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I drilled the anchors into the wall and used the screws they came with. The screws wouldn't drill all the way in to lay flat against the shelf, so I tried removing the screws from the anchors and the anchors came with them . Now the screws are stuck inside the anchors with the shelf in between them and I can't get them apart. Any tips?

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    You need to keep the anchors from turning while you back out the screws. Try wrapping a rag around the anchor to preserve it and then grabbing it with pliers. Or just grab the anchor with pliers and if it gets damaged, toss it. If you pre-drilled the anchor hole (which you're not supposed to do), the hole might have been too loose. Otherwise, the screw may be too big for the anchor. It doesn't normally take excessive force to drive the screw into the anchor. Be cautious of reusing the same holes with the same size anchors. If you can, patch those holes and relocate to good drywall. – fixer1234 May 31 '17 at 6:05
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The type of plastic drywall anchor that you show on those screws can be removed by holding the anchor with a pair of pliers and then back out the screw with a philips screwdriver. After the plastic part has been removed toss it into the trash.

Note that that type of anchor is not suitable for hanging a wall shelf unless that shelf is a piddly small thing only intended to hold some small nick-knacks. Any other application should have the screws going directly into studs in the wall.

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  • ... or at least a toggle-type anchor, which can carry a surprising amount of weight when used in sets. – isherwood May 31 '17 at 14:11
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    Having lived in earthquake country I'll never trust something screwed into drywall. Drywall is not structural. It's chalk and paper, so even if we trust the magic tech behind it, it cant't hold any weight at a single point. – Harper - Reinstate Monica May 31 '17 at 14:38

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