How to Replace Refrigerator Handles

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If a refrigerator door handle is damaged, makes noise or has broken off, it is time to replace the door handle. Luckily, both repairing and replacing a damaged refrigerator handle is a simple task. And, depending on your appliance, you may not need any tools. For models that do require tools, you will need an Allen wrench and sometimes a flathead screwdriver to replace the broken refrigerator door handle. Before you begin, determine the type of door handle and order a replacement part. Once your new handles have arrived, remove the current handles and install the new ones to replace the refrigerator door handle.

How to Replace Refrigerator Handles
Image Credit: TARIK KIZILKAYA/E+/GettyImages

Doors With Handle-Mounted Screws

These handles will feature either one small hole at the top or two small holes at the top and bottom on one side of the handle. If the refrigerator features side-by-side doors, the same steps will apply to replace the refrigerator door handle. However, in order to access the screws and replace the door handle, you will need to open one door so that you can work on the other. When removing damaged refrigerator door handle and installing a new one, always work on the closed door, then open that one and close the other to replicate the steps on that side. Often, plastic or painted handles will have a cap over each end of the handle. Before removing the damaged refrigerator handle, carefully insert a small flathead screwdriver into the side of the cap to detach it from the refrigerator door handle. Once you replace the door handle, snap the caps back into place.

To remove the broken refrigerator handle, use an Allen wrench to loosen the screws. Once both screws are loose, pull the damaged refrigerator handle off of the door to install a new handle. Place the new handle on the door (for side-by-side doors, the small screws should face the other door), and ensure that the top and bottom of the handle is placed over the screws in the door. Firmly push the handle onto the door. Use the Allen wrench to tighten the screw on the small upper hole. Turn the wrench clockwise until the screw becomes engaged but is fully tight. Then, use the Allen wrench to tighten the lower hole, turning clockwise until it feels stiff. Return to the upper hole and tighten completely to secure the handle.

Door Handles With No Allen Wrench Required

Doors that do not require an Allen wrench are removed by strength alone. Some handles will first require removing a cap at the ends of the handle.

To remove a broken refrigerator handle without a plastic tab or cap, all that is needed is strength. Hold the handle tightly with both hands and then push sharply upwards and outwards. This will take some power, so if you are unable to remove the damaged refrigerator door handle the first time, try again. To replace a broken refrigerator handle on this door, slide the new part down and strongly push it into place.

If the door handle has a cap, remove the cap before lifting the handle. You may need a flathead screwdriver to lift the cap of the broken refrigerator door handle. Replace the cap once the damaged refrigerator door handle has been replaced.

Door Handles Secured With A Plastic Bracket

Some handles are secured in place with a plastic bracket between the top of the handle and the door. To remove this type of broken refrigerator door handle, press on the tab of the bracket and continue to hold it down against the door while lifting the door handle up to release the bracket. To install a new handle, insert the handle into the brackets, then firmly push down to lock it into place.


Gia Miller received her journalism degree from The University of Georgia and began her career as an intern at O, The Oprah Magazine. She then spent several years at Elle DECOR magazine where she immersed herself in the world of interior design. Several apartments and homes later, she’s now mastered the art of DIY. Gia enjoys writing stories that both educate and encourage others to take a chance and try something new. To learn more, visit her website -

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