It's safe to say most people have a love-hate relationship with their microwave. It makes reheating leftovers a breeze (and faster than preheating an oven), there are meals specifically made to be cooked in the microwave and it has many uses outside cooking.
The hate generally comes from the convoluted or ambiguous controls, the way it makes all your leftovers mushy and, most importantly, those annoying beeps.
Little did you know, you might be able to stop those awful beeps once and for all. Here's how.
No two microwaves are the same. With some microwaves, pressing 1 will immediately start the microwave with a one-minute timer. Other microwaves will take pressing 1 as just one second -- you'd have to press 0 twice and Start to make a one-minute timer.
The same is true for how microwaves deal with beeps. Once the timer finishes, some microwaves beep constantly until you open the door. Others only beep a few times and stop. Some beep extra loud with each button press. If nothing else, two things are certain: All microwaves are deliberate and excessive with beeping and pretty much all of them are annoying.
To put an end to the incessant beeping, you just have to know how your particular microwave's mute function works… if it does at all. Most -- but not all -- modern microwaves have at least some mute function. Naturally, the Emerson microwave in my kitchen, made in 2011, doesn't.
To mute your microwave, start by checking the control panel. Look closely. The mute function may be labeled as a secondary function of one of the standard buttons. Check these things first:
- Look for a Sound button. Seriously. It may have been there all along, begging you to press it.
- Press and hold either 1 or 0. Sometimes manufacturers give these keys hidden, secondary functions.
- Press and hold the Stop or Cancel button. Like 1 or 0, this key might have a hidden function when held.
Often, pressing and holding 1, 0, Stop or Cancel will either result in turning off the beeping sounds or activating a child lock feature. (Child lock doesn't actually lock the door, but instead locks the control panel so no buttons can be pressed until the lock is removed by holding the button for around three seconds again.)
If none of these work, it's probably best to consult the manual. Even if you don't have a Sound button, there is no Mute function denoted as a secondary function or holding a button doesn't do anything, there is still a chance a mute function exists. It could be a button combination or, like on some microwaves, be buried in a submenu that's not at all obvious how to activate.
If you've tossed the owner's manual to your microwave, check the manufacturer's website. They will often provide a digital version of the manual as a PDF for more recent models. For an older model, you may need to do some digging, but a great start is to just do a Google search for "[microwave brand and model number] manual."
Once you have the PDF version of the manual, press Ctrl + F on Windows or Command + F on Mac to search the PDF for "mute," "sound" or "beep."
Of course, if your microwave doesn't have a mute function built-in, you'll just have to continue doing the run-across-the-kitchen-to-open-the-door-before-the-timer-ends maneuver.