How to Replace Your Sliding Window Track

a person working on windows
  • 2 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 25-75
What You'll Need
Replacement sliding window track
Stiff brush
Silicone caulking
Caulking gun
Masking Tape/paint/paint brush

Many homes make use of a sliding window instead of a double hung or crank out window. These windows have a large area that is stationary and a window that will slide along a track. At times, the track may be damaged through use or accumulation of dirt. When this happens, you will need to repair it or replace it. This is not a tough job that homeowners should be afraid of. With a few simple hand tools and a little bit of time, a DIY homeowner can easily replace a sliding window track.

Step 1 - Clean Sliding Window Track

One of the problems with the sliding window track is dirt or grime buildup. This buildup will keep the track from working correctly. With the use of a stiff brush, you can clean out the dirt and grime. Even if the track needs to be replaced, a quick cleaning with the brush will help you to find the screws for ease of removal.

Step 2 - Remove Locks and Stops from Sash

Some sliding windows have locks and stops that are put there to keep the window from opening a certain distance. You can remove these easily by taking out the screw with your screwdriver. Place the locks and screws in a safe place for reinstalling them.

Step 3 - Remove Window from Track

Press in the locking tabs on the sliding window and pull the window out from the track. Slide one end of the window up slightly and remove it from the track.

Step 4 - Remove Track

There will be a few screws on each side of the window frame that will need to be removed. Generally, there are three to four depending on the height of the window. Unscrew the screws and carefully pry off the track with a flat screwdriver or scraper. Be careful not to gouge the window frame as you remove the track.

Step 5 - Clean up Debris

Once you remove the sliding window track you will need to remove the old adhesive and built up paint. Use the scraper to clean off the old adhesive, caulking, or paint without scraping into the wood. If you do find that there are some scratches, fill them in with a little bit of wood putty before replacing the track.

Step 6 - Replace Sliding Window Track

Lay a small bead of caulking on the window frame and then stand the sliding track on the wood. Screw in the included screws to secure the track.

Step 7 - Replace Locks and Stops

After the track has been secured with the screws, you can reinstall the locks and stops. Make sure that they go in the same position they were in to keep the same distance on the window.

Step 8 - Paint Window Frame

During the replacing of the sliding window track, you may find the need to do a touch up job with the paint. Mask off the sliding window track and paint the window frame. Remove the masking tape and you will have completed the task of replacing the sliding window track.