Numerical simulations were performed using Fluent 14.5 to investigate single phase flow and conjugate heat transfer in copper rectangular microchannels. Two different configurations were simulated: (1) single channel with hydraulic diameter of 0.561 mm and (2) multichannel configuration consisting of inlet and outlet manifolds and 25 channels with hydraulic diameter of 0.409 mm. In the single channel configuration, four numerical models were investigated namely, 2D thin-wall, 3D thin-wall (heated from the bottom), 3D thin-wall (three side heated) and 3D full conjugate models. In the multichannel configuration, only 3D full conjugate model was used. The simulation results of the single channel configuration were validated using experimental data of water as a test fluid while the results of the multichannel configuration were validated using experimental data of R134a refrigerant. In the multichannel configuration, flow distribution among the channels was also investigated. The 3D thin-wall model simulation was conducted at thermal boundary conditions similar to those assumed in the experimental data reduction (uniform heat flux) and showed excellent agreement with the experimental data. However, the results of the 3D full conjugate model demonstrated that there is a significant conjugate effect and the heat flux is not uniformly distributed along the channel resulting in significant deviation compared to the experimental data (more than 50%). Also, the results demonstrated that there is a significant difference between the 3D thin-wall and full conjugate models. The simulation of the multichannel configuration with an inlet manifold having gradual decrease in cross sectional area achieved very reasonable uniform flow distribution among the channels which will provide uniform heat transfer rates across the base of the microchannels. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.