My sliding patio door will no longer move. It was working fine for the best couple months since we've moved into this house. However, today, when I tried unlocking my patio sliding door, the unlock sound was slightly different than normal. I then tried opening/sliding the door and the door will not budge. I've tried locking and unlocking multiple times and the door will not move. The lock in the frame seems jammed and isn't fully unlocking the door. As of now, I'm unable to move the door at all. I tried changing the position of the wheels on the bottom right of the door, but that didn't make any difference. Has anyone ever run into this? Any help is appreciated so I can open my sliding door again.

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  • The first thing you should do is remove that inner handle (take out the two phillips head screws) and inspect the latching mechanism. From your description it sounds like maybe it broke and no longer moves the latch element. If it's broken, you can probably unlatch it by messing with it once the handle is off. Commented Nov 13, 2016 at 0:40
  • I've removed the handle and tried moving the latch with a flathead screwdriver between the unlock and lock position. I'm able to lock/unlock, like when the handle is on, but the door is still "locked" or latched in some way. The door continues not to budge.
    – wwwuser
    Commented Nov 13, 2016 at 0:53
  • Ahh... so not the latch. With the door unlatched and the handle back on, grab the handle with your left hand and the frame on the right side with your right hand and, slowly and carefully, lift straight up to unweight the door. See if you can jiggle/move it to the open position a bit. BE CAREFUL because you could lift it right out of the track/channel. You may have wheels that are locked up. This is how, with a helper and some saw-horses, you can remove the entire door to inspect/repair/replace the rollers. Commented Nov 13, 2016 at 1:00
  • Something is up at the top of the door, the gap is not consistent across the top. Something is either bowing the jamb up, or causing the door frame to dip, presumably not gravity....
    – Jack
    Commented Nov 13, 2016 at 2:39
  • Two of us tried to lift the door up and we can barely move it. It is very difficult to grip on the right side. The gap across the top has always been there. I'm not doubting it is part of the problem since we are unable to move the door in any direction much.
    – wwwuser
    Commented Nov 13, 2016 at 3:32

1 Answer 1


I had a similar problem with an old Wickes Mahogany patio door. Also the cylinder lock had come out as I fiddled with it. Having read what Jimmy FixIt posted, I:

  • removed the 2 square, plastic screw covers on the inside handle,
  • removed the bolts,
  • removed the handle

This revealed at the top a mechanism which I pushed down with a screwdriver. Taking care not to push the square turning spindle so far in that it falls out the other side of the locked door, put a spanner to the spindle, and, hey presto, it turned. Door unlocked.

Sliding patio doors in a Victorian house on London clay are always going to need adjusting from time to time. I had left it too long and was opening, closing and locking with heft.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Thanks for the answer; keep 'em coming. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know the details of contributing here. Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 15:03

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