The second generation high temperature superconductor, specifically REBCO, has become a new research focus in the development of a new generation of high-field (>25 T) magnets. One of the main challenges in the application of the magnets is the current screening problem. Previous research shows that for magnetized superconducting stacks and bulks the application of an AC field in plane with the circulating current will lead to demagnetization due to vortex shaking, which provides a possible solution to remove the shielding current. This paper provides an in-depth study, both experimentally and numerically, to unveil the vortex shaking mechanism of REBCO stacks. A new experiment was carried out to measure the demagnetization rate of REBCO stacks exposed to an in-plane AC magnetic field. Meanwhile, 2D finite element models, based on the E–J power law, are developed for simulating the vortex shaking effect of the AC magnetic field. Qualitative agreement was obtained between the experimental and the simulation results. Our results show that the applied in-plane magnetic field leads to a sudden decay of trapped magnetic field in the first half shaking cycle, which is caused by the magnetic field dependence of critical current. Furthermore, the decline of demagnetization rate with the increase of tape number is mainly due to the cross-magnetic field being screened by the top and bottom stacks during the shaking process, which leads to lower demagnetization rate of inner layers. We also demonstrate that the frequency of the applied AC magnetic field has little impact on the demagnetization process. Our modeling tool and findings perfect the vortex shaking theory and provide helpful guidance for eliminating screening current in the new generation REBCO magnets.