How to Remove a Window Crank Handle

A window crank is designed to work with manual windows. This crank is attached to the window regulator which is responsible for holding the door window and controlling the up and down vertical movement. In this guide we show you how to remove the window crank and how to reinstall it.

Let's Jump In!

On some window crank designs there is a small screw in the middle of the window crank, either under a sticker or cap. If not, you have the retainer clip style of window crank which takes an alternative method to remove and install. Here is an example of a C clip style of window crank, if you don't know the trick it can be frustrating to remove.
how to remove a window crank handle

There will be a plastic washer that sits between the window crank and door panel. Start by using a small standard (flat blade) screwdriver to help open the gap which will expose the retainer C clip.
window crank washer gap

Now, insert a shop towel between the window crank and the plastic washer as in the image below.
shop towel between window crank

While holding the window crank, pull down on the shop towel this will cause the fibers of the towel to grab the C retainer clip and remove it from the crank handle allowing the removal.
pull down on shop towel

Here is what it looks like with the window crank removed, at the same time you can see the plastic washer or spacer
window crank removed

Watch the Video!

Please watch this video of the job being done, then continue down the guide to glean additional helpful information.

This is how the towel works behind the scenes, you can see how the towel grabs the C retainer clip.
towel hooked clip

In this image you can see the C retainer clip installed, this gives you a better idea on how the removal works, note that the clip can be installed in either direction, so if the towel trick doesn't work one way try the opposite direction.
c clip installed on window crank

To reinstall the window crank align the handle to the regulator and push straight on, you will notice the window crank handle can be installed in any orientation.
install window crank


Our certified technicians are ready to answer window crank handle questions for free. We hope you saved money and learned from this guide. We are creating a full set of car repair guides. Please subscribe to our 2CarPros YouTube channel and check back often for new videos which are uploaded regularly.

Article published