Last Updated on November 6, 2020
An issue that even the expert laptop technicians need to tackle during laptop repair and upgrade is the stripped screw. While generally there are various options to remove stripped screws, the choices become limited to safely remove them when it comes to a laptop. So, you might be questioning: how to remove a stripped screw from a laptop?
The basic methods for the removal of stripped screws include the use of different screwdrivers or the utilization of rubber band, aluminum foil, or superglue as additional materials. You can also use simple tools such as a pair of screw-extracting pliers or those that require more attention such as small drill bits and a drilling machine. If things don’t work, you can also make use of a rotary tool and a slim cutting disk as the last option.
As you see, laptop computers are susceptible to damage while removing stripped screws. So, proceed carefully.
Below we explain a number of methods in detail on how to remove a stripped screw.
How to Remove a Stripped Screw from a Laptop?
Laptops are often prone to stripped screws. In case you encounter one, its best to opt for safe methods and avoid destructive ones to prevent any detrimental effect to the costly computer.
Thus, a question comes in mind of many people that what are the ways to safely and effectively remove stripped screws.
Here are some ways that you can try on a laptop:
1. Try a Different Screwdriver
If your existing screwdriver is not working, you can try out different screwdrivers.
First, you can use one with a larger or smaller head size. Then you can try a flat head screwdriver and see if it gives you any success in removing the stripped screw.
If it doesn’t work, then you can also try an electric screwdriver as its more effective.
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2. The Rubber Band Method
This helps to increase the friction between the screwdriver and the screw. Then apply enough pressure and steadily turn the screwdriver until the screw can be seen moving.
While doing this step, make sure that the rubber band is wide as your screw. So, a thicker rubber band will work only and not the thin ones. Further, it provides the grip you need in moving the screw.
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3. The use of screw-extracting pliers
You can make use of a pair of screw-extracting pliers in case the head of the screw is approachable.
Position the pliers on the screw head and try to get a good grip. Then turn the pliers slowly and the screw should also turn with it. Once the screw has become loose, you can make use of your screwdriver to take it out.
In case if you don’t have a pair of screw-extracting pliers, you can get it from a hardware shop. It’s a very handy tool and becomes a necessity to have if you regularly repair electronic items such as laptops and phones.
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4. The use of aluminum foil
Another way to safely remove the stripped screw from a laptop particularly that’s rounded off is through a piece of aluminum foil.
Simply put the piece over the screw and then try to use your precise screwdriver to have a firm grip on it to remove it. By doing that you just press down and fill the hole in the screw, and this makes it easy to remove.
5. The Superglue Method
If the above methods don’t work, then you can make use of superglue to help you remove the stripped screw.
The method is also very simple. Firstly, add a small amount of superglue to the screw’s top. Place your screwdriver into the screw head and allow the glue to dry.
With a solid grip, give the driver a turn to remove the screw.
After you have removed the screw, clean the superglue remains from the screwdriver’s tip as well as the surrounding areas of the removed screw if it is present there.
6. The Drilling Method
In case if the above methods don’t work, we head over to a more extreme method and that’s related to drilling.
The first step is to choose a very small drill bit that should fit it in the head of the screw.
Gradually power the drill machine, keeping in mind that you drill at the lowest speed and don’t apply too much pressure. Stop the drill after powering for a short time such as for a few seconds.
Then use your screwdriver or a pair of pliers to remove the screw.
We emphasize here that continuous drilling or exerting too much pressure can seriously damage the laptop.
So, perform the drilling step if you are proficient with the use of a drilling machine and have the know-how and availability of different drill bits. This would help you to choose the right bit given the size of the screw.
If the stripped screw can’t be removed, you can drill further and continue the steps mentioned above. So, proceed with the utmost caution.
7. The Rotary Tool Method
If all the above steps don’t work, we have the last step that makes use of a rotary tool. Before starting the procedure attach a slim cutting disk to the tool and make sure it’s fastened well in its place. Wear your protective eyewear or goggles so that you are protected from sparks or debris.
Applying a low power setting, use the rotary tool to create a thin cut or groove in the head of the stripped screw. Then you can use a flathead screwdriver to remove the screw.
Make sure that the groove is deep enough to fit in a flathead screwdriver. It should also be thin so that you can have a firm grip on it for easy removal.
What is a Stripped Screw and What are its Causes?
In simple terms, a stripped screw is a screw with head damaged to an extent that it is impossible to remove it with a screwdriver.
There may be several reasons for the stripped screws, but they primarily occur due to user error and the use of inappropriate tools. For instance, they arise due to the use of the wrong screw bit while screwing, working too fast without patience, or placing the screw bit into the head of the screw at a wrong angle.
However, they are a common problem and you may face one right in your laptop when you are upgrading the components or unscrewing it for repair purposes.
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In this article, we looked at various ways that solve the common query: how to remove a stripped screw from a laptop. It’s no doubt that stripped screws can bring up a lot of misery and annoyance with them.
But there’s no need to worry as there are tested methods and effective tools for the successful removal of problematic screws. The bottom line is that you exercise patience and extra care to perform the steps.
We reiterate that if you aren’t equipped with the tools or fear that you can’t perform the steps correctly, then its best to have it done through an expert laptop technician.