How to Unlock Refrigerator Wheels? Step-by-Step Guide

Moving or leveling a refrigerator is impossible if the wheels are locked. In this article we will show you how to unlock refrigerator wheels easily like a pro.

Are you shifting house and worrying about having to move your big and heavy refrigerator to your new home? Or simply having the desire to rearrange your kitchen?

The good news is, most refrigerators of well-reputed brands like Samsung, Whirlpool, or LG feature built-in ‘wheels’ at the bottom front to make shifting the refrigerator from one location to the other convenient.

However, those refrigerator wheels sometimes may refuse to cooperate and become locked in place. What should you do in that case? Don’t worry, we’re here to help you learn how to unlock refrigerator wheels in such moments of crisis so make sure to read on till the end. Before you know how to unlock them, let us tell you why are they included with most refrigerators.

How To Unlock Refrigerator Wheels

Why Do Some Refrigerators Have Wheels at the First Place?

Before we teach you how to unlock refrigerator wheels, we thought it’d be better to give you some background knowledge on why fridge manufacturers provide these built-in wheels in the first place and how you can make good use of them.

  1. Convenient Portability: The locking mechanism of the wheels on refrigerators allows you to transfer the appliance from one location to another conveniently without the appliance rocking and jostling. Imagine if you had to drag the refrigerator against the floor without any wheels, your floor would be full of scratches and scrape marks!
  1. Easy Adjustments: Did you know? The height of your refrigerator can also be adjusted by raising or lowering the wheels! Leveling your refrigerator correctly will ensure the refrigerator doors shut properly and will therefore prevent moisture/frost buildup.
  1. Hassle-free Clean-up: If you want to sweep or mop the space behind the refrigerator or the floor underneath, you can easily push aside the fridge with the help of those wheels. Moreover, you won’t even need an extra set of hands for moving your appliance.

Quick Prep-Up Before Unlocking the Wheels

You cannot just walk up to the refrigerator and unlock the wheels in a few seconds. You must take some necessary measures prior to that. Here’s a list of the things you must do before you proceed to unlock the wheels on the bottom of the appliance:

  • Clear Surrounding Space: It’s important to make sure the area around the fridge is all cleared up. Look around to see if any dead insects, debris, and obstacles as such may hinder your appliance movement. You can also do a quick sweeping of the floor for smoother portability.
  • Empty Your Fridge: If your fridge is fully stuffed with foods and drinks, it’ll be hella difficult to move the appliance even with the help of extra hands. The wise decision would be to remove everything that’s inside (including detachable shelves and drawers) to lower the weight and make lifting and pushing easier.
  • Secure It Well: Don’t intend to move the refrigerator while it’s still plugged into a power source! You must unplug the fridge first and then remove all the contents inside. You should also lock the refrigerator door with a key to make sure it’s securely closed. If you don’t have the key available, you can also tie some ropes around to firmly secure the refrigerator in place.

Well, now that you’ve taken all the precautions, you’re ready to follow our instructions and go ahead to unlock your refrigerator wheels. The method to unlock the wheels vary from brand to brand so we’ve prepared short sections on some of the leading brands today.

Let’s begin!

How to Unlock Wheels on Samsung Refrigerators?

Just to let you know, Samsung refrigerator wheels don’t really have typical locks, the bottom legs are secured so firmly on the floor that it appears as if the wheels are locked.

If you want the wheels to function and move around, you have to slightly lift the front legs of your refrigerator. You’ll notice that the wheels have screws on them. These screws can be turned left or right to raise the wheels or lower them. This tip will come in handy when you’re trying to level your refrigerator or adjust its height.

After you’re done moving your refrigerator, you can ‘lock’ the wheels back in place by simply putting a tiny wood shim or plastic under the wheels to keep them firm and steady.

How to Unlock Wheels on GE Refrigerators?

If you’re unable to move your GE refrigerator, perhaps it’s not because the wheels are locked since it’s stated in the manual guide that GE refrigerator wheels or rollers don’t lock in place. The front legs have to be adjusted, either lowered or raised to make the wheels in touch with the floor to get your refrigerator rolling.

Note that after relocating your fridge, to lock the wheels in place, you’ll have to manually keep the firm to prevent the refrigerator from jostling or moving. You should re-level your fridge by inserting a wooden/plastic wedge under the wheels after taking off the front grill and adjusting the front legs.

How to Unlock Wheels on LG Refrigerators?

To unlock your LG refrigerator wheels, your appliance should be in an upright position on an even surface. LG refrigerators have two wheels in the back and two more in the front. If you want to reposition your refrigerator from front to back, you’ll need access to the back wheels and if you want to transport your refrigerator to the left or right side, you need to activate the front wheels.

To make the wheels get in contact with the floor, you may need multiple tools to help you out – such as a wrench and a flat-head screwdriver.

Firstly, detach the base grill of your refrigerator which you’ll find situated at the very bottom. You should be able to see the rollers and wheels/leveling feet. Grab your screwdriver and unscrew all the leveling feet.

Next, use a wrench or pliers to get the wheels moving in an anticlockwise motion. Keep turning till you realize when the wheels release from their locked position.

Great job! Now that you’ve unlocked all four rollers/wheels, you can freely move your fridge in whichever direction you want. Last but not least, when you want to lock those wheels again back in place, grab some wooden shims and place them underneath the wheels and you’ll be good to go!

How to Unlock Wheels on Whirlpool Refrigerators?

