How To Remove The Back of A Recliner – Easier Than You Think

Robert Bernal
Robert Bernal
Research Writer
Robert is a professional writer who creates incredible science fiction short stories. When not writing about the alien invasions, he focuses on some more trivial topics maki read more
Reviewed By
William Barnett
William Barnett
Expert Consultant
William is a top sales manager in one of the local furniture stores, which sells recliners among others. Like nobody else, he knows what specs to look for to fulfil each cli read more
Last updated: August 16, 2023
ReclinerLand is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here

It can be difficult to move furniture –from one room to another, to a new house or across the country. This will keep you wondering how to move your recliner, which is a heavy piece of furniture. Lifting it can make you vulnerable to back injuries, which is certainly the last thing you want. Luckily, modern recliners come with a removable back that you can detach from the body and easily reassemble later.
For the reason of moving, and others, you will need to remove your recliner’s back and reinstall it. Some recliners are standalone chairs, while others are part of a sofa. While the methods for removing a recliner’s back are pretty much the same, there are little differences based on the manufacturer of the furniture. Some come with locking tabs, thumbscrews or clip, but the end result is not hard to achieve. This guide is intended to teach you how to remove the back of a recliner.

Common types of backs – Which one do you have?

There are three types of recliners backs:
1. Locking Levers
2. Bolted on Backs
3. Locking Tab or Catch

Locking Tabs or Catches
The tabs securely hold the back to stay in place. You can remove them with a screwdriver, while some people make use of their hands. However, using a screwdriver is highly recommended. On the other hand, a catch snaps or automatically lock itself into place when you slide back on the recliners back. This is more common with Lazy Boy recliners.
Locking Levers
There are some metal posts connected together at the seat on each side of the back. The recliner’s brackets slide onto these posts and remain secured. You just have to flip it if you want to lock the back in a proper position.
Bolted on Backs
There are some recliners’ backs that are secured with bolts. However, this is rare. The backs are held in place by having them secured to the posts of the seats. To detach them, you will simply lift the panel that exposes the bolts to unbolt the back.

How to plan ahead?

As you have probably known by now, taking out the back of your recliner is the safest way to move it from one place to another. This way, moving it becomes easier for you to move and also protect your recliner from any form of damage. It is important to measure the size of your recliner. It will help you get a better understanding that will help you to get the recliner into your new location successfully. Measuring it also helps you know whether or not the recliner will fit properly. If you move it from a bigger place to a smaller one without measuring it, your recliner may not fit. It is also important to measure the doorway and hallway of the new location. Comparing the measurement of the doorway to your recliner will make your move easier.

How to remove the back of a recliner with locking levers

Push the sofa forward to make the back face up. Lots of sofas come with a detachable back panel that you can expose the inner frame by lifting it. Find the velvet strip and unfasten it or you can just locate the snap securing the fabric to the base of the frame. Then lift the upholstery up.
Locate where the rear locking levers are positioned by checking the frames on each of the sofa’s seat. There is a metal lever that points downward around the place the back and top of the arm join at each side of the main body of the sofa.
If your sofa comes with a center console, the levers on the frame will be located between it and the seats. If the sofa doesn’t come with detachable strips of fabric exposing the frame, check the seams between the seats and the center console to see if there is any strip present.
Use your finger, in a pinch or a flat head screwdriver to loosen each lever or raise it and release the seatback. Once the levers have been unlocked, return the sofa to its position and remove the back from its frame. If your sofa has a center console dividing the seats, lift each seat and console out of its housing.

How to remove the back of a Lazy-Boy recliner with bolted bars

How To Remove The Back of A Recliner - Easier Than You ThinkFor recliner back with a bolted bars, turn over the sofa to locate the base bars. If the sofa has base bars, you would see the bars bolted from one base’s end to another.
Unfasten the bolts of the base bars. Check the head of the bolts securing the base bars. Unfasten each bolt from the base bars using a drill with a proper bit.
Remove the last bar with the help of someone that can hold or stabilize the sofa for you while you are at it. This way, its components will not roll away, get damaged or damage nearby objects.

How to remove the back of a recliner with a locking tab

For sofas that their backs have locking tables or catches, the tabs snap into place automatically when the back is slid on. The easier way to release the tabs is by using a flat screwdriver. It is not advisable that you use your hands. If after sliding it on, the back is still loose, detach the fasteners of the back brackets and tighten them. If it is still loose after you have done this, use a screwdriver to ensure the tab is seated properly in its slot after the back has been installed.
To remove the back of a recliner with locking tabs, firmly grasp the tabs and press them in a forward direction as you pull the bottom half of the sofa’s back to have the mechanism unlocked. Then, lift the back up and off the sofa. You have to rock it back and forth in a gentle manner so that you can slide the back off the sofa’s brackets.


How To Remove The Back of A Recliner - Easier Than You ThinkThe reinstallation is a reverse of what you did when you removed the back of your recliner, so it is not a difficult process. First, you need to take pictures as you remove the parts of the sofa, such as the base, the frame, and other relevant pictures. This way, you will understand how the sofa is meant to look like after you have put it back together. Also, keep the screws, bolts and other hardware in different plastic bags.
Position the brackets of the recliners back over the lower half of your recliner’s brackets. This may be a little bit frustrating to you because correctly lining the brackets up usually takes time. Once you have been able to achieve perfect alignment, you can slide the recliners back into place easily. Finish off with added screws, fixing tables or adjusting levels to be sure that you have properly secured and locked the back.


With what we have discussed here on how to remove the back of a recliner, moving your recliner chair shouldn’t be a daunting task anymore. You also don’t have to worry about causing an injury to yourself, your recliner and other properties in the course of moving it.
For whatever reasons you have decided to move your comfort-zone furniture, all you need is a standard flat screwdriver and a time to spare. Also, do not forget to plan ahead by measuring and comparing the size of your recliner to your new location. With this guide, you should be able to understand each step.
Different recliners come with different backs, but the process of reinstallation is not hard. That’s it on how to remove the back of a lazy boy recliner. If you have any more questions, let us know by dropping a comment below.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *