Refrigerator Door Was Left Open – Now Fridge Will Not Cool

I accidentally left the door on my Samsung refrigerator open for a few days. When I opened the fridge section, I found it not cooling and warm. I closed the refrigerator door for a few hours and the refrigerator section is still not cooling. I opened the freezer door on the refrigerator and found it to be cold and freezing the food. Does anyone have an idea what I should do to get the fridge section to cool again?

Refrigerator door left open - fridge will not coolRefrigerator door left open – fridge will not cool

If your refrigerator door has been left open by accident and the fridge or freezer will not cool… you should first manually defrost your refrigerator including both the freezer and fridge section. Manually defrost your refrigerator before replacing any parts!

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.

Do a test to determine which it could be:

1. Open the freezer door – Press and hold the door switch – Keep freezer door open.
2. Open the refrigerator door – Press and hold the door switch – Keep refrigerator door open.
3. Make sure the fan in the freezer is on.
4. Feel if there is cold air flowing into the refrigerator cooling vents at the back wall of fridge.
5. If cold air is felt, you have a return vent that is blocked inside the freezer evaporator section.
6. If NO cold air is flowing, you most likely have a faulty or frozen damper door.

Refrigerator damper assemblyNeed a new Refrigerator damper assembly?

If you know of other solutions that may fix a refrigerator that stopped cooling because the door was left open by accident, please leave a DIY repair suggestion below.

If you are having trouble with your fridge not cooling, try this page about How to fix a refrigerator not cooling, or leave your question below and we can assist.

ALLEN VETTER - DIY Repair Assistant
Allen is a Home Maintenance/Appliance Tech and the author/creator of this website. He has 33 years of experience troubleshooting and repairing all types of appliances. Contact here

7 thoughts on “Refrigerator Door Was Left Open – Now Fridge Will Not Cool”

  1. My refrigerator door was left open I don’t know how long it was left open now it’s not cooling but freezer is. I have about seven months ago the same thing happened I have someone to come out and he defrost the compressor and it went back to work and I’m trying to find a way to save money from calling him back out again what should I do?

  2. Kenmore Elite freezer drawer was left open overnight now fridge compartment and freezer won’t work even after being unplugged for weeks … tried it a few times and nothing works ?
    What part or parts can be changed to fix this? Model is 795.7105 bottom drawer refrigerator.
    Please help I would like to fix it if I can its an expensive fridge and I don’t want a replacement.

  3. A really wonderful tip. It works like magic. I left my 20 year old National fridge door slightly ajar for the whole night, right until the next evening 7pm.

    The lower compartment was warm while the freezer was ok. After a few minutes, the fridge shut down by itself and the compressor wouldn’t turn on again after half an hour of waiting. I initially thought the compressor must have overheated and burnt out, and I would have to fork out a hefty sum for a replacement.

    That was when I searched the internet to seek help and discovered this wonderful secret.

    So, the next time before anyone calls the repairman, just search the internet for some helpful tips. It can save you a lot of money.

  4. I have this problem too, from leaving freezer door ajar by accident, or opening fridge door for too long. It has happened so many times I’ve got this down to fix in 30 min or so.
    Take everything out of freezer and put whatever can fit into regular part of fridge, and what’s left into a cooler. This will help preserve all of your food and you won’t need to take food out from main frig. Turn both freezer and frig off. Blast hair dryer on high/hot for 20 mins or so, propped up on shelf in freezer, aiming towards vents in back (in my Amana bc21) they are in the middle upper back of freezer. Carry on with your life then check back; turn both sections back on, check if cool air is blowing into fridge part. If it is, you can put all the food back into respective proper places and voila, you are done. Be very careful not to leave either door open!

  5. Just a question about defrosting. I saw frost in the back openings in the inside of the freezer and watched the ice melt with a hairblower. I haven’t seen any water on the floor and very little at the bottom of the freezer. Where is the melted water going? Is there a tray at the bottom of the fridge?

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