair, or else it may cause severe issues in the future.

Is it normal for a microwave to get hot on the outside

It is normal for a microwave to get a bit warm, not hot on the outside.

In microwaves, mild heating of the outside is regular, but if the outer surface is scorching, something is wrong.

Generally, it is very common for microwaves to get warm from the outside if they are being operated on for a prolonged time or if the food has been thoroughly cooked and the microwave is still running.

When the food gets thoroughly cooked, there is no moisture inside the microwave that can absorb the waves resulting in heating of the exterior body.

What does it mean when a microwave gets hot on the outside?

If the microwave is warm and not hot from the outside, it means it is working fine as it should be, and there is no need to worry about it.

However, if it’s really hot, it could mean that the microwave needs to be repaired.

It could also indicate that the microwave is not getting enough air ventilation that it needs to be of average temperature.

Other possible interpretations include that the ventilation fan is not working at all or is malfunctioning.

Also, there are high chances that the microwave is placed too close to a wall that it is actually blocking the ventilation or airflow for the microwave to cool down.

How can you prevent your microwave from getting hot on the outside?

Keeping the outside surface of the microwave cold as a cube of ice is impossible; the outside will always be a little bit warm but hot.

However, if you are facing an issue where your microwave is real hot from the outside while in use, you can check and make sure all the below points are checked to prevent the outside from getting hot.

The thing to prevent your microwave from getting hot on the outside –

You can avoid using your microwave for a prolonged time and can keep it away from walls or other appliances so it can get proper air ventilation.

  1. You should avoid using your microwave on high for a prolonged period of time. Instead, you should use it for short periods to avoid overheating it and heating it from outside.
  2. You can keep the microwave away from walls or other appliances that might obscure its ventilation. Ensure that the microwave is kept in a well-ventilated place where there is proper air circulation and heat escape from outside
  3. You can make sure that the vent line is not blocked or malfunctioning. If there is an issue with the vent, it is the leading cause of microwave heating from the outside.
  4. You can ensure that the microwave is not malfunctioning, and if it does, you can get it repaired at an authorized service center.

Also Read: Can you put things on top of the microwave

Related Questions

Do microwaves get hot on the outside

No, microwaves do not get hot on the outside; they get warm though, but not hot.

If the microwave is hot and you feel like the outside temperature is too high, it may burn your hand or cause any other issue.

It is recommended to take preventive measures mentioned above, and if you feel like the problem persists, you should take your microwave to a repair shop or else replace it.

As in the long run, the microwave that gets hot from the outside will cause more harm than good.


After reading through this article, I hope now you know precisely why your microwave is getting hot on the outside and what you can do to prevent it.

From my own experience, it is prevalent for most microwaves to get warm from the outside, especially when they are on for long periods.

In short, the microwave gets hot from the outside for various reasons, but the most usual is because it does not get proper ventilation or is probably defective.