How to Remove a File Cabinet Drawer

Written by elizabeth chaplin
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How to Remove a File Cabinet Drawer
Removing file cabinet drawers can be a frustrating task. (red office #3 image by Val Thoermer from

Removing a file cabinet drawer sounds easy, right? Unfortunately, that may not always be the case. Release mechanisms vary widely because each manufacturer, to differentiate its patents from those of competitors, has developed its own release devices. Since drawers are held in place by slides rather than hinges, removing a file cabinet drawer is not like removing a regular cabinet.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Flashlight

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  1. 1

    Open the drawer so that it is fully extended. Use a flashlight to get a better view of the inside of the drawer. Look for plastic tabs. Several file cabinet manufacturers install plastic tab release mechanisms that must be pushed up or down to release the drawer.

  2. 2

    Push up or down on the plastic tabs with the drawer open. Doing this may release the drawer.

  3. 3

    Pull up on the drawer while pushing up or down on the tabs. This may require an extra set of hands, as pushing two tabs while holding up a drawer may be somewhat difficult.

  4. 4

    Lift and pull the drawer if no tabs are visible. This may require several attempts. Move the drawer up and to each side while pulling the drawer out. Don't pull too hard, or the slides will warp.

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