How to Remove a Window Screen

window screen

Window screens are useful in many ways because it has benefits that make your house much more comfortable. Its advantages include improved air flow inside your home, reduced sunlight exposure, and decreased heat during warm weather. It also prevents water from getting inside during rainy weather while keeping outside elements such as insects, debris, dirt, and leaves from getting inside the house. But what if you need to clean, replace, or repair your window screen? Before you can do that, you must learn how to remove a window screen and here’s how you can do it.

How Do Window Screens Work

Window screens are usually made of aluminum, metal wire, fiberglass, polyester, or nylon that is stretched inside a metal or wood frame. Due to exposure to outside elements like weather conditions and pollution, window screens can break, tear, and deteriorate in time. If you are wondering how to remove a window screen by yourself, you came to the right place.

How to Remove Window Screen from Inside the House

Determine The Window Style

Keep in mind that there is a specific way to remove a window screen for each window. Do not worry, though. Regardless of the type of window screen you have, they are pretty simple to remove if you want to replace them and put them back in if you are just cleaning them.

Double Hung Window

This is the most common type and you probably have this at home. It has an operable sash that can slide up and down for better ventilation.

Sliding Window

This type is commonly found on hard to reach places like above the kitchen sink or in the bathroom. It is easy to operate because all you have to do is release the latch and slide it open.

Casement Window

This type is hinged on the side and can be opened by using a hand crank. It doesn’t have finger lifts or pins like the other two. Its design is simple and removing it is fairly easy.

Determine the Type of Window Screen You Have

Although all types can be removed from inside the house, it helps to know the differences to make the job easier.

Interior Window screen

An interior window screen uses tension to make it stay in place. It is installed around the window grooves. This is commonly used for sliding windows.

Exterior Window  Screen

An exterior window screen hangs on the outside of the window and is secured with plunger-pins. This is usually the type of screen used for double hung windows.

Steps to Remove Window Screens

Cutting the mesh of the screen to take it off the frame is a waste of time and effort. Replacement window screens come in new frames so you do not need to preserve the old ones.

Interior Window Screen

  1. Pull up the lift tabs. You can easily locate the lift tabs at the bottom of the screen once you slide the window open. Simply pull them with your fingers until you see the screen lift slightly. The pressure will compress the tension-spring mounts at the top of the screen.
  2. Lift the bottom part of the screen. Your right hand should hold the bottom part of the screen as you lift it out of the groove in the millwork while the fingers of your left hand stay on the finger lifts.
  3. Pull out the window screen towards you. You can easily do this by holding the screen with both of your hands as you slide the bottom part through the opening first. You may find it easier if you tip the screen to one side to pull it through.

Exterior Window Screen

  1. Detach the sash. If you have the modern double hung window, there is a sash that is easy to remove. Locate the plunger-pins holding the screen on the inside. They are usually at the bottom part. Pull them inward to release the window screen.
  2. Detach the screen from the window. This should be done with care. Make sure you are not leaning out the window and there is no one standing outside in case the screen falls.
  3. Pull the screen out. You can turn it at an angle and wiggle a bit to fit it through the window.

For Screens Without Lift Tabs or Plunger Pins

  1. If you have installed a window screen differently and without finger lifts and plunger-pins, you can still easily remove it by following these steps.
  2. Use a little bit of ingenuity and some tools like a knife and a flat-head screwdriver. It’s all about technique.
  3. Pry up from one side of the screen to get the screwdriver or knife between the screen and the track.
  4. Pull the screen inward and remove it from the other sides of the track.

For Full Window Screens

If you opted to have a full window screen for your sliding or double hung windows, removing the screen is easy. The screens are usually flexible.

  1. Tilt the sashes and completely remove them.
  2. There should be a tab you can pull and squeeze to compress the screen.
  3. Pull the screen through the window to remove it.

Check out this short video that shows how to take a screen off a window for additional tips.

If you need to reinsert your window screen, just follow the steps above in reverse.

Tips and Safety Reminders

  • Do not climb or stand on furniture to reach the window screen. If it is too high, it won’t hurt to ask for help.
  • Never lean out the window. The screen is not sturdy enough to keep you from losing your balance or catching you if you fall.
  • Make sure there is no one standing outside the window in case you drop the screen or your tools.
  • If you find it difficult to remove a stubborn screen off the window, do not hesitate to ask for help. This would help avoid damage to your window.


Now that we have detailed the steps on how to remove a window screen, you can see that it’s not as complicated as you think – you can definitely do it yourself. Just remember to follow the steps and safety reminders on how to remove window screens. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave a message.

Find other interesting articles in our home improvement section.

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