How To Fix A Window That Is Stuck – Window Will Not Close Or Open

I left the window open last night and now the window will not close (slide down). My wooden window opens and closes upward and downward (vertical sliding). What would all of a sudden cause this and how do I fix it to close? I have been noticing the window was not opening and closing as smoothly as in the past. Is using a lubricating chemical the answer or could it be a temperature related problem that causes my window to not close?

How To Fix A Window That Is Stuck - Window Will Not CloseHow To Fix A Window That Is Stuck?
Window Will Not Close or Open

There are multiple reasons a wooden, vinyl or metal type window will not open or close. Below we will describe the most likely reasons why a window in your home will not open or close or is hard to close.

The most common reasons a window will not close or open is: (Complete answers and fix explanations are lower on this page)
1A wooden window may slightly swell up in wet or humid weather therefore making it difficult to close.
2A window may have dirt or debris in the track it slides in making it harder to close.
3A wooden window may not be “centered” when trying to close it once opened, there may be some “play” in the window making it hard to close.
4A fastener on the window may be loose or not working properly and can cause the window to not close easily.
5A metal or vinyl type window may be tight fitted and simply needs to be properly lubricated.
6A wooden window may have a part of the wood that is rotted out and needs replaced.
7A metal catch or lock on the window may have loose screws or be out of place thus making it impossible to close the window completely.
8A vinyl window can have a rigid hinge and need to be readjusted or lubricated with the proper chemical.

Wooden Window Parts DiagramWooden Window Parts Diagram


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1 – If your wooden window has swelled up because of heavy rain or humid weather, the best thing to do is add a small amount candle or beeswax on the side of the sticking edge of the window frame and the slide window track. If this does not work then find the area that seems to be making the window unable to close (the swollen area) and use a file to remove the bump or swollen part until the window will open and close as normal. Repaint area if applicable.

2 – If your window is hard to close and you see there is dirt or debris in the window sliding track, clean it out with a canister vacuum and or wipe away any of the objects making it hard for the window to close properly. Once the sliding track is cleaned out, lubricate it with some candle or beeswax to keep it lubricated and easy to open and close.

3 – When you have a window that is open and will not close, it may be because there is “play” in the window and it has become off center making it impossible to close. Simply adjust the window to center position and try closing it once again. The window should close properly once it is center or in line with the horizon. NOTE: If your window does become slightly crooked when opened, it may mean it is not providing a good seal when shut. Check to be sure the window is not letting in any air when closed, if so it may need to be repaired.

4 – If you find a loose fastener on the window, use a screwdriver or what is applicable and tighten down the screws so the widow can shut all the way. If the fastener is loose after tightening the screws or fittings, it may need replaced or the wood may be damaged where the fastener is attached. You can use some wood filler under the fastener if it is loose fitting to make it stay in lace and stay tight.

5 – If your window feels too “tight” when sliding it in the track, it may need to be lubricated. Again, you can use beeswax or candle wax. If problem is severe, use a silicone based spray on the areas where it seems to be most tight or spray or lubricate the complete window and window sliding track.

6 – If a wood window will not open or close, part of the wood on the window may be rotting or simply damaged. Find out which part of the wood is causing the open and close problem and remove and replace that piece of wood. Use the old part of wood as a reference to what size and shape of wood you need to fix and repair the window. Once the new piece of wood is in place, test the window. If it still has problems, you may need to plane down or file the wood a small amount so the window can close and open. Once perfect, paint the wood to match the rest of the window.

How to Fix Rotted Wood Window with Epoxy

7 – If a metal catch or window lock is loose or out of place, remove it and inspect the lock or catch and have a look at the area it attaches into. Either the window is damaged and needs to be fixed, or the lock or catch is not screwed in properly or in the exact position. Be sure the holes where the screws go into are not too big as to where the lock or catch cannot be securely attached. Try reinstalling the catch or lock and adjust it so it lines up to lock the window. If the lock or catch is damaged, replace it.

8 – A vinyl window that has a rigid hinge may need to be lubricated with a silicone spray, or replaced if it is defective. If it is lubricated and still causes opening and shutting problems, you can try adjusting it so it is aligned perfectly or replace it if you find it to be defective.

Extra: You may have a window that does not stay open… Keeps falling Down.. Here is the solution for fixing this problem…

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3 thoughts on “How To Fix A Window That Is Stuck – Window Will Not Close Or Open”

  1. DIY Help & Repair Tips

    The fire may have heated them up and they expanded and got “stuck” in place.
    If the windows are stuck shut, you may need to call a window installation company to have a look at what you can do.

  2. We had a fire in our fire pit outside our home. Now the two front windows with sliders (windows are vinyl) are stuck shut. It’s almost like a vacuum seal has been created maybe from the heat and/or humidity. This has never happened before and not sure what to do. No amount of physical effort will budge them open without the worry of breaking them. Any advice or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

  3. I have a vinyl window which will not open. It is a new house and the impact glass window won’t budge, even after I removed both locking mechanisms. I never tried opening the window when the house was built, so now I’m stuck trying to figure out how to raise the window. Any ideas would be welcome.

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