Office Chair Tilt Lock Not Working

Why is My Office Chair Tilt Lock Not Working?

Does your office chair not tilt forward, backward, or recline at all? If yes, it means that the tilt lock is either jammed or damaged. In either case, don’t panic, it’s one of the common problems for most office chairs.

Although a malfunctioned tilt lock mechanism looks like a small issue on the outwards, it may cause serious health issues including spinal cord injury, neck pain, and poor posture. All of this collectively hampers a person’s ability to perform well at work.

To help you understand why your office chair tilt lock not working, we have carried out our research. In this article, we will not only discuss the reasons for the tilt lock problem but will also help you solve the issue.

What is a Tilt Lock on an Office Chair?

Tilt Lock on an Office Chair

The tilt lock feature in an office chair permits the user to lock or hold the chair in a comfortable tilting position. It helps the user control the angle of the chair’s backrest and keeps it in place. You can adjust the office chair’s recline angle by pulling a tilt lock lever, pressing the button, or turning a knob for getting comfort and support.

The tilt lock system is usually found under the seat of the chair, but in some models, it is also located on the backrest. It is a beneficial feature because you can lean back, take a rest, relax your body, and lock your seat in any comfortable body position even if you adjust the height of the chair.

Moreover, a well-designed tilt lock office chair maintains a healthy posture by reducing the strain on the back and neck muscles. It also helps to improve focus and working efficiency by making you comfortable. However, the extended and inappropriate use of the tilt lock feature demonstrates the following problems:

  • Unable to recline, lean, and tilt
  • Stuck in a reclined position
  • Automatically and too easily recline
  • Unbalanced and unstable recline position
  • Making irritating and squeaking noises

Why did my office chair stop leaning back?

Before we discuss how to fix the tilt lock, you need to understand the reasons behind the issue. Here are some common reasons why office chairs won’t lean back:

Reason 1: Problem with Tension Knob

The wrong tension adjustment is the first common reason that stops you from moving, reclining, and tilting. The excessive tension does not hold or lock the office chair in your desired position. Moreover, the too-high tension knob also impairs the tilt mechanism of the office chair.


You can resolve this reason by loosening the tension knob. If the tension knob in your chair is already loosened then the problem is due to damaged springs or levers.

adjust the Tension Knob of office chair

Reason 2: Broken or worn out Springs

Broken or damaged springs in the office chair can cause the stuck or impaired tilt lock mechanism. Check if there is zero tension and you can’t lock in your comfortable position, then it’s time to replace the springs.


Replace the spring with a new one is the best way to fix the problem

Reason 3: Damaged or Broken Lever

Sometimes tilt lock problems may occur due to a faulty or cracked lever. If the lever is not in the right position or dislodged, it may cause the improper functioning of the tilt lock feature.


You should consider repairing or replacing the lever with a technician.

Reason 4: Loose screws or Bolts

Another reason that affects the normal functioning of the tilt lock feature is the loose screws, bolts, levers, or springs.


Tightening the screws and bolts can fix the problem.

Reason 5: Misaligned Lock

In some cases, a misaligned lock can also be a factor in the inaccurate working of the tilt lock mechanism. This reason usually occurs due to the over-tightening of the lock or any physical damage.


To fix this reason, first lose the tension knob then remove the seat plate of the office chair and realign the tilt lock mechanism.

Reason 6: Rusty Recliner Rod or Unlubricated Parts

If your office chair has become too old and the recliner rod gets rusty, it causes the chair not to lean back. Moreover, the unlubricated parts in the office chair produce squeaking noises when you recline or tilt. These irritating noises disturb you and your coworkers during work.


The best possible solution is to apply lubrication (WD40) to the rusty recliner rod to recline the office chair properly and in the other chair parts to prevent distracting noises.

Reason 7: Dirty and Dusty Parts

Dirty and unclean parts can also be a reason for improper tilt lock function in the office chair. When dirt and debris are accumulated in the office chair parts, the tilt lock becomes jammed and does not allow you to lean and recline properly. So, it is necessary to clean the office chair monthly.


You should clean the chair parts with a damp cloth, paper towel, and rubbing alcohol for the proper tilt functioning of the office chair.

How do I fix the tilt on my office chair?

In this section, we will be discussing with you a step-by-step process to fix the tilt lock in the office chairs:

Check the Instruction Manual

The first step in diagnosing the problem is to read the instruction manual to find the location of the tilt lock. Manual instruction will help you to find and identify the tilt lock problems. If you don’t have the manual you can download it from the original manufacturer’s website.

Test the Recline

The next step is to identify and verify the cause of the tilt lock issue. As we have already mentioned above the reasons for the tilt lock not working problem, try to check the reasons one by one and identify the reason for your office chair wisely. Once you have found the reason you can solve the problem with our best possible solution tip.

Adjust the Tension of the Office Chair

It is important to adjust the tension of the office chair based on your body weight and height. Do not set it too tight or too loose because it can cause back pain and poor posture. If you adjust it too loose, you will not be able to recline or tilt the chair correctly.

Check the Tension Knob

When the office chair’s tilt lock mechanism has malfunctioned, you should inspect the tension knob. A damaged or loose lever can prevent the office chair from reclining or tilting. Replacing and repairing the damaged part is the best possible way for the accurate working of the tit lock system in the office chair.

Why did my office chair stop leaning back

Inspect the Seat Slider/Plate

The next thing that you need to do is to check the seat plate. The seat plate in the office chair is the thin plate that is present under the cushion. If the seat plate in your office chair has become loosened or bent, then it’s time to replace the seat plate.

Inspect the Fasteners and springs

When the tension knob doesn’t solve your tilt lock issue, you should check the screws thoroughly and the springs. If screws are loosened, tighten them with a screwdriver and replace the springs with a new one if the springs get damaged.

Adjust the Backrest Angle

In the next step, you should adjust the angle of the backrest by using the screws under the armrests for attaining good posture.

Check the Seat Height

Don’t forget to check the seat height of the office chair for the proper functioning of the tilt lock mechanism. The height chair of the seat should be at least 18 inches off the ground. If the seat height is low, you should increase the height of the seat by adjusting the backrest.

Clear the Things Around Desk Area

In the last step, remove the things that block and interfere with the tilt lock mechanism. We suggest you clean the chair parts and clear the desk area so that the office chair can move freely.

Final Thoughts!

Our guide has helped you fix the faulty tilt lock on your office chair. As discussed earlier, the functional tilt lock mechanism in an office chair is an essential feature for comfortable and safe seating. It depends on small parts (lever, springs, screws, tension knob) and other features that get damaged, jammed, or broken over time.

We believe that now you can resolve the tilt lock problem with our successful methods. But if you need help with the above methods, we suggest you check your office chair with an expert technician.


Q1: How do I fix the tilt on my office chair?

You may need to tighten the tension knob of the office chair. To fix the tilt lock issue, turn the knob anticlockwise until the right tension according to your body weight is achieved, then push in the lever. It is better to lubricate the gas cylinder

Q2: Why did my office chair stop leaning back?

If your office chair stops leaning back or does not recline accurately, it could be due to a damaged lever, faulty spring, unlubricated screws, loosened bolts, and tension knob errors.

Q3: Why is my chair lever not working?

Usually, the office chair lever does not work properly due to the damaged gas cylinder or faulty lift mechanism. However, this problem can be solved by inserting a new lift gas cylinder from an expert.

Q4: How do you fix an office chair that won’t lift?

You can fix an office chair that won’t lift by using a hose clamp, adjusting the chair’s height, then wrapping the hose clamp around the metal cylinder and tightening the screws accurately.

Similar Posts