My refrigerator door was left open all night and won't cool

I came downstairs this morning and noticed the refrigerator door had been left open all night. Now, it seems like the fridge is not cooling. Why is this happening and how can I fix it? Thanks

Refrigerator door left open all night won't cool

  21 answers
  • William William on Apr 10, 2023

    What could have happened the fridge ran most of the night to cool it down and the compressor overheated or worse locked up. Can you hear the compressor running? Basically a buzzing or humming. Sometimes there will be other sounds like clicking or crackling from cold expansion. If the compressor overheated a thermal sensor would stop it from running till it cools down. If you have access to the compressor readily you can check if it's hot with you hand. Try unplugging the fridge for a few minutes then plugging it back in. This may reset the thermal sensor. If the compressor is hot what you can do is set the temp to the lowest setting for a few hours to let the compressor cool down. Another option is to unplug the fridge for a few hours to cool down the compressor and reset the thermal switch. Don't open the fridge to prevent it from warming the inside and thawing the food.

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Apr 10, 2023

    I would call an appliance repair person to find out what is wrong -

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Apr 10, 2023

    William's answer makes a lot of sense, give it a try, if no results, go to Plan B, store anything savable in an ice chest. Get a repair service.

  • Janice Janice on Apr 10, 2023

    If the light in the refrigerator is not working either, the running of the refrigerator for so long may have tripped the breaker. If so, I'd unplug the fridge flip the breaker on and check to see if the compressor feels hot. If not let it cool down with the fridge unplugged and keep the door closed as long as possible so the temperature inside doesn't get any warmer. Then plug in and see if it runs okay. If not, I'd call the manufacturer and tell them what happened and see what they recommend.

  • Dee Dee on Apr 10, 2023

    you should first manually defrost your refrigerator including both the freezer and fridge section. Remove all the food items in the freezer and fridge.

    Unplug the refrigerator from the wall outlet.

    Open ALL doors on the refrigerator.

    Wait 24 hours to let the fridge completely defrost.

    After 24 hours, close ALL doors on the refrigerator.

    Plug the refrigerator back into power.

    Let the refrigerator run for 6 hours.

    Test the temp of the fridge section and freezer section.

    If the temp is good, your fridge is working properly.

    Add your food items back into the refrigerator.


    If a manual defrost of your fridge did not get your fridge running, here are a few things that may be wrong, The damper door could be frozen shut. The return air vent in the freezer section is clogged by ice.


    • Eri10112699 Eri10112699 on Apr 15, 2023

      I had the same problem, and manually defrosted my refrigerator. While I was defrosting it I took the time to wash it & clean all the shelves. No I don't hany problems, I would try this first.

  • I would try unplugging it for a while. plug it back in and see if it starts working. If not, you'll need an appliance repair person.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Apr 11, 2023

    It is probably having to work very hard to get back to the temperature. Start with the warmest setting and slowly adjust to the cooler settings as it achieves each the first level. A full refrigerator is easier to cool than an empty one so if it isn't full, put bottles of water or other items to ease the work load.

  • I would see if an unplug would get it to reset. Sometimes that's all it takes. Also, you can call the manufacturer before you call a repair person. They'll usually walk you through a few troubleshooting steps.

  • Once you get it figured out, make sure the doors are operating properly in case it wasn’t human error. They can easily get overweighted and set themselves ajar too.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Apr 13, 2023

    Call in a repair man to sort it!

  • Mogie Mogie on Apr 13, 2023

    How To Make A Refrigerator Cool After Leaving It Open:

    1. Remove all the food items in the freezer and fridge.

    2. Unplug the refrigerator from the wall outlet.

    3. Open ALL doors on the refrigerator.

    4. Wait 24 hours to let the fridge completely defrost.

    5. After 24 hours, close ALL doors on the refrigerator.

    6. Plug the refrigerator back into power.

    7. Let the refrigerator run for 6 hours.

    8. Test the temp of the fridge section and freezer section.

    9. If the temp is good, your fridge is working properly.

    10. Add your food items back into the refrigerator.

    If a manual defrost of your fridge did not get your fridge running, here are a few things that may be wrong…

    A. The damper door could be frozen shut

    B. The return air vent in the freezer section is clogged by ice.

  • Deb K Deb K on Apr 14, 2023

    Hi Rivka, it takes about an average of 12 – 24 hours for a refrigerator to cool and reach the recommended food safety temperature storage guidelines of 40F degrees.

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Apr 15, 2023

    Unplug your fridge wait 5 min then plug it back in.it should re set.it should start to be. Old in about a hour. Or so if not call a repair person

  • Rivka Hellendall Rivka Hellendall on Apr 16, 2023

    Thank you to everyone for replying, I was able to sort out the issue with your help.


    I just need to remember not to leave my refrigerator door open all night again🤣

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Sep 30, 2023

    It will take time! Maybe overnight!

  • The compressor probably ran all night and may just need a chance to cool down. Give it a little time. If it doesn't start to cool, you may need to call a repair person to look at it.

  • RayLee RayLee on Nov 04, 2023

    I've been there, and it can be frustrating. First, give it some time to cool down - sometimes, it just needs a while. Check the thermostat settings and make sure the door seals properly. If it's still not cooling after a few hours, there might be an issue with the compressor or thermostat. Professionals from musiccityappliance.services can deal with that. Good luck!

  • Deb K Deb K on Nov 04, 2023

    Hi Rivka, hope this helps you.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwZED9OieaQ

  • Dee Dee on Nov 04, 2023

    Unplug again and leave it for 15 minutes. Plug back in. If it does not work after that it is probably the thermostat or motor. I had to recently replace my fridge because of this same problem.

  • Helena Helena on Jan 27, 2024

    If you need anything, simply ask for advice from a local expert. Don't make the costly mistake of buying a new refrigerator if yours was in excellent condition before it broke. Appliance repair can save you a lot of money compared to purchasing new appliances. In addition, here you can always find refrigerator repair in my area

  • Dee Dee on Jan 27, 2024

    I had this happen, I called Whirlpool, and they said to unplug the fridge for 15-20 minutes and it should reset itself. If it doesn't you need to get a new temperature control.