How to Remove a Hollow Wall Anchor

How to get anchors out once they're in

Remove unwanted hollow wall anchors without wrecking your wall. Punching them through does minimal damage and simplifies wall patching.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

How to remove a wall anchor

The great thing about hollow wall anchors is that they provide a cheap, fast method for attaching heavy stuff to drywall. There are at least a half dozen wall anchor devices; each works on a slightly different principle. What happens when you want to change the location of a family photo or a mirror? Some plastic, cone-shaped, expanding anchors can be pulled out from the front of the wall. But the T-nut head wall anchor shown here can't be pulled out intact, because its four expanded flanges lock up against the backside of the wall. What's the trick to remove it?

First, remove the threaded bolt that attaches your accessory to the wall anchor. Now, grab the T-nut head firmly with needle-nose pliers (Photo 1), then bend and pull the collar back and forth until the head snaps off. Finally, use a nail to push the anchor body into the wall cavity (Photo 2), then patch the hole and apply some touch-up paint.

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Needle-nose pliers

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

  • Nail
  • Drywall/patching compound