What are the Best Tips to Fix a Pocket Door?

Patrick Lynch

Pocket doors can stop working properly for a variety of reasons. It is necessary to fix a pocket door that has gone off track, has a damaged track, or does not roll as it should. If a pocket door has gone off track, the roller may have to be replaced. When a pocket door has a track that has sustained wear and tear, it may be necessary to install a new track if the problem is not simply a case of loose screws. Pocket doors that don’t roll properly may have to be removed to determine the problem.

Man with a drill
Man with a drill

Pocket doors are a worthy addition to any home but are not always reliable. Several problems can manifest themselves, although none are in general difficult to deal with. To fix a pocket door that has gone off track, break the seal on the door jamb with a knife. Take off the stop moldings on the door jamb with a chisel. Place the pocket door in the middle of the doorway. Remove the roller from the overhead track. Closely check the rollers to ensure they are not broken; if they are, replace immediately.

To fix a pocket door with a damaged track, put your hand into the pocket to check the stability of the track. It may have loose screws which must be tightened. Replacing the track itself requires removing the track’s wall covering. Once the old track has been taken out, install the new one.

In order to fix a pocket door that does not roll correctly, take a look at the rollers to make sure they fit into the track. If this is not the problem, the entire door will have to be taken out for further inspection. There is a piece of wood that runs along the door jamb. This must be cut slowly and precisely with a knife.

Use either a flat pry bar or a putty knife to take off the door stops. It is important to avoid breaking the wood because it may be used again. Close the door once again and make sure it completely covers the doorway as normal.

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Discussion Comments


I have been trying to fix a pocket door for a couple of days now. The job looked simple enough. I have repaired plenty of closet doors when they got off of the tracks. A word to the wise, getting the roller on a pocket door back on track and working the right way is much more difficult than fixing the same type of closet door where everything is out in the open and easy to work with.


@Sporkasia - I couldn't agree more with what you said about the interior pocket doors being out of the way. In fact, the first time I stayed at my girlfriend's parents' house, I thought they had put me in a room without a door. The door was open when I arrived so I just walked in and put my things away.

It wasn't until I had been there a couple of nights and my girlfriend's mother asked her did I always sleep with the door open that I learned there was actually a door in the wall that I could close.


My husband and I stayed in a vacation house that was right on the lake. I mention the lake only because this may help you to understand how humidity could be a problem in the house. We were at the house for a couple of weeks, and when we initially arrived we thought the interior pocket doors were great.

What I like about them is that you can open the pocket doors and they are totally out of the way, unlike a regular swinging door. After a few days we noticed that our ability to open and close the doors varied. Some days the doors would open and close smoothly and easily. Other days, the doors would refuse to budge in either direction.

We later figured out that the wooden doors were reacting to the humidity on any given day. So after two weeks, we were no longer so impressed by the pocket doors.

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