5 Ways To Fix A Loose Door Handle With Hidden Screws!

No matter if it is a front door or the ones used for interior spaces, a handle is must. But with constant usage, it is possible that the handles will shake or slightly loosen up. With some instructions, you can actually repair the part. Even the ones that come with hidden screws.

Fixing a door handle with hidden screws is easy and generally takes 5 – 10 minutes. Just use thread locker glue, toothpicks with glue, wall hole filler, plastic wall plugs, or wood dowels to repair the loose door handle.

Keep reading to know how to fix a loose door handle without visible screws in detail.

How to Fix A Loose Door Handle With Hidden Screws

How To Fix A Loose Door Handle Without Visible Screws?

Most of the time, the loose door handle with hidden screws issue happens due to dents on the door. Based on this, I’ll share 5 in-depth solutions below:

1. Apply Thread Locker Glue

The door handle screws won’t tighten issue usually occurs when the door screw holes are bigger than average. You’ll need to get quality glue that stops the bolts from loosening like the Permatex 24200 thread locker glue. To get rid of it, do the given steps:

  • Locate the small round shape hole on the left or right side of the handle part.
  • After locating the hole, take an L-wrench to use on the round hole. Just press to unlock the handle.
  • With the screwdriver, remove the backplate which hides the inner mechanism.
  • Then, detach the screws with the same tool. Remove the interior door handle part.
  • Check the hole in the door frame.
  • Apply a few drops of thread locker glue directly on the screws and smear it on the thread surface using your finger.
  • Hold the inner door handle on the door and insert the screws. Tighten them out using the screwdriver.
  • Put on the backplate using hand pressure.
  • Attach the handle back into place and tighten it out using the L-wrench on the hole.

2. Insert Toothpicks & Glue

The door handle loose on one side means one screw on the uneven side isn’t attached properly or contains gaps in the hole. Here’s how to troubleshoot this issue:

  • Loosen out the handle with an Allen wrench.
  • Detach the backplate, screws, and door handle. If tightening the screws doesn’t fix the bug, the go to next step.
  • Inspect the holes in the door, especially on the loose side.
  • If the (loose side) hole is big, then insert the toothpicks with strong glue (like superglue).
  • Cut the excess using a sharp knife and sand the surface if needed.
  • Hold the door handle part on the door and reinstall the screws with the suitable tool.
  • Align the handle by using the L-wrench on the hole.

3. Put On Wall Hole Filler

While holding the handle if it contains around a 3 mm gap from the backplate to the door, it might vibrate. This occurs as one or more screws aren’t attached to the door due to wider holes. Look beneath to solve this kind of issue:

  • Take out the door handle and other parts. Be sure to loosen the handle using the L-wrench on the hole.
  • Locate the loosen-up area on the door which contain a wider gap.
  • Grab the filler that works fast and requires no putty knife to apply like the Saint-Gobain ADFORS FDW9098-U.
  • Press on the filler and simply spread the paste on the wider holes.
  • Reinstall all the parts and tighten out the handle with the L-wrench.
  • Do not use the handle for around 24 hours to set the filler.

4. Add Plastic Wall Plugs

In case the door gives a shaky feel when you twist the handle, this indicates the issue of larger and wider holes in the door. Try out the given procedure to fix it:

  • Remove the door handle from the door using the screwdriver and Allen wrench.
  • Inspect the holes in the screws in the door.
  • If they contain bigger gaps, then put on the plastic wall plugs inside them.
  • Tap the surface using the hammer a little.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut the excess area of plastic wall plugs.
  • Insert the round part of the door handle in the right spot.
  • Put on the screws and tighten them out with the screw gun or screwdriver.
  • Attach the door handle backplate and press it.
  • Use the Allen wrench to tighten out the handle.

5. Use Wood Dowels

If the door knob keeps coming loose, it happens due to stripped screw holes on the door. To stop this, you might need to insert decent size (around 6.35 mm) wood dowels like the WEN JN400D wood dowel on the dents. Organize the tools and follow the given direction:

  • Insert the right size drill bit in a driller and start to drill in the stripped screw holes. Wipe out the wood dust using a small brush (if possible).
  • Apply a little glue on the edge of each wood dowel and place them inside the drilled holes. Be sure to press on them.
  • Take a sharp knife and cut the excess area of the dowels. Smoothen out the surface using fine-grit sandpaper. 
  • Remove the backplate from the popped-out handle.
  • Use the L-wrench to loosen out the handle from the inner mechanism. 
  • Drill the holes using the driller with a small size (around 2 mm) drill bit.
  • Then, put the middle round part on the door and place screws. Tighten them out with the screwdriver. Twist the hole of the handle with the L-shape wrench to tighten out the upper portion.

Wrapping Up

Fixing a loose door handle without visible screws is super simple if you can find the right solution. It’s true that all the above methods require a few extra items and money spending. However, the replacement of the dent included door will cost you more.

Sometimes the dust trapped on the plate can lead to loosen door handle issues. So be sure to clean the interior area frequently.  Hope This Helps!


Q: What causes a door handle to become loose?

A: Over time, the screws that hold the handle in place can become loose due to repeated use or age. Alternatively, the screws themselves may have become stripped or damaged, causing the handle to loosen.

Q: Do I need any special tools to fix a loose door handle?

A: No, most door handles can be fixed with a screwdriver, pliers, and a few basic hand tools. If you need to replace the handle or latch mechanism, you may need additional tools such as a drill or chisel.

Q: What should I do if the screws are stripped or damaged?

A: If the screws are stripped or damaged, you will need to replace them. You can purchase replacement screws at a hardware store or online. Make sure to choose screws that are the same size and type as the original ones.

Q: How do I remove a stripped screw from a door handle?

A: Use a screwdriver to try to remove the screw first. If that doesn’t work, you can use a rubber band or a piece of steel wool to grip the screw and turn it counterclockwise. Alternatively, you can use a screw extractor tool to remove the screw.

Q: How do I fix a misaligned latch on a door handle?

A: First, remove the door handle and check the latch mechanism for any visible damage. If the latch is intact, adjust the strike plate on the door jamb until the latch lines up with it correctly. Use a screwdriver to loosen the screws holding the strike plate in place, move it slightly, and then tighten the screws again.

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