Almost all of the Whirlpool refrigerator models popular today feature wheels or rollers that are associated with the front and bottom legs of the refrigerator. These wheels can roll forward and backward and can also go different angles to the left and right.

In most cases, these wheels are kept rolled up to prevent the refrigerator from shaking every time the door opens. Therefore, to pull the wheels out whenever necessary, you need to adjust the front and back legs located at the bottom of the Whirlpool refrigerator.

Additionally, you need to start by removing the base grill. Using a wrench, keep turning the leveler to the left in a counterclockwise motion to lower the wheels and keep them flush with the floor.

And following the exact opposite method, you can pull up the wheels back after you’re done with moving your refrigerator.

So you grab the wrench and move the leveler clockwise towards the right direction until you feel that they’ve locked in place. After your wheels and rollers are raised, you can set the base grill back to its original place and then you’ll be good to go.

How to Unlock Wheels on KitchenAid Refrigerators?

Similar to the refrigerator brands we’ve talked about above, KitchenAid refrigerators too have wheels and rollers on them that can be manually locked in place and re-unlocked when it’s required to move the refrigerator.

The procedures for locking and unlocking KitchenAid refrigerator wheels pretty much remain the same as what we’ve illustrated above.

  • Step 1: Make sure the refrigerator is standing in an upright position. (If your refrigerator isn’t leveled and unaligned to the ground, the next section of this article is totally meant for you!)
  • Step 2: Ask someone to help you out by pushing against the top space of the refrigerator to tilt the fridge. This will take some weight off and allow you to conveniently work with the lower bottom of the refrigerator.
  • Step 3: Start by gently pulling out the base grill of your appliance. Place both of your hands on each side of the grill and slowly lift the bottom and try to push in towards the top of the grill. The base grill will be easily removed this way without the fear of damage.
  • Step 4: Take a screwdriver (flat-head recommended) and carefully unscrew/loosen all four leveling feet on each of the four bottom corners.
  • Step 5: Using a wrench or a set of pliers, rotate the levelers in a counterclockwise motion towards the left direction to lower the wheels and release them from the locked position. This will take several moments before the front wheels are touching the floor.

And voila! All done.

How Do I Level My Refrigerator With Wheels?

Most people underestimate the importance of leveling one’s refrigerator – not only does it help to prevent extra moisture from building up inside and retain the cold internal temperature, but it also reduces noise levels and secures your refrigerator in a fixed upright state.

Therefore, knowing how to level your refrigerator by yourself will save you a good amount of money since you won’t have to pay frequent visits to the electrician for servicing. Leveling a refrigerator with wheels is no big deal if the ground beneath is even. However, things can get a little tricky if the floor is rough and uneven, but don’t worry we’re here to help you out.

Firstly, to form a stable base, you will need wedged wood/plastic shims to lift under the bottom legs on all four corners of your refrigerator. For further security and leveling, you can also use a wrench and turn the wheel screws to clockwise direction or anticlockwise to make them completely aligned with the leveled floor.

There you go! Now your refrigerator will no longer be jostling around or rocking back and forth every time you pull or push the refrigerator door and shelves.

How to Safely Move Any Refrigerator With Wheels? 5 Easy Steps

How To Safely Move Any Refrigerator With Wheels
  • Step 1: Confirm the height, width, and depth of your refrigerator with the measurements of the designated location you want to move your refrigerator. Also don’t forget to leave some extra space around while measuring (let’s say about an inch) for supporting ventilation.
  • Step 2: Before you move the refrigerator away from the wall, ensure that the refrigerator doors will get enough space to fully open without bumping into the furniture or other appliances nearby.
  • Step 3: Double-check if the newly selected location of your refrigerator is directly exposed to sunlight or very close to gas stoves and other fire sources.
  • Step 4: The floor underneath shouldn’t be uneven or at least leveled with the help of plastic or wooden shims for smoother mobility.
  • Step 5: To avoid scraping the floor with scratches, you can also place corrugated fiberboard or cardboard on the floor as a precaution so that you can easily move the refrigerator.


Now that you’re equipped with all the knowledge regarding your refrigerator wheels, we believe not only can you do it yourself by following our simple and easy instructions without having to involve an electrician, but you’ll also be able to teach someone else how to unlock refrigerator wheels like a pro! Best of luck and don’t forget to unplug your refrigerator before moving it a long distance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Remove Refrigerator Wheels?
Yes, if your current fridge wheels are damaged and you’d like to replace them, you can certainly take the wheels out and replace with new ones. However, we would recommend having an expert technician come over to direct the whole procedure.
Are the Wheels on a Refrigerator Adjustable?
Almost all the refrigerator models today feature adjustable wheels and rollers that can either be raised or lowered by unscrewing the leveling feet on the bottom front of your appliance with the help of screwdriver and other necessary tools. 
How Long Do You Wait to Plug in a Fridge After Moving It?
It’s important to allow the fridge compressor to settle down in a new environment after you’ve moved the appliance. If it was shifted to a nearby distance while standing upright, giving it 1-2 hours resting time is enough before you plug in the refrigerator. On the other hand, if the appliance was laying on its side while it got relocated to a farther distance, it’s better to wait for at least 5 hours before switching it back on.
Do All New Refrigerators Have Wheels?
Yes, most of the new models from some of today’s leading refrigerator brands such as LG, Samsung, Frigidaire, Whirlpool, KitchenAid, GE and etc. are manufactured with adjustable built-in wheels for convenient portability.