The influence of drying methods on the volatile components of Zingiber officinale rhizomes was studied. The drying methods employed were convection (CD) and microwave (MW) drying. The drying time reduced significantly from 720 min in case of CD to 25–48 min in MW drying depending on the microwave power level (PL 100, 80, 60 and 40 correspond to 800, 660, 525 and 385W, respectively). The MW-dried (PL100, 800W) sample retained the maximum volatile fraction (3% v/w). Seventy-four constituents accounting for more than 99% of the essential oil from fresh ginger were identified. The concentration of major compound (zingiberene), in essential oils, was marginally increased (7%) in MW dried (PL100), whereas it was decreased not only in CD (43%) but also at other MW PLs employed in drying (25–49%). Hence, it could be concluded that MW substantially reduced the drying time and the sample dried at PL 100 retained maximum quantity of volatiles.