How to Get House Windows to Go Up & Down Easy

James Clark

Stuck windows are a nuisance on the first sunny day of spring. Actually, a window that won't go up or come down without causing a hernia in a homeowner is a hassle any day.

Sticking, rough-sliding windows could be caused by a paint job that extended beyond the windowsill into the frame, or dirt in the track mechanism could be the problem. A good cleaning, careful use of a hand-held file or a putty knife, and some spray lubricant should get the window moving easily once more.

  1. Check the window frame and along both tracks to locate the area where the window is sticking.

  2. Use a putty knife to free a stuck window from the sill, then use a file or thin rasp to shave the outside area of the window along the edges of both vertical sides where the window rubs against the frame. Work slowly and check the window movement frequently to avoid filing off too much of the paint or wood underneath.

  3. Clean the tracks above and below the window using a spray cleaner to remove caked-on dirt and grime that can clog the tracks and make it difficult to raise or lower the window. Wipe the cleaned areas with paper towels, raising or lowering the window as necessary to reach the tracks above or below it.

  4. Use a whisk broom with sturdy bristles to get into the crevices between the window and the wall frame.

  5. Blast the tracks above and below the window with a liberal spray of lubricant.

  6. Slide the window up and down to work the lubricant into the grooves where the window moves along the tracks on each side of the frame. The window should slide easily up and down after a few minutes of working the lubricant into the tracks.

  7. Warning

    Wear gloves and a long-sleeved shirt in the event a pane of glass breaks while attempting to free a stuck window.