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How To Fix Retractable Projector Screens? 2 Handy Ways

2 Ways To Fix Retractable Projector Screens

how to fix retractable projector screen
Active Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Difficulty Easy


You don’t need to replace the spring if it loses its tension. All you need to do is add tension to it again.

You can do this in two ways:

1. The wrist flick

With a fast motion, flick your wrist down, use both hands if necessary. This works because the flick can bring a shock to the spring, which can build up enough tension to pull the screen up.

2. The spring re-tensioner

This method is to add more tension to the spring in the projector screen to help it go down and up.

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If you own a manual retractable projector screen, then you might run into some issues.

A very common one is that the screen loses its retractability, meaning it won’t roll back in like it used to. Or, it won’t pull down.

The good news is that this isn’t a major problem. It’s actually easy to fix.

So if you’re having this issue with your retractable projector screen, don’t get too discouraged yet. We have some great solutions for you!

Here, we’ll list the most effective ones.

How Do Retractable Projector Screens Work?

Manual Pull Down Projector Screen
Click image for more info

Before we get to that, it’s important to know how the projector screen’s retractability works.

If you look inside a screen’s housing, you’ll see that the screen wraps around a retractable spring. This is where the name retractable projector screens come from.

The spring has a tension that’s always pulling the screen inside the housing. This is why, if you get the full manual screens, you have to secure the handle to keep the screen down. If you don’t, the spring’s tension will pull it right back up.

You can now see the importance of spring. It’s the reason you can pull down and roll up your projector screen when you want to use it or keep it.

What Causes The Spring to Not Work?

CENTURY SPRING CS-5 Screen Door Spring, 13/32"

If your retractable projector screen fails to roll back up, then the problem is with the spring. To be more specific, the problem is with the spring’s tension.

You already know the retractability of screens depends on the spring and its tension. So what happens if the tension becomes loose?

The spring won’t pull on the screen anymore. The result will be that your screen can’t roll back up to the housing. This is why this issue comes up.

How can you prevent this from happening? Unfortunately, you sometimes can’t. What we mean is that there are 2 ways the tension loosens, one is preventable while the other isn’t.

If you always use your screen, then the spring will go back and forth as you open and close it. Naturally, it will start to lose some of its tension. This is the kind of tension loosening that you can’t avoid, unless, of course, you don’t use your screen.

You can prevent the other reason why tension loosens up, though. Just be careful you don’t pull the screen all the way down.

If you do, there’s no more screen wrapped around the spring. It won’t have anything to roll up since its hold on the screen is gone. That makes it lose all its tension.

If you want to avoid this, then read the manual on how far down your projector screen can go. (Explore more: The 5 Best Ways to Make A Projector Screen at Home)

How to Add Tension to A Projector Screen?

Don’t worry. You don’t need to replace the spring if it loses its tension. All you need to do is add tension to it again.

You can do this in two ways. The wrist flick and the spring re-tensioner.

1. The Wrist Flick

How to Retract a Projection Screen

This is a very easy trick to get your spring’s tension back up. Know that this only works if you lose tension through using it so much and not by overpulling.

All you need to do is hold the screen by the handle. With a fast motion, flick your wrist down, use both hands if necessary. For support, hold onto the handle and push upward a bit while the screen rolls back up.

This works because the flick can bring a shock to the spring, which can build up enough tension to pull the screen up. This trick provides tension only for a moment. You’ll have to do it again every time you’re done using your projector screen.

But if that doesn’t work, use the spring re-tensioner method.

2. The Spring Re-Tensioner

How To Adjust the Retractable Screen Spring Tension

This method is also very easy. But you’ll need to remove the projector screen and place it on a working space, either a table or the floor.

At the edges of your projector screen’s housing, there are end caps. Remove the screws on the left cap. Gently pry it open by inserting a screwdriver as a lever between the cap and the housing.

When you pull out the cap, you’ll see that it’s connected to the spring. Throughout the process, always hold the cap firm in your hand. If you let go of it once, the spring might get destroyed.

From there, turn the cap clockwise to add tension. Try to turn it about 12 to 15 times. You’ll know it’s re-tensioned when there’s resistance to your turning.

After that, insert the cap back onto the housing. Put the screws back on and there you have it. The spring in your retractable projector screen has the tension it needs to go down and up.

How to Fix Downward Retractable Projector Screen Issues?

Retractable Auto-Locking Movie Projection Screen
Click image for more info

So far, we’ve been talking about the issue of not being able to roll the screen back up. But what about pulling the screen down?

There are times when a manual retractable projector screen drags when you pull it down. There are times when you need to jerk it hard to bring it down.

If you’re experiencing this, please don’t force it. That could bring all sorts of damage to the screen or the spring.

Instead, use the spring re-tensioner method we mentioned above. Remember that the spring controls both the downward and upward motion of the screen. If it has the right tension, it’ll be able to go down and up smoothly and perfectly without any struggles.


So if you face these retractable projector screen issues, don’t start panicking. It isn’t destroyed. It just needs some re-adjusting or re-tensioning.

It’ll only take a few short minutes to get your retractable projector screen back to normal. You’ll be able to enjoy the smooth motion of pulling the screen down and rolling it back up again.

It’s so easy you don’t even need any help.

We hope that this has been a great help for you and your retractable projector screen.

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