How to Remove a Window Pane

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Removing a window pane will depend on your type of windows. Traditional wooden window frames use a glazing compound that both eliminates drafts around the window pane and secures the pane. Vinyl and metal frame windows use retaining strips that snap in and out of small channels within the window frame. If possible, remove the window sash from the window so you can work over a flat surface. You can remove a window pane with the window sash in place if necessary.

Things You'll Need

  • Heat gun or hair dryer
  • Putty knife
  • Flat-head screwdriver

Traditional Windows With Glazing Compound

  • Soften the glazing compound between the window frame and the window with a heat gun or hair dryer. Move the heat gun up and down the glazing without staying in one spot for any length of time.

  • Remove the glazing compound from the edge of the window and frame with a putty knife. Slide the putty knife blade along the glass in between the glazing compound to loosen it from the glass. Work the putty knife between the glazing compound and the wooden frame to remove the compound. Removing the glazing compound will also reveal the metal glazier's points. Glazier's points are small, triangular pieces of metal that secure the glass to the frame.

  • Insert a flat-head screwdriver between the window frame and the notch on the glazier's points. Pry the points out of the window frame to free the window pane. Gently lift the window pane out of the frame.

Vinyl Windows or Metal Frame Windows

  • Insert a small flat-head screwdriver between the retaining clip and the window frame.

  • Twist the screwdriver handle to pop the retaining clip free from the frame. The screwdriver blade will pop the edge of the retainer free when you twist the handle.

  • Slide the screwdriver blade down the length of the clip to remove the retaining clip away from the window frame. Repeat for all four retaining clips.

  • Lift the window pane from the frame.

Tips & Warnings

  • Tape the window to the frame, if removing the window pane with the window frame installed. Once you remove the glazing compound or retainers from two opposite sides, tape masking tap to the window pane and frame. This will prevent the pane from simply falling out.
  • Wear gloves when working with glass.

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