I drilled holes for drywall anchors too wide - so now the anchor and the screw is loose. How do I fix this?

4 Answers 4


This is very complicated, and I'm hoping that you'll stick through all of the steps with me. ;)

  1. Go to the store.
  2. Get bigger anchors.
  3. Return home and install bigger anchors.

(No, really, that's the answer. You can't patch the drywall and put anchors in; the most you could hope for would be re-drilling holes near to your anchor, but you really risk cracking the drywall if you do that. I'd just get bigger anchors.)


You could switch to a toggle anchor. It requires a larger hole to install because the wings need to pass through, but it will hold much better than a plastic anchor.

They won't work if you need the screw head to protrude from the wall (to hang a picture wire, for example) because you screw it all the way down so the wings are pressed against the inside of the wall.

That said, If I need to hang a fixture, and I can use a toggle instead of the plastic anchors that came with it, I'll discard the plastic anchors and use a toggle anchor.

toggle anchor

  • 3
    Leaving enough thread left to compress the toggle and slip past the wall, a washer and a nut will make them protrude to any desired length.
    – Mazura
    Sep 20, 2014 at 2:19

Depending on what type of wall you have (drywall, plaster, masonry( you could try putting a piece of cardboard or break a wooden toothpick and wedge it in between the hole and the anchor or glue it to the anchor. I've done it before and it keeps the anchor from spinning when you tighten the screw.

  • 1
    The OP specified that it was drywall 11 years ago. Would this really work for drywall? Sounds sketchy at best...
    – FreeMan
    Mar 7, 2023 at 18:38

I was installing a towel rack and put the anchor in a little too far. Luckily my anchor had threads. I wrapped the threads with a hefty amount if plumbers tape. It has worked so far (1week).

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