Used an impact driver to screw into a (pre-drilled) stud. The head of the cheap screw broke off, just about flush with the drywall. How do I remove this screw?

  • 2
    Generally I wouldn't. Drilling it out isn't going to be fun. Can you not just move whatever it is you're hanging up or down an 1/8 of an inch?
    – Mazura
    Commented Oct 25, 2014 at 21:13
  • If it's a situation where you absolutely have to remove it I've found it helps to pilot a hole right up against the screw to relieve some of the pressure. It can still be a real bear though.
    – user23534
    Commented Oct 25, 2014 at 23:12
  • @Mazura In this case the item to be hanged was deemed a failure (it was a bottle cap opener that didn't work) and so I needed to return the wall to original state. The screw shaft was penetrating slightly above the surface of the drywall, so I needed to remove it before patching.
    – Phrogz
    Commented Oct 26, 2014 at 5:23

1 Answer 1


Knock out the drywall around it until you can grab it with locking pliers. Either unscrew it or break it off (if it broke going in it may not want to come out any more cooperatively.) Spackle the hole and move whatever it is that caused you to drill it up or down a little bit so the new hole does not line up with the old one if the screw is broken off in place.

  • 1
    This worked nicely. The only variation was that I used heavy wire cutters to dig out the drywall and get a tight grip on the screw and give it a few twists. At that point it protruded enough for the locking pliers to get a grip on it.
    – Phrogz
    Commented Oct 25, 2014 at 23:10

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