How To Remove Alex Desk Drawers – Step By Step Guide

Did something fall on the inside of your ALEX desk drawer? It’s pretty inevitable, especially if you store a ton of things in your drawers. Or maybe you just want to take those drawers out to modify or paint them. Or maybe you’re moving!

Whatever your situation is, here is your step by step guide to removing those individual ALEX drawers from the drawer set frame. It’s a super easy process! 

Key Takeaways

  • There are two screws on the inside of your ALEX desk drawers. 
  • Removing these screws disconnects the drawer from the rails and your drawer is free to be pulled out completely. 
IKEA ALEX Drawer Removal

Before You Start

If you feel your drawers bumping into something without being fully closed, there is something trapped behind it. It’s really hard to just reach in and grab it though. This makes removing the drawers necessary. 

If you have something trapped behind your drawers, it tends to fall all the way to the bottom. So to make this process faster, start with removing the bottom drawer first

Most things will be found in that bottom corner so you’ll only have to remove one if you start there. This is a good time saving tip.

Tools You’ll Need

This is a huge list, ready? You’ll need a phillips head screwdriver. I love a good single tool operation. That’s what makes this removal process super quick. 

Step by Step Guide To Remove Alex Drawers

Step 1 – Empty Drawer

First step is to remove everything from your drawer. It makes it much more difficult to remove a weighted drawer. Not to mention it’s probably easier to damage the rails during this process. 

Empty Alex Desk Drawer

The items in your drawer can also conceal the screws we need to remove. It also won’t give enough room for our screwdriver to remove the screw. 

Step 2 – Locate Screws & Remove

We will only need to remove two screws to remove our ALEX drawers. Both of these screws are on the inside walls of your drawer. 

They are located about 7.5 inches deep from the front panel. There is one screw on each side. Take your Phillips head screwdriver, and remove both screws. Keep those screws in a safe place for the time being. 

Removing Screw From ALEX Drawer

Fortunately for us, these screws attach directly to the metal rail. Some cheaper drawer sets screw into the engineered wood directly, and that is a much weaker connection. After a couple of uses, those types of screws don’t hold onto the engineered wood anymore. 

Metal rail ALEX Drawer

IKEA thankfully gave us metal threads and proper screws that install from the inside. We can remove and install these drawers many more times thanks to this feature. 

Once you remove the screws, the drawer is no longer fixed to the rail. You can continue to pull the drawer straight out until the rails are completely free from the drawer rail cavity. 

ALEX drawer removed from rails
How to remove ALEX Drawers (6)

If you don’t have the room to pull out the drawer until the rails detach, you can simply push the rails into the drawer set until they are not holding the drawer. 

Step 3 – Do Your Business

Now that the drawer is free, this is your chance to remove all the fallen items, or whatever you need to do. 

I like to take a minute to vacuum around and make sure everything is clean before putting it all back together. 

If you find a ton of stuff has fallen from the drawers above, consider reducing the amount of things you put in those drawers. Overstuffing drawers often leads to this problem of stuff getting lost behind the drawers. 

I would highly consider our recommended drawer organizers. These can help you stay organized by compartmentalizing those drawers. 

Also, if you check out our ALEX drawer dimensions article, you can find drawer organizers  that are under the front panel height. This way you can add things to your drawer that won’t fall beyond the shorter wall height of the drawer. 

Step 4 – Reassemble

Use both hands to hold the ALEX drawer as level as you can with the rails. Try to guide the rails into the rail cavity on your drawer smoothly. The drawers are not too heavy so this isn’t a difficult step.

Once the rails start supporting the drawer again, ensure the rails are pulled all the way to the front panel of the drawer. You can also check that the screw hole lines up with the hole in the side of the drawer. 

Alex drawer mounting hole in rail

Once you have it all lined up, you can re-install the two screws on either side. 

Installing alex drawer rail screws

Be sure to screw them in with very light pressure. If you press too hard when driving the screw and the threads are not lined up, you can cross thread the drawer rails which is a whole other problem.

That’s it! It’s a pretty simple process to remove those ALEX desk drawers. 

Here’s a quick video if needed:

Before You Go!

You might be interested in the following. Here’s exactly how I setup and use my ALEX desk. I talk all about what’s at my desk, how I organize my drawers with inserts and more!

If you’re a gamer, we have a dedicated article on putting together the perfect IKEA battlestation desk setup.

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I'm a big time workspace enthusiast who is constantly experimenting with my setup. Sharing along the way to help people make their own desk setups more functional and inviting, whether it be for productivity or play!