We report tapping mode microwave impedance imaging based on atomic force microscope platforms. The shielded cantilever probe is critical to localize the tip-sample interaction near the tip apex. The modulated tip-sample impedance can be accurately simulated by the finite-element analysis and the result agrees quantitatively to the experimental data on a series of thin-film dielectric samples. The tapping mode microwave imaging is also superior to the contact mode in that the thermal drift in a long time scale is totally eliminated and an absolute measurement on the dielectric properties is possible. We demonstrated tapping images on working nanodevices, and the data are consistent with the transport results. © 2009 American Institute of Physics.