How to unlock the control lock on your Whirlpool dryer

Written by Adam Morris
6 Min read
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What’s the point of the control lock?

A common problem that we often find Whirlpool dryer owners having is control lock. How to unlock it? Now, this is a very annoying problem to experience as it completely locks all of your dryer functions and does not let you input anything until it is unlocked.

If you are in this position, we can completely understand how frustrating this must be. You have just taken a load of laundry out, it’s soaking wet, and you need to get it dried quickly. However, you just can’t get your new Whirlpool dryer out of control lock. Well, stress no more, as in this guide we will give you all the possible solutions for you to get your dryer to unlock and get that washing dry.

Just before we get to the part where you unlock your dryer, and don’t worry we will get to that part very soon, you may be wondering, in your fit of frustration, what is the point of this control lock? Whilst we do understand your frustration, we really do, it must be said that the control lock is actually a very useful feature on the Whirlpool dryer. If you live with young children you know how much they love to play with everything they can get their hands on, so having a setting you can turn on that will protect the appliance and, more importantly, the children, is really helpful.

In addition to this, it’s not like the Whirlpool dryer will try to hide the fact that the control lock is on. If your dryer has an LCD display, it will display the error code ‘LOC’ when you try to enter a command whilst the control lock is on. If your dryer does not have an LCD display, then the control lock being on will most likely be illustrated by a red LED light labeled ‘Control lock.

If you have one of the really modern Whirlpool dryers with the fancy touchscreen displays, they will have their own way of indicating that the control lock is on. It shouldn’t be hard to find as this is not something that they are trying to hide from you.

How do I turn off the control lock?

Whirlpool control lock

Don’t worry as you have no reached the part of the article where we explain how you can turn off the control lock on your Whirlpool dryer. The methods for turning it off are different depending on if you have a touchscreen model or not.

Turning off the control lock on a non-touchscreen Whirlpool dryer

Before you turn off the control lock you first need to make sure that your dryer is not currently mid-cycle. If it is not then you can turn off the control lock by finding the button that is labeled “Hold for 3 seconds to lock/unlock control”. This is normally the “End of cycle” button, however, it could be another button. If you cannot work out which button it is you should be able to find out in the product manual.

Then, it may seem obvious but we have to say it, to turn off (or on) the control lock you need to hold this button down for 3 seconds. If your model has an LED light indicating whether the control lock is on it should now have turned off. You should now be able to use your dryer!

Turning off the control lock on a touchscreen Whirlpool dryer

The touchscreen models use a small symbol of a padlock inside of a circle to represent whether the control lock is turned on or not. To turn off the control lock on your touchscreen Whirlpool dryer is even easier than on the older non-touchscreen models. All you need to do is swipe up on the touchscreen display and the padlock within the circle should disappear, indicating that the control lock is now turned off and you can resume normal usage of the dryer.

That didn’t work, what do I do now?

If those solutions didn’t work, don’t worry about it as all hope is not lost. Whirlpool dryers actually have a small computer inside of them that control their operations and if there is a minor malfunction in this computer then it can lead to some problems, for example, the control lock is stuck in the on position.

There is a simple solution to fix a problem like this and it involves hard resetting the main control board of the Whirlpool dryer. This might sound really complicated but don’t worry it’s not and we will walk through how to do it now.

  1. The first step is to unplug your Whirlpool dryer from the wall and leave it for 30 minutes. As this is how long it will take to reset.
  2. Next, you simply need to plug back in the dryer.
  3. Now when it turns back on the control lock should now be turned off.
  4. If the control lock is still on then it should be able to be turned off using the other methods we have suggested so far in this article.
  5. So if you do have a touchscreen display simply swipe up on it and if you don’t then locate the button that turns the control lock on/off and hold it down for 3 seconds.

Replacing the main control board

Right, if that still hasn’t got your Whirlpool dryer working we can sense the anger boiling up inside you, but don’t panic yet as we have one last solution for you.

If all of that has not worked it probably means that you have a broken main control board and you will need to replace it. Unfortunately, this is not as easy a process as the other methods for turning off the control lock have been. However, you can still DIY it if you want to and we will outline the steps of how to do so below.

  1. First, you will want to make sure that you have ready all the tools you will need for this job. You don’t need too much, a screwdriver to gain access to the main control board and a putty knife to remove it will be enough.
  2. Next, and something you should do whenever doing electronic repairs, unplug your appliance, in this case, the Whirlpool dryer.
  3. Now you want to unscrew the top panel of the dryer and slide it off the dryer.
  4. You should now be able to see the main control board and the best thing to do at this point is take a picture of it. This will give you an image to refer to when you are putting the new one in so that you know exactly how it should be wired.
  5. Once you have taken a photo you can begin to unplug the main control board from the cable harnesses that are attached to it. You can also unscrew the screw that is holding the main control board in place.
  6. Once there is nothing holding it down, you can now use the putty knife to pop the main control board out of the dryer.
  7. Take your new main control board and put it exactly where the last one was positioned, screwing it down with the same screw to hold it in place.
  8. Then you can reattach all of the cable harnesses, using the photo you took to ensure everything is in the right place.
  9. Finally, you just need to slide the top panel of the dryer back on, screw it back in place and then plug the dryer in. Congratulations, you have just replaced the main control board on a Whirlpool dryer!

To summarise

Hopefully, you are slightly less frustrated now and can see why the control lock is a useful feature introduced by Whirlpool, even if it can be a little annoying when you first use it. The vast majority of the time you can turn it off with the simple push of a button or the flick of a touchscreen.

A problem with the main control board can be a little more annoying, however, this is not a common issue on Whirlpool’s dryers which are very reliable appliances. And even if you do need to replace one, you now know how to do it and know that it is not as hard as it sounds!

How do I turn off the control lock on the Whirlpool oven?

To turn off the control lock on the Whirlpool oven you just need to hold down the start button for 3 seconds. If this does not work you can unplug the oven at the circuit breaker for 1 minute and this should fix your issue and remove the error code.

How can I unlock a Whirlpool washer without power?

To unlock a Whirlpool washer without power the first thing you need to do is unplug it at the wall and turn off the faucet supplying it. Then, gain access to the drain pump door by unscrewing its cover and pull on the plastic cord in this compartment to unlock the door.

Appliances made simple. 

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