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Remove Unwanted Wall Anchors

In a few simple steps you can remove unsightly wall anchors that have outlived their usefulness.

how to remove a wall anchor

Tools & Materials

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Before You Begin

Consider these tips before you begin your project:

  • Choosing the right size bit is important. If you don’t have a full set of bits, buy one that’s about two sizes larger than the opening for the wall anchor.
  • If you’re tackling this project before painting a room, plan to prime the patched surfaces before rolling on the paint.
  • Before adding new drywall anchors, look for types that can be removed as easily as they’re installed.

Step 1

Remove A Wall Anchor Step 1

Remove the screw from the anchor. Select a drill bit about two sizes larger than the diameter of the hole in the metal collar of the anchor. The cutting edges of the bit should touch only the collar edges around the screw hole without slipping inside the hole.

Step 2

Remove A Wall Anchor Step 2

With the bit in your drill, use the hole in the anchor to center the bit and begin drilling. As soon as the collar breaks free of the anchor, the bit will likely push the anchor out of the drywall. Allow it to fall into the wall cavity.


Keep the drill under control and avoid letting the bit plunge completely into the wall cavity. Electrical wiring or pipes are present that you don’t want to nick or puncture with the drill bit.

Step 3

Remove A Wall Anchor Step 3

Using a putty knife, push drywall compound into the opening left behind by the anchor. Fill the opening in stages, if necessary. Then sand the wall smooth, prime, and paint it.

What makes these anchors so stubborn once installed?  A metal collar on the outside grips the drywall and a series of prongs expand and press against the drywall from the inside. Before installing new anchors, consider buying anchors designed for easy removal.