Step-by-Step Guide: How to Remove a Stripped Screw from a Laptop

Table of Contents

Understanding the Problem with Stripped Screws from Laptop

To effectively handle the issue, or prevent it from happening in the first place, a fundamental comprehension of what a stripped screw is and how it comes about is essential.

What is a stripped screw?

A stripped screw refers to a screw whose threading is damaged or worn out, as such, it lacks the grip necessary for a screwdriver to extract or insert it. The more a stripped screw is messed with, the worse it can become since the grooves that should hold the screwdriver in place keep fading away.

Common reasons why screws get stripped

The major culprit for screw stripping is usually the use of an incorrect or worn-out screwdriver. Forcing an ill-fitting screwdriver to turn a screw can render the heads useless. Sometimes the issue arises from overtightening the screw, causing the driver to slip and damage the head.

Dangers of having a stripped screw in your laptop

A stripped screw in your laptop might seem insignificant but it could be quite a nuisance when you need to repair or upgrade your device. This means that you will be unable to access the internals of your device, and in worse scenarios, it could cause damage to surrounding components.

Tools Required for Removing Stripped Screws

Approaching this problem equires more than just the brute force approach. Here are some of the tools which could come in handy.

Rubber band

The rubber band method, effective on lightly damaged screws, required an elastic band and a screwdriver.

Screw extractor

A screw extractor is a dedicated tool designed specifically for eliminating stripped screws.

Drilling tools

A last resort method would be to drill out the screw, demanding a power drill, and a bit made of a harder material than the screw.

Simple Manual Tricks for Removing Stripped Screws from Laptop

Sometimes, complex tools and laborious tasks are not necessary. Some stripped screws can be easily removed using common items in your household.

Using rubber band

This technique involves placing a rubber band over the stripped screw head and then attempting to unscrew it with a driver.

Using pliers

In instances where the screw stands above the surface, pliers can be an effective solution to grip the screw and steadily remove it.

Applying epoxy

Gluing a screw driver to the stripped screw with epoxy ensures the driver gets a good grip to turn and remove it.

Advanced Techniques for Removing Stripped Screws from Laptop

For severely damaged screws, relying on some more sophisticated methods might be necessary.

Using a screw extractor

Aggressive screw extractor tools can be used to safely remove a stripped screw. They are usually double-sided with one for preparing the screw and the other for removal.

Drilling a new hole

When all else fails, drilling out the screw could be the only option left.

Melting the screw

A more extreme and least recommended method involves melting the screw with a small butane torch.

Step-by-Step Guide to Remove a Stripped Screw

In order to expound how to use the methods mentioned out, here is a simple guide:

Determination of correct method based on screw situation

The first step is to assess the right technique to use based on the severity of the screw damage.

Process for using manual tricks

In the rubber band method, place the band over the screw head and apply pressure with the screwdriver, then attempt to unscrew. For pliers, simply grip and turn. In the epoxy method, apply the adhesive to the screw head and insert the driver then wait for it to dry before trying to unscrew.

Procedure for advanced methods

If using a screw extractor, ensure to drill a deep hole into the screw head with the extractor, then switch ends and work slowly to remove the screw. Drilling involves using a drill bit and slowly eroding the screw until it can be removed. The melting method should be a last resort due to the risk it poses to your laptop’s components.

Safety precautions during the process

Always remember to exercise caution while dealing with electronic components, ensure to disconnect any power source before proceeding with these methodologies.

Preventing Screw Stripping in the Future

To avoid the reproccurence of such issues, here are some preventive suggestions:

Correct way to screw into a laptop

Always ensure that the screwdriver you’re utilizing aligns with the screw head to avoid slipping.

Using the right tools

It is crucial to use the right screwdriver for the right screw to prevent potential stripping.

Regular maintenance of screws

Occasionally, you should untighten and retighten all your screws to check if any are prone to stripping and to keep them healthy.

When to Seek Professional Help

At some point, you should know when to stop and consider professional help.

Identifying when the simplified methods are not working

If the screw remains stuck even after trying all the mentioned methods, professional help might be necessary.

Risks of forcibly removing a stripped screw

Forcing out a stubbornly stripped screw might cause harm to your laptop, so consider calling a professional if things begin to go south.

Professional services available and their benefits

Most laptop manufacturers offer repair services, and independent laptop repair shops are also available. These professionals possess both the tools and the experience to handle such delicate operations.

Recap and Advice for Laptop Users

In conclusion, while a stripped screw might appear a small issue, it could complicate everything from simple upgrades to serious repairs. Fortunately though, with a little knowledge and careful execution, you can manage such issues without causing harm to your device.


– A stripped screw in a laptop is one with damaged or worn-out threading.
– This usually occurs due to use of the wrong screwdriver or over-tightening the screw.
– Simple tricks for removal include using a rubber band, pliers or epoxy, while advanced techniques might involve a screw extractor, drilling or heating.
– Always consult a professional if simplified methods fail to resolve the issue.
– To prevent future stripping, use the correct screwdriver, the right screwing technique, and perform regular maintenance checks.
– If forced removal is attempted, it could cause more damage to your laptop.