Over-the-range microwaves are becoming more trendy than countertop microwaves because they provide more counter space, giving people wide-open kitchens. The only problem is that if the over-the-range microwave is damaged and you have to replace it, you can't just toss it like the countertop versions. You have to uninstall it, which is fairly easy, but it can be a headache if you try it by yourself. Over-the-range microwaves are a little heavier than countertop microwaves, and they can hurt you and damage your kitchen if they fall down.
Shut off the power in the kitchen at the circuit breaker. You'll want to do this procedure when you have natural light, and if you do have to work at night, having a spotlight will prove very useful.
Open the cabinet above the microwave, and pull the plug out of the socket.
Remove the screws on the bottom of the microwave, and take off the vent to expose the bottom of the wall-mounting bracket.
Locate the screws that hold the microwave to the cabinet. Have your assistant hold the microwave up from the bottom while you remove the screws. The microwave should fall forward, but it won't come down because it's attached to the mounting bracket.
Allow the microwave to fall forward as far as it can go, and push upward on the back end of the microwave to lift it off the mounting bracket hooks. The microwave should come off fairly easily.
Remove the mounting bracket screws, and take the bracket off the wall. You're now ready to install a new microwave or another addition to your kitchen.