How to Adjust Sliding Doors

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Sliding doors let natural sunlight into the home and provide unobstructed access to your patio or deck. Through everyday use, the sliding door may not slide as freely as it once did. The sliding door also may not be latching securely, leaving an excessive amount of play when the latch is in the lock position. Before you consider the expense of replacing the sliding door, perform some minor adjustments and perhaps the door will work like new again.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Flathead screwdriver

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Vacuum the lower door track with the sliding door closed. Open the sliding door to vacuum the other half of the lower track.

Locate the adjustment covers that hide the adjustment screws for the rollers. The covers will be on the lower inside frame toward each end of the door. Some covers are on the edge of the door on both ends toward the bottom.

Insert a flathead screwdriver into the slot on the cover and turn the cover counterclockwise to remove it from the door. Some covers will pop off by inserting the screwdriver between the cover and the door frame.

Turn the adjustment screws for the roller counterclockwise with the screwdriver to lower the door. Test the operation of the door to see if it glides smoothly. If you need to raise the door, pry the door edge up slightly, then turn the adjustment screw clockwise.

Place the door latch in the lock position with the door open. There is a screw directly above the latch on the edge of the door. Turn the screw counterclockwise to adjust the latch with the screwdriver. This will pull the latch into the door and tighten the seal between the door and the jamb when the door is closed and locked.

Unlock the latch and close the sliding door. Lock the latch and pull on the door slightly to inspect the play. There should be little movement when you pull slightly on the door handle.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid adding wax or lubricant to the lower door track. The oils attract dirt that prematurely wears out rollers.


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