How To Reset A Refrigerator Compressor (7 Step Guide)

By Nick Evans •  Last Updated: 09/29/21 •  4 min read

If your fridge is making a weird noise, or simply isn’t working as expected, there is a chance you need to reset your compressor. Wondering how to reset a refrigerator compressor? Learn how in this article.

Keep reading to understand:

how to reset a refrigerator compressor

How to Reset Your Refrigerator Compressor

Step 1: Move the Refrigerator out from the Wall

First, you’ll need to have access to the outlet where your refrigerator is plugged in. If your fridge or freezer blocks it, you’ll need to move it out.

This might also be a good time to clean behind and under your appliance, as these areas get quite dusty!

Step 2: Unplug the Refrigerator

Next, unplug your refrigerator from the wall outlet. Wait a few minutes for it to shut off completely.

During this time, you may hear some sounds coming from your appliance. This is normal as the machine shuts down.

Step 3: Shut off the Control Panel

The setting you need to turn off your fridge’s control panel will be labelled either “0” or “off.” If your appliance is a fridge/freezer combo, be sure to turn both off.

Step 4: Plug the Refrigerator Back In

Now that your fridge is completely shut off, you can begin to reset it. First, plug the fridge back into the wall outlet.

Step 5: Reset the Temperature Settings

Next, turn the temperature settings back to normal. Likely, wherever they were before you turned them off is the right place!

The control panel should be set to around the middle–such as a 5 on a 1-9 scale.

According to the FDA, the optimal temperature inside of a refrigerator is 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Freezers should be set to 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 6: Move Your Refrigerator Back into Place

You can now move your refrigerator back into place, or wait to see if resetting it works first. It’s up to you how long you’d like to keep the appliance pulled out.

Make sure to leave some space between the fridge and the wall to allow for airflow.

Step 7: Wait at Least 24 Hours

Your part is now finished, but it’ll take around 24 hours for the temperature in your fridge to stabilize. Be patient when waiting to see if it’ll work, and keep the refrigerator door closed so that it can cool as quickly as possible.

Supplies needed to Reset Your Refrigerator Compressor:

No supplies are needed to reset your refrigerator compressor. All it takes in most cases is a bit of heavy lifting to move and unplug the fridge.


Hire an accredited refrigeration specialist to help.

Simply fill out the form below to get up to four no obligation quotes sent directly to your email.

What does a Refrigerator Compressor do?

The refrigerator compressor’s job is to move refrigerant through your fridge to keep it cold. It cycles cold air through the fridge and cycles hot air out of the appliance with the help of the condenser, located on the back of your refrigerator, and the evaporator located on the inside.

The compressor isn’t constantly running, but instead turns on when the temperature inside the refrigerator goes above a certain level. It functions a lot like an air conditioner, but for your fridge.

Related reading: How to quiet a noise refrigerator compressor

How do you Know if Your Refrigerator Compressor is Bad?

When your refrigerator compressor is bad:

The compressor is expensive to replace and you’ll have to hire a professional to install a new one. The part alone can cost well over $200.

However, you can try resetting your fridge compressor first to see if this fixes the problem. If not, consider replacing your fridge rather than replacing this part.

Depending on the age of your fridge, its price, and how certain you or the repair expert is that the compressor is the problem, replacing the appliance may end up cheaper in the end.


Hire an accredited refrigeration specialist to help.

Simply fill out the form below to get up to four no obligation quotes sent directly to your email.

Do refrigerators have a reset button?

Some refrigerators do have a reset button, though not all of them do. You might need to hold the button for 30 seconds by itself or in correlation with another button.

Check your appliance’s manual for directions on how to reset your specific make and model.

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