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How to Remove 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

In this blog, we’ll show you how to remove a screen door lock without a key.


Before attempting to remove a screen door lock without a key, it is important to be prepared with the right tools and safety equipment. It is also important to make sure the door is locked in the first place so that you can ensure the lock can be removed without causing any damage. Additionally, it is important to secure the area around the door to prevent injury. Be sure to have the following items ready before you attempt to remove the screen door lock.

Gather necessary tools and supplies

To properly remove a screen door lock without a key, you will need the following tools and supplies: Phillips head screwdriver, flat head screwdriver, needle nose pliers, adjustable wrench, utility knife, scrap cloth or rags. You may also need either new replacement screws or some duct tape if the screws are too tight to be removed with the screwdrivers provided.

Before attempting to remove the lock with these tools and supplies it is important to assess the condition of the screw heads as well as any other components that may be damaged. If any parts are significantly worn or corroded you may need additional lubricant or cleaning agent in order to ensure that all parts can be properly removed and replaced.

Once all necessary precautionary measures have been taken it is now time to begin removing the lock. First loosen the screws on each side of the door while holding onto both sides of the door frame so that it does not move while loosening them. Using a Phillips head screwdriver and needle nose pliers carefully remove each screw one at a time until they are out of place. Next, use an adjustable wrench and a flathead screwdriver to carefully loosen and remove any existing retaining clips from around any cylindrical pins present on your doors frame which secure your lock in place.
Finally use a utility knife or scrap cloth (or both) between your frame and door panels in order to scrap away at any excess glue which has become adhered over time due an accumulation of dirt and debris from outside elements. This will eliminate any surface residue which would block new parts from being properly fitted into place when replacing your lockset with new hardware.

Put on safety glasses

Before attempting to remove a screen door lock without a key, it is important to take safety precautions. Put on safety glasses to protect your eyes while working. If available, put on gloves as well to protect your hands from sharp pieces of metal that you may encounter during the process. Read the instructions completely and make sure you have all the necessary tools for the job before beginning. Be sure to work in a well-ventilated area and keep children away from the area for their safety.

Inspect the Lock

If your screen door lock is missing its key, you’ll need to inspect it closely in order to determine what type of lock it is and how to remove it without a key. Understanding the inner workings of the lock is essential for you to be able to remove the lock without causing any damage to the screen door. In this article, we will discuss how to inspect the lock and determine the best way to remove it.

Identify the type of lock

Before attempting removal of a screen door lock without a key, it is important to identify the type of lock that is present. Generally, there are two main types of locks – cylinder locks and mortise locks. A cylinder lock consists of an outer casing with a cylindrical hole punched through the center and typically contains a spring-loaded latch or deadbolt. The key is used to unlock the inner cylinder and allow for access. On the other hand, mortise locks have an internal box that fits into a specially cut pocket in the door frame and contain either deadbolts or latch mechanisms that are not spring loaded. Mortise locks can be removed from their housings when a key is used; however, unlike cylinder locks, no key is necessary for removal-all you need to do is unscrew the thumbturn or turnpiece by hand.

Inspect the lock for any visible damage

When inspecting the lock for any visible damage, first look to see if there are any cracks or abnormalities. Cracks can indicate an issue with one of the internal parts, such as a broken tumbler or a damaged linkage. Additionally, check if there is any rust or other signs of wear near the keyhole. This could also be an indicator of parts that have been damaged or corroded over time.

If you’re unable to get a visual inspection done due to being unable to open the lock, use a magnifying glass or other tools to get a better view into the keyhole. Make sure you protect your eyes when doing this, and ensure that no piece of metal enters into the hole as it could damage more internal parts. Once you’ve done all these steps and satisfy yourself that there are no visible flaws in the lock, you can then proceed with removing it without a key.

Removing the Lock

Removing a screen door lock without a key can be a tricky process, but it doesn’t need to be. With a few tools and a bit of patience, anyone can successfully remove their screen door lock without having to buy a specialized key. In this article we will look at some of the steps involved in removing a screen door lock without the use of a key.

Try to pick the lock

One way to remove a lock from a screen door without a key is to attempt to pick the lock. This approach might seem intimidating at first but with some patience, you can get the job done. In order to pick the lock, you will need a few tools:
-A thin piece of rigid metal such as a bobby pin or paperclip
-A small flat head screwdriver
-A pair of tweezers

Start by using the screwdriver to remove the screws that attach the locking mechanism to the door. Once you have removed all of the screws, carefully turn over and inspect the lock and identify any grooves or pieces that appear movable. Align your bobby pin with these pieces and gently wiggle it back and forth until you can feel one piece giving slightly. Once this happens, use your tweezers to slowly pull out each piece one at a time until eventually, you will be able to remove both sides of what was formerly attached as one unit by unscrewing these pieces. With practice, patience and some flexibility it is possible for almost anyone with basic tools to remove locks from their screen doors without a key!

