Lake Screens | Window Screens

Windows Screen Lift Tabs

Windows Screen Shades / August 19, 2022

Screens should be easily removable in emergencies.Screens should be easily removable in emergencies.

A window screen can weather, tear and break due to age and exposure to outdoor elements like wind and rain. If you plan to remove or replace a window screen in your home, you must determine if the screen is an interior or an exterior screen. An interior window screen is installed in the grooves of the millwork around the window and uses tension to stay in place. An exterior screen is secured with a plunger-pin system and hangs on the outside of a window. Both types of screens can be removed from inside the house.

Interior Screen

Slide the window glass open. Locate the finger lifts, also known as lift tabs, at the bottom of the window screen. The tabs are usually made of metal or plastic. Pull up on the lift tabs with your index and middle fingers until you feel the screen lift slightly. Apply pressure with your fingers, forcing the tension-spring mounts at the top of the screen to compress.

Keep your fingers on your left hand on the lift tab and grab the bottom of the screen with your right hand. Lift the bottom of the screen out of the groove in the millwork.

Hold the screen with both hands and pull it out of the window toward you. Slide the bottom of the screen through the opening first, and the rest of the screen will follow. You may need to tip the screen to one side or the other to pull it through the window.

Exterior Screen

Remove the window sash if you have a modern double hung window, and the sash is easy to detach. Find the plunger pins on the inside of the window screen, usually located near the bottom. Pull the plunger pins inward toward the center of the window to release the screen.

Grasp the frame around the window screen and push the entire screen outward. Pull down slightly to detach the screen from the window. Make sure no one is standing below the window in case you accidentally drop the screen. Don't lean out the window and keep your feet firmly planted on the floor.

Turn the screen at an angle, so you can fit it through the window opening. Pull the screen toward you, bending it slightly if you need to fit it through the window. The frame around a screen is solid but it's slightly flexible, so you can bend it to pull it through the window.


  • Don't try to cut away the mesh of the screen to remove it from the frame. Replacement screens always have a new frame, so there's no need to preserve the old one.


  • Avoid climbing on furniture to access a window screen and never lean out the window. A window screen isn't strong enough to catch you if you lose your balance.
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