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Your laptop doesn’t have to be bad before you see a need to open it. You might have to do so to get an upgrade on it or to enhance its performance – a new RAM or SSD isn’t a bad idea, after all. Also, you may need to replace your worn-out battery when it doesn’t serve you anymore.
So, whether or not you want to, you’ll still have to open that laptop. However, you might be faced with a problem when you discover one or more of the screws on it have been stripped. So, if you’re worried about how to get a stripped screw out of a laptop, continue reading this article to learn how you can go about this.
What Causes a Stripped Screw?
A worn screw is the same as a stripped screw. A stripped screw is a screw whose head indents have been completely or partially bored out.
When this happens, the screwdriver bit has nothing to hold on to, making it almost impossible to remove the screw. This can happen when a badly-rusted screw is still being used. Moreover, you can also be the cause of those screws being stripped; some causes of the screw being stripped are as follows:
- Making use of tools that are of poor quality.
- When you mount your screwdrivers at an angle while installing the screw into a surface.
- Tightening a screw too hard.
- Using a screwdriver with an oversized drill bit.
- Continuously using a slightly-stripped screw.
- Using an improper screwdriver on the wrong screw (for example, a flathead screwdriver on a Phillips head screw).
- Not paying adequate attention while driving screws into surfaces.
- Wear and tear.
- Corrosion due to exposure to moist conditions.
Can I Get a Stripped Screw-Out of a Laptop?
You can remove a stripped screw out of a laptop. However, this process will be difficult because the indents on the head of the screw have been damaged. When this happens, the screwdriver tip has nothing to hold onto.
With the use of tools such as a rubber band, a rubber glove, a screw extractor bit, and so on, you can successfully get a stripped screw out of a laptop. Furthermore, the video below will show you different techniques you can use to get a stripped screw out of a laptop.
How to Remove a Stripped Screw From a Laptop
As we mentioned earlier, you can get a stripped screw out of a laptop. We’ll be sharing some different tools or methods that you can use to do so in the section. Moreover, note that you should be very careful when you’re trying to remove those screws – you might end up damaging your laptop if you get reckless along the line.
Use a Left-Handed Drill Bit
Other simpler methods allow you to remove your worn screws, such as using a rubber band or gloves. So, this method should be resorted to when all else fails it’s a bit more difficult. The left-handed drill bit is like any normal drill bit. The only difference between the left-handed and other conventional drill bits is that it is designed to turn to the left instead of the right (counterclockwise). This kind of drill bit is just the perfect tool for this kind of task as it naturally turns in the direction that is meant to remove the screw.
Place a Rubber Band on The Head of The Stripped Screw Before the Screwdriver
Your stripped screw doesn’t give your screwdriver anything to hold on to. As such, moving the screw with your normal screwdriver might be impossible to achieve. In this case, trying to get the screw out by force will further damage the screw or the laptop.
The idea behind this method is that the rubber band fills the gaps created by the worn screw head. That way, your screwdriver now has some material to give it a firmer grip on the stripped screw.
To do this, any rubber band you’re using should have a little extra thickness to the width. Also, note that other kinds of rubber bands that aren’t flat won’t help you get the job done; go for flat ones instead. Press the tip of your screwdriver on the rubber band and strengthen your grip as though you wanted to pierce through the rubber band with the screwdriver.
Mind you, the amount of pressure you’re applying shouldn’t make the screwdriver poke through the rubber. This makes the screwdriver have a little more fill when fitted into the head of the stripped screw. That way, the firmer grip it now has on the screw makes it possible for the screw to turn and consequently come out.
Try Using a Slightly Oversized Screwdriver
The idea behind getting the stripped screw out all goes down to having a firm grip on the screw. Since the kind of screws used on laptops is usually soft, doing the work in a hurry might worsen the situation.
If you’ve been trying to remove the screw with the appropriate screwdriver and it’s not coming off, switch to a slightly bigger screwdriver. The bigger screwdriver might grip the head of the screw if there’s still a little indentation left on it. If this still doesn’t work, then it might be time you switched for something slightly different. Check the next tip.
