How To Fix A Desk Drawer That Keeps Sliding Out: The Solution




A sticky drawer that is sliding all the time is obviously very annoying. No matter what types of drawers you have, when the drawers start sliding, it is really frustrating and also risky.

Are you facing the same problem with your drawer? Your drawer glides and you are thinking about replacing it? No need to do that. You might be wondering then how to fix a desk drawer that keeps sliding out! I have solutions to this common issue. Want to know about it?

How To Fix A Desk Drawer That Keeps Sliding Out

Fix A Desk Drawer That Keeps Sliding Out

In short, fix a sliding desk drawer by identifying the type, emptying it, inspecting and cleaning the slides, applying lubricant, adjusting, and testing. You just need to apply the right method and follow the guidelines properly to fix the drawer and get a fruitful result.

Key Takeaways:

  • A drawer can start sliding out for many reasons such as loose or misaligned slides, damaged slides, etc.
  • Many types of drawers are available and many reasons are there behind a drawer that is sliding out and each of them requires different fixing techniques accordingly.
  • To fix the drawer there are step-by-step guidelines such as identifying the drawer’s types, inspecting the slides, cleaning the slides, and etc.
SkillCostEstimated Time
Moderate$40-$1104-6 hrs

To know detail about it, let’s dive into the depth-

Why Does The Desk Drawer Keep Sliding Out?

No matter what type of drawer you are using, ‘my drawer keeps sliding out’ is a very common issue. A drawer can keep sliding out for many reasons. Let me tell you one thing, there are many types of drawers such as wooden drawers, ball bearing drawers, file drawers, etc and you can face this issue with all of them. But the question is why does it happen with drawers? There are several reasons behind a drawer that keeps sliding. Want to know about them? No worries! Let me help you with this.

The reasons behind a drawer that keeps sliding are; loose or mis-aligned slides, worn-out or damaged slides, lack of lubrication, etc. But let me tell you one thing, it is necessary to know the reason and find out the exact problem so that you can cure it accordingly.

Necessary Tools And Materials

Before you learn ‘how do you adjust sliding drawers?’, it is necessary to learn about the tools and materials used during the process. Because it can ensure you the best result. Excited to know about them? Here you go;

Necessary Tools And Materials
  • Screwdriver to fix the loose screws of the desk that holds the drawer in place.
  • Level to check if the drawer slides are aligned properly and to adjust them.
  • A lubricant like petroleum paraffin wax, or silicone spray to reduce drawer slides’s friction. The drawer glides smoothly because of this. You can use it to fix the drawers when fixing a laminate desktop.
  • Wood glue can be applied to the joints of the desk and to fix a broken drawer (damaged parts).
  • Measurement tape to measure the size of the drawer slides.
  • Replacement drawer slides to replace the damaged slides.
  • Pliers to tighten the small screws or bolts.
  • Personal protective equipment to protect yourself during the process.

Now that you already know about the tools and materials and their usage, gather them before you start the process. It will help you to make the right use of the tools and materials and complete the process without any interruptions.

How To Fix A Desk Drawer That Keeps Sliding Out: Step-By-Step Guidelines

No worries, you are just one step away from learning the process. The step-by-step guidelines must be really helpful for you when you are fixing the drawer on your own, right? For sure, it would be. Here are the step-by-step guidelines for the process;

How To Fix A Desk Drawer That Keeps Sliding Out

Identifying The Type Of Drawer

The first thing that you need to do is to identify the type of drawer you are fixing. Because there are different methods to fix different types of drawers and different reasons behind the issue such as wooden drawers may get affected by seasonal wood expansion, and on the other hand, you may need lubricant to fix a white ball bearing drawer.

Empty The Drawer Box

Now the most important thing is to empty the drawer box completely before starting to fix the drawer slides. Otherwise, there is a possibility to damage the drawer during the process or misalign the drawer. It will help you to easily access the drawer as well.

Inspect The Slides

Now, it is time to examine or inspect the slides or the tracks where the drawer moves on. Try to inspect attentively so that you can notice if any bent or broken parts are visible. Because you may need to replace the slides because of the damaged parts.

Clean The Slides

Now, clean the slides of the drawer.Then you may think about,  how do you fix a jammed drawer slide? Well, the answer is to clean the slides using a soft cloth or cleaning brush. The dust and dirt accumulate which may be the reason for the drawer to stick or slide out. 

Lubricate The Slides

Now, apply an appropriate amount of lubricants such as silicone spray or paraffin wax (petroleum wax)to the slides of the drawer. It will help to reduce the friction and make the drawer slide smoother than before. Let me advise you something, it is better to use specialised lubricant for ball bearing drawers that are specially made for them.

Apply Wood Glue

If needed you can apply wood glue to the joints where the drawers connect with the desk with the help of a small brush evenly. You can also apply it to the damaged area. Let the glue dry properly before you move forward.

Adjust The Slides

If the slides are misaligned, it is necessary to align them properly. Tighten the screw and bolts that are loose using screwdrivers or pliers that are holding the slides in place. You can also use a torpedo level to check the level.

Drill Pilot Holes And Install A Magnet Catch

A question may arise, how do you fix a soft close drawer mechanism? Dealing with a drawer creep issue? Let me help you, the solution is to drill pilot holes and install the magnetic catch to keep the drawer close in place. This can be applied to the cabinet drawer as well.

Replace The Drawer Slides

If the drawer slides are damaged badly and you can’t fix them or they can’t be fixed anymore, you have to replace the slides. You can fix the drawers with the same issues when fixing a dent in a desk by chance.

