How to fix binder rings

Written by amelia jenkins
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How to fix binder rings
Three-ring binder rings often come out of place and need repaired. (a blue empty binder image by timur1970 from

Three-ring binders use a mechanism to open and close the rings located under the metal plate behind the rings. Often the ring will get off the track of the mechanism, giving the binder a broken appearance. With a little patience, you can put the ring back on track and the binder will work like new again.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Empty the binder of any contents.

  2. 2

    Open the binder and lay it flat against a hard surface, such as a table or workbench.

  3. 3

    Grasp each side of the top ring with your hands and gently pull the ring apart until the mechanism holding the ring into place locks into the open position. You will hear a snapping sound to confirm the ring is open.

  4. 4

    Grasp the second ring and gently pry it open until you hear the mechanism lock. Repeat this process for the third ring.

  5. 5

    Place one thumb against the top closing switch and your other thumb against the bottom closing switch. Simultaneously push both switches toward the binder with your thumbs.

  6. 6

    Grasp each side of the broken ring in the open position with your hands and slowly force the ring to close, keeping the ring on the mechanism track.

  7. 7

    Grasp the next ring with your hand and gently push it closed. Repeat with the last ring.

  8. 8

    Place your thumbs on the closing switches and push away from the binder to open the rings, then push the closing switches toward the binder to close the rings again. The rings will lie in place.

Tips and warnings

  • Be careful to keep your fingers on the sides of the rings when opening and closing them. Your fingers could get trapped inside the locking mechanism of the ring if you are not careful.
  • Do not force the rings to open after you hear the snapping sound, doing so could permanently damage the ring.

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