Use a Flathead Screwdriver Instead of A Phillips Style
Your stripped screw might still have some prominent indentations on it. The only cause of the problem might just be that it has just sufficient indentations to hold only two corners of a screwdriver. This makes the Phillip-style screwdriver the wrong tool to get the job done.
In that case, your flathead screwdriver becomes your only option to drive your screw out. This simpler screwdriver may be able to get a firm grip on the screw. It should, at least, be able to give the screw a few turns, giving you just enough space to try out other alternatives.
This method obviously came down on the list because it might be one of the last options to resort to. This is because most laptops come with recesses that might not even leave any portion of the head to be gripped by pliers. This method usually comes in handy if you manage to give the screw a few turns with a screwdriver.
If you’re lucky enough to have your stripped laptop screw a little bit exposed, then here you go. Needle nose pliers are your best bet when it comes to pliers, especially if the exposed part of the screw is very small.
Fit one nose of the plier into one of the indentations on the laptop, while the other nose should be anywhere on the rim of the screw. Note a hard grip might end up breaking the screw, further worsening the case. This is because laptop screws are usually softer than normal ones.
Apply some finesse to get the screw turned. Do this repeatedly until you’re able to get the screw out of the laptop.
Use a Screw Extractor Bit
If you have a fondness for the left-handed drill bit method we earlier mentioned, here is another worthy alternative you might want to try out. However, this tool isn’t a very common one, except you have a thing for handling screws. These screw extractor bits come in a pack of different sizes.
Just like the left-handed drill bit, they firmly fit into the screw head. Furthermore, they give you a far better grip than you could achieve with the right screwdriver under the best circumstances. This should work where all else fails. Watch the video below to see how you can go about this.
Use Epoxy or Superglue
You can also use epoxy or super glue to get a stripped screw out of a laptop. This technique is not far-fetched; it simply attaches something to the stripped screw. The attachment, in turn, makes it a lot easier to get the stripped screw out of your laptop. If you asked, we’d recommend epoxy as it gives a stronger binding.
Moreover, you should use superglue instead if you don’t have much time to spare. You can decide to affix a screw to the stripped screw, giving your screwdriver something better to hold on to. You can also affix your screwdriver to the stripped screw if you can afford to lose the screwdriver if you can’t detach the screw from the screwdriver.
Create a New Indentation on The Screw
This method simply requires that you create a fresh dent on the screw. All you need is a rotary tool to make a thin cut on the head of the screw. The cut should be deep enough to accommodate the screwdriver and not damage the screw. You can then use a flathead screwdriver to extract the screw.
This method can be a bit scary as you can end up damaging the body of your laptop. Therefore, we recommend that you use a low power setting. Also, use a thin bur, not more than 0.5 mm.
How to Avoid Stripping a Screw
You can get a stripped screw out of a laptop. But you can also save yourself the trouble of having to do so. The tips below will help you avoid the troubles of a stripped screw.
- Make sure the screwdriver you’re using on any screw is the right design and size for the screw in question.
- Avoid using screws for any applications outside the given specification.
- Instead of electric screwdrivers, use the manual ones one tightening screws.
- When tightening screws, be careful not to tighten them excessively.
- During the installation of any screw, make sure your screwdriver is not at an angle to the screw head.
- Avoid exposing the screws to metal-corrosive conditions such as water or salt.
Getting a stripped screw out of a laptop has never been a very pleasant thing to deal with. This isn’t restricted to laptops only, the same thing happens with other common devices such as phones and calculators. We all know what it feels like to spend that extra cash on a simple DIY project because of some minor issue.
In this article, the tips provided will guide you on how to get a stripped screw out of a laptop without visiting the repairer’s shop. Also, we’ve listed some common causes of your laptop’s screws getting stripped and simple measures you can use to prevent it from happening.