Test The Drawer

After all these steps, now it is time to test the drawer. Remember one thing, do not skip this step as it is the most important thing to do. Test the drawer carefully, and see if the drawers are sliding in and out smoothly and if they are aligned properly. If you see anything abnormal you can fix that immediately.

Reassemble The  Drawer

After you are done with fixing the drawer, put the removed items back in the drawer. Be gentle while handling bits of drawer contents so that you don’t lose anything.

Now, have you wondered about, how do you fix a desk drawer that won’t stay closed? Once, I fixed my drawer following the same guidelines. Hopefully, you can fix the drawer following the guidelines step-by-step and can expect the best result as well. You can take this idea when choosing an alternative to use instead of desk legs.

Fix A Desk Drawer That Keeps Sliding Out

The Cost, Duration And Skills

Want to know about the estimated cost and duration of the process, as well as the skills you need to complete the process? Let me help you to give an approximate idea about them. Here you go:

The Cost, Duration And Skills

Estimated Cost 

The cost of the process can be different for DIY methods and professional services. Such as;

DIY Method

Adjusting or tightening the slidesLubricant, screwdriver, or pliers$5-$10
Replacing slidesReplacement slides$10-$40
Replacing any damaged partsDepending on the difficulties$15-$60
Estimated cost$40-$110

Professional Service

For small issues $100-$200
For complicated issues $300-$500

Estimated Duration

The duration of the process can be more or less depending on the difficulties and skills of the person doing it.

DIY MethodProfessional Service
4-6 hours on estimate depending on the difficulties2-4 hours as they are skilled and experienced but depending on the difficulties


If you are not completely skilled in this process, let me tell you one thing, you may need to be skilled in some things that might be helpful for you to complete the process on your own at home. 

Skills like using the right tools and materials in the right way, staying patient, attentive or focused, or careful during the entire process, applying the right techniques, and following the guidelines step-by-step. If you have these skills you will be able to complete the process without any issues and properly.

Common Mistakes To Avoid 

When fixing the drawer slides people often make some mistakes that can ruin the entire process and hard work. Therefore, it is better for one to avoid making these mistakes during the process. Such as;

  • Before making the adjustment, forgetting to remove items from the drawer and adjusting it while keeping the items inside is the biggest mistake as it can lead to damage.
  • Over-tightening the screws can misalign the slides and make it uneven.
  • Using the wrong lubricants such as cooking oil or petroleum can attract dust and dirt towards the desk.
  • Not measuring the size of the slide inaccurately.
  • Not testing the drawer’s movement after fixing the drawer slides.

Be attentive and focused enough so that you don’t make these mistakes when fixing the drawer slides. It is better to carefully do something instead of making mistakes and dealing with the process again.

Safety Precautions

Remember one thing, safety should be your first priority when performing any procedures like this. So, what safe precautions should you take? Keep reading and do not forget to take these safety precautions during the process. Such as;

Safety Precautions for Fix A Desk Drawer That Keeps Sliding Out
  • Do not forget to wear protective gear such as gloves, goggles, or masks during the process.
  • Choose a well-lit area to complete the fixing process.
  • Make the right use of the tools to avoid danger or any accidents.
  • Be attentive when fixing the drawer slides. Otherwise, there are chances to get injured.
  • Keep your children and pets away from the work area.
  • Keep the sharp and small pieces of your wooden drawer slides in a container so that you don’t lose them and do not randomly keep them anywhere on the floor of the work area, because there is a possibility of getting injured by them.

Before starting the procedure take these safety precautions. It will keep you safe and help you to avoid any kind of danger.

Maintaining For Prevention

How do I keep my drawers from sliding out? The solution is to maintain the desk drawer after fixing it. But the question is how would you maintain the drawer? Here is the answer;

  • Clean the table regularly using a non-abrasive cleaner and remove dust or debris. It is better to avoid using bar soap for cleaning purposes.
  • Inspect the joints or screws of the kitchen drawer or desk drawer slides regularly. If they become loose, tighten them immediately.
  • Do not overload the desk drawers as they can cause the drawer to keep sliding out.
  • Check the alignment of the drawer slides frequently so make sure they are level evenly.
  • Be gentle when using the drawers. Using them aggressively can damage them.

Try to maintain your drawer after fixing the slides accordingly. Follow these tips and avoid facing these issues frequently.


Can I Fix A Sliding Desk Drawer Myself?

Yes, you can definitely fix a sliding desk drawer by yourself applying the right techniques and following the guidelines step-by-step.

What Is The Slider In The Drawer Called?

The slider in the drawer is called “Drawer Slide”.

Can I Lubricate The Drawer Slides To Prevent Sliding?

Of course, you can lubricate the drawer slides to prevent sliding. Moreover, it is a very effective solution.

What Is The Thing That Drawers Slide On?

The thing that the drawers slide on is known as “Slides or Runners”.


Everything is clear? Hope, you will never ask anyone how to fix a desk drawer that keeps sliding out? Isn’t it? Well, fixing a desk drawer that keeps sliding out is not something impossible. You can even fix the desk drawer on your own at home. You just need to apply the right techniques following the guidelines step-by-step and you can enjoy the results, that must be the best outcome so far. But be patient and stay focused when fixing the drawer.

Interested in learning more about fixing the table issues? Stay  with- Desk Restore.

Richard Journey

Written by

Richard Journey

Meet Richard Journey, the Antique Furniture Maestro. With a Fine Arts degree in Furniture Restoration and Conservation, he’s a guardian of historical craftsmanship. His accolades include the Golden Chisel Award, and he’s your guide to discovering and restoring antique treasures.

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