How to Remove File Cabinet Drawers

Removing a file cabinet drawer can be a frustrating experience. What should be a simple task often ends up with you sweating, cursing and wrenching the drawer in ways that you're sure are not good for the cabinet. With a little help and guidance, you should be able to remove the drawers from just about any file cabinet.

Step 1

Open the drawer you wish to remove all the way. Look on each side of the drawer for a plastic tab or lever within the metal slides.

Step 2

Release the drawer from the slides by pressing up or down on the tabs (try both—it depends on the manufacturer), lifting up on the drawer and pulling the drawer toward you. Admittedly, this can be difficult to do all at one time. Getting someone to assist you can make the removal go much easier. Have your helper depress the tabs while you maneuver the drawer; just be careful not to smash his fingers.

Step 3

Remove those drawers with no lever or tab in the slides by opening the drawer fully, and then lifting and pulling on the drawer.

Step 4

Remove the contents of the drawer when you are having difficulty removing the drawer. Often taking the weight out of the drawer will do the trick, and a drawer that just would not come out slides out easily the first time once you have taken everything out.

Step 5

Move the drawer around at slightly different angles to get it to release, but don't twist it to too far or you may bend the mechanism or the drawer itself. This will only make it even more difficult to remove.