How to Remove Decorative Garage Door Window Inserts

Decorative window inserts on your garage door add curb appeal to your garage. If you have updated the exterior of your home, the decorative inserts may no longer complement the look of your home. You can remove the inserts and either replace them with different inserts or just have plain glass. Window frames on doors are different, depending upon whether your doors have insulation or not. Doors with insulation use a thicker frame that simply screws together. Doors without insulation have retainer strips that secure the frame to the door.

Hand holding screwdriver
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Doors With No Insulation

Step 1

Ask a friend to go to the outside of the door and hold the frames to the door while you are disconnecting the frames from the inside.

Step 2

Insert a small flat-head screwdriver between the bottom right corner of the bottom retainer and right side retainer. Slip the screwdriver blade under the top of the bottom retainer and lift the retainer away from the window frame. When you can grab the retainer by hand, pull the retainer completely off of the frame.

Step 3

Remove the two side retainers by placing the screwdriver under the top of each retainer and pull the retainers off the frame.

Step 4

Place a piece of masking tape 2 inches above the bottom of the window frame and 3 inches below the top of the frame. Stretch masking tape from one side of the frame to the other side across the frame. This will help keep the glass from accidentally falling out as you remove the top retainer.

Step 5

Insert the screwdriver blade under the top of the upper retainer and pull the retainer off the window frame. Gently push the frame out of the door toward your helper on the outside. The glass and insert will stay in the frame as long as your helper has the outside of the frame facing down.

Step 6

Remove the glass from the window frame and pull the decorative insert out of the frame. Place the glass back into the window frame.

Step 7

Ask your helper to push the frame into the door while you help guide the frame from the inside. Push the top retainer over the ridges on the top of the frame as far as you can by hand. Have your helper hold the frame from the outside at the top and bottom of the frame.

Step 8

Gently tap the top retainer with a rubber mallet until the retainer locks over the glass. There will be a slight outward fold to the retainer over the glass when the retainers locks down. Do not tap hard or over-tighten the retainer.

Step 9

Place the bottom retainer on the bottom of the frame and secure the retainer to the frame and glass. Remove the masking tape from the door and attach the two side retainers.

Doors With Screw Type Frames

Step 1

Remove the screws that secure the inside retainers to the frame with a Phillips-head screwdriver.

Step 2

Ask a friend to hold the frame in place from the outside. Remove the inside retainers while holding the glass to the frame with your fingertips.

Step 3

Remove the glass from the frame and then remove the insert. Place the glass back into the frame and reattach the inside retainers with the retaining screws.