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How to Get a Drawer Back on Track

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Why is your drawer proving hard to open and close? The most probable cause is that the tracks aren’t working as they should. Take a look at how to get a drawer back on track within no time.

Fortunately, if your drawers fall off the tracks, the process of fixing that is quite simple.

How to Get a Drawer Back on Track

The primary issue with a stuck drawer is its roller which helps the drawer move back and forth. 

Step #1: Gather the Necessary Tools

Find the following tools to get the job done:

  • Screwdriver
  • Screws
  • Glue
  • Pliers

Step #2: Fix the Tracks

The first thing to do is gain access to the tracks by removing the drawer from the slot.

Since the drawer is off the track, removing it might need some tactics. 

One of them is pulling it and lifting it simultaneously as you remove it. Or jiggling it side to side to break it free of those damaged tracks.

Fixing the handle of a drawer with a pliers
  • Once it is out, inspect the mounting for your tracks. Then push them to the back of the dresser. In case of loose screws, use a drill to tighten them.
  • Try and identify any bent area that would lead to the rollers getting off the track.
  • To prevent the rollers from popping out in the future, fix the bent section back straight using pliers. 
  • Sometimes, you might need to remove the tracks to fix the crooked segments. 
  • If so, unscrew the mounting screws, and once you fix the bends, properly screw them back to attach the tracks to the slot.
  • Additionally, look for stripped-out screw holes and mark the loose screws. Then, remove the screw and tighten them accordingly.
  • If you don’t want to remove the tracks, fix stripped screws using epoxy or super glue instead of a screwdriver. It will hold your screws in place and also spare you from removing the drawer’s tracks.
  • If the screws are in a bad position, don’t hesitate to replace them right away.

Here’s a short video guide to help you with the installation and removal of rail-type drawers.

How Do Drawer Tracks Work?

Drawer tracks are the system comprising of slides and rollers. They are responsible for the opening and shutting of your drawer whenever a need arises.

As you open or shut your drawer, these slides and rollers go back and forth on those tracks. 

Consequently, the drawer either opens or closes depending on what you want it to do at that particular time.

Why Do Drawers Fall Off the Track?

One of the most probable causes is wear and tear, which is inevitable as time goes by. 

The other one may be an issue with its installation during manufacturing and might be a dried coating that causes a delay rolling. Either way, the problem can be solved.

Drawer Tracks With Bearings (Not Slides)

First of all, bearings and slides work the same way in that they are responsible for the opening and closing of the drawers.

With the help of the ball bearings, the railing systems open and closes the drawers smoothly. 

However, as time goes by, the lubricant may dry out, complicating the opening and closing of your drawer. 

But, again, that’s also easy to fix. 

  • Start by opening your drawer before emptying it. 
  • Before proceeding, remove the drawer from its slot and check whether other components are blocking the ball bearings.
  • If that’s the case, remove them using tweezers or hands where possible.
  • For bends and kinks, use pliers to straighten them.
  • Use mineral oil to dampen a cloth, preferably microfiber, and rub it along the slides and ball bearings.
  • Give the rails a coating of mineral oil.
  • Return the drawer and try opening and closing. 
An open drawer with colored pencils

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Use Any Screws to Replace the New Ones?

Doing so may be suicidal and might make it hard for the drawer to get back on track. Therefore, ensure that you buy those that are the same as the old ones. Preferably, consult your manufacturer to ensure that you buy the right ones.


Opening and closing your drawers shouldn’t be hard. If you find them challenging, you need to fix their tracks. It should be as easy as adjusting your recliner or even replacing your own sofa springs.

While you use the guide to fix it, you could start or continue to position your drawer in a desirable position.