How to Remove Drywall Anchors – 2018 Guide

While anchors are generally considered a permanent solution, sometimes you’ll want to redecorate the room and that can make it necessary to move your decorations around.

Let’s face it, they’re a bit unsightly when you don’t have anything hanging from them, and can absolutely ruin the aesthetic appeal of the wall you put hard work into installing. Thankfully, they can be removed but it’ll take a little bit of know-how.

Harry , Homethods Author


Get Your Tools Together

You’re going to need a little bit of equipment to get things going here. It’s actually not much, but at the minimum, you’ll need the following:

  • A Screwdriver
  • A Hammer
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • A Razor Knife
  • Spackling Compound
  • A Putty Knife
  • Medium Grit Sandpaper

Technically, the spackling compound, putty knife, and sandpaper aren’t required for the removal. Most of us aren’t fans of open holes in our walls, however, and duct tape patching will just look tacky at the end of the day so we’re going to walk you through the fill-in as well.

Getting the Anchor Out

Step 1

Depending on the type of anchor present, you’ll have a few different options for removing them. The main thing that all of them will have in common, however, is that being careful will prevent more damage.

For the most part, drywall anchors will have a Phillips screw in the top of them and the first thing you’ll need to do is get the screw out of there. Just unscrew it and set it aside for now, for the most part, the anchors are going to be unusable after removal anyways but you might want to keep the screw itself for future projects if it’s not a common size.

Some anchors will use an Allen screw, or hex screw depending on where you’re from, but that really doesn’t change anything other than the tool you’ll be using to get them out.

At this point, your anchor should be bared to the world, waiting for you to get it out. If you didn’t install the anchor yourself, you’ll need to ascertain which type of anchor it is before you go any further, since the methods will differ.

Removing Molly Bolts

Molly bolts are a wonderful type of anchor. They are also a massive pain to remove, and unlike self-screwing anchors, their “legs” are an essential part of the anchor itself.

The easiest way is to just grab a drill and go at it. Well, be more careful than that, but with a properly sized drill bit the collar will pop free in seconds and you can then spackle over the hole regardless of where the tube ends up.

If you don’t have access to a decent drill, however, you’ll have to do it the old fashioned way. You can try to use a pair of pliers first, but a properly installed molly bolt isn’t going to come out that way without a fight. In most cases, using a screwdriver and a hammer to push it through is your best option.

Covering the Hole

Now that you’ve gotten the anchor out of there, it’s time to get to covering up the unsightly hole in your wall. As long as you didn’t cause any excessive damage to the wall, you’ve already gathered everything you need.

If you did do a lot of damage, don’t worry too much about it, but it’s time for a patch to be made.

Inspect the damage done before you go any further. Any outward protrusions in the wall can be taken care of by light tapping with a rubber mallet or even a hammer but take care not to punch out part of the wall.

If the drywall around the edge is exceptionally damaged then you can create a “funnel” shape with your razor knife by carefully cutting at an angle around the edge to make it easier to fill in with spackle. There’s no real reason to go overboard here, just try to minimize the damage to the back part of the drywall.

Now you’ll just need to mix up your spackling compound and lay it down with a putty knife. Try to fill the hole decently well, and use a compound that isn’t going to shrink too much when it dries.

Afterward, let it dry out then smooth it down with a small piece of sandpaper. If the wall was painted and textured, you may wish to repaint it, but it’s probably unnecessary to reapply texture over the hole.


There’s no need to deal with unsightly anchors after you’re done with them. With a little bit of care nearly anyone will be able to take care of the problem in short order, and the spackling process is one of the simplest patch jobs you’ll ever have to make. So quit letting those anchors weigh down the look of your room and get them out of there.