How to Remove a Pocket Door

Updated: Nov. 28, 2023

Need to get a pocket door out of your wall without damaging it? Here's how.

What is a Pocket Door?

Pocket doors are a great way to put a door into a space where it otherwise might not fit. Rather than swinging open one way or another, pocket doors slide along a track into a cavity in the wall. This gets the door entirely out of the way, creating a clean, open look that interior designers love.

Sometimes, though, pocket doors need to come out. Maybe you’re doing a large-scale renovation and replacing the door, or maybe you’re putting in flooring and need to trim the door down to fit. Here’s how to free a pocket door free from its track and out of its pocket.

How To Remove a Pocket Door

It’s easy to assume that removing a pocket door might require tearing up a wall, but that’s not the case. All you really have to do is remove the door hardware and any trim around the door.

Remove the External Hardware

Your pocket door likely has plastic guides that keep the door from slipping off the tracks near the base of the trim. Remove those and any other hardware you can see.

Remove the Trim

It’s important to be gentle and controlled when removing the trim from a wall, especially if you intend to re-use that trim in the future. Use a sharp utility knife to slice through the paint film on the door trim. Then pry off the trim with a small pry bar, moving slowly so that you don’t damage the trim.

Lifting a Pocket Door Off of J-Track

Older pocket doors are typically mounted on what’s called a “j-track.” To get a pocket door off the j-track, tilt the bottom out and lift the door straight up so the wheels are freed from the track. Once you’ve done that, remove the pocket door from its cavity.

Disconnecting a Pocket Door From Trolleys

Instead of sliding freely along a j-track, new pocket doors have trolleys that clip onto the track. With these, disconnect the trolleys from the track with a screwdriver. This process may change depending on the style of pocket door you’re working with. Usually, though, it’s as simple as opening a few clasps. Once the door is unclipped, remove it from the cavity.