Barn Door Soft Close Not Working: Troubleshooting Tips

The barn door soft close system is one of the most significant additions to a barn door. It’s more of a damper concealed behind the rail.

The soft-close system brings the door to a controlled, quiet stop. So no bouncing or slamming as the door reaches the end of the tracks. In addition, it reduces the amount of force needed to close the door.

Barn Door Soft Close Not Working

So, it can be quite frustrating when the soft close door hardware doesn’t work correctly. Fortunately, this is an easy fix! 

Whether the soft-close springs are faulty or the catcher has come loose, you can solve the problem without replacing any hardware. Check out these quick and easy fixes to fix a barn door soft close that isn’t working!

How Does Barn Door Soft Close Work?

The soft close attachment installs discretely on both ends of the track. The actuator and spring-loaded lever are what make this type of door work.

The Soft Close Attachment Installs Discretely On Both Ends Of The Track

The lever has a catch that sticks down. As you open or close the door, the actuator grabs on the catch tab, slowing down the door before it makes contact with the door stop. 

Also, the actuator triggers the spring inside the lever to absorb the closing force. This ensures smooth and silent closing of barn doors – no need to worry about pushing too hard or making too much noise when opening or closing your barn door. 

What Causes Barn Door Soft Close Not Working Problem?

Soft-close doors are great because they allow you to open the door without worrying about it slamming shut. Unfortunately, this feature can sometimes malfunction. If your soft close is not working properly, here are some possible causes:

  • Stuck or jammed spring
  • Obstruction from anti-jump discs on the top of your door – remove the anti-jump discs.
  • Interchanged soft-close assembly – soft-close assemblies in the package are not identical. You need to tell between the left soft stop side and right.
  • The catch isn’t in the engaged position.
  • Poor orientation – the actuator doesn’t have a better grip on the soft stop.
  • Debris may be lodged between the tracks, which will cause friction and slow closing speed significantly.
  • The door might not have enough weight to close completely. 

How To Fix The Barn Door Soft Close Not Working Issue?

How To Fix The Barn Door Soft Close Not Working Issue

Most often, it’s nothing too serious. Therefore, troubleshoot before calling a handyman or repair person to help with the problem. Here’s a checklist on how to fix a soft close barn door:

Actuators position

First, the actuators should be close to the center of the track, not the edges. If not, they’ll grip onto the catch tabs before the door fully opens or closes. Also, install the soft close, ensuring that the angled tab is closest to the center of the track.

Actuators orientation

In addition, ensure proper orientation of the actuator. You should mount it such that the lip is on the front face of the door.

Read More: Exploring Barn Door Vs Regular Door! (Complete Guide)

Actuator and the soft-close clearance

Moreover, consider the clearance between the actuator and the soft-close lever. It should be low enough to allow the actuator to grab onto the catch tabs. 

Sophisticated soft-close attachments allow you to adjust the height of the actuator. You can often use an Allen wrench to adjust the height of the actuator for a better grip on the Soft Stop.

Mounting bracket

Again, ensure to install the mounting bracket as high enough on the slotted holes. Also, check to ensure the set screws are flush with the inside of the mounting brackets. Use a hex wrench to adjust accordingly.

The mechanism may be working properly, but the door is not heavy enough to close completely. In case, locate a screw at the end of the soft stop and use the Allen key to decrease resistance.

The soft closing sliding door system installation guide will highlight the correct spacing and orientation of the various hardware components. So, ensure you follow it to the latter.

Barn Door Soft Close Maintenance Guide

Doing routine maintenance is part of keeping your barn door soft-close system working great. 

Check the tracks regularly for wear or damage, and replace them as needed. You should also oil all rollers, springs, and latches periodically—or at least once a year. While you’re at it, think about replacing any damaged parts on your door as well. 

Keep routine maintenance to keep your barn door great

In addition, don’t use extreme force or overload the soft-close mechanism. It can break the catch tabs on the lever or cause other barn door problems.


Can I mount a barn door over the existing molding?

Yes, you can install a barn door over existing trim. However, you’ll need to fill the gap left behind by the latch. 

Do I need a header for barn door installation?

So, does a barn door require a header? Yes, a header is essential in carrying the load of the door. You don’t have to open the drywall or modify the studs. Plus, it provides a place to attach the track.


So there you have it, our tutorial on how to adjust barn door soft close. We hope you can get the results you’re looking for and that this guide makes sense for your needs.

However, ensure proper maintenance to avoid more problems, or worse still, replacing the entire soft-close assembly.

Remember, cheap barn door soft-close will often give you more trouble down the road. So, ensure you use high-quality soft-close hardware. A good example is the Renin barn door soft close mechanism. This patent-pending soft-close system is durable, quick to install, and has a low-profile design that installs discreetly onto most flat track hardware kits.