How Long to Force Defrost Samsung Refrigerator (Answered!)

So, you’ve just opened your Samsung refrigerator only to realize that the unit is ice solid. Or perhaps you want to take out the ice maker, but it’s also frozen. If so, then you should defrost the unit. But how long to force defrost Samsung refrigerator?

A Samsung refrigerator force-defrost takes 20 – 40 minutes, depending on the fridge model. You can, however, hasten the process slightly by creating a warm environment in and around the fridge and trying scraping some of the ice.

I’ll explain the process, how to hasten it, and the various dos and don’ts that come with forceful defrosting. Once you observe these tips, you’ll have a successful defrosting. 

But as you’ll discover, the force-defrost process may differ slightly between models. Hopefully, I’ll cover your model today.

Moreover, I’ll explain why your unit may not defrost so that you can know what steps to take in such an event. Without further ado, let’s get into the details by first explaining why frost forms:

how long to force defrost Samsung refrigerator

Why Does Frost Form in Your Samsung Refrigerator?

Several factors contribute to frost formation in Samsung refrigerators. The reasons include the following:

  • High Refrigerant Level

While a low refrigerant level affects the fridge compressor’s compression, a high refrigerant level causes it to seep into the coils, leading to frost formation.

  • Warm Air

Most frost forms because of this reason. Frost forms easily when warm air mixes with the evaporator coil’s cool air. 

Usually, warm air from the outside gets into your refrigerator when you open it for long hours. Thus, the more frequently you open your Samsung refrigerator, the likelier it is for frost to form.

  • Faulty Component

If any member that plays a part in regulating the fridge’s temperature breaks down, frost will form. One of those components is the thermostat.

If you have a faulty thermostat, frost will continually build up until you replace the thermostat. The other component is the compressor.

A failed compressor means a failed cooling system that encourages frost formation. So, you’ll need to replace any of the two parts if they are faulty.

how to stop force defrost Samsung refrigerator

How Long to Force Defrost Samsung Refrigerator?

It takes 20 – 40 minutes to force your Samsung refrigerator to defrost. Before and during this brief period, there’s so much to do or not do to ensure you have a successful defrosting process. 

Dos and Don’ts


Here’s what to do when forcing your Samsung into a defrost:

  • Turn off the unit – Switch off your unit before emptying it to avoid further frost formation. You don’t have to unplug it, but switching it off is a good idea.
  • Empty the refrigerator – it’s essential to remove all the foods from the fridge and freezer to create more room for defrosting.
  • Take out the removable shelves – Take advantage of the defrosting opportunity to take out the shelves and clean them.
  • Clean the fridge inside – Don’t just clean the shelves but the entire fridge interior and rearrange everything as it was after the cleaning.
  • Shut the door – Since warm air from the outside causes frost formation, avoid it by shutting the door throughout the cycle.
  • Put a towel in the ice bucket position – Since water is likely to drip from your refrigerator when it starts defrosting, put a towel where the ice bucket typically sits to absorb it.


Now, here are the don’ts when defrosting your unit:

  • Don’t turn the ice maker on until the refrigerator cools – Avoid turning the ice maker on during the defrosting cycle. Only do it after the process completes and your unit cools.
  • Don’t scrape the fridge with anything metallic – Most fridges nowadays come with a plastic scraper which you can use to scrape off some of the frosts. If you don’t have one, get it. Otherwise, avoid using anything metallic not to damage the fridge walls.
Samsung refrigerator defrost problem

How to Force Defrost My Samsung Refrigerator

Generally, it takes these steps to force-defrost your Samsung refrigerator:

Step 1 – Force Defrost Mode 

Start by putting your freezer on ‘frost defrost.’ Since most Samsung units nowadays offer you ‘no-frost- you don’t have to force-defrost them the manual way.

Instead, activate the ‘Force Defrost’ (FD) function, and the defrosting will take place automatically. Overall, it takes a combination of two buttons to start force-defrost; these combinations differ between models. 

Below is a table overview of what it takes to force-defrost different Samsung models:

Samsung Model Force Defrost CommandsSeconds Additional action
RF263Fridge + Energy Saver8 
RF267Lighting + Freezer 12Press Lighting after that at least four times
RF28Power Freezer/Freeze + Energy Saver4Press Power Cool/Fridge after that at least four times
RF24FSEDBSRPower Save + Fridge8 
RF2380905R/AAControl Lock + Freezer8 
SRF68OCDLSEnergy Saver + Fridge8 
RF263BEAESREnergy Saver + Fridge 8Press Control Fridge after that at least four times
RF23M8070SRControl + Freezer10-12 
DR23J9011SRFreezer + Cool Select8Repeat 4 times
Other ModelsFlexZone + Fridge10Press FlexZone &Fridge at least four times
Energy Saver + Power Cool /Fridge12 

Step 2 – Ice Bin Removal 

Now that you’ve indicated the defrosting process, you can sit back and wait for the cycle to complete, which should take 20 – 40 minutes. 

