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How to Change a Screen Door Lock Without a Key

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Muhammad Baballe Ahmad, Mehmet Cavas, Sudhir Chitnis, and Zhen-ya Liu.

✓ Verified & Tested Information

Learn how to change a screen door lock without a key by following these easy steps.

Gather the Necessary Tools

Replacing a screen door lock can seem like a daunting task, but with the right set of tools, it can be done quickly and easily. To get started, you’ll need a Phillips screwdriver, a flathead screwdriver, a pair of locking pliers, and a small hammer. With these tools in hand, you’ll be able to remove the old lock and replace it with a new one.

Phillips screwdriver

In order to change a screen door lock without a key, you will need to have a few items available. The primary tool you need is a Phillips screwdriver. This will allow you to unscrew the screws on the outside of the screen door that hold the lock in place. Make sure that your Phillips screwdriver has enough length and width to fit into the head of each screw since different locks may require different sized heads. Additionally, it can be helpful if you have an adjustable screwdriver so that you can adjust its length or width if needed. Once all of the screws are successfully removed, you can easily remove and replace your new lock.

Flathead screwdriver

It’s possible to change the lock on your screen door without a key by gathering the necessary tools and following some simple instructions. The first tool you will need is a flathead screwdriver. It should be small enough to fit in the head of the screw, but large enough to provide leverage while turning. It may be helpful to have multiple sizes of flathead screwdrivers available so that you can choose the one that best fits the specific size of your screws. You may also need needle-nose pliers or other specialized tools depending on the type of lock you have.

Needle-nose pliers

Needle-nose pliers are a crucial tool when attempting to change a screen door lock without a key. They allow the user to grip smaller components in tight areas, as well as twist and turn pins in order to unlock the mechanism. Be sure to wear heavy duty work gloves so that your hands do not become injured from sharp or jagged edges inside the lock area. You will want to be sure you are using a pair of needlenose pliers that are long enough for your job and have enough strength for the task at hand. Being able to work with both large and small objects is important, so use caution when selecting a pair of needle-nose pliers and make sure they have sharp tips that can fit into the locks tight spaces.

Remove the Old Lock

Replacing a screen door lock without a key can be a difficult task, but it can be done. Before you replace the lock, you need to start by removing the old lock. If it is a knob lock, you will want to unscrew the knob and then use a flat head screwdriver to pry the knob off. If the lock is a deadbolt, you will need to unscrew the interior part of the lock revealing the screws that attach it to the door. Once these screws are removed, the lock should be able to be pulled off.

Unscrew the screws on the door frame

The screws on the door frame that hold the lock in place need to be removed. Use a Phillips head screwdriver or an appropriate tool to remove them. If the screws have been painted over and are hard to turn, spray some lubricant like WD-40 onto the screw heads and let them sit for a few minutes before attempting to remove them. This should make it easier to unscrew the screws. Be sure not to put too much pressure when unscrewing so as not to strip or damage them. After all of the screws are removed, take out the old lock and ensure there is no residue left behind.

Remove the knob and faceplate

Removing an old lock from a screen door is necessary when you need to replace the lock set due to broken, lost or missing keys. By following a few simple steps, you can remove the old lock without needing to access a key. To begin, locate and remove the two screws on the knob on the inside surface of your screen door. After removing these screws, you can then gently pull off the knob and faceplate from the door jamb.

Take note of how the interior workings are attached; this will help you when it comes time to reinstall your new lock set. If there are any additional decorative parts that have been attached to your old lock set, go ahead and take them off as well before completely removing the rest of your existing hardware. At this point, you should be able to slide out all of the internal pieces from inside your existing door jamb so they are ready for replacement with a new lock set.

Detach the old lock from the door

Gather the tools and supplies needed before beginning to remove the old lock from the door. Unscrew any visible screws holding the latch into place, making sure that if there are two screws, one is longer than the other. Check for a pin or other fastener and remove it if necessary. Once all pieces have been removed, grasp the lever or handle of your old lock and pull it away from the door until it is free-floating.

