How to Remove Wall Anchors

Wall anchors prove extremely handy for safely hanging a variety of light and heavy items to your drywalls without studs, including a TV, shelf, and more. However, once you no longer need them, you must remove them if you want to preserve the aesthetic appeal of your walls.

There are several methods following which you can remove wall anchors. The method that suits your particular needs depends on the type of fastener you are trying to remove as well as how strongly it is held to your wall.

In this guide, we will be going over the ins and outs of all the methods that you can go with for removing wall anchors. So, let’s begin!

Given that you unscrewed the threaded screw that many wall anchors have, you can move on to one of the methods detailed below according to the type of fastener you are dealing with.

The plastic and hollow wall anchors can often be easily removed with either of the first two methods while for metal wall anchors, you likely have to resort to the third method.

Required Supplies

  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Hammer
  • Electric drill
  • Utility knife
  • Drywall Compound
  • Medium-grit sandpaper
  • Screwdriver
  • Protective goggles
  • Nails
  • Clean rags
  • Putty knife
  • 1-inch cutting wheel for drill
  • Wall Paint

Method # 1 – Pulling the Wall Anchor Out

Grab the Collar

Using needle-nose pliers, grab the anchor by the edge of its collar and pull it out so that it is ripped apart from the remaining body of the anchor. If the anchor is stuck in its place, use a screwdriver with a flat head to ease it out.

If you are wondering what a collar is, it is basically the protruding circular piece of metal that holds the wall anchor in place.

Be very careful while using pliers and to prevent any sort of groove in your drywall, make sure the pliers do not touch it.

Press the Screwdriver into the Wall Anchor

With the collar removed, press the tip of a screwdriver into the wall anchor to push it out through the other end of the drywall.

Make sure that the screwdriver’s metal shaft is not greater in diameter than the wall anchor because can result in the hole, in which the anchor is lodged, getting bigger.

Push the Anchor Through the Wall

Finally, drive the screwdriver inside the hole and push the wall anchor out through the other side of the wall.

Note that you can also use a drill of appropriate diameter to push the anchor out.

Method # 2 – Backing the Wall Anchor Out

Grip the Mouth of the Anchor

Get a screwdriver that comfortably fits into the mouth of the wall anchor and using a hammer, tap it into place.

Be sure not to tap too hard as the screwdriver can get displaced and may end up gouging your drywall.

Turn the Screwdriver Anti-Clockwise

Now, firmly turn the screwdriver in the counter-clockwise direction. If it is too tight or turns but doesn’t come out, stop and proceed to any other method stated below.

Method # 3 – Cutting Out the Wall Anchor

Cut Out the Collar

Equip a 1-inch cutting wheel to a drill. Bring it close to the collar of the wall anchor and turn it on. Then, simply cut out the collar.

Be sure not to push the drill towards the wall or you could risk damaging it.

Also, if you are dealing with a plastic wall anchor, you can use a utility razor blade as well instead of a cutting wheel.

Hammer Out the Anchor

Grab a wide nail and gently tap it against the broken anchor with a hammer until the anchor falls back behind the wall.

Now, using either a cutting wheel or a utility knife, score the drywall around the anchor mouth. Then, choose a screwdriver with the tip wider than the anchor mouth and use it to firmly tap the wall anchor until it falls out from the other end of the wall.

Method # 4 – Recessing the Wall Anchor

Recessing a wall anchor is probably your best bet if you are dealing with multiple wall anchors or your drywall is water-damaged.

First off, score the area of the drywall around the wall anchor. Then, choose a screwdriver that is greater in diameter than the anchor mouth and place it over the anchor.

Using a hammer, tap the screwdriver gently until the anchor partway sinks into the drywall.

Now, you simply have to patch up the mark.

Patching the Drywall

Once you have either removed the wall anchors or recessed them out of sight, you need to patch up the hole left by them. Here’s how:

Even Out the Hole

Lightly tap a hammer over the edges of the hole until they are flush with the wall. If there is any sort of drywall dust, wipe it off using a clean rag.

Apply the Drywall Compound

Using a putty knife, apply the drywall compound on the hole until it is wholly filled. Use an ‘X’ motion while applying the putty and wipe off any excess compound in order to get an even and smooth patch.

Furthermore, if the hole happens to be 0.65 cm, be sure to cover it with self-adhesive drywall mesh before applying the drywall compound.

Allow to Dry

The drying duration depends on the type of drywall compound you are using. Simply follow the instructions given on its packaging though normally, you will need to let it sit overnight.

Sand the Surface

Sand the patched-up surface with medium-grit sandpaper, removing any excess compound. When you finish, clear off the dust with a clean cloth.

Apply Paint to the Hole

Finally, apply light strokes of paint to the concerned area so that it blends nicely with the rest of the wall. Once you finish, let the paint dry overnight.

To further hide the spot left by the wall anchor, you can use wallpaper of the same color as the rest of the wall.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you Remove and Reuse Wall Anchors?

If you have successfully been able to back the wall anchors out (method # 2 above), then yes, you can reuse them.

However, with any of the other methods, the wall anchor is either damaged or stays within the wall rendering the thought of reusing them useless.

How Do You Remove a Pop Toggle Anchor?

Refer to method # 3 for removing wall anchors in this guide.


You might have realized by now that removing wall anchors is, fortunately, quite simple.

Depending on the type of wall anchor you are trying to remove, you can either pull it out, back it out, cut and hammer it out, or recess it. In any case, you need to patch up and paint your wall afterward so that no one is able to tell if a wall anchor ever rested on its surface!

Liam Weissman

Hello and welcome to PowerToolGenius! My name is Liam and for the last 9 years, I have worked extensively with various power tools and accessories. I have tested hundreds of different brands and models and understand the industry extensively and have been working with tools my entire life!

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