How to fix roller blinds and get them moving seamlessly again

Roller blind not working like it used to? Fix it with these easy steps

Yellow living room with floral patterned blinds and light curtains
(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

After the recent heatwave, you may have been pulling your roller blinds up and down more than usual in a bid to keep your house cool. And if you've been left with a faulty blind as a result, you need to learn how to fix roller blinds and get them back to full working order.

Roller blinds are a lovely addition to any room, but only when they're working as they should. Whether yours are neutral or boldly patterned, learning how to fix roller blinds should be top of your DIY to do list if they're not working properly. The good news is that this job is one of the easy home repairs you can DIY.

'The convenience of roller blinds is unmatched - they take up very little space, are available in  a huge range of colours and prints and work well in rooms throughout the house,' says Jackie Shepherd, Head of Made to Measure at Terrys. 'That’s why it’s so annoying if they stop working as they should.’

So that you can get your roller blinds to move up and down seamlessly again, we've asked the experts how to fix roller blinds, and put all of their advice into this essential guide. 

Blue bathroom with blue and white patterned roller blinds on windows

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

How to fix roller blinds

There's no point learning how to measure for blinds and ordering the perfect roller if it's going to end up skew whiff. Here's everything you need to know about how to fix roller blinds, to get yours moving up and down without any hiccups. A little tip though - learn how to clean roller blinds first and start with dust-free blinds.

First, find out which mechanism your roller blind has

Most roller blinds are made with one of two mechanisms; spring-loaded and sidewinder. To know how to fix roller blinds, you first need to find out which mechanism you're working with. 

'A spring-loaded roller blind can be moved up and down without needing a chain to do so,' says Nichola McFall, Product Director, Swift Direct Blinds. 'Whereas blinds with a sidewinder mechanism, use a chain to move the blind up and down as you pull it.' 

A spring-loaded roller blind are often opted for in homes with children and pets, as the lack of chain makes them safer than sidewinder blinds. Depending on which roller blind is in your home, follow the corresponding guides below. 

How to fix roller spring-loaded roller blinds

1. Locate the pin

White and blue patterned roller blind in bedroom

(Image credit: Terrys)

For how to fix roller blinds with a spring-loaded mechanism, you'll firstly need to locate the small pin on the end of the blind. This will be positioned at either side of the headrail on the top end of the blind.

2. Release the blind via the pin

If the pin is pushed in, pull this out slightly - you may need pliers if it's tight. These Draper Redline Pliers, £6.50 at Amazon, have soft grip handles and will release the blind easily.

3. Pull the blind down

Graphic floral blinds covering white window

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jeremy Philips)

'For a roller blind that won't roll up, the usual culprit is the internal spring mechanism lacking tension,' says Ryan Fitzgerald, Owner, Raleigh Realty. 'Pull the blinds down slightly to resolve this, then attempt to let it roll up without letting go.'

Pull the blind down, and angle it towards yourself slightly. This will creation tension at the spring, so that it naturally lowers as normal. 

How to fix roller blinds with a sidewinder mechanism

1. Check the brackets

White blind over window in dining room

(Image credit: Terrys)

To learn how to fix roller blinds with a sidewinder mechanism, you first need to check that the blind is fitted into the bracket correctly.

'The lugs on the end of the sidewinder control unit, which is at the top of the blind where the chain is connected, should be fitted in the horizontal position in the fitted brackets,' says Nichola from Swift Direct Blinds. 

'You will know that this is fitted correctly if it is fitted securely with the open section of the cog, where the chain hangs from, at the bottom of the unit.'

2. Realign the blind and brackets

If your blind is not fitted in the brackets correctly, you'll need to realign this so that it's horizontal. Wiggle around until it's straight.

Yellow living room with floral patterned blinds and light curtains

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

3. Tighten the fittings

If there's still an issue, check the fittings. 'If your roller blind fittings are loose, tighten them with a screwdriver,' says Ryan from Raleigh Realty. 'If worn or damaged, replacements are needed, which can be procured from a local hardware store or online.'

If your fittings look in good condition but they're just a bit loose, tightening them will get your roller blind back to full working order. This 150mm Screwdriver, £4.91 at Amazon, will tighten the screws nicely.

And that's it! You've successfully learnt how to fix roller blinds, and you can go back to drawing them without any issues.


Why won't my roller blind roll up or down?

'When a roller blind isn't cooperating, it's often due to a tangled cord, a worn-out spring, or a malfunctioning mechanism,' says Ivo Iv, Founder, Decor Home Ideas. 'To diagnose, pull gently to check for resistance.'

It's also a good idea to check the pin in a spring-loaded roller blind, located at either side of the headrail on the top end of the blind. If this feels too tight or too loose, this is probably causing the issue.

How do you fix a roller blind that won't roll up?

To learn how to fix a roller blind that won't roll up, you'll need to resolve any issues within the spring tension.

'If the blinds can’t be lowered or raised, the spring is usually locked,' Jackie from Terrys explains. 'Take the roller out of its bracket, grab the pin using pliers and turn it clockwise to release the spring. Let go of the pin quickly when you feel the tension, which will unlock the spring. Repeat until the pin is unlocked.'

Katie Sims

Katie Sims has been writing for Ideal Homes since spring 2022. She qualified from her Master’s in Media and Journalism in 2021 and has been writing freelance since. She has worked on Ideal Home’s ecommerce team where she researched the best home products on the market, and on the news team, researching the latest trends for feature pieces.