How to Remove Garage Door Plastic Window Inserts


Removing the plastic window inserts from your garage door windows is not a difficult process. You will need to remove the retainers inside the frame as you would if you were replacing the glass in the window. Different types of doors use different types of window frame retainers. It is a good idea to ask a friend to hold the glass pane as you are removing the retainers.

Things You'll Need

  • Masking tape
  • Small flathead screwdriver
  • Helper
  • Phillips-head screwdriver

Steel Door - No Insulation

  • Stretch masking tape over the width and height of the window frame outside the garage door. This will prevent the frame and glass from falling out of the door as you remove the retainers inside.

  • Insert the blade of a small flathead screwdriver between the side retainer and bottom retainer in the lower right corner. Carefully pry the corner of the side retainer up to release the retainer from the frame. The retainers snap over ribs on the window frame edge.

  • Insert the screwdriver under the right corner end of the bottom retainer and pry the retainer off the frame. Once you pry a few inches of each of the retainers, you can pull them off by hand.

  • Remove the left side retainer using the screwdriver. Ask your helper to gently place their fingertips on the glass pane to hold the glass steady. They do not need to apply pressure because pressure could cause the frame to pop out of the door section. Remove the top retainer with the screwdriver.

  • Lift the glass pane out of the window frame and pull the plastic window insert out of the frame.

Steel Door With Insulation

Wood Door

  • Insert a flathead screwdriver between the right side retaining wood strip and the window frame. It is best to start near the middle of the wood retainers near the staple heads. Gently pry the wood retainer away from the frame.

  • Insert the screwdriver between the retainer and the wood frame at each end and gently pry the retainer away from the frame. Remove the opposite side retainer and then the bottom retainer, leaving the top retainer last.

  • Hold the glass pane with your fingertips as you remove the top retainer. Although the glass pane sits in a groove, there is still the chance that the glass could fall when removing the retainer.

  • Pull the glass from the window frame and then pull out the plastic insert. If the glass does not come out easily, ask your helper to go outside and tap on the glass pane with their fingertips. This will push the pane toward you so that you can remove the glass.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use gloves when handling glass to prevent cuts.
  • Decorative inserts are available at garage door dealers and home improvement centers.

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  • Photo Credit large home image by Karin Lau from
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