How to Remove a Window Screen

How to Remove a Window Screen

If you’ve ever had a teenager (or been one) locked out of the house, then you’ve experienced screen removal not done properly. This often results in bent screen frames, torn screens, and damage that simply can’t be repaired. But there are plenty of reasons you might want to remove a window screen. You might be:

  • Cleaning the outside of the window.
  • Replacing a damaged or torn screen.
  • Cleaning the screen itself.
  • Sneaking back in the window after—wait, just kidding. Never mind.

There could be other reasons you are removing your window screen and the key is you want to do so without damaging the window frame, a costly mistake. You also don’t want to get hurt or cause damage to any other item. So here are the various ways to remove a window screen.

Use the links below to skip ahead:

How to Remove a Window Screen

Most window screens are meant to be somewhat flexible. That is because they are designed to be removed pretty easily. Not all window screens operate the same way but the steps below should guide you to successfully remove any window screen.  

To remove the window screen while standing inside the residence:

  • Open the window all the way.
  • Grab the tabs on the screen and pull them both toward you and toward the center of the screen. Some screens have pins or latches, whichever yours has make sure to disengage it before attempting to remove the screen.
  • Tilt or pivot the screen so it is easier to remove from the frame.
  • Once the screen is free of the frame, carefully set it aside, especially if you are not replacing the screen with a new one.

To remove the window screen while standing outside the residence:

If you need to remove the window screen from outside your home, you may need a couple of tools. Try a flexible putty knife and a flat head screwdriver or a paint can opener.

  • Remove the frame from the lower left corner.
  • With your hands, gently push the window screen frame away from the corner. If the frame isn’t exposed, moving the frame should now expose more of it so that you can use your tools to remove the screen.
  • Slide the putty knife under the lower corner.
  • Slide the screwdriver or paint can opener onto the vertical side of the corner and lightly pull the window screen out from the corner.
  • Holding the corner, gently push the screen up while pulling the rest of the screen out from the bottom.
  • Once the bottom of the frame is almost all the way out, use the screwdriver or paint can opener to pull the right frame corner out from the pocket.
  • After the bottom of the frame is out you should be able to fully pull the frame down and away from the window.

Safety Tips:

  • Clear space to work. Make sure to use a stepladder if the window is out of reach.
  • Plant your feet firmly and make sure you have your balance.

How to Remove a Window Screen in a Hung Window

To remove the screen in a hung window, it is important to know that there is often a spring in the upper screen track that helps keep the screen in place. This is sometimes a part of the screen frame, and in rare cases is a part of the window frame inside the screen track.

In this case, you would push the top part of the screen up, pressing on the spring. At the same time, pull on either the tab or pins at the bottom of the screen, and push outward. The screen should come free of the frame, and then you can carefully twist and remove it.

If there are no tabs or pins, you will simply have to pry at the bottom of the screen. Use a large putty knife to do so, being careful not to bend the screen frame.

How to Remove a Window Screen in a Slider Window

The process for removing a window screen in a slider window is nearly identical to the others.

  • Open the window fully.
  • Find the screen tabs, and push them inward while pulling them toward you.
  • Pop the screen free, and pivot to remove.

Set the screen carefully aside until you are ready to replace it.

How to Remove a Window Screen in a Casement Window

This procedure is similar in that you will:

  • Search for the tabs on the inside of the screen.
  • Pull them together so the screen pops out easily.
  • Carefully remove the screen and set it to the side.

How to Remove a Full Height Window Screen

Removing a full-height window screen follows the same procedure. However, you will need to pull on both sides simultaneously to free the screen. Depending on how large the window screen is, this can turn into a two-man job.

Safety and Screen Removal

There are three things you don’t want to do when removing window screens. Don’t hurt yourself, don’t damage the screen or screen frame, and don’t damage the window frame itself.

First, keep yourself safe by keeping feet firmly planted and being balanced. Don’t lean on the screen, as you could end up falling out of the window.

Second, before dropping the screen outside, check to make sure that the area below you is clear. You don’t want your friend, neighbor, or even your dog to take a screen to the head because you weren’t looking. Edges can often be deceptively sharp, and although not heavy, a falling screen can do some damage.

If you have to pry to remove the screen for some reason, use a wide blade of some sort, like a putty knife. This will keep the pressure even across the screen frame and prevent it from bending or buckling. Be gentle. You should not have to pry in a hard way. If the screen is stuck, get help.

Too much prying can actually cause damage to the window frame, and that can be both costly and hazardous.

Remember, taking out a window screen properly prevents damage, is safe, and is usually done from inside the home. Preserve your screens, and you’ll save money, time, and keep the bugs outside where they belong.

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Thanks
     -Bobby

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