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How To Unlock Drawer Slides: 3 Different Type Drawers

It can be quite intimidating at times when your drawer slides lock on. Not being able to unlock it adds more to that frustration. 

How to unlock drawer slides? 

Unlocking drawer slides takes only a little effort. Hold the handle of the drawer to pull it towards yourself. On the left side of the drawer, you’ll find a metal slide. Just pull it up or press it down on the tabs. After a few moves, you’ll feel a click. Once you hear the click, It’ll unlock. 

Still, pondering on how you’re gonna do it? This is just a brief explanation of your question. I have written an entire entry on this. 

For a better understanding of the whole procedure, keep reading!

Unlock Drawer Slides: 3 Different Type Drawers!

Sometimes, the drawer locks due to many reasons. Old drawers tend to lock more often than new ones. Regardless of that, a locked drawer can cause enough frustration. Well, at least now you don’t need to keep mice away from your drawers.

Sorry, let’s get back on topic.

There are different types of drawer slides to be found. All of them operate slightly differently than the others. Here are some of the drawer slide unlocking methods. 

Type 1: Full Extension Drawer Slides

Full extension drawers are pretty popular nowadays for their ease of use. Well, the real problem arises if the slides get locked. But some simple maneuvers can unlock them pretty easily. 

I have mentioned some of the steps you can use to unlock your locked drawer slides. They are 

Step 1

In order to unlock the drawer slide, you need to hold the handle of the drawer first. And then pull the handle towards yourself. 

Keep pulling until the drawer stops moving. 

Step 2 

Identify where your coloured metal slide is. Usually, in most cases, the metal slide is found on the left side of the drawer. Look for a small tab near the front of the slide.

Put one hand on the tab and find another one on the right side. Both of the tabs should be positioned correspondingly. 

Also, if you fail to identify the tabs, they are typically black or white metal slides. 

Step 3

Once you find both of the tabs, you will need to apply some pressure on them. 

Pull up or push down until you hear a click. Your drawer slides have been unlocked. Hold the side of the drawer with your hands and tilt it slightly. Then bring the drawer out. 

And voila. Your drawer slides have been removed. The process is not too hard once you understand it. 

Also, make sure that you don’t apply too much pressure to break it. 

Type 2: Ball Bearing Drawer Slides

Some people find it easier to use ball bearing drawer slides. The ball bearing slide operates slightly differently than the full extension slides.

The ball drawer has a railing system. The ball bearing helps the drawer open and close smoothly. Since they have different maneuvering procedures, they need extra attention while maintenance. 

If you want to unlock the ball bearing drawer slides; 

Step 1

Make sure that your slides are well lubricated. Once that part is done, open the drawer slide to its full length. 

Slightly lift the drawer. And pull the drawer towards yourself until you hear a click.

Push the lever if your slides come with a latch. 

Step 2

If the drawer slide is stuck then lubricate it first. The oil will let the rail run smoothly and your operation will be smoother. You can use the same lubricants that are used for dry fitting PVCs as well.

If you want to buy lubricants for your drawer slides, give it a check below:


These are some of the really good lubricants for drawer slides. 

If you don’t have any oil-based lubricants near you then use alternatives. Any other wax or lubrication, for the time being, will work. 

Step 3 

Your drawer still might not work after lubricating. In this case, a knife to remove any dirt or debris. This  might be the reason for the drawer to be stuck on the rail. 

If you want a smoother glide, your slides need to be cleaned. 

Step 4 

If cleaning and lubrication fail, then you will need to use a crowbar. Use the crowbar to free the drawer from the slides, 

Be very careful while you do this. Otherwise, you might break your entire drawer. If you are not confident, always consult a professional to do the job for you. 

Type 3: Soft-Close Drawers

Soft close drawers are generally seen in high-end cabinets. They close softly rather than a regular slide which can be slammed hard.

Soft close drawers close gently for the last few inches. It won’t require any hard push for it to close.  

If you need to remove self closing drawers or soft-closing ones, then;

Step 1 

Empty the drawer. This will lighten the drawer. It will make your working procedure much easier. 

Step 2 

Pull the drawer open until the gilded are fully extended.

Step 3 

Look for if you can find any clip or locking level in the glide. Once you find it you’ll have to remove the clip.  And in terms of the lever, push it while you pull the drawers out. 

Step 4 

Pull the drawers out completely. Keep pulling until it comes off the rails. In case, you might need to tilt the drawer downwards to completely remove it. 

Here you go, follow all these procedures in order to remove your drawer slides. These are some of the simple tricks, do contact a professional if you stumble upon something. 

Well, these are certainly easier than picking a Kwikset lock. Because that’s a nightmare of its own. It will take a lot of time and effort if you don’t know the process.


Questions: How Can you open a stuck drawer?

Answers: There are plenty of different methods used to open a drawer. If it’s stuck due to a slide problem, try lubricating them well or use a knife to clean the dirt off the slides. That should resolve your problems. 

Question: How to remove the Ikea drawer?

Answer: Ikea drawers use European-style slides. These drawers in most cases have buttons, latches or levers. They can be pushed to remove the drawer. The mounting plate and the drawer can be easily separated. 

Question: How can you take a drawer out of dressers?

Answer: You can use any of the above-mentioned methods for your dresser drawers. But first, you need to identify what sort of slides your dresser drawer is using. Some drawers don’t have slidings. In that case, just pull them out to remove quickly.. 


I think now you’re clear on how to unlock drawer slides.

It’s a task related to home appliances. Do follow safety measures when you are working with them.

And contact a professional if you fail to do so by yourself.

Good luck with your drawer slides!