Modern desk drawers utilize either ball bearings or nylon rollers to move smoothly along metal runners. Over time, the runners wear out, causing the drawer to scrape, turn sideways, bind, get stuck, or fall completely out of the desk.
All you need to fix desk drawers are new runners, a screwdriver, and sandpaper. There are two sets of runners. One is on the desk, which contains no rollers or bearings. The other is on the drawer. Typically, all you need to do is replace the runners on the drawer and leave the desk runners in place.
Step 1 - Remove the Drawers
Remove the drawers from the desk. Turn them on their sides. Using a small screwdriver, remove the screws that hold the runners to the drawer on both sides and remove the runners.
Step 2 - Sand Away Adhesive
Sand off any dried adhesive after removing the runners, if necessary. Some manufacturers apply adhesive to help stabilize the runners and extend their lives. Use an oscillating tool fitted with a hook and loop pad accessory and medium-grit sandpaper, or sand it by hand.
Step 3 - Obtain New Runners
Purchase runners of the same type and length, using one of the old runners for comparison.
Step 4 - Place the New Runners
Stand each drawer on its side. Place the new runner where the old one came off. The runners are marked either "L" or "R" for left and right. Don't worry, they won't fit unless they are on the correct side.
Step 5 - Attach the Runners with Screws
Screw the runners back onto the sides of the drawers using the new screws that come with the packaged runners.
Step 6 - Insert the Drawers
Insert the drawers into the desk. If the drawers will not close tightly, remove them. There are two holes in the runners that are oval shaped. Loosen these screws. Move the runner up or down and tighten the screws again.
Step 7- Reinsert the Drawers
Insert the drawers again. If they don't fit tightly, adjust the screws the opposite way and test again until the drawers fit.