Install the New Lock

Installing a new screen door lock to replace an old one without a key is an easy task that can be done in a few simple steps. Before you proceed, make sure you have all of the necessary tools, such as a drill and a screwdriver. Additionally, you will need a new screen door lock that fits in the hole created by the old lock. Now that you have the required items, let’s get started and install the new lock.

Insert the new lock into the door

Installing a new lock on your screen door is necessary if you don’t have the key for the existing lock, or if it has become damaged or lost. Before beginning, make sure that the new lock fits into your existing hole and the bolt slides easily into place. To install the new lock, you will need a few basic tools.

First, insert the bolt of the new lock into its designated slot in the door frame. Using a flat head screwdriver, tighten any screws found around this area to secure it in place. Make sure that it is even with all other parts of the frame before moving on to adjustment.
Next, insert the thumbturn (or cylinder) of the new lock into its designated slot in the door handle. Secure this part using either screws or nuts found around this area of your door handle depending on style and type. If necessary, adjust any screws or nuts supporting either side of your door handle until both parts are properly secured and close to each other.
Finally, slide out whatever keyhole cover came with your new lock along with its corresponding key or knob for easy future access when unlocking or locking your screen door from outside (if applicable). You can usually use a flathead screwdriver for shallow set screws if so required for securing those pieces in place; otherwise simply placing them firmly should be enough for those parts to remain fixed appropriately.

Secure the new lock with screws

Once you’ve placed the new lock in the proper position on the frame of your door, it’s time to secure it. This is done with screws which need to be passed through pre-drilled holes in the metal frame of your doorway. Begin by inserting one screw into each existing hole, making sure that all four screws are in place before tightening any of them down.

Tighten all four screws securely but do not overtighten. Too much pressure could cause damage to both the lock and the metal door frame, so make sure that all four screws are snug but not too tight. Once you have secured your new lock with all four screws, test it to ensure that it functions properly before attempting to open or close your screen door.

Reattach the knob and faceplate

Once the new lock is installed, carefully reattach the knob and faceplate to the door. It is important to make sure that all components are properly aligned and tightly secured. Once attached, test the doorknob to ensure it turns easily and is not loose. If necessary, use a screwdriver to tighten any screws to secure the faceplate or door knob firmly in place. Make sure that all doors are securely shut before you move on so you don’t accidentally leave your home vulnerable to intruders.

Test the Lock

Before attempting to change a screen door lock without a key, it’s important to first test the existing lock. Check if the lock is stuck or jammed, as this could be an indication that the lock needs to be replaced entirely. Additionally, inspect the lock for any missing or worn out parts, as this could be a sign that the lock needs to be repaired or replaced. Carefully test the lock to ensure that it is functioning properly and can be accessed with a key.

Test the lock with the new key

The first step in replacing a screen door lock without a key is to test the lock with the new key. Before attempting to replace the existing lock, make sure that the new key will fit and work properly by testing it out on the existing lock. Make sure that you know exactly how it should fit – if it does not go in smoothly, there may be something blocking it or some type of obstruction inside. If this happens, carefully look for anything blocking or sticking out from the cylinder and remove whatever is necessary. Also check for any rust or dirt on the cylinder since either one can prevent a key from working correctly. If all else fails and you are still unable to get the new key to work, it may be necessary to disassemble and clean out the lock’s cylinder before continuing with installation of a new one.

Ensure the lock is secure and functioning properly

It is important to ensure the lock is secure and functioning properly before you install it. To test the lock, begin by inserting the key into the keyhole and turning it. If the latch does not move freely within its housing, then gently move it with your finger until it moves freely. You may need to adjust the tumblers in order for them to fit properly and for the lock to work efficiently. Also, make sure that when you turn your key in the opening, the latch of the lock engages appropriately. If everything seems to be working properly, then proceed with installation. It’s always important to test a new lock before you install it!

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