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How to Open a Stuck Window? (6 Causes & Solutions)

How to Open a Stuck Window? (6 Causes & Solutions)

Is your window stuck? Are you tired of pushing it up, but the window won’t budge? If yes, don’t worry because this article has the ultimate solution!

Stuck windows are difficult to deal with. No matter how much strength you use to push them up, they won’t budge an inch. This becomes particularly painful when you need some ventilation or fresh air.

But stuck windows aren’t impossible to unstuck. You just need a few tools and an understanding of how to use them. So, are you ready to learn about them? Read more!

Why Is My Window Stuck?

Why Is My Window Stuck

Different causes require different solutions, so it’s important to understand what caused the window to get stuck in the first place. Some common reasons include:

1. It’s too old

Time can do a lot of damage to your window frame. If it has a metal structure or hinges, chances are that they are rusty and impaired. Similarly, the parts of the window may be slightly damaged and broken.

This might occur because of harsh weather conditions in the area. Or, it could be due to sudden impact and collision. In any case, the small damaged parts can become an obstruction in the window’s movement.

2. It’s unclean

The window sill collects a lot of debris and dust over time. Experts recommend dusting them every week using a microfiber cloth. And if you don’t do that, well, you can imagine the amount of gunk between the window tracks.

As a result, your window doesn’t slide properly. It may even get stuck because of uncleanliness.

3. It was poorly installed

DIY installations are the biggest culprit behind stuck windows. You may have saved professional service charges by DIY-ing your window, but there’s a reason why experts exist.

Poorly installed windows can take away the window’s ability to move smoothly and effortlessly. Sometimes, the window won’t move at all.

4. It had a bad paint job

There are small gaps between windows for it to move. If you paint these gaps accidentally, the dried paint will seal them and make the window stuck.

5. There’s too much moisture in the air

Wood expands when in contact with moisture. So, if you reside in a humid region, chances are that the wooden window frames will expand and make movement an issue. You’ll have to push a lot to make it slide.

6. The house foundation is shifting

All foundations shift a little, especially if there are trees in the surroundings. The maturing tree roots dehydrate the soil, which leads to shrinkage and shifting house foundations.

How to Open a Stuck Window: Step-By-Step Guide

How to Open a Stuck Window: Step-By-Step Guide

Now that we’ve understood what causes a window to be stuck. Let’s have a look at all the possible solutions to open it!

Method 1: Crack the Dried Paint

Tool You’ll Need

  • Razor or Utility Knife
  • Putty Knife
  • Hammer
  • Wooden Block


  1. First, make sure the window is unlocked and meant to be open. This method won’t work if the window is screwed, nailed, or purposely shut down using some means.
  2. Now observe the sides between the frame and the window to check whether the gaps have been paint-sealed.
  3. If yes, take a razor knife and run it across those gaps. You may have to do it from both inside and outside.
  4. Remove the razor knife and slip in the stiff-blade putty knife. Run it forward and backward along the same path as the razor knife but deeper. This will loosen all the sides.
  5. Place the block of wood on the edges of the window frame and hammer it. Do not apply much force or pressure. Keep the hammering gentle so that the dried paint seal is broken.
  6. Use your hands to push the window open. Again, be gentle, and if you notice any obstruction, repeat the process until the window becomes unstuck.

Method 2: Place a Dehumidifier in the Room

Tool You’ll Need

  • A dehumidifier or blow dryer


  1. Place the dehumidifier in the room and leave it on for some time. This will reduce the swelling in the window frames caused by humidity.
  2. If you don’t own a room dehumidifier, buy a portable one and position it exactly in front of the swollen parts of the window.
  3. Alternatively, you can use a hair dryer and use it on the window.