Meanwhile, take out the ice bin as it’s likely to be frozen. It’s never easy, but it’s an excellent idea to hasten the defrosting. Remember, you have to do it fast to close the refrigerator door to avoid warm air influx.

And once you successfully take out the ice bin, put a towel under it, as I explained earlier, to soak up the water when the ice melts.

Step 3 – Rerun The Force Defrost 

So, are you unable to take out the ice bin? If yes, repeat step one once or as many times as possible until you can remove the ice bin.

Most people do it up to 3 times before they are successful. That explains why the process takes 20 – 40 minutes. The time difference depends on how fast you can take out the ice bin.

Step 4 – Wait for the Samsung Forced Defrost Beeping Sound

You may wonder, ‘how do I know that my refrigerator has defrosted?’

Well, you’ve to wait for it to make a beeping sound. So, this will happen after 20 – 40 minutes of forceful defrosting.

Samsung forced defrost beeping

Step 5 – Ice Bin Reassembling 

After hearing the beep sound, it’s time to return the ice bin to the refrigerator and remove the soaked towel.

Step 6 – Temperature adjustment

It’s important to normalize your refrigerator’s temperature after the forceful defrosting. For starters, give your unit some time to cool. Then, adjust the refrigerator temperature to 30C (or 380F) and the freezer temperature to -19 0C (or -20F).

Note that those are the standards for most Samsung units, but the ranges can vary slightly depending on the model. 

So, you may need to confirm it from your refrigerators manual. Don’t be in a hurry to use the ice maker. Wait 24 hours for the fridge to stabilize before the ice maker can start making ice.

What If Your Samsung Refrigerator Doesn’t Force Defrost?

Sometimes, your unit may fail to force-defrost, and you may wonder why. Well, there is a reason for the Samsung refrigerator defrost problem, and it’s often any of the following:

  • Defective timer – A bad defrost timer will interfere with the defrosting. Usually, if the timer is faulty, the heater won’t turn on, so the unit won’t defrost the ice.
  • Defective heater – If the defrost heater is faulty, it won’t melt the frost on the evaporator coil and the refrigerator wall.
  • Faulty thermostat – The defrost thermostat function monitors the evaporator coil’s temperature. If it’s defective, the evaporator coil’s temperature may drop below a particular level, interfering with the defrosting. 
  • Faulty defrost main control – If the problem is not a defective timer, heater, or defrost thermostat, it’s more likely to be the defrost control board. You’ll need to have a fridge expert inspect it for fault.

So, What Should You Do?

If the timer, heater, defrost thermostat, or control board is faulty, you’ll have to replace it. But before you do, you’ve to be sure that the part is defective.

On that note, use a multimeter to test the timer and thermostat for continuity. If they don’t show continuity, they are faulty and need a replacement.

As for the defrost heater, inspect it for burn and when it comes to the control board, let an expert examine it.

how to force defrost my Samsung refrigerator

How to Hasten the Defrosting of Your Samsung Refrigerator?

Since the defrosting cycle runs for 20 – 40 minutes, you may want to hasten it and spend the least time. You can do that using these tips:

  • Steam up the fridge walls – Put hot water on some bowls and place them on the refrigerator shelves to steam up the walls. That will see the ice melt much faster.
  • Use a hairdryer – If you’ve access to a hair dryer, use it to melt the frost in your Samsung unit.
  • Turn the home fan on – If you have a portable fan, turn it on near the fridge to warm it up and melt the ice.
  • Scrape up (but with a plastic scraper) – it’s not advisable to scrape up your fridge with anything metallic, which could damage its walls. You can use a plastic scraper) to do it.
  • Alcohol defrosting – If the ice layers are only thin, consider melting them with alcohol. Just soak a rag in boiling water and then add some alcohol to it. After that, rub the ice with a wet rag.

How to Stop Force Defrost Samsung Refrigerator?

It’s essential to return your Samsung refrigerator to its normal working state after a defrosting. You can do that by:

Press energy saver + freezer/power freezer at the same time. The screen should reset after that, and you can start using the refrigerator. 

Closing Thought on How Long to Force Defrost Samsung Refrigerator!

As shared, the automatic force defrost of a Samsung refrigerator takes 20 – 40 minutes, depending on the fridge model and what you do to hasten the process. 

But overall, the processes differ slightly between Samsung fridge models. So, it’s worth confirming what you should do before starting. Hopefully, the above guide will come to your rescue.

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