Skip to content

How to Switch a Door Lock in 5 Easy Steps

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

Have you ever wanted to know how to switch a door lock? It’s actually quite easy, and only takes a few minutes. Here’s a quick guide on how to do it.


Before you begin the process of replacing your door lock, there are a few steps that need to be done in order to ensure a safe and successful switch. Make sure you have the right tools for the job and that you understand the steps involved. Choose a new lock that is compatible with your existing hardware and verify that the old lock is fully unlocked. Finally, measure the existing lock to ensure the new lock will fit. With that out of the way, let’s get started.

Gather all necessary tools

Switching a door lock can seem like an intimidating task, but it can be done yourself with the right knowledge and tools. Before beginning, it is important for you to gather all of the supplies you will need to successfully remove and install your new lock.

The necessary tools include: a screwdriver, a drill bit that matches the screws used on your home’s doorlocks, wood chisel or hole saw, masking tape (optional), tape measure or ruler for measuring the diameter of the new lock, level (optional), and pencil. Once you have all these tools in hand you are ready to begin replacing your old door locks with new ones.

Make sure the door is unlocked

Before attempting to switch out your door lock, you want to make sure that the door is unlocked. When attaching the new lock, it will be easier and quicker if you do not have to worry about dealing with a door that’s in a locked position.
If your old lock has not been locked and you are simply replacing it with a new one, then you can skip this step. However, if the old lock has been locked, make sure to unlock it before beginning work. You can usually find the keyhole for unlocking the door on either side of the frame or on top of the frame. Make sure to have your key handy when doing this so that you can unlock and remove your old lock quickly and efficiently.

Removing the Old Lock

Switching a door lock is a relatively easy DIY project that can help you increase the security of your home or office. The first step in switching out a door lock is to remove the old lock. This can be done by unscrewing the screws that hold the lock in place. You may also need to remove any knobs or plates that are attached to the door and door frame. Once all the screws and attachments have been removed, you can then carefully remove the old lock from the door.

Unscrew the faceplate

Before you can begin replacing the lock, you will need to remove the old one. The first step is to unscrew the faceplate. Depending on your door, this could be done with a flat-head screwdriver or a Phillips head screwdriver. Unscrew all of the screws on either side of the faceplate until it is free from the door, and then put aside so that you don’t lose them. Make sure to keep track of which screws go where, as many times they are not labeled, and you don’t want to end up putting in reverse-threaded screws!

Remove the screws from the back of the lock

Once the doorknob is removed, use a screwdriver to remove the screws that attach the back of the lock to the door. If a decorative plate covers these screws, carefully pry off the plate to expose them. When all the mounting screws have been removed, pull out the pieces of hardware attached to the back of your old lock. Be sure not to discard any parts as they can be used with your new lock. If there are any wires running into or behind your old door lock, don’t cut them – instead, disconnect them at their attachment points and save them for later use in your new installation.

Take out the cylinder

The first step in switching a lock is to remove the old one. Begin by taking out the cylinder, which is the round portion of the lock that houses the keyhole and tumblers. To do this, place a flathead screwdriver on one side of the cylinder, and use a hammer to drive it inward so you can remove it from its housing. If your door has a faceplate, use a Phillips-head screwdriver to unscrew it.

Installing the New Lock

Installing a new door lock can be a daunting task for someone not well-versed in DIY home repairs. Fortunately, with the right tools and instructions, you can safely and effectively switch out a door lock in just five easy steps. This first step is all about getting ready to install the new lock. Carefully follow instructions on the package of the lock, and gather key tools such as a drill, screwdriver, and level. It is also helpful to use a piece of chalk to mark your measurements. Once you are ready, you can begin.

Insert the new cylinder

Once the old lock has been removed, you can install the new lock by inserting the cylinder into the hole in the door. Before inserting, ensure that the faceplate of your new cylinder is flush with the door. When positioning correctly, secure it in place by sliding both sides of your mounting screws and securing them with a screwdriver. After this step, make sure that your key is able to fit within any direction and remove it from the cylinder to check for proper alignment before closing up the faceplate.

Secure the back of the lock with screws

Once the new lock is in place, it is important to ensure that it is secured firmly. Depending on the type of lock, you may need to use either screws or bolts. Whether you are using screws or bolts, secure them in the pre-drilled holes at the back of the lock. Use a screwdriver or wrench to tighten all screw and bolt connections until secure. Make sure each screw and bolt is tightly fastened for optimal security and durability of your new door lock.

Reattach the faceplate

Gently reattach the faceplate with both screws, taking care to tighten them evenly. The faceplate should be snug and secure, with no visible gaps. When finished you should have a secure, neat installation. A level may be used to ensure that the faceplate is flush with the door frame. With everything attached it is important to check your work before testing out the lock. Make sure there are no loose screws and that the key operates smoothly and securely. This will also be a good time to test out all of the different lockset functions if they are available. Once you’re confident that everything is working correctly and there are no potential issues, enjoy having an updated lock in your home!

Finishing Touches

Now that the door lock has been successfully switched, there are some finishing touches that need to be done to complete the job. It is important to secure the door lock properly to prevent any tampering and to make sure the door is locked securely. Additionally, it is important to recalibrate the door lock so that it opens and closes properly. We’ll now look at some of the steps needed to properly finish the job.

Test the lock to make sure it works

After you have installed the lock and put everything back together, it is important to test the lock to make sure it is working correctly. The first thing to do is to insert the key and turn it clockwise. You should hear a click when the bolt or latch engages, indicating that the lock has been set. To make sure you have set the bolt or latch when you turn the key in an anti-clockwise direction, pull on the door handle and examine if it has locked. If everything is working correctly, move onto re-installing any screws that were removed during installation.

Secure the faceplate with screws

Once the door lock is installed in the door, it is important to secure the faceplate with screws. Most faceplates come with two or three screws; use all of them to ensure that your new locking mechanism is firmly secured in place. Use a screwdriver to drive the screws into place and turn each one clockwise until it is tightly fitted. This will help to prevent any vibrations or knocks from dislodging or partially removing the faceplate and lock core. After securing the screws, test out your new lock and make sure it operates smoothly before installing the cover over the outside of your door.


Proper maintenance of door locks is essential for any residential or commercial property. Fortunately, in many cases, it is possible for property owners to replace their door locks themselves, saving money and time. This article will cover the steps necessary to switch out a door lock in five easy steps.

Lubricate the lock regularly

To ensure a long-lasting door lock, it is recommended that you lubricate it on a regular basis. You can do this by using either lubricant or silicone oil, since these are the best for keeping your lock in top condition by reducing dirt and dust buildup. Make sure to check the instructions on the packaging, and look for products made specifically for locks before using any product. When adding lubrication to the inner parts of your lock, use a brush to avoid getting any excess liquid inside which could potentially cause damage. Additionally, try to focus on parts of the lock that move often such as the latch bolt or lever handle. After applying any form of lubrication, test your door lock multiple times to make sure it works properly or you may need to start again from scratch with a new one.

Make sure the screws are tightened securely

Before you begin the process of switching your door lock, it is important to make sure the screws are tightened securely in order for the new lock to fit. If the existing screws are too loose and not fully tightened, then the frame will be off-balance, creating difficulty when attempting to attach the new lock. Additionally, always use a screwdriver with an appropriate size and shape tip when loosening and tightening screws. This will prevent damage to the existing door frame or other components which can cause additional complications down the road.

How to Switch a Door Lock in 5 Easy StepsCheckout this video:

Share this Article