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While not all paper towel dispensers are made the same, most have a similar design for refilling empty rolls of towels. You should always, first, try to follow the instructions that came with the paper towel dispenser, but if that fails, here are is a public washroom dispenser guide on the most common procedure.
First, unlatch the casing from the dispenser. Most have a plastic keyhole that you can twist with a simple flat-head screwdriver. One simple twist is all it should take, so, if you feel that the keyhole isn't turning as it should, you shouldn't apply too much pressure of it will break. If the hole won't turn on its own, you will want to consult your manufacturer.
If you succeed in unlocking the casing, there should be a release lever inside of the paper towel dispenser. This lever or button will release one end of the empty roll allowing you to remove it. Once you remove the empty roll, simply slide a new roll in its place. You should be able to slide the roller back into its proper position easily once the roll is on. Now, simply enclose the casing again and lock the latch.
If these instructions don't seem to fit your particular paper towel dispenser, try contacting the maker of your model for further help.