Method 3: Clean & Use A Lubricant

Tool You’ll Need

  • Toothbrush
  • Sponge
  • Candle/commercial lubricant


  1. Use an old toothbrush to clean the window tracks. If the trash is too much, use a vacuum cleaner with the brush attachment to suck it all out.
  2. Then, use a wet sponge to clean the dirt and grime accumulated on the sides of the window. You can also use a solution of vinegar or baking soda to deep clean the window and eliminate the germs.
  3. Once done, take a candle and rub it along the window channel. The candle wax serves as a lubricant and makes it easier for the window to slide open. You can substitute it for a commercially available lubricant.

Method 4: Fix the Window Foundation

Fix the Window Foundation

Tool You’ll Need

  • Hammer
  • Wooden block


  1. Identify areas of the window channel that seem to be out of place.
  2. Place the wooden block on an area and steady it using one hand.
  3. Using the other hand, gently tap the block with the hammer. This will depress the wood and allow the window to slide easily.

Note: Don’t use the hammer directly on the window, as it can damage the structure.

Method 5: Remove the Window Sash

Tool You’ll Need

  • Utility Knife
  • Screwdriver
  • Paint scraper (optional)
  • Sandpaper


  1. There are small stops on the window to hold the sashes in place. Observe how and where these stops are attached.
  2. Use a utility knife to remove any dried paint sealing off your access to the stops.
  3. Then, use a screwdriver to remove any screws and locks.
  4. Now, use the same screwdriver to push out the stops. You can also use a paint scraper if that’s more convenient. But be careful because stops are delicate and might break.
  5. Identify any additional screws on the sashes and remove them.
  6. Once done, remove the lower sash of the window by leaning it inwards.
  7. While doing so, you’ll notice ropes on the side. These ropes connect the frame to the pulley inside the window, so you must remove them. Use a screwdriver to pull the rope knot down and out.
  8. The lower window sash will easily come out with the ropes unknotted and removed. Use sandpaper to smooth the rough edges of the sash.
  9. Repeat the process for the upper sash of the window.
  10. Use sandpaper to smooth the inside of the window. The smoothed surface will make movement super smooth and efficient.
  11. Now, place the sashes back into the window. Remember to fasten all the screws and locks the way they were.

Method 6: Use a Pry Bar

When nothing works, and you don’t want to call a window expert, use this method to open the stuck window. Please note this may result in permanent damage to your window.

Tool You’ll Need

  • A pry bar or crowbar
  • A thin piece of wood
  • Thick gloves


  1. Place a thin piece of wood on the bottom of the window. This will make it easier to leverage the pry or crowbar.
  2. Wear thick gloves and position the pry bar in the window gap.
  3. Apply force to push the window up and open it. In case you break the window glass or the frame, do not panic because there are several cheap window replacement options available in the market.

Bonus: How to Open a Frozen Window?

Sometimes, the windows become stuck because of cold weather. The extremely low temperatures cause tiny ice crystals to form and freeze the window. Here’s how you can resolve this problem:

  • Increase the temperature on the thermostat.
  • Use a hair dryer and blow hot air on the sides of the window.
  • Pour warm or hot water on the bottom of the window. Don’t pour boiling hot water.
  • If you can see the ice buildup, use a scraper on both the inside and outside of the window.
  • Mix 3 parts vinegar and 1 part of water together. Spray the solution to thaw the ice on the window.
  • For car windows, spray rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol on the frozen windows and let them sit for some time. You also create it yourself by mixing ¾ cup of alcohol with ¼ cup of room-temperature water.


How do I unstick a vinyl window?

Vinyl windows typically get stuck due to a lack of lubrication. First, clean the window thoroughly and then use a lubricant on the sides. Apply gentle force to open the window.

How do I free a jammed uPVC window?

A uPVC window gets jammed because the gasket is stuck to the frame. Slide a card between the gasket and frame to open the window.

If that doesn’t work, the window needs realignment, or its handles and locks are damaged.

Last Words

To sum it up, you can use 7-simple ways to open a stuck window. These include:

  1. Crack the dried paint
  2. Place a dehumidifier
  3. Clean & use a lubricant
  4. Fix the window foundation
  5. Remove the window sashes
  6. Use a pry bar

If none of these work, your window may have a more serious issue. Call a window expert to help you out!


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