Removing Molly Bolts from a Wall

What You'll Need
Needle-nose pliers

Molly bolts hang pictures, shelves or other items onto wall coverings where there is not a stud to anchor into. A molly bolt is essentially a two-piece fastener that combines a screw with an anchor that is driven into a pilot hole in the wall. This anchor has some sort of teeth, or extensions, that embed into the wall covering to keep the anchor permanently secure. Removing molly bolts is different than simply taking out the screw or bolt. 

Step 1 - Remove the Screw

Remove the screw with a screwdriver. This will not remove the sleeve of the molly bolt but will give you access to it.

Step 2 - Pry with Pliers

You can remove most molly bolts with a set of needle-nose pliers. By inserting the pliers into the anchor opening and either stretching them open and pulling, or grabbing the outside lip of the anchor, you can usually pull out the sleeve. You may have to twist the anchor a little in the opening in order to remove it.

Step 3 - Drill the Anchor 

If the anchor is too hard to remove, you will need to drill into the anchor to remove it. Most of the time, just drilling into it will give the bit enough purchase to simply pull it out. If not, continue drilling until you can remove the molly bolt.