How To Remove A Recliner Back

by Andrew Smith| Last Updated: January 6, 2022

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how to remove a recliner back with this step-by-step guide

Recliners, though, are considered comfy, and luxurious home furniture can sometimes be a pain when you need to move them. Why? They’re heavy and bulky–hence, may cause back and hand injuries if caution isn’t taken when moving them.  Still, forcing them through narrow doorways may also compromise their quality.

Thanks to the modern recliners–the backs come off of reclining sofas and reinstalling it isn’t tough, either. With only a slight difference, all recliner backs are removable. Otherwise, without being able to disassemble and assemble the back, moving recliners would be a hard nut to crack. 

So, here’s the multibillion-dollar question, how do you remove the back of a recliner? Relax, this article offers clear, easy-to-follow steps on how to remove a recliner back. 

But first….

Are All Recliner Backs Removable?

Unless the manufacturer complicates it when manufacturing your recliner, taking the back off recliner couch is incredibly easy. 

What’s more? The process of removing the back is the same–probably, just a slight difference between models. 

Especially when dealing with modern models, you may see features such as clips or locking bars plus thumbscrews. 

These features make removing the back of a recliner possible and stress-free.  

Are All Recliner Backs The Same?

No, all recliner backs aren’t designed the same way. So, how to take back off recliner couch depends on the model. Plus, the manufacturer. 

Below are the four types of recliner backs you’ll find in the market:

  • Bolted on backs
  • Catches
  • Locking levers
  • Locking tabs

Bolted On Backs

Simply put, bolts are used to secure them on seats–thus, the reason they’re called ‘bolted on back’.  

With this type, removing the back only involves removal of the bolts, which are covered by the panel. So, you’ve to lift it to make them visible (more on this later).

Locking Levers

On each of the sides of your recliner, you’ll see locking levers. To remove these metal posts, start by sliding the recliner’s brackets into the locking levers (I’ll go into details later in this article). Flipping them simply locks the back into their initial position. 


Unlike tabs, catches automatically snap when the back is slid into the recliner. You don’t need an extra hand to do this. They’re most common in old lazy boy recliners. 

Locker Tabs

Locker tabs, automatically lock and hold the back securely and you may have to use a screwdriver to remove them–it’s also fast to remove them this way. If you’ve no other option, using your hands could also work but may be time-consuming.

Getting Ready for the Task: The Steps You Must Not Ignore

Though the type of the back of your recliner determines how to remove it, several steps apply to all types: bolted bars, locking levers, locking tabs, and catches. 

  • Have enough, clean, and open space where you’ll have enough room to remove a recliner back. 
  • To take the back off recliner coach, carefully push it to the front. Be careful–if it lands with a bang, it may break. 
  • Now, access the loop-and-hook tape before accessing the tape, which attaches the leather (or fabric), and remove it.
  • Gently pull and fold the fabric (or leather). Do so until you see the mechanism of your recliner
  • You’re likely to see thumb screws or metal tabs. 

Now, follow the following steps to remove a recliner back depending on its type. 

How To Take Back Off Recliner Couch With Bolted Bars

Though it’s not really complicated to stop you from trying, don’t take back off the recliner couch with bolted bars alone, seek help from anyone close to you.

  • Use a power drill driver to effectively remove all the bolted bars, which you’ll see at the back of your recliner after turning it over.
  • Ask someone to firmly hold the chair. You can now remove the last bar after uncovering the back. 
  • Now pull the back upwards to remove it.

An extra hand may be necessary when you get to the last bar. Let me explain, recliners are bulky, and removing the covered bolts all by yourself may be tedious and life-threatening especially if you cannot contain its weight.

How To Remove A Recliner Back With Locking Levers 

Removing a recliner back with locking levers isn’t difficult, with only a screwdriver and a keen eye on this guide, you’ll successfully do it.

  • Try accessing the strip, which is attached to the locking levers. The panel that hides them must first be lifted.  
  • Still, on the back of your recliner, access the locking levers–they’re on the sides.
  • Next, use a screwdriver to loosen the metallic locking levers so as to detach them. 
  • Gently move your recliner to its first position. 
  • Remove the back by gently pulling it upwards.   

How Do You Remove The Back Of A Recliner With Locking Tabs

To remove the back of a recliner with locking tabs, you need to apply enough pressure:

  • Your pressure initiates the movement of the tabs in a forward direction.
  • With enough pressure, the back of the recliner automatically unlocks. 
  • So, when applying enough pressure, lift the back to remove it from recliner’s frames

The Closing Line

Nothing should stop you from having your luxurious recliner where you need it. Since you now know that the back of a recliner comes off, familiarize yourself with the above information on how to remove a recliner back.

With the back off, it doesn’t matter how bulky your recliner or narrow your doorway is, your recliner MUST go through. Besides, there’s only a small difference in how you remove the back of your recliner. Reinstalling the back is also another easy thing to do. So, you don’t have to fear a single thing or spend any cash by hiring any experts.