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How to Remove an Entry Door Lock Without Visible Screws

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

If you’re wondering how to remove an entry door lock without visible screws, you’re not alone. Here’s a quick and easy guide on how to do it.

Identifying the Lock

For some entry doors, removing the lock may seem impossible because there are no visible screws on the outside or the inside of the door. Using a few tricks, you can identify the lock and unlock it without any visible screws. Let’s talk about the few methods you can use to identify the lock and unlock it quickly and easily.

Determine the type of lock

Before attempting to remove the lock, it is important to identify the type of lock. Many entry door locks installed in residential homes do not require screws or bolts for installation as they often have a reversible latch bolt with radius corners. The radius corner design allows the knob and mechanism to be slipped into place quickly, held securely by its rigid design. However, should this type of lock need to be removed, there are several clues that will help determine what type of entry door lock you are dealing with.

The first clue is the look and size of the knob or lever – different types of knobs commonly used on both residential and commercial doors include cylindrical locksets, which feature a round profile; tubular locksets with a double-tubular design; and mortise locksets with an elongated rectangular shape. Additionally, you should inspect if the handle has a separate piece from its spindle outside casing (known as escutcheon plates) or if it has exposed screws alongside its body to indicate it may be removable. Lastly, take note if there are other features such as electronic keypads indicating that it may be electronic instead of mechanical in nature. Once you have identified your particular lock set, refer to its instructions or directions guide for instructions on how to go about disassembling it correctly.

Check for visible screws

Before attempting to manually remove your lock, you should always check for any visible screws. Some entry door locks are held in place by a single screw. If you can’t find a screw on the faceplate, try inspecting the sides and undersides of the door handle.

Once you’ve located any visible screws, simply unscrew them and carefully remove the lock from the door using an appropriate size flat-head screwdriver or Allen wrench. If there aren’t any visible screws, the manufacturer is likely relying on hidden screws to secure the lock in place. In this case, you may need to use a few tools to remove your lock.

Removing the Lock

Although it may seem difficult at first, it is possible to remove an entry door lock without visible screws. This can be done by carefully inspecting the door lock and looking for hidden screws. Depending on the type of lock, there may be access points that will allow you to slide or twist the lock open. There are also some special tools that can be used to help you in this process. Let’s take a look at some of the techniques that can be used to remove an entry door lock without visible screws.

Remove the faceplate

Before attempting to remove the lock from your entry door, you will need to begin by removing the faceplate. When you do this, be sure that you have a stable surface in which to place it as there may be some small components that could easily get lost. Start by looking for visible screws on the door plate. If there are no visible screws, then you may need to use a flat head screwdriver or other tool so that you can pry open the faceplate and access the interior of the lock. It is important to take your time examining and testing different methods before actually attempting any forcing action on your entry door.

Use a flathead screwdriver

Using a flathead screwdriver is the most common approach for removing entry door locks without visible screws. Start by inserting the flathead between the doorknob and trim, and gently pry off the trim panel. Be careful not to damage it as you will need to put it back after the lock is removed.

Next, locate the two tiny screws on either side of the cylinder housing and remove them using your Phillips screwdriver. You can sometimes see these screws up close in a mirror. If you are unable to spot them, then a small flashlight may help you find them. Unscrew both screws and carefully take out the cylinder housing piece containing your current lock mechanism.

Once this component has been removed, slide out the latchbolt or thumbturn piece from its place in between the door and jamb by sliding away from your entryway if possible. Now would be a good time to note which side of your latchbolt is facing down, as this will tell you which way it needs to go back when reinstalling. Gently pull up on any remaining components inside such as springs or connecting pins until nothing is left inside of this space that holds your current door lock mechanism together. Your entry door lock without visible screws should now be fully removed!

Leverage a drill

If you are unable to locate any visible screws or other fasteners, your entry door may utilize an internal assembly that requires special tools for removal. One such tool that is effective in unlocking these types of locks is a drill. While keeping the lock in place, you can use the drill to create two holes at each side of the lock barrel. This will allow leverage and cause the cylinder portion of the lock to come out. Once this part of the lock is exposed, you can then address other internal pieces and replace or reassemble parts as needed.

Use a nail punch

Using a nail punch is a great way to remove an entry door lock that does not have visible screws. A nail punch is a simple tool used for removing nails and other fasteners from wood. Before starting, you should make sure that the room behind the door is empty and clear of any obstructions.

For locks without visible screws, use your nail punch to hit lightly where the screws would normally be located, usually on one side of the lock’s faceplate or around the edges of its mounting plate. In most cases, this will force the mounting plates off the side of the door and frame. Once off, carefully remove all elements of your existing lock such as pins and springs before installing your new lock components.

When using a nail punch, it is important to proceed with caution-do not apply too much pressure as this may cause damage to your door frame and/or damage to yourself. Additionally, you should wear protective eye-wear for both safety and visibility during use. With these safety tips in mind, you should be able to properly remove an entry door lock without visible screws in no time!

Replacing the Lock

Replacing the lock on an entry door can be a challenging task, especially if it doesn’t have any visible screws. The task can become even more difficult if you’re dealing with a door that has hidden screws, or lock sets that involve two locks. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to successfully remove an entry door lock without having to see any screws. In this article, we’ll cover the necessary steps to replace the lock on your entry door.

Measure the door

Before replacing the lock, it is important to accurately measure the hole in the door to ensure a proper fit. If the lock hole is too large, it could cause problems with the function of your door while if it is too small, the replacement lock may not fit properly. To ensure you get an accurate measurement, use a measuring tape or ruler to measure across the entire faceplate as well as up and down both sides. Measurements can differ slightly from one model of door handle to another so be sure to take note of any differences. Once you have taken your measurements, compare these against those listed by your chosen replacement lock. If the measurements match up exactly with what you have taken then your chosen lock should fit perfectly and can proceed with installation.

Purchase a new lock

Before replacing the lock, you will need to purchase a new one. If your entry door had no visible screws on the outside, then you will likely need a hole-in-the knob style lock. Measure the diameter of the opening for the knob or lever before you go. This can usually be measured with a ruler. You may also want to check if your door is left or right-handed so that you buy a matching handle set.

When selecting a new lock, make sure that it fits your door and functions properly. Look for locks with corrosion-resistant construction such as brass or stainless steel and adjustable latch bolt lengths so that it fits different door thicknesses. Remember to confirm whether your lock needs take standard or unique sized keys for operation, as certain styles won’t fit older doorknobs. Finally, if you are concerned about security consider adding an extra layer of protection by getting locks that can only be opened with advanced codes and biometric technology such as fingerprint scanners.

Install the new lock

Once the old lock is removed, you can install the new one. Depending on the type of lock, you may need to use mounting screws or insert additional components.

This assembly will be located on the edge of the door and allow your new lock to interact with your existing doorknob or lever handle. Typically, mounting screws are provided with the lock set. Once they are in place they will require either a small screwdriver or an Allen wrench.

In some cases, a special bracket may be necessary for proper installation and should be included in your installation kit along with instructions specific to your particular type of door lock. Be sure to read any instructions carefully and follow them in full as improper installation could lead to an ineffective security system as well as difficulties when trying to unlock your door later on.

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