How To Adjust A Top-Hung Sliding Door

Top-hung sliding doors are a bigger part of modern homes than many people may realize.  With any functional part of your space, you may find that they need to be worked on at times for several different reasons. We have taken the time to find out the best ways to adjust and remove top-hung sliding doors to make the job easier for you!

The most common way of adjusting a top-hung door is to use a Phillips head screwdriver to adjust the screws on the door's hardware so that it sits the way that you need it to. But, there are different styles of these doors and situations so it's important to look at the process with each of the following types:

  1. Sliding closet doors
  2. Screen doors
  3. Bi-fold doors

It can also be necessary to be able to identify reasons why these doors have to be worked on. Lastly, it's important to know whether your top-hung door has a bottom track or not for when you work on it.

Top-hung sliding glass doors may seem simple but that doesn't mean they don't have their challenges. That's why it would be useful for you to have as much information about them as possible before you adjust or remove one. Make sure to continue down below for an in-depth look at this process!

A modern rustic farm house master bedroom, How To Adjust A Top-Hung Sliding Door

Adjusting Or Removing A Top Hung Sliding Door

All you usually need to get this job done is a screwdriver. Usually, a Phillips but it might be a flathead depending on the manufacturer. Each type of door also comes with obstacles depending on its material. These can include the weight of the door and how easily that might break or shatter if they are glass.

Handsome young man installing sliding door in a new house construction site

1. Sliding Closet Doors

The material and design on these doors can vary greatly but they are usually used to cover a bedroom or linen closet. They can also vary in weight which can make moving them around more difficult. They're very popular because of their durability and how well they look with many different styles.


How you adjust your door depends on what problem you're having with it. Whether the door is crooked or falling off the track you can usually fix it with your screwdriver.

To adjust the alignment there should be hardware on the back of the door. This hardware is designed so that moving the screw up or down on it will change how the door hangs, whether it is straight up and down or more crooked to adjust to your door frame.

Here is a more detailed look at how the process is done!



To remove these doors from the tracks you don't need any tools. First, place the door in the middle of its track. Next, please a hand on both sides of the door and pull the bottom of it towards you. Finally, push the door up slightly and that will release it from the track so that you can pull it out of the doorway.

2. Screen Doors

A close-up of a screen door, Does a Screen Door Come With a Frame?

These are different from the closet doors because they are used on the outside of sliding glass doors. They're used for letting a breeze in while still having some protection from the elements and bugs. Screen doors also have a bottom track for guidance but they can still be top-hung.


One of the best ways to adjust these doors and help them work more smoothly is to clean out their tracks. Since they face the exterior it's easier for dirt and debris to build up in them.

If the doors are too hard, or too easy, to slide you can also adjust the tension screws. These are usually Philips head screws that are on the inside of the door tight near the wheels. Turning them will help to tighten or loosen the wheels.


Since screen doors have a bottom track for alignment there are removed a little differently. Start by firmly holding the door on both sides. Then, push the whole door up to take it off the bottom track. Now you can remove it like the closet door by pulling the bottom towards you and then pushing the top out of the track.

3. Bi-fold Doors

The biggest difference between bi-fold doors and the other kinds is how they open. Bi-fold doors don't slide over each other. Instead, the doors are skinner with hinges attaching them so that when you open them they fold towards you while sliding on the track.

Start shopping for bi-fold doors here on Amazon!


When bi-fold doors don't open smoothly it's most likely because they are getting caught on something. You can use your screwdriver to make sure that all of the screws in the track are flush so that the door isn't getting caught on them.

You might also have to adjust the height of the door. Bifold doors have pivot pins that can slightly raise or lower them. To do this first lift the door up so the weight is off the pivot pin. Then turn it so that the door will sit higher or lower before placing the door back in place.


To remove the door the first thing you have to do is release the spring-loaded pin that is holding the inside part of the door to the track. You can release the pin by pushing it with your hand and the door will swing free with just the side closest to the wall still attached.

Now you can lift on the door to take it off the bottom jam and then pull the door down to release it from the track. You may need to make adjustments as you do these movements to remove your specific door.

Why Do You Need To Adjust Or Remove Top Hung Doors?

The reason for working on these doors is generally to replace them or fix them. Maybe it's not working properly and you need to adjust it or it needs to be removed to be fixed. There is also the possibility that you're updating your home and your old top-hung doors are just out of style.

Does A Top Hung Sliding Door Have A Bottom Track?

Top-hung sliding doors do generally have a bottom track. There are some available that don't but they are considered closer to a barn door style. The bottom track is very helpful in keeping the doors in place even if the load-bearing part of it is on the top.

How Do You Adjust A Cavity (Or Pocket) Sliding Door?

To adjust a pocket door you first have to locate the nuts at the top of it. Once they are located you can turn them clockwise to raise the door. Turning them counterclockwise will lower it. If you find that the door is hanging unevenly after the adjustment you can turn the nut that's opposite the one you just adjusted.

Disadvantages Of Sliding Doors

A sliding doors mechanism

The biggest disadvantage of sliding doors is how hard it is to keep their tracks clean. These hard-to-reach cracks gather lots of debris that can eventually disrupt how the door slides. They can also be a pain to install on your own.

Lastly, being too rough with them can cause damage to your door jam. That can end up causing even more problems for you in the long run.

Can I Replace A Sliding Door With A Barn Door?

A modern contemporary house with a barn door

It is possible to remove a sliding door and replace it with a barn door. But, since they hang differently it might require more work than you expected. Barn door tracks are installed above doorways, not in them like with sliding doors. So it's more like you're uninstalling sliding doors and installing barn doors than just replacing them.

Wrapping It Up

Adjusting or removing top-hung doors can be a simple process that will just depend on each situation. Top-hung doors have their disadvantages but there's also a reason why they've been so common for so long. You just have to decide if they work will in your home!

To learn more about the sliding doors in your home make sure to click on the links below!

Can Sliding Doors Be Reversed?

How Big Are Sliding Doors?

Can You Add A Screen Door To Sliding Doors?

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