It’s easy to see how someone could choose a retractable projector screen over the regular, fixed type.
Its ease of use and storage, the way it folds up and stays out of the way, saving you wall space and leaving your decor intact- it’s all an easy sell.
But retractable screens have their shortcomings, a common one being failure to roll up after use.
If you’re wondering why your Elite Screens won’t retract, stick around as we explore the causes of this immobility and the corresponding solutions.
But first, let’s see how retractable screens work.
- How Do Retractable Screens Work?
- Why Don’t My Elite Screens Retract?
How Do Retractable Screens Work?
Retractable projector screens can be manual or motorized.
While the two are similar in many ways, their operating mechanisms are different.
Let’s see how each works.
Manual retractable screens
Manual retractable projection screens are connected to a spring, which loosens when you tag at the screen, allowing it to drop.
Most of them come with a pull string or a handle located at the center of the screen.
Once you’ve rolled down the screen to its farthest drop, the spring will not loosen any further, so the screen stays in place.
Some models have a hook where you slip the pull string to hold the screen in place.
To retract the screen, give the pull string or handle a little tug, and the tension from the spring will pull the screen up and into the housing.
Do not let go of the string as the force of the upward movement can be so intense that it yanks the screen off the casing, leaving it damaged.
Keep holding the handle as the screen makes its way up and into the housing, then you can let go.
Brands like Elite Screens have opted to use a different retracting mechanism, the Slow Retract Mechanism (SRM), which pulls the screen up at a slower speed, minimizing the likelihood of damage.
Further, with SRM, you don’t have to hold onto the screen to aid in the ascent.
Once you flick the handle and the screen begins to roll up, you can let go. The retracting mechanism will take over and guide the screen safely back into the casing.
Motorized retractable screens
Unlike manual retractable screens, motorized retractable screens have a motor that rolls the screen up and down.
For the motor to power up, you have to connect it to a power source, and for most motorized screens, this means connecting them to an electric outlet.
However, some modern motorized screens come with rechargeable batteries, making the convenience of a wire-free connection a reality. They also offer the option to set up the screen in spaces with no power outlets.
You can control the motor using a remote or a wall switch.
Why Don’t My Elite Screens Retract?
There may be several explanations why your Elite Screens projector screen does not retract.
Here are the most probable:
1. The Roller May Be Stuck
The roller, which is the surface onto which the screen winds when you roll it up, spins in tune with the movement of the screen.
And sometimes, just like window blinds do, the roller will get stuck out of nowhere.
Pull the screen down an inch or two and then release it. The force of the pull tugs at the roller, often jarring it into motion, and this jump-starts the screen retraction.
2. The Spring is Too Tense/Not Tense Enough
When the spring loses its tension, you’ll have a hard time moving the screen up and down. And if you manually apply a bit of tension, it will retract.
But there’s another side to this problem. If the spring is already too tense, exerting manual tension to try and get the screen to roll up will bear no fruit.
You have to re-tension the screen. To do that:
- Remove the end caps from both ends of the casing.
- Locate the spring tension rod on the left side and manually turn it. The aim is to roll the screen back into the casing. Keep rolling the rod until the screen is 100% folded into the casing.
- Place the left side end cap onto the spring. Make sure that the square peg on the spring fits into the end cap.
- Turn the end cap clockwise 12-15 times. You should feel the tension increasing with each turn.
If the spring is too tense and you want to loosen it a bit, turn the end cap anticlockwise.
This should reset your screen’s tension, and the screen should operate as normal.
3. Defective Roller and Bracket
If the roller or the bracket holding it in place is damaged, the screen may not retract at all.
Lay the screen on a flat surface and open up the casing.
Unscrew the bracket and examine it to see if it’s damaged. Examine the roller too.
If you notice signs of damage on either part, replace it.
4. Defective Motor
Switch on your motorized retractable screen and press the control button to roll the screen up and down.
If the screen does not respond and you can’t hear the motor running, you likely have a defective motor.
Replace the motor. Once the motor stops working, the only solution is to get a new one.
Before spending money on a new one, and because a motor is a big purchase, have an expert look at it and confirm it’s dead and irredeemable.
5. Defective Circuit Board
Can you hear the motor when you turn on the projector screen even though the screen does not roll down or retract when you operate the controls?
The circuit board might be faulty.
Test the remote, the wall switch, and the trigger to see if they’re working.
If none of the control mechanisms elicits a response from the screen, the circuit board is probably the issue because it’s unlikely that all three control devices would fail at once.
Have a projector screen expert check the circuit board for you and give you a proper diagnosis.
If they confirm that the circuit board is indeed defective, you’ll need to replace it.
But if you feel confident in our assessment of the condition of the circuit board, you can go ahead and buy a replacement circuit board even without an expert’s input.
6. Jammed Control Buttons
If the UP button on the remote or wall switch is faulty, the screen will not retract.
Switch to the alternate control device.
That means: use the wall switch instead of the remote and vice versa.
This is how you would handle the actual situation:
The UP button on the remote is not working, but the wall switch is working. So you use the wall switch to control the motor.
Or the UP button on the wall switch is not working, but the one on the remote is working fine. So you use the remote instead of the wall switch.
Retractable screens are a popular projector screen option, partly because you can store them away after every use. So they don’t take up wall space or mess up your decor.
Choose between manual and motorized retractable screens. Both are easy to use, but they can suffer glitches.
Your Elite Screens projector screen may stop rolling up, for example.
When this happens, try jerking it a little to see whether it will roll back up. If that fails, re-tensioning the screen may correct the issue.
In some cases, though, the screen won’t retract because the roller, remote, circuit board, or motor is faulty. And the only way to solve the problem is by replacing the defective component.
Vance is a dad, former software engineer, and tech lover. Knowing how a computer works becomes handy when he builds Pointer Clicker. His quest is to make tech more accessible for non-techie users. When not working with his team, you can find him caring for his son and gaming.