Use a drill or screwdriver to remove the lock

If you are locked out of your screen door, a screwdriver or drill can often be very effective in gaining access. If the lock is a standard design, you can use an ordinary flathead screwdriver to remove the outside retaining screws. This will allow you to pull the cylinder lock assembly off of the door.

You may find additional screws hidden by a plastic plug on the side of the latch plate. If so, use a small thin blade screwdriver to carefully pry away the plug and remove any underlying screws. Then, if necessary, insert a flathead driver into each hole of the latch plate to release it from the main body of the lock.

If no access holes are present and you have keyed locks installed on both sides of your screen door, chances are that your locks feature hardened steel shrouds and other physical security features which will make them difficult (if not impossible) for you to remove with just an everyday toolbox item like a screwdriver. However, most likely there is still hope for gaining access without having to damage anything more than just simple cosmetic features such as trim or decorative coverings around the outside perimeter of each lock’s body assembly.

In this case, it might be worth taking an extra step and using a powered tool such as a drill with bit sizes specifically designed for removing locks rather than relying solely on manual tools like screwdrivers or wire saws. It is important to bear in mind when drilling directly into any lock that you should take care not to damage it beyond repair; likewise this type of measure should only be used as an absolute last resort if other traditional methods like bitmap/lockpicking do not work or if removing with manual tools is deemed unviable given whatever physical security features have been implemented.

Replacing the Lock

Replacing the lock on your screen door can be a simple job if you have the right tools, but it can be tricky if you don’t. In this article, we’ll walk you through how to remove a screen door lock without a key. We’ll discuss different methods, from using common household items to using specialized tools, so you can find the best option for your situation. Let’s get started!

Measure the hole for the new lock

Once the broken or lost key lock has been removed, it is time to measure the hole in the door for a replacement. This should be accomplished using a steel tape measure to accurately gauge the size. If it is difficult to measure exactly due to factors such as warping or age, first use approximate measurements and then modify them as necessary when attempting to fit new hardware. Special consideration should also be taken in order to determine whether further modifications are needed on the door itself in order for it to allow an alternate style of lock, such as an exact same-sized cylinder type, mortise type, sliding bolt type or spring latch type.

Install the new lock

Now that you have removed the old lock, it’s time to replace it with a new one. Before installing the new lock, check to make sure the hole for the bolt is on the same side as on the old lock and all of the other components are in place. Securely fit all pieces together including any screws that came with your new lock.

Once everything is fitted together and ready to go, insert the bolt into its pre-drilled hole and hold it there while you screw in the set screws. Make sure they are tightened securely so as to not wiggle around while you use it.

Now, if your new lock came with a key, use that key to test out your newly installed screen door lock–inserting and turning off at least once in each direction. Generally, these locks come pre-planned for use of common keys so if your key does not work for some reason you will need to purchase an appropriate one from an area hardware store or online supplier.

When inserting the latch, insert from inside of outside until it ‘clicks’ into place (most often this will be clockwise). Finally install strike plates at jamb thresholds and test out your newly installed screen door lock again before securing with screws or nails.

Finishing Up

Successfully removing a screen door lock without a key can be a tricky task, but with a little bit of patience and the right tools you should be able to do it without too much trouble. This final section will provide a few tips on how to finish up after you’ve completed the task, such as removing any leftover screws and replacing the lock if necessary. Let’s get into it.

Test the new lock

When you have successfully removed the old lock, it is time to test the new one. Before inserting the lock into place, make sure you are aware of which side should be facing up, so that you get the correct key insertion and alignment. Once secure and in place, test that the key turns properly and does not cause any jamming or sticking. Then try opening and closing the door to ensure everything is working correctly and smoothly. Finally, test that all pins are still tightly locked in their places. If any pins move out of place, it is recommended to gently push them back into position with a small flathead screwdriver or a thin knife blade when you adjust them.

Clean up the area

Once you have finished removing the lock, it is important to clean up the area and dispose of the old lock properly. Using a canned air duster or vacuum with hose attachment, carefully remove any metal shavings or debris that can create a hazard for children and pets. Clean up any dust and dirt that may have gotten onto nearby surfaces. Before you replace the door with a new lock, be sure to give it a thorough wipe down with a mild cleaning solution such as soap and water. Finally, consider changing out all of your other locks in the house for added security purposes.

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