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How to Fix a Window That Won’t Stay Up

A window that won’t stay up isn’t just frustrating, it can also be dangerous. Single and double-hung windows have balancing mechanisms that keep the sash in place as it moves up and down the jambs. One or more of the parts of the balance may simply have become disconnected or damaged which can cause the issue. Learning how to fix a window that won’t stay up requires troubleshooting the pivot bars and shoes that enable balancing.

Fixing a Window That Won’t Stay Up

  1. Tilt the window sash inward to roughly a 90-degree position.
  2. The sash should now release from the jambs.
  3. At the bottom of each side of the sash, you will see the pivot bars.
  4. Inspect both pivot bars for wear, damage, or twisting.
  5. If you find damage on a pivot bar, remove the part.
  6. Take the part to a local window supply company and purchase a replacement.
  7. If nothing appears to be wrong with the pivot bars, you need to inspect the shoes.
  8. Shoes are located inside the jamb grooves on both sides of the window.
  9. Shoes should be located about halfway up the jambs where you would expect an open sash to sit.
  10. If one or both shoes are at the bottom or very low, they have slipped out of position. This means that the pivot bars have nothing to connect with when you open the window.
  11. A shoe may be plastic or metal. It will have a U-shaped slot in it. When the shoe is locked, the U faces upward.
  12. Put the screwdriver in the slot and perform 1/4 turn so that the U faces sideways.
  13. Slid the shoe up to the proper location.
  14. Lock the shoe in place by turning the slot back to a locked position.
  15. Return the sash to the jamb and test its performance.
  16. If a shoe is broken instead of out of place, pop it out of the jamb with the screwdriver.
  17. Take the part to a local window supply company and purchase a replacement part.
  18. If no problems are apparent with the pivot bars or shoes, then the internal mechanisms of the window have failed. The window need to be replaced.

Tools & Materials

For this task, you may not need any tools except for a flat head screwdriver.

When You May Need to Replace a Window

If the parts to complete the steps for how to fix a window that won’t stay up are not always available, a window replacement may be necessary to resolve the issue. PJ Fitzpatrick installs a large variety of energy-efficient windows. Our experienced window installers work throughout the Delaware Valley so don’t hesitate to ask us for a window replacement estimate today.

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